By Hama Tuma
“Dishonest words are the food of rotten spirits”
Ayi Kwei Armah
Kevin Myers is no Gobineau. No sophistication, just crude. He seems to me an attention grabbing pedestrian racist with a special hostility for Africa and Africans. Not that he has focused on Africans and refrained from attacking others (he calls the Scots “obese and dependent on welfare”), single mothers (producers of “bastards”) and bad mouths Islamic militants while all the time supporting the policies of George Bush (he backed the 2003 invasion of Iraq) and calling for a limit on immigration in Ireland to guard against racial problems that may arise. Kevin Myers is a racist of little importance but he has a purpose (like people whose sole reason for living is to spite others) in that he gives us the occasion to deal with all those like him who rile against Africa and her people at every opportunity.
In two recent articles written in the Irish Independent (“Africa is giving nothing to anyone–apart from Aids” and ´Harsh as they were my views on Africa had to be expressed”) Myers spits venom at Africa, a continent of “sexually hyperactive indigents” with tens of millions “who only survive thanks to outside help”. Myers, like most Western journalists, has for sure a laptop and a mobile phone. Definitely, he knows that the war in the Congo has led to the deaths of some 4 million people and that this Congolese tragedy (which reminds us of the colonial times when the Belgians chopped hands and smoked them for preservation–15 million Congolese were killed) is mainly a resources war. Let us leave gold and diamonds aside and focus on the Coltan and Cassiterite found in Eastern Congo. These are minerals that Africa is giving to the West so that Myers’ mobile phone and laptop can work. The West and China depend on Congolese Cassiterite for lead free circuit boards for electronic equipment of various kinds. Timber, cooper, oil, uranium, coffee, cocoa, you name it and Africa supplies Ireland and the West in abundance. Africa is fleeced by the West: unfair trade practices, plunder, blood diamonds and all. Here is what Mvembe Phezo Dizolele wrote (St Louis Dispatch 10/05/2006: “Millions are dying for our Cell Phones”)
“The Congo conflict is occurring far from our American shores, and it rarely comes up on local evening news, but it touches nearly every American through our mobile phones, laptop computers and video games. Congo holds 80 percent of the world’s reserves of coltan, a heat-resistant mineral ore that is all but essential to the operation of such devices.
Coltan is a contraction of columbium-tantalite. Without it, wireless communication as we know it would not exist. Refined coltan yields tantalum, which is used primarily for the production of capacitors, electronic components that control of the flow of current in miniature circuit boards”.
Definitely, Africa has given and is giving much more to the world than AIDS which, for all we know, originated elsewhere than in the continent but Myers seems to be a driven, hate consumed man. Actually, Kevin Myers is, like most racists, an ignorant man. He is scared of the black man, the Black and Yellow Peril. Here is what he wrote some years back:
“Immigration is now not merely the dominant feature of Irish life, it is the greatest threat to the existence of the Irish nation as a coherent and cohesive whole. No country has ever accepted, never mind assimilated, the volumes of foreigners now present in this state. We have some 400,000 legal immigrants; but everyone knows that the army of illegals, especially Africans and Chinese, is vast, and probably tops 200,000. In all, Ireland has received at least 600,000 immigrants, most of them within the past five years. It could be many more. No one has the least idea. “
For Myers and his bizarre notion of a “coherent and cohesive whole” the black man poses a serious threat. He fears, as expressed in his article “What has African given apart from Aids”, that the Africans who are given help will survive and thrive and then most of them will definitely come “here”, meaning his Ireland. He is so obsessed with the idea of reducing the African population that he attacks the attempt by the Bill Gates Foundation to fight malaria in Africa for, as Myers argues, “in the almost complete absence of personal self discipline that disease (malaria) is one of the most efficacious forms of population control now operating”. May the mosquito flourish to wipe out black Africans! Myers is more than racist, he is a cruel man of the Botha mold. He castigates western “generosity” as one of the “curses of Africa”. Throughout his articles, his red hot hostility to the sexual activities of Africans emerges. He calls the sexual “system” predatory and dysfunctional; he calls Somalis permanently “tumescent layabouts” (Pfizer should also hate them–no market for Viagra there) and begrudges the Ethiopians for having a population increase while the population of his good old Ireland decreased after the Great (?) Irish Famine. If just one famine killed the Irish interest in sex why are the Ethiopian to be blamed? In a lighter vein one can comment that the Irish are so desperate that they had to label “great” their one and only significant famine. How proud would they have been if they have had three major ones like Ethiopia and with more promising to come? Just a thought.
There was a time the Irish themselves were called the Negros of Europe or Negroes turned inside out. That time is indeed gone. One wonders if Myers had any of that old Irish spirit in him but no matter. He has inherited the racism in tons and bundles. He is enjoying the privilege of being white and no more a starving émigré. His recipe of do not give Africans any aid or medicine because they will just reproduce and wage wars and carnage brings to mind the P.W. Botha call in 1985, echoing the European fear of being outnumbered, for reducing the population of blacks in South Africa. Here below is what he said aside from advocating the use of chemical weapons and fertility destroyers to reduce the black population.
“Priority number one, we should not, by all means allow anymore increases of the black population lest we be choked very soon. I am also sending a special request to all Afrikaner mothers to double the birth rate……we should engage higher gear to make sure that Black men are separated from their women and fines be imposed upon married wives who bear illegitimate children. (Africans/blacks)…are greedy savages who are after our blood…..We cannot simply stand and watch all the laurels we have created being plundered by these barbaric and lazy kaffirs….It is our strong conviction (therefore) that the Black is the raw material for the white man. So, Brothers and Sisters, let us join hands together to fight against the Black devil…..By now everyone of us has seen it practically that the blacks cannot rule themselves. Give them guns and they will kill each other. They are good in nothing else but making noise, dancing, marrying many wives and indulging in sex…Let us all accept that the Black man is symbol is the symbol of poverty, mental inferiority, laziness and mental incompetence….. Our experts should work day and night to set the Black man against his fellow man. His inferior sense of morals can be exploited beautifully. And here is a creature that lacks foresight….The average black does not plan his life beyond a year…..”
Myers resembles Botha in most of his disgust for Africans. He tries to sound sanctimonious when he riles against female circumcision (his statistics on this also is very wrong ) but he uses it to drive his main point home: “why should we save a baby from death from hunger in order to give her an even more agonizing, almost sacrificial, death aged eight or 13?”. As far as Myers is concerned the African male spends most of his time in “buna bet and shebeens”/bars/ or swaggering with a Kalashnikov and not being exploited in mines, quarries. Oil rigs, farms, etc….Myers hypocritically blames himself for not reporting the “anger of Irish aid workers at the sexual incontinence and fecklessness of Ethiopian men” while he should have actually castigated himself for not reporting on the Irish UN soldiers raping underage girls in Eritrean and other places. Who are these holier than thou Irish aid workers? Shall we start on the role and real practices of the so called aid workers and NGOs? South Sudan, Eastern Congo, Ethiopia… ? For Myers the Ethiopian children “saved by western food” aid grew up to begin “the greatest population explosion in human history”. He calls the Ethiopian population increase a “demographic holocaust” in a “continent of sexually hyperactive indigents”. Read Myers, read Botha. The Black peril is here. Let them starve and die, let malaria kill them; let them die of “hunger, poverty and social meltdown”, after all “Africa is giving us nothing but AIDS”. Sadly, the hater Myers has illustrious company in his disdain for the African/blacks. Just check the following quotes:
“There never was a civilized nation of any other complexion than white, nor even any individual eminent either in action or speculation. No indigenous manufacturer among them, no arts, no sciences….Such a uniform and constant difference could not happen in so many countries and ages if nature had not made an original distinction betwixt theses breeds of men”.
“If their understanding is not of a different nature from ours, it is at least generally inferior. They are not capable of any great application or association of ideas, and seemed formed neither for the advantage nor the abuses of philosophy.”
Voltaire (commenting on Africans)
And Hegel said this of blacks
“..Incapable of contemplating any objective entity such as God or Law…Nothing remotely human is to be found in their character. Extensive reports by missionaries confirm this and Mohammedanism seems to be the only thing which can, in some measure, bring them nearer to a civilized condition”.
And Abraham Lincoln?
“I will say then, that I am not or ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way, the social and political equality of the white and black races. That I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, not of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which will ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And as much as they cannot so live while they do remain together, there must be a position of Superior and Inferior, and I as much as many other man, am in favor of having the Superior position assigned to the White Race.”
Historian Arnold Toynbee wrote the following:
“… Within the first six thousand years, the Black Race has not helped to create any civilization….. It will be seen when we classify Mankind by color, the only one of the primary races, given by this classification, which has not made a creative contribution to any of our twenty one civilizations is the Black Race.”
“The Negro is a child and nothing can be done without the use of authority. With regard to the Negroes, then, I have coined the formula: ‘I am your brother, it is true, but your elder brother.”
“It is vain to deny the Blacks are an inferior race…They have learned in slavery all that they know in civilization. When first brought from the country of their origin they were naked savages and where they have been left to their own devices they have lapsed to a greater or less degree into barbarism”
Even Karl Marx wrote of “negro like basic substance” and of “nigger like officiousness” and “cranial structure”, (Letter to Engels, 1862). The American TV star Bill Maher said (June 23/1999) that “an African had sex with a monkey and started AIDS”. The image of the black man as lazy, fiend, child-infant, sociopath and super masculine sex machine is such that, as one writer out it, they see a black man and they see a penis. Myers has this phobia which is perhaps linked to his own failings and inferiority complexes.
As for a solution for the recurring Ethiopian famine we can go back to Jonathan Swift and present his Modest Proposal in the place of Myers hate filled rant:
|A Modest Proposal|
For Preventing The Children of Poor People in Ireland
By Jonathan Swift (1729)
“It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great town or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads, and cabin doors, crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags and importuning every passenger for an alms. These mothers, instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in strolling to beg sustenance for their helpless infants: who as they grow up either turn thieves for want of work, or leave their dear native country to fight for the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbadoes.
I think it is agreed by all parties that this prodigious number of children in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of their mothers, and frequently of their fathers, is in the present deplorable state of the kingdom a very great additional grievance; and, therefore, whoever could find out a fair, cheap, and easy method of making these children sound, useful members of the commonwealth, would deserve so well of the public as to have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation.
But my intention is very far from being confined to provide only for the children of professed beggars; it is of a much greater extent, and shall take in the whole number of infants at a certain age who are born of parents in effect as little able to support them as those who demand our charity in the streets.
As to my own part, having turned my thoughts for many years upon this important subject, and maturely weighed the several schemes of other projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in the computation. It is true, a child just dropped from its dam may be supported by her milk for a solar year, with little other nourishment; at most not above the value of 2s., which the mother may certainly get, or the value in scraps, by her lawful occupation of begging; and it is exactly at one year old that I propose to provide for them in such a manner as instead of being a charge upon their parents or the parish, or wanting food and raiment for the rest of their lives, they shall on the contrary contribute to the feeding, and partly to the clothing, of many thousands.
There is likewise another great advantage in my scheme, that it will prevent those voluntary abortions, and that horrid practice of women murdering their bastard children, alas! too frequent among us! sacrificing the poor innocent babes I doubt more to avoid the expense than the shame, which would move tears and pity in the most savage and inhuman breast.
The number of souls in this kingdom being usually reckoned one million and a half, of these I calculate there may be about two hundred thousand couple whose wives are breeders; from which number I subtract thirty thousand couples who are able to maintain their own children, although I apprehend there cannot be so many, under the present distresses of the kingdom; but this being granted, there will remain an hundred and seventy thousand breeders. I again subtract fifty thousand for those women who miscarry, or whose children die by accident or disease within the year. There only remain one hundred and twenty thousand children of poor parents annually born. The question therefore is, how this number shall be reared and provided for, which, as I have already said, under the present situation of affairs, is utterly impossible by all the methods hitherto proposed. For we can neither employ them in handicraft or agriculture; we neither build houses (I mean in the country) nor cultivate land: they can very seldom pick up a livelihood by stealing, till they arrive at six years old, except where they are of towardly parts, although I confess they learn the rudiments much earlier, during which time, they can however be properly looked upon only as probationers, as I have been informed by a principal gentleman in the county of Cavan, who protested to me that he never knew above one or two instances under the age of six, even in a part of the kingdom so renowned for the quickest proficiency in that art.
I am assured by our merchants, that a boy or a girl before twelve years old is no saleable commodity; and even when they come to this age they will not yield above three pounds, or three pounds and half-a-crown at most on the exchange; which cannot turn to account either to the parents or kingdom, the charge of nutriment and rags having been at least four times that value.
I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.
I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.
I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that of the hundred and twenty thousand children already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only one-fourth part to be males; which is more than we allow to sheep, black cattle or swine; and my reason is, that these children are seldom the fruits of marriage, a circumstance not much regarded by our savages, therefore one male will be sufficient to serve four females. That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year old, be offered in the sale to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; always advising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump and fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.
I have reckoned upon a medium that a child just born will weigh 12 pounds, and in a solar year, if tolerably nursed, increaseth to 28 pounds.
I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children.
Infant’s flesh will be in season throughout the year, but more plentiful in March, and a little before and after; for we are told by a grave author, an eminent French physician, that fish being a prolific diet, there are more children born in Roman Catholic countries about nine months after Lent than at any other season; therefore, reckoning a year after Lent, the markets will be more glutted than usual, because the number of popish infants is at least three to one in this kingdom: and therefore it will have one other collateral advantage, by lessening the number of papists among us.
I have already computed the charge of nursing a beggar’s child (in which list I reckon all cottagers, laborers, and four-fifths of the farmers) to be about two shillings per annum, rags included; and I believe no gentleman would repine to give ten shillings for the carcass of a good fat child, which, as I have said, will make four dishes of excellent nutritive meat, when he hath only some particular friend or his own family to dine with him. Thus the squire will learn to be a good landlord, and grow popular among his tenants; the mother will have eight shillings net profit, and be fit for work till she produces another child.
Those who are more thrifty (as I must confess the times require) may flay the carcass; the skin of which artificially dressed will make admirable gloves for ladies, and summer boots for fine gentlemen.
As to our city of Dublin, shambles may be appointed for this purpose in the most convenient parts of it, and butchers we may be assured will not be wanting; although I rather recommend buying the children alive, and dressing them hot from the knife, as we do roasting pigs.
A very worthy person, a true lover of his country, and whose virtues I highly esteem, was lately pleased in discoursing on this matter to offer a refinement upon my scheme. He said that many gentlemen of this kingdom, having of late destroyed their deer, he conceived that the want of venison might be well supplied by the bodies of young lads and maidens, not exceeding fourteen years of age nor under twelve; so great a number of both sexes in every country being now ready to starve for want of work and service; and these to be disposed of by their parents, if alive, or otherwise by their nearest relations. But with due deference to so excellent a friend and so deserving a patriot, I cannot be altogether in his sentiments; for as to the males, my American acquaintance assured me, from frequent experience, that their flesh was generally tough and lean, like that of our schoolboys by continual exercise, and their taste disagreeable; and to fatten them would not answer the charge. Then as to the females, it would, I think, with humble submission be a loss to the public, because they soon would become breeders themselves; and besides, it is not improbable that some scrupulous people might be apt to censure such a practice (although indeed very unjustly), as a little bordering upon cruelty; which, I confess, hath always been with me the strongest objection against any project, however so well intended.
Some persons of a desponding spirit are in great concern about that vast number of poor people, who are aged, diseased, or maimed, and I have been desired to employ my thoughts what course may be taken to ease the nation of so grievous an encumbrance. But I am not in the least pain upon that matter, because it is very well known that they are every day dying and rotting by cold and famine, and filth and vermin, as fast as can be reasonably expected. And as to the young laborers, they are now in as hopeful a condition; they cannot get work, and consequently pine away for want of nourishment, to a degree that if at any time they are accidentally hired to common labor, they have not strength to perform it; and thus the country and themselves are happily delivered from the evils to come. ……..
I have too long digressed, and therefore shall return to my subject. I think the advantages by the proposal which I have made are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance.
For first, as I have already observed, it would greatly lessen the number of papists, with whom we are yearly overrun, being the principal breeders of the nation as well as our most dangerous enemies; and who stay at home on purpose with a design to deliver the kingdom to the Pretender, hoping to take their advantage by the absence of so many good protestants, who have chosen rather to leave their country than stay at home and pay tithes against their conscience to an episcopal curate.
Secondly, the poorer tenants will have something valuable of their own, which by law may be made liable to distress and help to pay their landlord’s rent, their corn and cattle being already seized, and money a thing unknown.
Thirdly, Whereas the maintenance of an hundred thousand children, from two years old and upward, cannot be computed at less than ten shillings a-piece per annum, the nation’s stock will be thereby increased fifty thousand pounds per annum, beside the profit of a new dish introduced to the tables of all gentlemen of fortune in the kingdom who have any refinement in taste. And the money will circulate among ourselves, the goods being entirely of our own growth and manufacture.
Fourthly, the constant breeders, beside the gain of eight shillings sterling per annum by the sale of their children, will be rid of the charge of maintaining them after the first year.
Fifthly, this food would likewise bring great custom to taverns; where the vintners will certainly be so prudent as to procure the best receipts for dressing it to perfection, and consequently have their houses frequented by all the fine gentlemen, who justly value themselves upon their knowledge in good eating: and a skilful cook, who understands how to oblige his guests, will contrive to make it as expensive as they please.
Sixthly, this would be a great inducement to marriage, which all wise nations have either encouraged by rewards or enforced by laws and penalties. It would increase the care and tenderness of mothers toward their children, when they were sure of a settlement for life to the poor babes, provided in some sort by the public, to their annual profit instead of expense. We should see an honest emulation among the married women, which of them could bring the fattest child to the market. Men would become as fond of their wives during the time of their pregnancy as they are now of their mares in foal, their cows in calf, their sows when they are ready to farrow; nor offer to beat or kick them (as is too frequent a practice) for fear of a miscarriage.
Many other advantages might be enumerated. For instance, the addition of some thousand carcasses in our exportation of barrelled beef, the propagation of swine’s flesh, and improvement in the art of making good bacon, so much wanted among us by the great destruction of pigs, too frequent at our tables; which are no way comparable in taste or magnificence to a well-grown, fat, yearling child, which roasted whole will make a considerable figure at a lord mayor’s feast or any other public entertainment. But this and many others I omit, being studious of brevity.
Supposing that one thousand families in this city, would be constant customers for infants flesh, besides others who might have it at merry meetings, particularly at weddings and christenings, I compute that Dublin would take off annually about twenty thousand carcasses; and the rest of the kingdom (where probably they will be sold somewhat cheaper) the remaining eighty thousand.
I can think of no one objection, that will possibly be raised against this proposal, unless it should be urged, that the number of people will be thereby much lessened in the kingdom. This I freely own, and ’twas indeed one principal design in offering it to the world. I desire the reader will observe, that I calculate my remedy for this one individual Kingdom of Ireland, and for no other that ever was, is, or, I think, ever can be upon Earth. Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients: Of taxing our absentees at five shillings a pound: Of using neither cloaths, nor houshold furniture, except what is of our own growth and manufacture: Of utterly rejecting the materials and instruments that promote foreign luxury: Of curing the expensiveness of pride, vanity, idleness, and gaming in our women: Of introducing a vein of parsimony, prudence and temperance: Of learning to love our country, wherein we differ even from Laplanders, and the inhabitants of Topinamboo: Of quitting our animosities and factions, nor acting any longer like the Jews, who were murdering one another at the very moment their city was taken: Of being a little cautious not to sell our country and consciences for nothing: Of teaching landlords to have at least one degree of mercy towards their tenants. Lastly, of putting a spirit of honesty, industry, and skill into our shop-keepers, who, if a resolution could now be taken to buy only our native goods, would immediately unite to cheat and exact upon us in the price, the measure, and the goodness, nor could ever yet be brought to make one fair proposal of just dealing, though often and earnestly invited to it.
Therefore I repeat, let no man talk to me of these and the like expedients, ’till he hath at least some glympse of hope, that there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them into practice.
But, as to my self, having been wearied out for many years with offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly despairing of success, I fortunately fell upon this proposal, which, as it is wholly new, so it hath something solid and real, of no expence and little trouble, full in our own power, and whereby we can incur no danger in disobliging England. For this kind of commodity will not bear exportation, and flesh being of too tender a consistence, to admit a long continuance in salt, although perhaps I could name a country, which would be glad to eat up our whole nation without it.
After all, I am not so violently bent upon my own opinion as to reject any offer proposed by wise men, which shall be found equally innocent, cheap, easy, and effectual. But before something of that kind shall be advanced in contradiction to my scheme, and offering a better, I desire the author or authors will be pleased maturely to consider two points. First, as things now stand, how they will be able to find food and raiment for an hundred thousand useless mouths and backs. And secondly, there being a round million of creatures in human figure throughout this kingdom, whose whole subsistence put into a common stock would leave them in debt two millions of pounds sterling, adding those who are beggars by profession to the bulk of farmers, cottagers, and laborers, with their wives and children who are beggars in effect: I desire those politicians who dislike my overture, and may perhaps be so bold as to attempt an answer, that they will first ask the parents of these mortals, whether they would not at this day think it a great happiness to have been sold for food, at a year old in the manner I prescribe, and thereby have avoided such a perpetual scene of misfortunes as they have since gone through by the oppression of landlords, the impossibility of paying rent without money or trade, the want of common sustenance, with neither house nor clothes to cover them from the inclemencies of the weather, and the most inevitable prospect of entailing the like or greater miseries upon their breed for ever.
I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country, by advancing our trade, providing for infants, relieving the poor, and giving some pleasure to the rich. I have no children by which I can propose to get a single penny; the youngest being nine years old, and my wife past child-bearing.”
The Irish did not eat their children and neither will the Ethiopians. Swift was a satirist but Myers is not. Carl Jung quotes a Native American chief who said the white men must either be sick or mad what with their tense faces, staring eyes, cruel demeanor, their being uneasy and restless. Prejudice can fly in all directions and more. Hatred and mental constipation has meshed with Myers’ inherent Botha-like racism to attack Ethiopians and Africa as a whole. The truth is that Africa has given the world civilizations and riches and Ethiopians were civilized when Myers’ ancestors were living in caves as heathens. But that is neither here nor there except to expose Kevin Myers for the vile racist that he is.