Episode 2:  Climate Crisis Doublespeak

“War is peace. 
Freedom is slavery. 
Ignorance is strength.”

― George Orwell, 1984

Africans, more than other societies, have come to accept as truth whatever they read, listen to and watch from Western sources. Traveling the length and breadth of the continent, it is striking to see the most popular news channels in the elite offices as well as the bars and restaurants where CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, France 24 rule the roost as the default authoritative news channels in respective African capital cities. We will come to discuss African media channels further down the road and the crucial role they play in affirming white privilege. Suffice to say that Africans’ views and experiences are lived vicariously, yaani second-hand, mediated through the lenses of foreign owned media whose framing and interpretation of issues are accepted without hesitation. 

So, we are captivated by a daily diet of global stories emanating from the above sources. But it gets worse. Whenever the global media deem that an African story merits global attention, the expert talking heads invited to analyse the meaning of the events are inevitably European or American. Often the experts are speaking from the comfort of their living rooms in provincial towns like Hull or Hastings, towns which are in England, America and Australia (in the latter two countries these English names are imposed on formerly indigenous locations so are redolent of the colonialism we are reminding ourselves about) interpreting events that are unfolding in countries which they have often never visited. If you don’t believe me then see the current coverage of the coup in Niger, the civil war in Sudan, the apocalyptic earthquake in Morocco and the devastating flood in Libya. What qualifies someone as expert on Africa is having obtained a degree in “African and Oriental Studies” from a European university, and working as a researcher in an ideologically driven “think tank”. Yet even more corrosive are the said experts employed by the foreign aid industry who thrive on raising funds off the images starving women and children without resolving the fundamentals that would prevent the disasters in the first place. When the foreign media have correspondents on the ground, they rarely invite indigenous experts witnessing the events firsthand unless the African speaker can be trusted to speak from the foreigners perspective. And still the educated formally employed African audience prefer to get their news and analysis from these outlets.

Foreign experts always have their own agenda as a priority, and I can bet you Africa’s development is not their priority. And now as we approach a critical inflection point in global survival we must be super vigilant so as not to fall for the blandishments of people who hate us and our environmentally benign lifestyles.

As we face a critical tipping point of potential global meltdown,  Africa will be in a much better condition and Africans will be in a far better place if we ignore the totality of western colonial “advice”.  Seriously, anyone taking a step back to review the duplicity of those who foisted European “civilization” on Africa’s indigenous people does not need to rake the ground too hard before uncovering the disastrous effects of these efforts. The invaders figured out that they would have to deploy the full arsenal of techniques involving the destruction of beliefs and values, destruction of native languages, destruction of local governance structures, eradication of indigenous commerce, displacement of populations from fertile land, mass incarceration, and ultimately merciless killing of those who refused to surrender to their will.

Starting with the missionaries who brought the Bible and taught that local beliefs were heretical, backward, pagan, evil, and deserving of the wrath of their God. They claim to come in peace but if you examine the number of non-believers slaughtered by the catholic church, the original branch of Christianity, it is mind blowing. The estimates range from 3 million to tens of millions of humans murdered for the sin of heresy, and this in Europe alone. Given the propensity of Europeans recording events in their favour you can bet these numbers are gross under-estimates. Bible teachings notwithstanding, how could the Christian religion be portrayed as peaceful given the historical record? No wonder the bones of indigenous people are still being unearthed in mass graves within church compounds in places as “peaceful” as Canada.  Aren’t African and other indigenous religions by far more respectful of the sacredness of human life as well as nature? 

With this long tradition of purporting to come in peace while carrying out mass slaughter of innocent populations, it comes almost instinctively these days for western governments to send in “peace keeping troops” who seldom bring about lasting peace. Their war machines and murderous armies are euphemistically called “defense forces” especially when they bring about death and destruction mostly of unprotected civilians far away from their homelands, all to enforce their colonial schemes on people who have never threatened their countries in any way.  Whenever we hear the word “peace” uttered by these people, we should be prepared for a fight.

These examples should serve to put us on the alert to resist the double-tongued institutions that bring clever sounding advice and expertise to us. And now that matters have reached a critical point we should be prepared for a full onslaught of dodgy advice.

 If we were to remind ourselves of the bad advice that Africa’s illegitimate leaders have accepted and therefore led us to the current almost helpless state we find ourselves in, we would be here for months and this episode could easily turn into a book. But it is critical that we recognize the empty acronyms and manipulative platitudes that western institutions dispense to us while not swallowing their own prescriptions regarding environmental management and protection.  These institutions are colonial and neo colonial in structure, strategy and tactical intent. By definition their overriding agenda, whether it is government, world bank, IMF, multinational corporations, multinational banks, churches, non-governmental organisations, and philanthropic foundations, is to impose their control on indigenous communities.

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