By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
September 20, 2015
The recent public simplistic, albeit ridiculous racial remarks as per social media by Trinbagonians, tended to false impression that that’s the human interactive reality in this country post 53 years of putative political independence, period.
At the outset, it must be stated quite emphatically and equivocally that “this our native Land” is NOT racially monologue; our “native Land” is a polyglot, multiracial, multi-religious, multi-ethnic society, period. Hey, my fellow Trinbagonians there were human beings as in peoples who inhabited this land in B.B.E. era long, long, long, those whom are now called Europeans came, albeit stumbled, after being totally lost, ‘discovered’ whatever….
However, let’s be historically correct: on the one hand, Afrikans were brought involuntarily, violently and inhumanely by disparate Europeans from ALL parts of Mother Afrika, North-East-South but in particular, West Afrika as in El Mina Castle in West Afrika, Ghana. According to deceased, totally respected Afri-centric, Afrikan-American scholar/historian, Dr. John Henrik Clark in his book “Christopher Columbus & the Afrikan Holocaust” (1992):
“(Europeans) forced their way into (Ghana) and built the first permanent slave trading settlement in West Africa. The year was 1482.” Dr. Clarke goes on to pontificate: “This was the beginning of European colonization, the beginning of the hunting–ground for procuring slave labor, the disruption of our religion, our social systems, the loss of respect for our forefathers, all these things being taken away without anything of value being put in their place.” (p.47.)
Dr. Clarke also cautions that “when the Europeans first came down the West Coast of Africa, they were treated as guests by the unsuspecting Africans whom they would later enslave. When the Africans began to suspect that the intentions of the Europeans were not good, in most cases, it was too late and they did not have the modern weapons of that day to defend themselves.”(p.45). Most importantly, Dr. Clarke pontificates that “Skin colour was not a factor as to whether a person did or did not become a slave and, in most cases, the slave had some rights that the master had to respect.”(p.53).
On the other hand, Indians came mostly humanely, voluntarily and as “indentured servants” a la Euro-British people as in kit and kin from India. Dr. Eric Williams in his magnum opus “Capitalism and Slavery” (1944), confirms/validates that “The immediate successor of the Amerindians was not the African but the ‘poor whites.’ They were regarded as ‘indentured servants’ because before leaving India, they had to sign a contract binding them to serve for a stipulated period for their passage. Others were criminals/convicts who were sent by the (Euro)-British government to serve for a specific time on plantations in the Caribbean.” (p.9.)