Sorious Samura captures murders, tortures, and executions on video. There is a scene where buzzards feast upon dead black children in the streets of Freetown. Families are burned to death in their homes. There are real people whose limbs have been hacked off with machetes.
As you probably guessed, the West is blamed for its failure to take up the White Man’s Burden. Sierra Leone was left to die while Americans were distracted by the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal and Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial.
You know, I found myself nodding in agreement with most of his points: if I had lived through 11 years of the Sierra Leone Civil War, I would believe the U.N. was full of shit, that the DWLs in America who preach the gospel of “human rights” are full of shit, that the Western liberals who claim to care so much about Africa are full of shit.
Rwanda, Liberia, Congo, and Sierra Leone are illustrations of an inconvenient truth. The only proven way to promote the concept of “human rights” in Africa is through white supremacy and imperialism. The atrocities didn’t stop in Sierra Leone and Liberia until Britain and America intervened in 2000 and 2003.
It was Westerners who went into Africa and abolished things that were offensive to their conscience: things like slavery, civil wars, cannibalism, witchcraft, genocide, petty dictatorships, polygamy, poverty and underdevelopment, diseases like malaria and yellow fever, etc.
Westerners were also capable of self criticism and improved their track record over time. Thus, while the Western powers maintained the Transatlantic Slave Trade for centuries, it was also the West that put an end to the slave trade and abolished slavery in Africa. King Leopold II was forced to turn over the Congo Free State to Belgium over accusations of “Red Rubber” human rights abuses.
By the 1950s, the Belgian Congo had more civil servants and hospital beds than any other colony in Africa. The number of Africans who earned wages, who had access to modern healthcare, who lived in Western-style housing had reached an all time high. The Belgians had also brought diseases like malaria under control in a country with the largest river system in Africa.
Instead of perfecting white supremacy and imperialism, there was a mad rush toward the New Left’s ideal of decolonization, anti-racism, and white guilt. In the early twentieth century, Africa had been more peaceful and was making greater progress than Europe. In the late twentieth century, Europe and Africa switched places and Africa was devastated by civil wars, dictators, and genocide.
Has the politicization of the blacks been an advance or a setback for the liberal cause of human rights and progress? Look no further than Haiti which won its independence and Guadeloupe and Martinique which have remained overseas departments of France. Puerto Rico is another example of a state that remained an American colony and ranks highly on the U.N. Human Development Index.
If Sierra Leone had remained a British colony like the Falkland Islands, would it be in the shape that it is today? It is highly unlikely that Siaka Stevens would have been allowed to rule Sierra Leone for 17 years while amassing a $500 million dollar fortune as education and other basic public services collapsed.
The streets of Freetown wouldn’t have been full of “rarray boys” addicted to a Black Undertow lifestyle of gambling, drugs, petty theft, and violence. The professional class wouldn’t have immigrated to the United States and Europe in search of opportunities denied to them in their own mismanaged country.
Sierra Leone had been decomposing for thirty years as an independent state before the Sierra Leone Civil War began in 1991. The war and the atrocities depicted in “Cry Freetown” emerged out of this social context like a ripening orange that has fallen off a tree and begun to rot.
Now we are hearing stories about a 9-month-old baby that was recently killed by an AK-47 assault rifle in Detroit. We all know that the financial collapse of Detroit is just over the horizon.
OD celebrates Black History Month 2012 by remembering “Cry Freetown.” We’re gearing up for the next two installments in this black trilogy, Cry Detroit and Cry New Orleans, which should make their debut on national television in the near future.