One of the most controversial thing in Western Europe is its colonial past. As taught at school, white (Christians) Europeans came to Africa and massacred local populations to enslave them and steal their money. Not that I want to say that evil shouldn’t be condemned, but what if history taught at school was exaggerated to promote racial hatred towards white people? What if racism was taught at school under the umbrella antiracist values? What if most of the stories told were lies built to divide and conquer our (Christian) Western societies?
I let you reflect on those questions. Here I intend to provide few facts for you to take into consideration.
These few pictures are there to foster your personal reflection. But let’s say few words.
In the early 19th century, the population of Europe was about 150M and Africa 90M, at best. The size of Africa is about 10 times the size of Europe, and its lands are more fertile. If you consider the density of population, Africa had around 3.5 persons per km2, and Europe had about 60 persons per km2. Compare this to today’s France, who has about 120 inhabitants per km2, or Belgium who has 360 inhabitants per km2. In Southern Africa, the density was even around 0.5 inhabitant per km2! Compare once again this to today (around 240 persons per km2). Now, take into consideration that Africa was mostly a land divided in tribes, with very few kingdoms (if we can name it that way). The notion of Nation State didn’t exist, ID cards, passports, and digital footprint neither. This means that borders didn’t exist – we created them, artificially. The abundance of resources made it also extremely easy to move.
So basically, when whites came, they had to walk kilometers before finding a tribe. Sometimes dozens, if not hundreds of kilometers.
Furthermore, how could European genocide populations if factually colonialism more than doubled life expectancy, and their population exploded under “Occupation”? Indeed, while the European population did not explode under modern society, others did. This shows that these cilivisations could not grow by themselves, and demonstrate that the western world had a positive impact on them in terms of population growth. Where is the genocide there?
Also, another point goes to the level of development in Africa when Europeans came. Were there roads, trains, hospitals, schools, etc.? If so, why do we still need to fund projects to develop these elements in Africa?
Last, these are the words of the belgian “colonialist” Albert Thys :
“The creation of the Congo State is, as I said above, an absolutely new colonial conception and, strictly speaking, it is not a colony, the latter dispossessing the native of his soil and considering the native as the conquered race. In fact, here the natives are the citizens of the new state and the whites sent to Congo by the government will be temporary guardians to the black population who will be called to the management of public affairs only when his education will be sufficiently done. So far, until now, all colonial occupation has resulted, not only in the enslavement of the aboriginal race, but also, and almost inevitably, in the suppression of this race and its replacement by the conquering race. This is especially what happened in the Americas and even more or less in the British and Dutch Indies. Here, it can not for a moment be a question of doing so. The Negro is the citizen of the Congo Free State; we must not enslave it, but educate and elevate it, socially speaking, until it can govern itself, even if it is even flanked at the door by the Negroes of the future.
Letter to his wife written during his first trip to Congo on December 6, 1887.