Contemplating "The Devil's Due"
Prince John: A knife! He's got a knife!There's an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation which fascinates me in so many ways - Season 4, Episode 13 "Devil's Due."
Eleanor of Aquitaine: Of course he has a knife, he always has a knife, we all have knives! It is 1183 and we are barbarians! How clear we make it. Oh, my piglets, we are the origins of war: not history's forces, nor the times, nor justice, nor the lack of it, nor causes, nor religions, nor ideas, nor kinds of government, nor any other thing. We are the killers. We breed wars. We carry it like syphilis inside. Dead bodies rot in field and stream because the living ones are rotten.
~ from The Lion in winter
"My ancestors were writing philosophy while yours were still swinging in trees."
~ Gus Portokalos, My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
"When Europe was still in the Dark Ages, the rest of the world was partyin'."
~ the Infamous Lil Sis
In "Devil's Due", the people of Ventax II are having a nervous breakdown because 1000 years earlier, their people signed a pact with a being called "Ardra", or their equivalent of the Devil. According to the legend, Ardra promised the Ventaxians 1000 years of peace and prosperity, in exchange for a heavy tax at the end of those 1000 years.
Indeed, "Ardra" does appear, in the form of
I find this episode fascinating because some ways, it applies to the effects of the White Western world on everyone else. While thinking over the historical comments of Nabil Adbul Rashid and statements from Black people like, "If I visit Asia, I think I'll go to Japan. It's the most Westernized," I get the feeling that most POC truly believe - whether consciously or subconsciously - that without white people, they wouldn't have anything.
Talk about a white lie.
While studying African history during grad school, we came across a saying that slavery pushed the Industrial Revolution forward in Europe, but held it back in Africa. In other words, even without white people, people of color would still have the technologies we have today. And since we are less callous towards this planet, our technological advancement would have been less detrimental to the environment. Whether we would've developed it more slowly or much faster is ultimately irrelevant, because the effects in the long run would be what mattered most.
Rashid's statements show that It's imperative more than ever that we talk about history within this context, not to educate white folks on the matter, but to fully and properly educate ourselves on the matter.
So it is with great pleasure that I end this with some links from African Kingdoms, and the beginning of a lecture from the late great Ivan Van Sertima:
- Ancient Ghana
- Swahili States
- Rwanda Empire
Kingdom of Dahomey
Civilizations before Greece and Rome
Colonized Mental Illness, by Brotha Wolf