Bandura’s social learning theory dictates that man is but what man’s society permits him to be. Some will say he is rather a social reductionist, his theory, approach to the study of this animal called man’s behavioure will be viewed as rather to narrowed by the social parameters Bandura tended to use.
I however hold with those who think him a pioneer in the study of this creature that is man.
I live in South Africa: a country so packed tops with racist eyed people that some of them seem a lost cause in our effort to remind the people of this lovely but historically horrid land that ‘we once were of the same father and mother. That no matter how deeply perversely some of us might wish and build it to be so; we will always be of the same father and mother.
In our family there exist no monkey, baboon, bonobo, chimpanzee or orangutan. WE are man, always were and always will be.
Truth be told we are tired of this song. But thanks Captain Penny Sparrow we are yet again forced sing it again. Like the monkeys she called us-as did her grannies-we once again chatter, howling and waving our sorry white digits up as monkeys in trees pointing out-along with the wrongs of the past-the wrongs of the present and the little insignificant wrong she has done us Black South Africans today: Calling us “their/them” herself “we” and us “monkeys”.
To many who are not aware, the use of these words will indeed seem insignificant and indeed be. IF for instance, I chose to remain in my country of birth (Swaziland) I would surely have not noted how pregnant Penny Sparrow’s little facebook post actually is, let alone her interview with News24.
She even went as far as actually saying what she sees (black on black skin) when at the beach is a shame. Defend her all you like but this lady has actually revealed what she and others in her social circle think. What they do.
My history does not start with Mandela,Rhodes and Jan Van Rebie
But there is another side to this story. A side I think will again be left not really addressed. You see if you be so bold as to surf the internet, go to the library and dig for old books or just simply sit with granny and listen, you will find that there is a missing element in today’s world history. An element that is so vital that its being absent has crippled how today’s people perceive each other.
This element is the history of the black man. His origins, his progress and his influence over today’s world. Sure we know about segregation, apartheid and slavery but do we ALL know about old Ham and Egypt, do we know about Canaan and his people, do we know who Cush was and his connection with not only Ethiopia but with the Jews, Christianity education, Religion, commerce, Africa and the rest of the world? Do we for example ALL know that Spain was once upon a time ruled by BLACK Africans(under the banner of Islam), and that this Africans were not just brutes of war but were learned Cushites, from modern day Ethiopia, Libya, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal and many other countries that bear the people who are today called monkeys.
Not many Southern African Blacks know their history beyond the boarder of modern day South Africa. All we know is Mandela, Gatja, Verwoerd, The Cape of Good Hope, Jan Van Rebiek , Anglo-Boere war, Imfencane ,the great world wars and dear old and dead Naledi.
I mean not to belittle any of the above but what I am going on about is the fact that;
• Jan Van Rebiek(1652) is not the first white person to reach the Cape, let alone reach India by sea and come back actually alive and well. Vasco da Gama accomplished the feat way earlier (1492) and lived to tell the tale of an Islamic town in modern day Mozambique.
• It is a lie (if not just mere speculation) that there were no Bantu peoples living here but only the Khoi and the San when the settlers came. In Mozambique da Gama encountered not only Muslims but Bantu language speakers as well. The Muslim of Arabian decent easily married into the Bantu of that place. Da Gama and Dias have this fact in their reports.
• If you be bold enough and go beyond AD1000, you would learn that racism and slavery has been present ever since man learnt to rule the other.
• Mass enslavement as we know it was caused by the need for cheap-all day labor in the Americas. This was most frequent in the AD1500s.
• Da Gama found an already existing economy in Mozambique. An Economy run by the Swahili, Malala and Arabs already trading in gold from from the Monomatapa kingdom in what is Zimbabwe today. Can monkeys create and maintain and economy?
• We can hate the Afrikaner all we want but they never started slavery-that is in its grandest of scales. The Portuguese who were brought here by Da Gama and the Crown of Portugal did this.
• England was the first country to actually end slavery.
• During the Anglo-Boere war, Afrikaners were oppressed by the English just as much as any African if not worse.
• Afrikaans in a African language in part and Germanic language in its roots. It is made of Dutch roots, Malay, Portuguese, San-Khoi and much Bantu languages than many would like it to be.
• Some historians are really of the view that we are all from South Africa, this is where we evolved;be it you are Euro-Asian or simply African.
• For those of us who have been misled, Noah’s curse was never directed to Cush. It was directed to Ham’s youngest of sons, Canaan. Those sons of Canaan who today live are not affected by the curse because Christ’s Ransom cleaned it off. Besides, Jah only allowed such to be effective only up to the fourth generation. Both Cush and Canaan’s sons are way past that mark.
The Afrikaner might have been the face of apartheid but they were not alone. Britain and the East India Company are to blame. The Foreign Office in the UK was responsible for much of what is South Africa today. Through the hands of entrepreneurs like Cecil Rhodes, the empire managed to grow its influence over much of what is today called Africa. One source puts it this way: His treatment of Africans was equally contradictory, he often talked about them in a highly derogatory manner and virtually pioneered the ‘Apartheid’ system of separating the Africans working in his mines from the outside world. Yet, he also seems to have taken an uncommon interest in their cultures and language and had a respect and understanding for Africans that would have seemed remarkably liberal for his era.
Rhodes left a will that was to create one of the most successful educational endowments of all time; The Rhodes Scholarships. These were open to any of the Teutonic peoples; Britons, Germans and Americans. And had the express purpose of enabling the academic elites of these countries to mingle and understand one another better in an attempt to create an Anglo-Saxon empire across the world. Even in his death, Rhodes’ dreams were bigger and more comprehensive than most other peoples’.
The above piece of information is not common knowledge to many who live in South Africa. The problem with it however, is that it not written in a manner that proves Britain and Cecil (the arm in South Africa) are to blame for what latter became institutionalized apartheid. To address this, I went over to my of late favorite resource and found this;
“I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimen of human being, what an alteration there would be in them if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence…if there be a God, I think that what he would like me to do is paint as much of the map of Africa British Red as possible…” – See more at: http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/cecil-john-rhodes#sthash.JMtA2q2z.dpuf
Many of us who live not just in South Africa but who live in Southern Africa, are white or are black are very much of the opinion that it was of the Afrikaner/Boere ambition that Apartheid was conceived, born and latter matured into what it was in the 1950s. Yes Jan Smats spread it but the truth is that the tree that fell in 1994 was planted and left to root a very long time ago. When Cecil-and not Van Rebiek- went into parliament (then in the Cape Town) and sowed the White Super Race dream into the hearts of the people who were present in his 100 minutes presentation of the Glen Grey Act. This was and is the foundation of every Southern African’s life and trouble today; be it he is white or he is black.
How is this so, you ask? Well he it is. The white man in general, benefited from this act in that it secured his economic position. The black got nothing but pain and more pain, some of us lost even our surnames because of this act. The Land Act of 1903 and the Group Areas Act made famous by the Afrikaner/Boere face are all but little serpents with little fangs. They only added salt to an injury already at the time so deep that even a child born 200yrs from now will feel and live its effects.
The Affirmative Action policy as is currently applied will- quite frankly-fail. Its greatest crack is that it is rather too one sided. The whites (more so for the Boer) are in truth carrying a guilt unjustly generalized upon them and because of that are excluded from benefiting from their mother’s teats because she thinks they are still full from a fill she(I think government, like old mother justice should be blind) gave the prior to twenty years ago. Dear reader here is a snippet from the real architect of Apartheid, the envy of every man who knows and lusts after the value and power that comes with money, the shame of every historically aware white Southern African, the true enslaver of black Southern African and the benefactor of the English Empire. Read:
Rhodes opened his speech on the Glen Grey Act with the following words:
‘There is, I think, a general feeling that the natives are a distinct source of trouble and loss to the country. Now, I take a different view. When I see the labour troubles that are occurring in the United States, and when I see the troubles that are going to occur with the English people in their own country on the social question and the labour question, I feel rather glad that the labour question here is connected with the native question.’
He then continued,
‘The proposition that I would wish to put to the House is this, that I do not feel that the fact of our having to live with the natives in this country is a reason for serious anxiety. In fact, I think the natives should be a source of great assistance to most of us. At any rate, if the whites maintain their position as the supreme race, the day may come when we shall all be thankful that we have the natives with us in their proper position….. I feel that I am responsible for about two millions of human beings. The question which has submitted itself to my mind with regard to the natives is this ”” What is their present state ? I find that they are increasing enormously. I find that there are certain locations for them where, without any right or title to the land, they are herded together. They are multiplying to an enormous extent, and these locations are becoming too small…. The natives there are increasing at an enormous rate. The old diminutions by war and pestilence do not occur… W e have given them no share in the government ”” and I think rightly, too ”” and no interest in the local development of their country. What one feels is that there are questions like bridges, roads, education, plantations of trees, and various local questions, to which the natives might devote themselves with good results. At present we give them nothing to do, because we have taken away their power of making war ”” an excellent pursuit in its way ”” which once employed their minds…. We do not teach them the dignity of labour, and they simply loaf about in sloth and laziness. They never go out and work. This is what we have failed to consider with reference to our native population… What I would like in regard to a native area is that there should be no white men in its midst. I hold that the natives should be apart from white men, and not mixed up with them… The Government looks upon them as living in a native reserve, and desires to make the transfer and alienation of land as simple as possible… We fail utterly when we put natives on an equality with ourselves. If we deal with them differently and say, ” Yes, these people have their own ideas,” and so on, then we are all right ; but when once we depart from that position and put them on an equality with ourselves, we may give the matter up… As to the question of voting, we say that the natives are in a sense citizens, but not altogether citizens ”” they are still children….’ http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/cecil-john-rhodes#sthash.JMtA2q2z.dpufn
I do not know why it came to be that the Boere community that are our brothers and very are smart did not see this when it happened but what remains true in most peoples’ thoughts is that the South Africa we have today is the Afrikaners’ brain child. But as to the how, you have your answer. Jan Smat decided to be responsible for a dog not his and in the end that dog wrecked havoc to the brother he never wanted but ultimately turned bit his buttocks and ours all the same.
To some of us it is a small wonder why Penny Sparrow spat the words she spat at us black South Africans. She is English and the English have been messing up the world ever since the fall of the Portuguese empire and the birth of its hand, the East India Company. And when the Ruling Party took office, they never went and first deal with the problems the Engish world empire left in this country, nor did Zambia and Zimbabwe or even Angola. Swaziland is an exeption because it somehow was not so much hurt (mostly because it promised nothing in terms of monetary profit).
I find it hard to find a lasting solution with regards to the Race question but I do find that one who knows why and how things are fares better than he who addresses only the what in such matters. It is because of this realization then that I concluded that while we can not change the physical past, we can at least weaken its effects on us in the present and the future by learning about our wrongs in the past and present and work at never again taking those decisions again. It is however very difficult to do this in South Africa because much of the history we hear and read is limited largely by the history of the struggle for pass laws, and economic freedom. The truth is this kinds of freedom are essential but they do not really uproot the effect of racism and racists’ comments that manifest themselves in the minds of both the oppressor and the oppressed. I have found that even if I were to be economically free-that is have lots of money-I will not lose the effect that being called, compared to or being differentiated from a monkey has on mind. It will not remove the inferiority/superiority complex ( however minute or big it is) from my sense of self. The one and only thing that is going to save me from the above is a knowledge of myself and the knowledge of the other. This I can only achieve by my studying if my and the others’ history. Not the everyday go to school history but the history that at present only a few study. The history that will empower me and unshackle my soul from racism, bring forth the color of my skin’s true glory and place me right at par with my white brothers. Once I do that I will be truly free from the power of racism. We all are.
Twenty eight thousand years down the history line is a very long an fogy road to travel but my start with ‘The Wonderful Ethiopian and the Cushite Empire is a good way for anybody to start. My history does not start with Mandela and Jan Van Rebiek. It’s a long way down from there.
My History did not start with Mandela, Rhodes and Jan Van Rebiek: A reminder To all those who think me Black a monkey