Colonialism and Slavery
“I hate imperialism. I detest colonialism. And I fear the consequences of their last bitter struggle for life. We are determined, that our nation, and the world as a whole, shall not be the play thing of one small corner of the world.” (Sukarno) When it comes to taking over another country, the selfish reasons behind it cloud the minds of the colonizers into thinking that what they are doing is to the advantage of the victims. The lived experience of Okonkwo and Linda challenges the argument that defenders of colonialism and slavery made by proving that the colonizers trying to civilize and bring Christianity to the colonized countries worsened their lives instead of improving them by pushing out their culture and religion, and physically and mentally abusing them; through discovering the reasons for colonialism, then comparing them to the stories of Okonkwo and Linda the truth of what colonialism said it was doing and what it actually was doing to a colonized or slave person. There are many reasons why colonialism and slavery have thrived for many years. Westerners wanted to beat the competitor within the Western countries. White supremacy is a major advocate in the onslaught of colonialism. The idea of racial entitlement and genetic inferiority is what pushes the movement of imperialism. Blatantly narcissistic gauges of the worth of non-European peoples – skin color, fashions in or lack of clothing – receded in importance; measurements of cranial capacity, estimates of railway mileage, and the capacity for work, discipline, and marking time became the decisive criteria by which Europeans judges other cultures and celebrated the superiority of their own. (Adas, 146) Europeans considered all other cultures “uncivilized” and wanted to bring to them the idea of modernity. No other culture lives up to the mindset of European culture and they know that and use that to their advantage. In Machines as the Measure of Men, Michael Adas states, The new sense of what it meant to be civilized and the conviction that only peoples of European descent measured up to standards appropriate to the industrial age owed much to the growing influence of ‘self-made’ individuals in shaping European perceptions of non-Western peoples. (195) Modern advances pushed colonization. It became a significant way for missionaries to judge non-Western countries to Western civilizations. (Adas, 206) Along with civilizing the people, they wanted to bring Christianity to the natives. Christianity was how the colonizers would get into the villages and countries they colonized. Missionaries come to slowly take control. “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.” (Desmond Tutu) Chinua Achebe wrote in Things Fall Apart about the trying times in Nigeria when the white man came and changed the lifestyle of the natives. At the times of imperialism, colonizers reasoning was the spread of religion. Christians, believing they must spread Christianity globally, set out to convert as many people as possible. And at last the locusts did descend. They settled on every tree and on every blade of grass; they settled on the roofs and covered the ground. Mighty tree branches broke away under them, and the whole country became the brown-earth color of the vast, hungry swarm. (Achebe, 56) They come quietly, then more come and they preach these ideas of peace and control that comes with converting to their religion. The colonizers gain a foothold within the village. A village divided by the converters to Christianity turns once allies into enemies. Manipulation is a driving force behind the success of the conqueror. Turn brother against brother and crush the religion, traditions, customs, and heritage. How do you think we can fight when our own brothers have turned against us? The white man is very clever....
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