The Motherland Being Raped…Again

Unbeknownst to the majority of people in the United States, the Pentagon is directing increased attention to the African continent. The formation of the United States Africa Command (Africom) in 2008 signaled this trend which had been developing for at least a decade.

This should not be surprising considering the history of the U.S. and its European antecedents. Since the mid-15th century Western European nations have been involved with Africa through the Atlantic Slave Trade and later the colonization of the continent. The profitability of the colonies of the Western hemisphere is directly related to the exploitation of African labor.

Although the official history of the U.S. prides itself on the notions of freedom of the individual, the capacity for reforms and amendments to the constitution, there is also the resistance to change embedded deeply in the fabric of political culture, law and the economic structures of society. The slave system in the U.S. was introduced by the British colonialists during the second decade of the 17th century in Virginia.

From the time of 1619 to 1865, some two-and-one-half centuries, slavery was a profitable economic system that provided the wealth and technology that sprung America to the industrial position that it occupied during the latter decades of the 19th century. By the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the so-called Spanish-American war would usher in a new era of imperialism that became increasingly dominated by the United States.

With specific reference to the economic system of slavery and its justification within the American legal system, African American historian W.E.B. DuBois wrote in his seminal work on the failure of Reconstruction in the aftermath of the civil war, that “Negro slaves in America represented the worst and lowest conditions among modern laborers.” (Black Reconstruction in America, 1935)

DuBois continued pointing out that “One estimate is that the maintenance of a slave in the South cost the master about $19 a year, which means that they were among the poorest paid laborers in the modern world. They represented in a very real sense the ultimate degradation of man (and woman). Indeed, the system was so reactionary, so utterly inconsistent with modern progress, that we simply cannot grasp it today. No matter how degraded the factory hand, he is not real estate.”…

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