Michele Antaki—a former UN interpreter, journalist, and translator—has written and sent me the following exclusive summary of a recent speech given in French by Ernest Tigori, an Ivorian intellectual and political activist, exiled in France, and winner of the 2017 Nelson Mandela Prize for Literature. In his new book “L’Afrique à désintoxiquer” (“Detoxifying Africa”), he explains why it is crucial to lead Europe out of repentance for its alleged crimes in Africa, and lead Africa out of infantilization. He presented it to great acclaim at a recent patriotic forum in Paris. Antaki’s write-up begins:
Since the 1990s, Tigori has vigorously denounced the political class ruining his country, and the general lack of prospects compelling Africans to leave their countries in droves, in search of a better future.
Regarding Europe, Tigori warns that uncontrolled migration from the South to the North shore of the Mediterranean may destabilize it beyond repair and that ethnic wars could well be looming on the horizon.
“It saddens me”, he says,” to see the white man beating his breast over and over, too emasculated to put up any resistance to people who’ve come to threaten him on his own doorstep”. He believes that a toxic mix of guilt, “human rightsism”, political naivety and crass ignorance of History have a debilitating effect on Europeans’ capacity to fight the invasion.
He accuses the corrupt African leaders of destroying the lives of hundreds of millions of human beings in all impunity, but is equally critical of the ideologues who are paving the way for them. They should stop blaming it all – slavery, the slave trade, colonialism, neocolonialism and racism – on a forever repentant Europe, who now has to carry the burden of this mass immigration to atone for its supposed sins against Africa.
Tigori explains how the History of black Africa from the 15th to the 20th centuries has intentionally been falsified in the 1940s by Stalinist strategists and their Communist followers, whose covert aim it was to tarnish the image of Western European nations, in order to drive them out of their colonial possessions and take their place. Up until now, that is 30 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the lies have stuck.
The myth the author debunks is twofold. No, Europe is not responsible for the practice of slavery in black Africa, nor is it guilty of colonial crimes. And, no, Africans did not allow themselves to be enslaved or colonized as “poor hapless victims”.
He goes on to explain how the myth of Europe’s debt towards Africa is perpetuated by certain powers that have a stake in keeping it alive. This myth, born out of Cold War Soviet anti-Western propaganda, is now serving another variety of the same agenda.
I have nothing to add except: read every word of it.