The Racist Hypocrisy of Western Nations Is Tantamount to Criminal Complicity in Crimes Against Humanity
“The concept of complicity can make a person criminally responsible for a crime physically committed by another person. So even though a person may not have directly committed the offence in question, their actions before, during or after the commission of an offence may make them liable for criminal punishment.”
“The inhumane deprivation of the Yemeni population of their rights to medicine, water and food should stop immediately. The very survival of the 24 million in need should be the first priority.”
UN Report (September 3, 2019)
While the US, the UK, and France maintain their inhumane involvement in the Saudi-led genocide in Yemen https://bit.ly/2kprVgY, Israel — with its laughable claims to being the “only democracy” in the Middle East and having the “most moral” army the world — continues selling weapons https://bit.ly/2k61tJ9 to the Myanmar regime responsible for the genocide of the Muslim Rohingya people https://bit.ly/2k9Wibl. As former British colonies, both Yemen (from 1937-1963) and Myanmar (1824-1948), were already familiar with the concentration camp detentions, famines, and massacres perpetrated by the British Empire which at its height in 1922, governed a fifth of the world’s population and a quarter of the world’s total land area.
One of the most enduring characteristics of such Western colonialism has been the persistent prevalence of racist hypocrisy. The German historian Jürgen Osterhammel who — in his 1997 bookColonialism: A Theoretical Overview — noted that by “rejecting cultural compromises with the colonised population, the colonisers are convinced of their own superiority and their ordained mandate to rule.” The existence of such abhorrent racist sentiments in the West which regarded dark-skinned people as inferior, backward, and barbaric, initially stemmed from an eighteenth century self-absolving need to justify slavery and subsequently served as the rationale for the colonial oppression of the “sub-humans” whom Cecil Rhodes — British businessman, diamond mining magnate, and politician who seized control of what are now Zimbabwe and South Africa — described as “the most despicable specimens of human beings.”
Following the Slavery Abolition Act which took effect on August 1 in 1834 and ended slavery in most British colonies — by freeing more than 800,000 enslaved Africans in the Caribbean, South Africa, and a smaller number in Canada — the British government payed some £20 million (equivalent to about £300 billion today) in compensation . However, it was not to the victims of slavery or their descendants who were paid, but the slave owners who included some of Britain’s richest businessmen. Such payments continued for 182 years and did not end until 2015 so that British tax-paying descendants of slaves have in fact been helping to compensate those responsible for the enslavement of their forefathers https://bit.ly/2IeF5nl. The payment of such compensation was no doubt as racially motivated as the US government’s annual payments of billions of American taxpayer dollars to Israel to help it “defend itself” while ethnically cleansing the indigenous Palestinian people and stealing their land https://bit.ly/2koOIIk. Israel is irrefutably an illegal and ruthless colonial enterprise intent on stealing not only Palestinian land, but also all that land’s natural resources https://bit.ly/2kCxUPN.
One of colonialism’s greatest heists of natural resources, however, was perpetrated by Britain — which according to recent ongoing research — stole $45 trillion from Indiahttps://bit.ly/2w2mpDa. That is more than 17 times the total of the UK’s current annual gross domestic product. During the precolonial period, Britain used to buy goods such as textiles and rice from Indian producers by paying for them in the normal mostly with silver. Then in 1765, after the East India Company took control of the subcontinent and monopolised Indian trade, it began collecting taxes of which about a third was then used to purchase Indian goods for British use. In other words, the Company was paying for the goods purchased with money collected in taxes from the Indian people.
While some of the purloined goods were used for British consumption, the remainder was re-exported to other countries, thereby enabling Britain — which pocketed not only 100 percent of the original value of the “stolen” goods, but also the markup — to finance the import from Europe of materials including the iron, tar, and timber that were essential for industrialisation. It could be justifiably claimed that Britain’s Industrial Revolution was financed to large extent by the systematic theft of goods from India.
India — where incidentally 1.8 billion Indians died from deprivation — is now a country where 270,000,000 (1 in 5) people are still living in poverty; where a discriminatory caste system is still in existence; where high rates of human trafficking, prostitution, and rape prevail; and where the widespread cultural preference for male rather than female offsprings has encouraged and tolerated foeticide and infanticide resulting in an estimated 63,000,000 women having “disappeared” during the last century with another 21,000,000 girls being currently unwantedhttps://wapo.st/33BzFOY. Yet despite such discrimination and boundless butchery, sanctimonious pro-lifers in the West who are endlessly and at times violently vociferous regarding abortions and the sanctity of human life, have with their racist hypocrisy failed miserably to utter a single word of condemnation because they presumably regard dark-skinned people as being sub-human.
The Western legacy of genocidal racism was also notoriously evident in the New World where Christopher Columbus presided over unspeakable atrocities against native peoples including the kidnap and rape of native women; forcing Indians to either collect gold for him or die; beheading of Indian slaves; causing some 50,000 Indians to commit mass suicide rather than comply with Spanish rule; the fact that 56 years after Columbus’s first voyage, only 500 out of 300,000 Indians remained on the island of Hispaniola; and the selling of nine to ten-year-old girls into sexual slavery by settlers about which he proudly boasted.
Sexual abuse and brutal depravity by Columbus stemmed from the odious belief that native “others” were inherently of less “value” and consequently justifiably deserving of sexual debasement. In the course of his four separate journeys starting in 1942, Columbus landed on a number of Caribbean islands including those now known as the Bahamas where he sexually abused and enslaved girls as young as nine years of age, a fact which he subsequently noted.
“A hundred castellanoes [Spanish coins] are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand.”
As a consequence of the ensuing increase of Europeans settlers arriving in North America, the frontier — the territory between the white man’s so-called civilisation and the untamed wilderness — became an area that hosted a clash of vastly different Native American and European cultures with the latter’s sentiments being frequently expressed with explicit genocidal intent towards the indigenous Native Americans.
Such sentiments eventually led the US government authorising over 1,500 attacks, raids and wars against the Native Americans, the most ever carried out by any colonial power against an indigenous population. When the Indian Wars finally ended in the late nineteenth century, no more than 238,000 indigenous people remained: a dramatic decline from the estimated tens of millions who inhabited North America when Columbus first reached the New World in 1492. The killing of some 100 million Native Americans was documented by author D.E. Stannard who in hisAmerican Holocaust, stated “the destruction of the Indians of the Americas was, far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world.”
The indigenous population in America had by 1691 declined by 90-95 percent, or some 130 million people with the intent of continued genocide being reconfirmed as late as 1851 by then California Governor Peter H. Burnett who stated “a war of extermination will continue to be waged between the two races until the Indian race becomes extinct.”
“They have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement which are essential to any favourable change in their condition. Established in the midst of another and a superior race, and without appreciating the causes of their inferiority or seeking to control them, they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances and ere long disappear.”
President Andrew Jackson, in his fifth annual message, December 3, 1833
“Damn any man who sympathises with Indians! . . . I have come to kill Indians, and believe it is right and honourable to use any means under God’s heaven to kill Indians . . . Kill and scalp all, big and little; nits make lice.”
John Milton Chivington (1882–1894), a former Methodist Pastor who served as a Colonel in the US army
In the November 1864 Sand Creek Massacre — also known as the Chivington Massacre — a 675-man force of Colorado US Volunteer Cavalry under Chivington’s command, destroyed a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho Native Americans in southeastern Colorado Territory, and killed and mutilated an estimated 500 of whom about two-thirds were women and children. The panel of a subsequent Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War declared the following:
“As to Colonel Chivington, your committee can hardly find fitting terms to describe his conduct. Wearing the uniform of the United States, which should be the emblem of justice and humanity; holding the important position of commander of a military district, and therefore having the honour of the government to that extent in his keeping, he deliberately planned and executed a foul and dastardly massacre which would have disgraced the verist [sic] savage among those who were the victims of his cruelty. Having full knowledge of their friendly character, having himself been instrumental to some extent in placing them in their position of fancied security, he took advantage of their in-apprehension and defenceless [sic] condition to gratify the worst passions that ever cursed the heart of man. Whatever influence this may have had upon Colonel Chivington, the truth is that he surprised and murdered, in cold blood, the unsuspecting men, women, and children on Sand creek, who had every reason to believe they were under the protection of the United States authorities.”
Meanwhile, as all this “extermination” of the Indian race was ongoing, the first African slaves had already arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619, in what was to be the start of a blatant exploitation of African people as slave labourers to help build the new nation into an economic powerhouse through the production of lucrative crops such as tobacco and cotton. By the mid-nineteenth century, America’s westward expansion and the abolition movement provoked a great debate over slavery that tore the nation apart in a bloody Civil War. Though the Union victory freed the nation’s four million slaves, the legacy of slavery had continued to influence the racist and unjust nature of the American nation. James Baldwin, the American novelist and social critic (1924-1987), had the following to say about white Americans in his essay My Dungeon Shook:
“They have had to believe for so many years, and for innumerable reasons, that black men are inferior to white men. Many of them, indeed, know better, but, as you will discover, people find it very difficult to act on what they know. To act is to be committed, and to be committed is to be in danger. In this case, the danger, in the minds of most white Americans, is the loss of identity.”
Not to be outdone by their southern neighbours, Canadians throughout the country’s early history, always had a policy objective of being rid of the “Indian problem,” which included the killing of Indian children. It is one of life’s conundrums how ethnic cleansing is always categorised as a “problem” that required to be dealt with as was the case for the Nazis in Germany who resorted to genocide as a solution for the “Jewish problem.”
While the rest of the world may have a more favourable perceptions of Canada as compared to the US, the fact remains that Canada is a country whose solving of the “Indian problem” involved scalping bounties being paid for each Mi’kmaw man, woman and child killed; providing smallpox blankets to indigenous peoples to spread lethal diseases; deliberately infecting indigenous children with infectious diseases in residential schools; resorting to acts of solitary confinement, electric chair punishment, rape, sodomy, torture, and assaults on indigenous children in residential schools.
Further Canadian means of solving the “Indian problem” involved the forced sterilisation of indigenous women and girls to prevent them from bearing children; the forced abortions of Indigenous girls in residential schools; the starvation of children in residential schools that led to their deaths; the beating, torture and abuse of children which led to their deaths; the deliberate failure to provide healthcare to Indigenous peoples legally “imprisoned” on reserves or in residential schools; and the abduction from indigenous families of thousands of children who were either given to white families for adoption, or placed in residential schools with some never being seen alive again.
Continued in Part two . . .