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April 24, 2024

What should it take to be human in Gaza?(2), by Usman Sarki 

What should it take to be human in Gaza?(2), by Usman Sarki 

“No egg can remain intact when a bird’s nest is overturned” – Japanese proverb

Apropos of this, a radical transformation of ideas, philosophy and attitudes is required in this age of accelerated globalisation and incessant scramble for Africa’s resources. This attitudinal transformation should be around the establishment of the basic premises about the identities of peoples around the world, with what matters more to them by way of being human beings becoming central to this new order. 

This new order should establish priorities around the concept of “humanity” over the cut-and-dried notion of “human rights” per se, which has today become an empty political slogan with no moral accompaniments outside the established frameworks of global control and dominance by the Western powers.

The denial of humanity to people has been a historical issue with constant and unabetting ramifications that have stayed both visible and under the surface for as long as humans began to interrelate with one another, leading to the emergence of situations of dominance of one people by another. The race that has been at the receiving end of this denial has historically been the Black Race. Whether African, Aboriginal Australian or from the Pacific Islands, all Black races have been subjected to gross and systematic denial of their humanity by other races for centuries. 

Other indigenous peoples around the world have also been subjected to arbitrary and systematic brutalisation that resulted in some cases, in their near total extinction. The situation has so impacted and transformed the identity of the Black Race that even today, we are struggling to retrieve our humanity and worth, by fighting tooth and nail to receive justice wherever we live alongside with other racial groups.

It was only in 1994 that the official segregation between Blacks and Whites under the obnoxious Apartheid system was ended in South Africa after centuries of White domination and supremacy in that land. The phenomenon of “Black Lives Matter” and the denunciation of the legacies of slavery, colonialism and other forms of historical oppression of the Black Race, still bring out the bitterness in us over the treatment that we have received from others for several centuries. The outpouring of anti-French sentiments and indignation in Niger Republic and other West African countries after the latest spate of coup d’etats in those countries, were but a manifestation of the long suppressed bitterness that the people have felt for the French whose conquests and colonisation of their countries were among the worst and most lamentable episodes in human history.

As if to assuage their wounded conscience and to salve that festering wound, the perpetrators of violence and indignity against us, have produced a set of ideas around the identification of basic behavioural systems that they equated with “human rights”. These, they codified and entrenched in the legal norms of international group behaviours not as sacrosanct values and ideas that should apply equally to all peoples and races, but as a set of rules with which to constrain us and modify our behaviours as they please. The invocation of “human rights” is now a political and ideological action on their part to dictate to us how we should conduct our affairs as a people whose interests and conditions they seem to be seized with, in spite of what they did to us over the centuries.

Today, human rights are not being used as corrective instruments to redress past egregious abuses against us, but actually as frameworks by which we are to be controlled and made compliant. Dehumanisation of our Race and our relegation to a third-class status among other races, have ensured that we remained voiceless, faceless and nameless in virtually all human activities. 

The control of our resources by tricks and machinations as well as by introducing rules that are beyond our abilities to modify or reject, have bonded us to them in a continuous relationship of dependency and servitude, that remains to this day a matter of painful reality. We have become so constrained that independent actions by us must be weighed carefully against the consequences that might ensue, if such actions are not in the interests of our historical oppressors or their clients in our orbit.

To this day, after centuries of being controlled and made servile both in our lands and in territories where we were transported against our wishes, we are unable to break free from the shackles of inferior conditions that have been imposed upon us by them. We are still regarded as passing through a stage of evolution whereby we are not at the same level of mental, cultural and physical development as they are, but somewhere far down the evolutionary ladder. This categorisation of humans according to their levels of development informs the attitudes of the West to human rights and their understanding of what humanity means. It is also the case with what they mean by international law which, in essence, is for us to do what they command and refrain from doing what they forbid.

These are the facts that are now fantastically playing out in Gaza before our very eyes in this 21st century! The mindless violence being unleashed against the Palestinians today, is an apocalyptic event that portends towards greater onset of violence not only in the Middle East, but in other parts of the world as well. If as Africans we remain too complacent and indifferent to the suffering of the Palestinians, we might be the next victims of this wholesale slaughter and occupation, from which we might never hope to recover. 

It is better that I should sound the alarm and be considered an “alarmist” than to remain silent and indifferent to the fate that certainly awaits all of us if we fail to be vigilant and ready. Saving the Palestinians is the beginning of wisdom in us, to prevent a fate worse than theirs from overtaking us!