For the past decades, there has been an increase in propaganda that is racist and, historically, naïve and patronising of different peoples from different cultural groups.
As people, we are not just black, European peoples, Southeast Asian peoples or even others.
There is too much ignorance in the world, and people are making a profit of others ignorant and lack of knowing there’s no such thing as a black person, European person or Southeast Asian person.
People are French, Chinese, Polish, Pakistani or Japanese, and other national identities.
I will not call a Japanese person Chinese, and nor should we call a Chinese person Japanese; there are two separate cultures and identities.
It is wrong for people to be understood purely by their skin colour, which doesn’t even make sense if you think of Hispanic people being counted as white, depending on which continent you are on.
Being English, when I think of Spanish, I think of Spain and the Spanish Armada invasions of my country in 1588.When people in North America think of Hispanics, they immediately think of Mexico or South America.
As humans, we use stereotypes to understand a highly complicated and sophisticated world, especially with social media and the age of information we live in.
We must use stereotypes and limited information to understand our world.
That is why it is wrong to place any ethnic group as the oppressor or the oppressed, and it is also wrong to believe that somebody with black skin or dark skin is an angel or that people in Japan are mystics.
Humanity has been terrible to its fellow man throughout its long and bloody history.
For example, the rape of Nanking, which happened between 1937 to 1938, where the Japanese butchered an estimated 150,000 male “war prisoners,” massacred an additional 50,000 male civilians, and raped at least 20,000 women and girls of all ages, many of whom were mutilated or killed in the process.
The Noble Savage
For people living predominantly in the Western world who have been influenced by Western philosophy and thinkers like Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who put forward the idea of the Noble Savage, and people who lived in a hunter-gatherer environment are noble.
Rousseau also put forward the idea that people who have industrialised and developed civilisation have, in many ways, fallen from nobility and have descended into sin and the pursuit of power.
This unfortunate viewpoint that continues to be promoted to the present day is incredibly harmful because it views humanity in the wild in its natural hunter-gatherer environment as a peaceful and benign existence.
Unfortunately, this complete and utter nonsense is helpful, and it’s incredibly racist and even dangerous to view humanity and hunter-gatherers in that way.
It patronises the few remaining hunter-gatherers in Africa, South America, and Russia.
It gives people in the developed world a false sense that they are living in sin and can flagellate themselves publicly by highlighting their sins caused by progress.
Here is the Wikipedia definition of the Noble Savage: ‘In Western anthropology, philosophy, and literature, the noble savage is a stock character uncorrupted by civilisation. As such, the noble savage symbolises the innate goodness and moral superiority of a primitive people living in harmony with Nature.’
For people reading this who are from the global North or are from societies that have re-industrialised and modernised over the last 50 years, particularly places like Singapore, China and Japan.
Notably, people living in Western Europe and the North American continent have experienced a long piece and unprecedented prosperity never experienced in human history since 1945.
Though the story is not universal, for example, Japan they have struggled in the post-war period.
For the Chinese, it wasn’t until the death of Mao in 1976 and Deng Xiaoping coming to power in 1978 that they experienced a massive change in fortune.
What is incredibly upsetting and represents how prosperous our societies are is the self-flagellation of people from affluent backgrounds from university education trying out past oppressions that should be highlighted intelligently.
But it must be understood that if we start going after past aggressions and wrongs caused by other nations, ethnic groups and societies, humanity will never stop slitting its own throat.
Nobody alive in North America was a slave of plantation owners from the mid-19th century, and there were no people to punish for the Arab slave trade that stole.
According to the work of some historians, the Arab slave trade has affected more than 17 million people. More than nine million African captives were deported in the Saharan region alone, and two million died on the roads.
There are also the Barbary pirates. Barbary corsairs, or Ottoman corsairs, were mainly Muslim pirates and privateers who operated from the Barbary States.
This area was known in Europe as the Barbary Coast, in reference to the Berbers. Their attacks primarily aimed to capture slaves for the Barbary slave trade.
According to Robert Davis, between 1 million and 1.2 million Europeans were captured by Barbary pirates and sold as slaves in North Africa and The Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 19th centuries.
As for the Atlantic slave trade, it is estimated throughout the Atlantic Slave Trade, from approximately 1526 to 1867, some 12.5 million captured men, women, and children were put on ships in Africa, and 10.7 million arrived in the Americas.
We are to understand past grievances over slavery, and there needs to be an understanding of why it happened and why it should never happen again and that other cultures and nations, much more so than Europeans, should look at their slaving past.
This doesn’t mean that Europeans and their descendants should not look at their past and sins, only that the case for reconciliation and the growth of understanding is not unique to Europeans.
John Hawkins, one of the first English merchants to go to Africa and the Americas and later leader of the Elizabethan Navy in the 16th century, acquired dislike from native Africans with the support drives.
If there is to be an understanding of global slavery, native Africans, Europeans, and Arabs must address their impact on the worldwide slave trade.
On a final note, it is about time that energy is not devoted to past issues but to issues affecting our societies today and meeting the same challenges that our ancestors faced regarding the change of the global economy and the impact of the Silicon Revolution (1971).
As well as modern slavery, according to the latest Global Estimates of Modern Slavery (2022) from Walk Free, the International Labour Organization and the International Organization for Migration, 49.6 million people live in modern slavery — in forced labour and forced marriage. Roughly a quarter of all victims of modern slavery are children.
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