U.S: White nationalists pushing ‘replacement’ theory conveniently ignore history – By Mohamed Hamaludin

 – By Mohamed Hamaludin

In his review of Justin E.H. Smith’s “Dialectics of Enlightenment” in The New York Review of Books, Kwame Anthony Appiah points out that some noted figures of the “Enlightenment” held downright racist views. Voltaire “emphatically believed in the inherent inferiority of les Nègres, who belonged to a separate species, or at least breed, from Europeans—as different from Europeans, he said, as spaniels from greyhounds.”  Kant, commenting on something a black carpenter told him, said that “the fact that he was black from head to toe was proof that what he said was stupid.”

This racism carried over from the Enlightenment and liberal democracy into the body politic of Western civilization and its attitudes towards non-white peoples. One consequence was that it encouraged “the thought that the more advanced civilizations were merely lifting up those more backward when they conquered and colonized them,” Appiah noted.           

That last remark reminded me of a journalism assignment in the 1970s in India, from where my grandparents were indentured to then British Guiana. On the plane, I sat next to an Englishman, who asked where I was from and where I was going. After I told him, he commented, “Aren’t you glad you are not living in India?”

Of course, the British did more than ferry Indians to now Guyana and other parts of the “empire” after the end of enslavement of Africans just to lift them up. Besides exploiting their labor, they mandated education which brainwashed the young into thinking it was better to visit London than going to the Guyanese interior to view the mighty Kaieteur Fall with its world-record 741-foot sheer drop.

Despite the brainwashing, I knew that my fellow traveler’s ancestors had been fighting one another with sticks and spears when my Indian forebears lived in a civilization at least 8,000 years old. I knew that much of the early wealth of Europe derived from the labor of “colonized” peoples and the booty seized by pirates from other European ships returning home laden with treasure stolen from them.

European nations became embroiled in naval confrontations and land wars for a long time until they divided up and occupied the rest of the world for hundreds of years, destroying much of their civilizations, stealing their cultural icons and imposing harsh conditions on their peoples. Sometimes it was in the name of religion but always it was to loot their resources, destabilizing them in the process and, thus, creating the conditions which have now led to millions of refugees fleeing to Europe and the United States. Far from being the paragons of greatness which white nationalists and populists are now claiming for an erstwhile supposedly pristine white Europe and North America, the conquerors visited horrors on non-white peoples, installed murderous dictators and stalled their progress for centuries.

Millions of the conquered peoples died during “colonialism,” later conscription to fight their masters’ “world wars” and during the so-called Cold War. In a review in The Nation of Paul Thomas Chamberlain’s book “Rethinking the Long Peace,” Daniel Immerwahr points to the consequences when the superpowers faced off in unease peace enforced by the threat of “mutually assured destruction” through nuclear weapons.

For several countries, “the Cold War was hot.” The Nation pointed to the grim result: Algeria, 300,000 killed; Angola, 500,000; Nigeria, 500,000 to two million; Cambodia, 1.67 million; China, two million to 2.3 million; East Pakistan (Bangladesh), 300,000 to one million; Ethiopia, one million to two million; Indochina, 290,000; Indonesia, 300,000; Iran, 680,000; Korea, three million; Lebanon, 150,000; Mozambique, 500,000 to one million; and Vietnam, three million to four million. That totals more than 15 million killed.

So the proponents of the “replacement theory” which is gaining popularity in Europe and the U.S. either do not know history or they ignore it. The flood of refugees is not a deliberate movement of “colored” non-Christian peoples to “replace” white Christians but the inevitable result of centuries of ongoing white destabilization of their homelands. Some observers are calling it a form of reparation. The line between white nationalism and socio-economic frustrations has become blurred, with one feeding off the other as white nationalists focus on black and brown people fleeing to their shores as the cause of their woes and advocate not only to “purify” individual countries but also to build a white multilateral axis stretching across the ocean.

The young white men who have embraced extremist and racist views to the point of mass murder may think they have legitimate grievances about socio-economic conditions; if so, they have the wrong target. Like all the dispossessed of the Earth, the plight of today’s disaffected is due not to racial or religious diversity but to economic systems designed for the wealthy. Even if all non-whites are driven out, that will still not solve the problems white nationalists face. They may think it is a requisite first step but, ultimately, the answer is not to embrace the hatred fueled by books and spread now through social media. No one is an island and neither is any country. Diversity is inevitable; accepting that reality is the first step towards fashioning a just world that truly reflects humankind.

Mohamed Hamaludin is a Guyana-born journalist who  worked for several years at The Chronicle in the 1970s and on publications in the Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands before emigrating to the United States in 1984 where he worked at The Miami Times, the Miami Herald and the South Florida Times.  Though now retired, he writes a commentary every week or two for The South Florida Times (sfltimes.com) in which the above column first appeared. He may be reached at hamal1942@gmail.com.

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Comments

  • Clyde Duncan  On 06/06/2019 at 11:28 am

    WAR: Another Form of Population Control

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 06/06/2019 at 1:25 pm

    Excellent article. Thanks for sharing.

    “So the proponents of the “replacement theory” which is gaining popularity in Europe and the U.S. either do not know history or they ignore it. The flood of refugees is not a deliberate movement of “colored” non-Christian peoples to “replace” white Christians but the inevitable result of centuries of ongoing white destabilization of their homelands.”
    ~ Well said, Mohamed Hamaludin!

    Tragically for us all, the white supremacists and nationalists rising up across Europe, the USA, and other Western countries have been fed with a distorted history of their nation states.

  • wally n  On 06/06/2019 at 3:47 pm

    Cannot undue the damage already done. I believe there are more young white liberal thinkers, than racists, this generation do feel guilt for the treatment handed down to the people in these “poorer” countries.
    What happens to a country when all the young men leave. Anyone knows how much money was given to the “leaders” of these poor countries.
    Actually believe that just being in a developed country solves anything, even non-white legally accepted, can attest to the fact, that it can hard, tough, and depressing.
    Long way to go.

  • Trevor  On 06/07/2019 at 11:18 pm

    White supremacists claim that the non-whites are flooding their countries but the white countries are invading, sanctioning and destabilising foreign homelands, forcing refugees.

    Additionally, the white race is promoting the gay agenda, feminist, abortion, etc to control the population of the non-white populations. Ask Sherlina Nageer and Joel Ghansham how much American dollars they were given through American CIA to promote their agenda in Guyana.

    Police will arrest Rasta for a joint, but will not enforce cross dressing laws on Joel Ghansham.

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