PATRICE LUMUMBA, the liberal hero of Zaire (ex-Belgian Congo) once expounded: “We will show the world what the black man can achieve when he works in liberty.”
Lumumba, a convicted embezzler, forger and thief, belonged to the Batatela, a tribe of cannibals whose remarkable youthfulness was attributed to their habit of eating their parents.
We were told that the Belgian administration in the Congo was setting an enlightened people an example which the other white powers in Africa would do well to follow — much like the Dutch in Java. For a while the colony really flourished, especially during World War II, when it was governed not by Belgians from Brussels, but by Belgians in Leopoldville. In spite of this ephemeral boom, however, the rot set in after the war, after Europe had been successfully crushed and the forces of race-levelling had been unleashed. Socialist principles were introduced, all wildly unreal when applied to African primitives. The Belgian press, cast in the approved postwar Western mold and in close harmony with the rest of the “free media,” condemned the colonial administration as reactionary and the Belgian settlers as fascist extremists. It was clear that nothing less than total capitulation was going to satisfy Brussels’ mediacrats. It was equally clear that the Belgian government, composed almost exclusively of Socialists and Catholics, was of a kind likely to guarantee anything but stable rule in Africa. Belgian politicians were very far from realizing that in Africa it scarcely matters whether you have an enlightened rule or a savage one, provided it is based on force, the only thing the African recognizes and respects. But in any case the Belgian politicos were working for the overthrow, not the perpetuation of white rule in Africa, and therefore their conception of enlightened rule was one of suicidal indulgence. Even paternalism was wrong, they said, because it was an affront to human dignity and implied racial inequality. It made civilized Europeans appear superior to cannibals, which was undemocratic.
It is quite likely that the Belgian Congo administration had been haunted by the tales of horror that were told of it at the beginning of the century. Atrocity photographs were published featuring black men with their hands chopped off. They were still circulating in the 1930s. But what did such photographs actually prove? Handless Negroes are not so very rare. Lopping off hands is an old African punishment for theft. No one asked what white rubber planters in the Congo stood to gain by chopping off their laborers’ hands. Nor must we forget that the most damning and most libelous report of the Congo was written by Sir Roger Casement, the Anglo-Irish homosexual with a penchant for naked black primitives who was later hanged as a German spy.
In any case, in World War I, Belgium, the “unspeakable,” was invaded by Germany, whereupon she immediately became known as “gallant little Belgium,” and the Western propaganda machine assured everyone that the Huns were skewering Belgian babies on their bayonets and boiling them down to make soap — before, that is, the Huns got down to the business of crucifying Canadian soldiers. Even in World War II we were assured that the Germans had crucified Australian soldiers in Greece — mile after mile of them, strung upon telegraph poles, as revealed by diaries taken from German prisoners. And of course we all knew that Hitler was given to chewing carpets! Our propagandists expect us to believe absolutely anything, no doubt because their experience confirms that we will.
Whatever it was that forced the Belgians out of the Congo, it was not the Congolese. The march of events in Africa was paced to the tune of Western Pied Pipers.
The mere promise of eventual independence to the Congo was enough to make the territory ungovernable. To the blacks it meant the whites were weak and had lost the will to rule.
Some Congolese believed that independence meant that the dead would arise, and they cleared the graves accordingly. It is significant that many more Congolese believed that their skins would turn white overnight.
The common African belief that cans of meat bearing pictures on their labels of beaming natives must necessarily contain native flesh gave rise to many incidents in the Congo. A foreign consul had to be transferred because he was thought to be kidnapping Africans and shipping them abroad to the canners. A European butcher was attacked and his car burned because the low prices of his meat proved that he too must have been involved in the human canning business. Then a rumor was spread that priests at a school had agreed to give the native pupils to the canners, with the result that the school was wrecked and the children taken away. The most bizarre happening of all concerned two racing cars which had large chromium radiators and exhaust pipes. Their European drivers were threatened by crowds of natives who believed the cars were mobile canneries which sucked in Africans at the front end and spat the canned flesh out of the exhaust pipes.
Owing to fear of reprisals, which might have entailed a reoccupation of the territory — such as nearly happened in Stanleyville — the black Force Publique was commanded not to kill the whites, only to publicly humiliate them, to make them imbibe their own or their tormentors’ excretions and to send them fleeing from the country in panic. Of course, many were killed just the same. To this day something like a thousand whites are unaccounted for, aside from the known dead. But for the most part they were merely raped and tortured and lastingly shamed and defiled, not only in their bodies, but in their very souls.
It was through this white debasement that the Africans were able, for a few fleeting moments, to achieve a sense of superiority over the whites.
On hearing of the massacre of white Catholic missionaries, the late Pope John said his heart was filled with grief, but that he had “no feeling of hatred — only loving charity and forgiveness.” No doubt he felt the same way about the outrages inflicted on the nuns, who were forced to dance naked and sing hymns of praise to the Messiah Lumumba before being taken and ravished and subjected to bestial tortures. It appears that nothing, absolutely nothing, the black man does will open the eyes of the hoodwinked peoples of the West. They are determined not to see because, if they do, they will have to discard their anti-white “humanism” and find some other philosophy. Having reduced the world to the unalarming proportions of a propaganda-shrunken head, they dare not admit it might be any larger.
The white United Nations’ forces in the Congo, under the command of U Thant, protested they were powerless to protect whites. They distinguished themselves only by attacking and destroying the wealthy anti-Communist province of Katanga, whose premier, Moise Tshombe, died in an Algerian jail.
Katanga is the place where the youth section of the Anti-Tshombe and UN-supported Balubakat (of the cannibal Baluba tribe) operated — the “Young B.B.K.” This African “youth movement,” however, is a little different from its Western counterparts. The “lieutenants” wear the dried hands and genitals of their victims on their hats — the accepted badges of rank and authority. Customarily they castrate and in other ways mutilate their victims, tear the flesh from their limbs and then pour petrol over the still quivering bodies and set them alight.
Unlike the witch doctors who rule by terror and have survived through the ages, white missionaries tried to inspire the Congolese by self-sacrificing example and succeeded only too often in making the supreme one. Of white men like these, tribute seems inadequate. Silence seems more fitting. But normally, while they are alive, they receive the sort of silence of which Kipling wrote:
The reports are silent here, because heroism, failure, doubt, despair, and self-abnegation on the part of a mere cultured white man are things of no weight as compared to the saving of one half-human soul from a fantastic faith in wood-spirits, goblins of the rock, and river-fiends.
In the Congo the overthrow and massacre of the whites was helped along as much as possible by the mine owners — the ones who were to suffer the most. It is the same in Rhodesia and South Africa. Even much more than the Communists, the real, undisclosed enemy of the white man in Africa — and the black man for that matter — is the faceless Western financier and his newspapers.
The Western press scolded the Belgians for not granting immediate independence to the Congo and then scolded them for doing so. The Belgians were blamed for not having educated their Congolese charges, though in reality no less than 57% of Congolese children of school age were at school and the schools were regularly combed for whatever talent that managed to crop out. This, after only fifty years’ occupation of an enormous cannibal-infested tropical swamp, was no mean achievement. The Belgians were then accused of not having educated their charges politically, which according to the Manchester Guardian made them “guilty of extremism.” But they produced the moderate Lumumba, did they not?
The Congo makes it evident that whites will cease to be blamed only when they cease to exist. If the behavior of the blacks should be indistinguishable from the convulsions of madmen, it is only because they are experiencing their inevitable growing pains, even if it should be all pain and no growth. The blacks are a very noble race indeed, unlike the exploiting whites, and if they react savagely it is only because they have been greatly wronged. They are wronged, never wrong. At all costs it must be denied that there is anything essentially wrong with them. At all costs excuses must be found for their apparent wrongness. The Big lie must be upheld. The overthrow of the West depends upon it.
In hurling imprecations at the Belgians, the Asians at the United Nations vied with the Western press itself, the former winning in sheer abusiveness if not in mendacity. Yet what, it might be asked, have the Asians ever done for Africa? In the past the continent was devastated by Arab slavers, taking advantage of an old African institution, and at the present time there are many tens of thousands of Indian traders fleecing the natives and taking full advantage of the prosperity and security which the colonial white man’s courage and enterprise have afforded them. But this security is vanishing, as events in Uganda show. And, indeed, the most serious riots that have yet occurred in South Africa itself took place when the Zulus tried their hardest to slaughter every Indian trader in sight, and would have done so if the maligned South African police had not saved the Indians after many days and nights of ferocious battle.
How many Asian missions are there in Africa? How many Asians slog away for nothing in jungle and swamp and lay down their oh-so-cultured lives for the African? When Asian civilization and Asian enlightenment are offered to Africans it is only a display of sheer hatred and envy of the whites and has nothing to do with any affection for blacks. Is it not in India today still the most opprobrious of insults to call another man a kala admi — a black man?
“The Congo” is yet another article from an unpublished manuscript by Anthony Jacob, a South African engineer.
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Source: Instauration magazine, December 1978