Special Documents


The Ongoing Message of Global Racism

Submitted to Runoko Rashidi: by Djekuti Sundaka:

What we do routinely in the imperial west, wrote Richard Falk, professor of international relations at Princeton, is propagate "through a self-righteous, one-way moral/legal screen positive images of western values and innocence that are threatened, validating a campaign of unrestricted violence". Thus, western state terrorism is erased, and a tenet of western journalism is to excuse or minimise "our" culpability, however atrocious. Our dead are counted; theirs are not. Our victims are worthy; theirs are not.

This is an old story; there have been many Iraqs, or what Blair calls "historic struggles" waged against "insurgents and terrorists". Take Kenya in the 1950s. The approved version is still cherished in the west - first popularised in the press, then in fiction and movies; and like Iraq, it is a lie. "The task to which we have set our minds," declared the governor of Kenya in 1955, "is to civilise a great mass of human beings who are in a very primitive moral and social state." The slaughter of thousands of nationalists, who were never called nationalists, was British government policy. The myth of the Kenyan uprising was that the Mau Mau brought "demonic terror" to the heroic white settlers. In fact, the Mau Mau killed just 32 Europeans, compared with the estimated 10,000 Kenyans killed by the British, who ran concentration camps where the conditions were so harsh that 402 inmates died in just one month. Torture, flogging and abuse of women and children were commonplace. "The special prisons," wrote the imperial historian V G Kiernan, "were probably as bad as any similar Nazi or Japanese establishments." None of this was reported. The "demonic terror" was all one way: black against white. The racist message was unmistakable.
(This was obtained through on May 8, 2004)

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