I found it offending when it was suggested that Africans are inherently stupid. Being an African, and an Afro-centric for that matter, it was only natural that I would react that way. That was in the past as recent events are proving that we may be just that-inherently stupid! And this is why.
We were in a meeting with my superior when I mentioned to him the bold infrastructure developments the government was undertaking. He seemed lost in thoughts, probably appreciating what I had just said. The vitriol he emitted from his foul mouth, shortly thereafter confirmed my worst fears, never mind he has two degrees from some prestigious university abroad. “The Board of Directors (composed of westerners) is concerned that the new developments will work against us”, my foul mouthed boss began, “if our donors come and see our roads carpeted, a functioning rail system, an empowered populace they will pull out. This is not entirely good”, he concluded.
I wanted to challenge him when one of my colleagues showed solidarity with his sentiments. When I read claims by James Watson, a renowned scientist and a Nobel Prize winner, I was deeply wounded especially when he insinuated Africans were not at par with their white counterparts . He was quoted as saying: “All our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really”.
The furore that followed the geneticist remarks was razor sharp. This man continued: “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true”. While I don’t concur with how he puts forth his poisonous arguments, I feel he has a point. I don’t peg my arguments on the feelings of James Watson-as this controversial man of science was once quoted by a British newspaper as saying that tests could be conducted to unborn children to determine if they would turn out be homosexuals.
He was also to make some assertion that sex drive had a strong link to skin color and that’s why black people have high libidos. What is factual though is that the black man thinking is warped. It’s probably only in Africa where a coterie of self-seekers will siphon money from the public coffers and purchase chalk instead of chlorine and make the populace believe they are drinking clean treated water and still hold public positions. Where intellectuals who are schooled in the best schools find development a threat to their jobs.
Countries that are endowed with natural resources are in perpetual conflict that is ostensibly aided by foreign powers. We may be the masters of blaming the west for our woes but it’s up to us to prove characters like James Watson wrong and build a better future for our children. We should not bequeath our children the baton of begging but of creating wealth and making our beautiful continent a better place.