French President Sarkozy reminds us that “the African has not fully entered into history” and Mbeki writes him a congratulatory letter

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I wanted to. About a month ago, French President Sarkozy spoke at Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar where he asserted (among other equally myopic, ahistorical, neocolonial and racists arguments) that:

The problem of Africa, and allow a friend of Africa to say it, is to be found here. Africa’s challenge is to enter to a greater extent into history. To take from it the energy, the force, the desire, the willingness to listen and to espouse its own history. Africa’s problem is to stop always repeating, always mulling over, to liberate itself from the myth of the eternal return. It is to realise that the golden age that Africa is forever recalling will not return because it has never existed.

And, South African President Thabo Mbeki in all his Western pandering and unapologetic sycophancy towards wrote a congratulatory letter to Sarkozy citing him as a “friend of Africa.” Doesn’t Africa have enough friends like Sarkozy? I’d think so.

Preemptive note: I know someone is going to make comments like, “Yea, that’s true!” “Uh huh, Sarkozy, knows whats up!” Great. But, do me a favor, could you? Think about why in 2007, these arguments still have saliency when they are redundant/recycled, ahistorically grounded, and 200+ years throwbacks that offer more insight about the commenter than about Africa itself. Is he that intellectually bankrupt that he could not even re-mix his racism with a new 2007 spin? Is he that uncreative that all he could muster up were the same bloated ramblings of colonists who said Africans had no history to speak off and are still on the fringes of modernity? At what point do people grow bored with their own redundancy?

If he says this about Africans to their faces, I can imagine what is said behind closed doors. I can only imagine what social policy towards the many Africans and African immigrants in France looks like. No, I do not have to imagine. Sarkozy is know for his xenophobia, strong assimilationist push and emphasis on brute repression and law&order. I guess I should not be surprised given his response to the 2005 Youth riots where African and Arab youth took to the streets in because of mounting problems in housing project and anger over two youth who died in police custody.

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Published on September 16, 2007 at 12:47 pm. 16 Comments.
Filed under Africa,diaspora,history,news/politics,racism.