Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Hotel Rwanda

I watched Hotel Rwanda last night (Purchased the DVD as planned, I missed the theatrical release). It was very good and informative for those who were unfamiliar with the event, though I would suggest that people gather information as to the formation of that country. But that’s not the focus of this post. There are two things that stood out in the film:

a) The Red Black and Green “Ponchos” that the Interahamwe, or their affiliated groups were wearing. There was a lot of symbolism in the movie, characters that didn’t exist in real life but were composites of different people. Supposedly the Interahamwe had signature shirts they wore during rallies and supposedly during the killings. In the movie many people were wearing Red, Black and Green “Ponchos.” The problem I have with this is two fold:

1) If the Interahamwe did in fact use the Red Black and Green, in that particular order, why did they do so? Garvey must have been rolling in his grave to see the colors of Black Unity, Pan-Africansim and Comradeship of all Africans, be miss-appropriated by an organization that allowed the poison of colonialism to lead to mass murder.

2) If in fact the Interahamwe did NOT have such “ponchos” then why was such a blatant symbol of “black power” used in the film? Why were there no objections to its miss-use? I have been searching the web and of all the photos of the Interahamwe that I have seen I have not noticed any such poncho. Even the pictures drawn by children show only normal clothed individuals or clearly drawn military uniforms. Clearly, if such a blatant and persistent pattern was in use where are the pictures? I’m going to continue to look but either way the sighting of the RBG in relation to the genocide in Rwanda is simply unacceptable.

b) The second thing reflects back on a paper on Ifa and the theistic problem of Evil. One of the participants of the genocide claimed that "Satan” took over his mind and body. Now to someone who has no belief in Satan, this seems to be a very bad excuse for what was essentially a decision he made to surrender to “groupthink.” I would assume that the Catholic Priest that hired a Hutu to bulldoze his church filled with Tutsi, was also possessed by Satan. Ultimately I have come to see the Genocide in Rwanda, and indeed the goings on in Sudan as an object lesson in self-hate. Indeed the Hutu who went on a “purification” spree bought into the colonial mentality that they were apparently disgusted by.

In the paper, the author discussed that Olodumare allows evil or indeed does evil, if it is necessary. That is since we believe Olodumare to be Omnipotent, then the doing of evil, hate , etc. is not beyond Olodumare’s abilities. Indeed what we consider evil is sometimes the necessary means of teaching humans a lesson. Indeed I believe Rwanda to be a lesson, a lesson not learned and therefore to be repeated. Did millions die because Olodumare is nasty? No! humans did the killing and Olodumare had to let us do what we would do so that we would learn. In Ifa we learn that all events save birth and death are knowable AND given the proper behavior the outcomes mutable. As Olodumare has made it so that there are infinite possibilities in the Universe, Olodumare allows us, through Ifa, or whatever system we use, believe in, etc. to change course and avoid pleasantries or unpleasantries. I have no doubt that the warnings were there but went unheeded.

In closing I think that the Rwanda genocide should be an object lesson in black psychology in terms of self-hate and it’s consequences.



Anonymous said...

This is off topic and I am loathe to move the spotlight from the outrage of using RGB symbolism in the film (which I have not yet seen)

But I was looking at a sheet that contained many Arab flags: Yemen, Palestine, Lebanon and others and Red Black and Green were prominently displayed.

Looking on the net, it seems that Red, White, Black and Green are the somewhat official official Arab colors.

Maybe a coincidence that Garvey chose Red Black and Green but given the influence of Noble Drew Ali and other Islamic and quasi-Islamic thinkers on Black identity movements especially in the Northeast for about a generation or so before Garvey's UNIA began its explosive growth based in New York, I wonder if there is a connection.

If there is a connection, I wonder what to make of it?

I mean, it is better to read what Garvey wrote than to try to infer things based on nothing at all really. Garvey's focus was certainly on African people whom he described as Negros per the convention of his era and place.

But it is just something that I wondered about and thought I'd put here.

Fard Muhammand and Elijah (later) advanced the thesis that Arabs and Africans are one people, the Original Black Nation. But that thinking clearly reaches back to teaching present around Garvey's time.

If that thinking influenced Garvey at all, it would be really interesting to know.

But about the movie, a decision to wardrobe genocidal killers in Red Black and Green is truly a pure outrage. Not only Garvey, but Nkrumah and so many others would roll over in their graves at that idea.

As you write, genocide as self-hate and the acceptance of a foreign racial hierarchy from the previous colonial rulers is also something to examine seriously.

sondjata said...

This is not off topic at all. My understanding is that the Kurds have also used the Red Black And Green as their national identity. I fly t he RBG on my vehicle and was questioned by a Kurd about it. I'm not going to say that Garvey was not influenced by Noble Drew Ali or others, but from the liturature that I have read, the only other proposed "Black flag" was one based on Christian color schemes. Garvey was also influenced by a popular song that claimed that every people had a flag except the coon. ALso Garvey made the mistake of siding with the Jew on the Palestine issue. He is often quoted as saying "... Paletsine for the Jew and Africa for the Africans." Thus I would be wary of Arab influence on Garvey in regards to the Flag colors.