I saw a photo on Instagram today and just had to read up on who Ota Benga was as I had never heard of his name or his story before. Talk about heart breaking. You can read about him here.
It made me physically sick to read about his life, as no individual should ever be enslaved or put on display. Putting another human being in a zoo just because of their race/ethnicity is outrageous. In Africa though, the abuse of Pygmy Peoples still goes on today. Read Here.
“In the Republic of Congo, where Pygmies make up 2% of the population, many Pygmies live as slaves to Bantu masters. The nation is deeply stratified between these two major ethnic groups. The Pygmy slaves belong from birth to their Bantu masters in a relationship that the Bantus call a time-honored tradition. Even though the Pygmies are responsible for much of the hunting, fishing and manual labor in jungle villages, Pygmies and Bantus alike say Pygmies are often paid at the master’s whim: in cigarettes, used clothing, or even nothing at all. As a result of pressure from UNICEF and human-rights activists, in 2009, a law that would grant special protections to the Pygmy people was awaiting a vote by the Congo parliament. According to reports made in 2013, this law was never passed.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, during the Ituri Conflict, Ugandan backed rebel groups were accused by the UN of enslaving Mbutis to prospect for minerals and forage for forest food, with those returning empty handed being killed and eaten.“
I guess stories like the one of Ota Benga is the reason as to why people do not want to discuss race/ethnicity in the western world today. A mix of guilt and embarrassment for all that has been done in the past has rendered us paranoid to such an extent that rather than acknowledging differences and looking at the potential and challenges this poses in order to build a better world or cope with sudden multiculturalism, we bury our heads in the sand out of fear that history might repeat itself if we don’t. I don’t think it will by our hands anyway, but negative traits within human beings are universal, so just because you put your arms down promoting peace, it doesn’t mean that others will do the same….
(If you think that only white people can be unwelcoming towards mass/illegal-migration, then look no further than here).
This tragic insight into the plight of a Native American tribe that was eradicated by the “new Americans” is equally disgusting. In fact I find it strange that those who normally care about wiped out tribes and abused ethnicities usually are so opposed to borders and military power; it is precisely to protect oneself that such might is needed.
Here is another harrowing story about an African minority, being hunted down by other African ethnic groups, keen on selling their body parts for use in witchcraft, etc; This happens today, in our lifetime. Horrendous. Albino hunting in Africa.
My first reaction when reading something like this is: “we should let them all come here,” but if we were to take in all abused or persecuted minorities on the surface of this earth, if we were to take in all of those who wish for a better financial future; we would have no territory left. It might not be in our strategic interest to “save the world,” in fact the planet wouldn’t even be able to handle it if everyone were to have the same standard of living, yet despite these things, it is in our moral interest to protect the dignity of life, as no normal human can possibly not be repulsed by the suffering of another individual regardless of who or what that person is. The least one can do is to try to raise awareness and/or try to help people live free from persecution in their own country. All lives matter, at least from a Christian moral outlook. Rest in Peace Benga.