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NOBODY OWES BLACKS ANYTHING
Dr. Chika Onyeani
It is time to stop the finger pointing and learn how to fend for yourself.
The Political & Spiritual Purpose of the
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THURSDAY DECEMBER 7, 2000
CARL MURPHY FINE ARTS AUDITORIUM
KEYNOTE SPEECH BY DR. CHIKA ONYEANI
AT THEMORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY'S
BILL OF RIGHTS/TRANSAFRICA CONVOCATION
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2000, 11: 00 A.M.
CARL MURPHY FINE ARTS AUDITORIUM, BALTIMORE
TOPIC: TRUTH, HONESTY AND FRANKNESS
|Most African countries have been independent for more than 40 years. The promise of independence is yet to be fulfilled and we had thought that Manna would fall from heaven. But rather than manna falling from heaven, what we have in Africa are wars, famine, disease, military dictatorships, human rights abuses, despotic leaders who prefer to loot the peoples' treasuries for their own personal aggrandizement, leaders who prefer to force the adulation of the masses with the barrels of a gun rather than with the provision of simple amenities to the people - like good roads, health care facilities, good environment for learning and opportunities for employment.||
|My brothers and sisters, I feel sad letting you know that Africa is worse off
today than when the colonial masters left. Everything we use in Africa is
imported. Do you know that we even still import candles from Taiwan? Yet 40
years after independence, we still blame our colonial masters for everything
that happens in Africa today. Our leaders are not men enough to accept
responsibility for the abject poverty of our people. We accuse Europeans of
plundering and pillaging the natural resources of Africa. But I ask you,
tell me, who are inviting them to do this, are they not our own people?
I am sure you have all heard of the late tyrants and dictators Sani Abacha of
Nigeria and Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the
Congo. Abacha stole more than $5 billion of the impoverished Treasury of
Nigeria and took that money and deposited it in Swiss Bank accounts. Since
his death, the Swiss authorities have "found" only $1.5 billion of that
money. On his part, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire took $6 billion to the same
Swiss banks. After he died, the Swiss have told us that they have only found
$7 million of that money. Tell me, which white man left Europe and took a
gun to their heads and forced them to steal $12 billion from a continent
where the per capita income is less than $500 per year? Do you know what $11
billion could have done for the starving and disease prone children in those
No, we cannot continue to accuse white people for everything happening to us.
At a certain point in time, we have to sit back and look in the mirror and
see the culprit of our misfortune. It is not the white, the red, the green,
the yellow or any other color. We are responsible for what is happening to
As Capitalist Nigger: The Road to Success has charged, the Black Race is
drowning in the blame and victim-mentality game. We have three things we now
wear as body armor - slavery, colonialism and racism. We use these as
excuses for our failures. We blame all our failures on these three factors.
In Africa, we blame everything on colonialism and racism. In the Western
world, especially here in America, we blame everything on slavery and racism.
We have allowed these three factors to envelope us as a people. They are
attached to us, as the bee is attached to the honey.
When African leaders squander the peoples' money in buying up palaces in
Europe, rather than building infrastructure in their respective countries,
and the masses revolt, they blame the former colonial masters. When in this
country, we allow others to come into our neighborhoods and buy up our
businesses because we are stupid enough not to patronize our own people, we
blame it on racism forgetting that those who came into our neighborhood
started with almost nothing. But through our generosity and patronage, became
rich and then turn around to insult and disrespect us.
It is your fault, and it is mine as well. As I said in my book, we are not
even intelligent consumers, why, because we believe that the more we are
insulted and disrespected, the more respectable the people doing the
insulting, and the more we should patronize them.
Let me give you two examples here. We as a people spend approximately $40
million a day eating Chinese food. That is $40 million a day, and that comes
to about $15 billion a year. That's what we give to a community that
disrespects and insults us, and treats us like dogs. In most of our
communities where there are Chinese restaurants, they erect these barriers
between themselves and us, and pass our purchases through a hole as if they
are passing food to a savage dog. Yes, we all love Chinese food - it is also
cheap; but is it better to be investing $15 billion a year in a community
which treats you like a dog?
In economic terms, using the economic multiplier effect, we are actually
investing $120 billion a year into the Chinese community, and inversely
taking that much money out of own community. No wonder their children go to
the best schools, and they live in the best neighborhoods because we cannot
curb our taste and our laziness to cook for ourselves. Listen, I am not
advocating that we should boycott Chinese food, but I am saying there should
be a tit for tat. There should be reciprocity. And for all the billions we
give to the Chinese community, they don't even employ one Black person in the
ir establishments. I ask you, is that an intelligent way to spend our hard
earned money from the menial jobs that are left for us? I believe not.
As I said earlier the more we are insulted, the more we gravitate and
patronize the people doing the insulting to us. Let's take the Japanese for
instance. Two of their Prime Ministers, at different times, within a few
years apart, publicly stated that Blacks are inferior. Mind you, the Prime
Minister is like the President of the United States, the leader of the
Japanese people. Just imagine, if these leaders said that publicly, what the
Japanese really think about us. Yes, true to form, we protested their
calling us inferior. We hollered, and made them make some kind of feeble
apology. But what do we do in retaliation for the Japanese insulting us? We
reward them with purchasing $80 billion worth of their goods a year.
But while we are happily dishing out the little we don't have, the Asians
have perfected what I call the Spider Web Economic Doctrine, which is a
highly effective system of achieving economic power. Of course, I am sure you
all know what a Spider does? When it spins its yarns, any fly that tries to
enter its web is caught and never able to escape.
It is the same thing that happens in the Asian community. So, in my Spider
Web Economic Doctrine, when a dollar enters a community, it does not escape
from that community. It circulates within that community, and that is where
truly what economists call the "multiplier effect" is classically practiced.
Asians, especially Indians from India, are the greatest practitioners of the
Spider Web Economic Doctrine. When a dollar comes into their community, it
doesn't leave it. It circulates within their community, because the Indians
believe in patronizing one another. They don't eat other peoples' food. They
eat theirs. Their women hardly wear anything other than clothes made in
India, and even the suits their men wear are made in India. The Indian, and
other Asians, will travel hundreds of miles to patronize one another.
Let me tell you what this has done for the Indian community in America. When
they arrived in New York, long after continental Africans, they bought one
newsstand in New York City, and eventually took over all the major newsstands
in the City, including Grand Central, Penn Station and Ports Authority
stations. You have to pay them $3,000 just to get your newspaper into those
locations. From this, the Indians set their eyes on the taxi and limousine
industry of the City. They took over 90% of the medallions, and now control
most of the taxi and limousine services in the City.
Then from there, they set their eyes on the motel business. As has been
expansively written by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the
Washington Post, Newsweek, Forbes, Fortune Magazines, plus a plethora of
television network newscasts, the Indians control over 85% of the motel
business in America. According to the same sources, they are now poised to
take over most major five star hotels. In Silicon Valley, as has been well
chronicled, Indians control more than 750 high tech companies in the Valley,
with the result that several Indians are now billionaires. And are using
their wealth to create incubators in universities throughout India and
Pakistan to train future leaders in the high-tech age, for even now more than
50% of the professional visas awarded by the United States each year are
given to Indians. India, which got its independence barely nine years before
African countries, possesses nuclear power and exports a great deal to Africa.
The Spider Web Economic Mentality of the Asians have brought them enormous
wealth, respect, and insulated them from the idiotic vagaries of the white
man. It is the only economic doctrine I believe that is capable of rescuing
us out of the abyss of our present economic doldrums. Unfortunately, you and
I, as a people, have always believed that whatever a Black man produces must
be inferior. It is ingrained in us. We may not be conscious of it, but we
believe it nevertheless. For example, if we were to have two people, one
black and one white, open a store offering the same quality of goods and
service. We will not patronize the black store; rather we would go to the
white store, because we believe it is offering a superior product and service
just because of the color of their skin.
You can't pretend you don't do it. You do it, and I do it. It is even
reflected in how we see our professionals. Just go to doctors' offices.
When you go to a Black doctor's office. All you see are black faces. But, on
the other hand, go to a white doctor's office, and what do you see but black
faces more numerous than even white faces. The Black race must abandon its
current path to oblivion and total annihilation, its current practice of
wearing its success on its sleeves. As I said earlier, you don't chase after
a mouse when your house is on fire. We prefer to run before we walk, and
prefer the best things in life when we hardly have a penny in our bank
accounts. We prefer the Lexus, the Mercedes Benz, buying a $300 pair of
snickers for our grade school children, when we haven't put one dollar in
their education fund.
Rather than provide simple amenities to the people, African leaders prefer to
buy palaces in Europe, spend $10,000 a night at hotels around the world, and
ride in luxurious limousines. Unfortunately, Africa owes the world more than
$375 billion, and there is no place in Africa you could point to as evidence
of that money being used. That $375 billion translates to $5000 to pay back
for every African in a continent where the per capita income is less than
$500. In fact, you have more Mercedes Benzes in Africa than in Germany
My brothers and sisters, my message to you today is that I want the younger
generation of the Black Race to understand that they cannot carry the same
baggage the older generation has carried for so long: the notion that
somebody owes us something.
Well, let me be ruthlessly frank with you, my friends, nobody owes you