The role of education is to make the Kaffir think that he is an English Gentleman when the English know that he is certainly not – Sir George Grey, Governor of the Cape of Good Hope and High Commissioner to British Kaffraria, 1854-1861from article written by Aubery Somana
Intrigued by the book, The Lie of 1652, A decolonised history of land by Patric Tariq Mallet, it dawned upon me that mankind is drawn to what is natural. Mankind established many unnatural habits and mores that became the means to maintain hegemony of one people over another. Class division in the timespan of history, for example the emergence of Kemet (ancient Egypt) about 5000 years ago and the African civilisations that spread as far as Mauritania by 431 CE and to Timbaktu for example did not destroy the fabric of society as how it has today. The people of Egypt and Timbaktu for example established societies that set standards of ethics, morality, technological and advancement that framed the basis for today’s world. However, the education we have been indoctrinated with has given us an understanding of the world from a secular prism. Therefore, the colonial imprint on our minds and hearts made us subservient to what the likes of George Grey had to say. Did you have your say on this matter?
To have a say on the matter means having to know something more and to share it even if it is the weight of a date stone, is a great thing to do. It is the date stone that will give you a plantation too. Seldom do we say what is on our mind because we hate repercussions. Racism is so unnatural and its place is found in the heavens too when Satan declared on the creation of Adam (PBUH) that he, Satan, is better than Adam (PBUH) because he is created from fire and Adam (PBUH) from clay. Having said that, it has cleared my mind and given me perspective allowing me credit the word with action.
﴿١٢﴾ قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلَّا تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ ۖ قَالَ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِنْ نَارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِنْ طِينٍ
He said, “What prevented you from bowing down when I commanded you?” He said, “I am better than he: You created me from fire, and You created him from clay. (Holy Quran. Chapter 7, Ayah (Evidence) 12.)
Action gives credibility and when supported by evidence it becomes a powerful resource. Evidence when authentic and based on data, anecdotes and fact gives strength to decisions, opinions and personal viewpoints. Racism sits on the pedestal of superiority and dominates affairs from the ambit arrogance. Arrogance is then displayed with brute force and the best for our discussion is illustrated in the way colonisation wreaked havoc and began the scramble for Africa. The superiority complex culture of the coloniser established the oppressive mindset and the inferiority complex is still faced today by the indigenous people. Africa today, is still toiling in the conundrum of grooming its own democracy out of a colonial imprint and always compared to high-tech first world countries to be effective and successful. To understand this, ask yourself how many people are migrating to African countries by choice for a better life and why many Africans prefer western countries as a choice life destination. This adds to the concept of racism as having some sort ‘credibility’ but, to the discerning mind it is clear that racism is not natural no matter how it is disguised. The windmill can never look like the tree.
The tree looked at the axe and said he is one of us because its handle is wood. One thing the tree did not see is every time the axe chopped another tree because the handle was covered with the hand. In the confusion of it all, the tree lost its identity and formed a new one. Unnatural but sensible too because reasoning changed as a result of changing circumstances. In the change of circumstances the LGBTQ+ movement gained significant momentum from the time of the Prophet Lut (as) and today, the movement is so conspicuous that it cannot be ignored. Like the tree that cannot see the harm of the axe, today we have not understood the LGBTQ+ movement in light of humanity’s instinct at procreation. Procreation is natural to life and impossible within the realm of same-sex marriages. Furthermore, women will outnumber men not because we will be fewer in number but only fewer in actuality. This will paint the social fabric with different strokes which cannot be fathomed here save to say that like the windmill standing next to the tree will never be a tree and so too, man will lose his place in the greater scheme of the natural order. Therefore, how must we address the important matter without creating more problems is an urgent consideration. The requirement is to look at how nature is superlative. This will, in the long term lay nature’s claim where it will reveal the folly of mankind’s unnatural laws. Europe today is suffering in population growth and Africa and the rest of the world is booming. This begs the thought of who will dominate the democratic vote in countries where Africans for example are beginning to outnumber non-Africans or where, Muslims out number non-Muslims. It can be postulated that Europe in the main will have such a demographic change that it will not what it is today. Therefore, we say again, the windmill can never look like a tree.
The windmill is man made but the tree is not. However, education has given the leverage to indoctrination. When you consider how George Grey’s mindset altered his worldview to write into law what the education system should do in the greater scheme of things to achieve the aims and objects of the deeper and sinister vision of colonialism makes you shudder to realise how he was taught in school. The unnatural becomes ‘natural’ and it takes a resistance movement to revert to the natural order of things but, resistance is cloaked in garbs of terrorism, fundamentalism, saboteurs and revolutionaries. Human right abuses and dehumanisation has to be challenged through a systematic effort of research, advocacy, teaching and learning on a level that is equal to and better than what is given by those in control of the means of production, media coverage and education planning especially in the dissemination of books, teaching resources and support material. The role of education will then be powerful to strengthen the bonds of humanity rather than break it.
Patric Tariq Mellet’s book, The Lie of 1652, A decolonised history of land is just one example of how an intensive research challenges the indoctrination of the coloniser and makes you think. It makes you think on just how influential those who write history are over those who do not. Realistically, we do not have many writers out there challenging the colonist’s narrative therefore, we cannot lie claim to demand change when we have not provided the alternative. To illustrate the point, if the narrative of the arrival of Jan van Riebeck has to be taught anew, do we have the researchers, teachers, the credible textbooks and support of government to affirm it? No we don’t. In fact, we are still teaching the colonial narrative of the formation of the Republic as a result of Jan van Riebeck’s arrival in the Cape in 1652 and not for example, on the 1991 archeological findings in the Blombos Cave about 300 km from Cape Town that “provide insights on Homo sapiens early Homo sapiens sapiens, and human societies and social formations of the past 3000 years to 300 years ago.” Nature is superlative because these findings prove that indigenous African societies were organised and were not the ‘noble savages’ as European philosophers and historians described the San family communities whose history goes back 10 000 years ago. Today we are rewriting history and proving that history was and is written to further a political agenda therefore, underpinning the reality that nature will eventually claim what is fact and authentic. Pay attention to how we are finding out more of the universe and its origin and how Darwin’s theory is been debunked too and you will realise that nature is superlative and will reveal the truth. Therefore, when you reflect on the words of George Grey, it is clear that an unnatural education system was forced upon a people only to keep them subjugated and marginalised to such an extent that today, their failures are attributed to them but, their successes to the designers of the colonial legacy. No doubt, the faults of nations in their own governance of their countries cannot all be blamed on the coloniser too. The subject of that debate is for another time. This increases the need to re-establish our identities and we must not be seen as the ‘noble savage’ in the clothes of the English gentlemen.
It was the English gentlemen who carved out the Balfour Declaration which in essence was unnatural and today the bitter harvest is the unrest in the Middle East and the constant justification of the state of Israel through the weight of the UN and the massive military powers’ support. Nature is superlative in that this will eventually come to a head and face a collapse too because like the windmill never looking like a tree, the superlative power of resistance will break the camel’s back with the last straw. George Grey’s straws of devious education is the bitter harvest of how it found its way into the minds of occupiers of Palestine where today one can imagine how the innocent Jewish child is indoctrinated to think of the Palestinian. This is the unnatural consequence of oppression where the mind is twisted to think and believe for example that the windmill is the tree is a widening gyre whose centre cannot hold bringing it closer to self-destruct. Grey’s concept can be found replicated in other parts of the world and the horror is still to be understood because when a people are reduced to animals one has to wonder how education was the tool that made it happen. I went to the Johannesburg zoo when I was in Grade 2 to see the wonder of the animal world and to fixate my eyes on the king of the jungle – the lion. Little did I know, in Belgium there was a human zoo.
The role of education is not to make anyone think less of themselves because that is not education, it is destruction. To sum it all up Nietzsche says it most accurately. He says:
“No one would strive for education,” wrote Nietzsche, “if they knew how unbelievably small the number of truly educated people actually was, or ever could be.” For Nietzsche, the university was a scam, tricking “a great mass of people… into going against their nature and pursuing an education” they could never truly achieve or appreciate.Friedrich Nietzsche
As the article concluded on a high note of realisation and sprung to life on this digital page, President Macron of France kindled the fires of hatred in his opinion of Islam and of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s). Again it struck my mind like a bolt of lightening to think how he was indoctrinated to think of Islam. Surely then, even the colonial master and Macron were never free men. They are but windmills next to trees, never looking natural but struggling to be like one. Trust me, nature is superlative.