Do you ever look back in history and wonder how fellow humans could have let such scales of injustices take place? How could treating humans as chattel be accepted as a societal norm? How could the public abide Jews being rounded up and herded into trains and banished behind ghettos? How could the world sit back and watch Mussolini bomb Ethiopia with chemical weapons and not offer even a token assistance? It is easy to judge past eras and condemn societies who permitted unimaginable horrors to take place; it is confounding after all to conceptualize people witnessing a sea of suffering yet go about their business. Well my 21st century compatriots, we don’t have to look back anymore, we too are complicit in allowing immense miscarriages of justice to take right in front of us–it’s like we are back in the era of plantations.
I’m referring to the slave trade that is taking place in Libya at this exact moment. I want to be shocked by what is going on in Northern Africa as human beings are being once again auctioned on the trading blocks and reduced to possessions. Except I know better, the scant attention the mainstream media is giving to the horrors going on in Libya is part of an ongoing broader conspiracy by outsiders to undermine Africa and steal the resources of the continent while unleashing continental bloodshed and affliction. Colonization and slavery never went away, the practices of neo-imperialists just morphed into a more insidious and harder to detect form of oppression. Whereas in the past colonizers unleashed blitzkriegs and committed genocides to subdue nations, now they destabilize countries using cash diplomacy and mercenary terrorism only to swoop in like saviors to make off with their natural resources.
This is exactly what is taking place in Libya and beyond. Once again, the West, led by America, bombed an independent nation in order to topple Gaddafi and subvert a government that was not kowtowing to the demands of globalists. Gaddafi had the temerity to attempt a dollar exit and tried to organize a Pan-African currency. Western diplomats and mainstream journalists peddle their propaganda that America, England and France’s illegal invasion of Libya was an act of human intervention and that Gaddafi had to go because he was a repressive tyrant. This of course overlooks the fact that the same Gaddafi was the best friend of the West as long as he was doing their bidding. He became persona non grata the minute he made the decision to exit the petrodollar–you don’t challenge banksters and live to tell about it.
At the behest of globalists, Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron loosened a plague of bombs and bullets on a nation that never attacked us. This was done in direct contravention of the UN charter and the Geneva Convention. Respecting the territorial integrity of nations and not targeting civilians are rules that apply only to lesser nations; those with big guns and bigger central banks get to preach morality while practicing none of it. Gaddafi was shortly toppled and savagely murdered while being sodomized with a knife blade; Hillary Clinton would show her inner Satan as she laughed with glee when told of this most brutal execution.
It has been almost seven years after Libya was torn apart by drones, Tomahawk missiles and covert mercenaries the CIA refers to as jackals. A once stable nation was reduced to ashes by a mix of sophisticated weaponry and an insidious inducement of factionalism. It did not take long for foreign policy “experts” to label Libya a failed state. This is the cute game that neo-colonists play; they demolish nations and unleash hell on the people only to turn around and call the country they just leveled a failed state. This is of course victim blaming, it’s like someone bashing your knee with a sledge hammer and then calling you handicapped. The label “failed state” washes away accountability and makes it seem as though the implosion of a nation took place in a vacuum. This is like Hitler calling Poland a failed state after he tore the heart out of Warsaw.
I write all these things to give context to the horrific things we are witnessing in Libya at this exact moment. To see human beings being paraded with shackles and sold off as vassals is truly shocking. Yet even our outrage gets in the way of understanding the wider phenomenon that is taking place in Africa. Outsiders and foreign powers have been leeching the continent dry for decades. Sadly, the same way the slave trade in Libya is treated as a localized monstrosity and accountability is placed in the hands of “extremists” while overlooking the role of western powers, the never ending anguish experienced by Africans is always presented through narrow prisms. A famine breaks out in Ethiopia, diplomats blame bad governance, bloodshed takes place in Sierra Leon and foreign correspondents castigate tribalism. In all this, rarely are the invisible hands of neo-colonialists discussed by Western apologists and media propagandists.
Africa does not bleed on her own, the same powers that carved up the continent during the Berlin Conference continue to be at the root of the continent’s suffering. If you think that colonialism is a thing of the past, let me disabuse you of that notion. Just pay attention to the next time a conflict breaks out or civil strife takes place in some part of Africa. It’s always the historical colonizer of the nation in crisis that deploys their forces to “restore order”. Colonizers never left, they just came up with a diabolical way to install puppet governments and then funnel money and guns to them in order to let African tyrants act as overseers. In this way, they get to blame the ills of the entire continent on Africans while reaping ungodly fortunes from the raw resources of the continent.
A continent that could otherwise feed the world is reduced to a status of handouts and hardship as people are turned into displaced refugees only to be captured and sold into slavery. The people you see being auctioned and enslaved are refugees from countries like Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya and Sub-Saharan nations who are making a dash to Libya in order to flee persecution in their homelands and find reprieve in Europe by way of Libya’s ports. They are forced to travel through deserts and wastelands because easier routes are closed off by Western powers or to avoid being herded into the ghettos of refugee camps. This level of tribulation is waved off by the same people who create this havoc as they dismissively say “This is Africa”.
There is an excerpt I read on this topic of slavery in Libya that gave an amazing insight into the harrowing developments going on right now. The Root reached out to criminal-defense attorney and asylum expert Yodit Tewolde. What she said perfectly crystallized the state of Libya and Africa as a whole. Tewolde noted:
“People act like this is new; this has been going on for years,” she said over the phone, holding back frustration and emotion. “Libya is the only transit point to the Mediterranean to get to Europe. They [African refugees] used to go to Israel, but now that country is blocking them out, so they’re forced to go through Libya to Europe.” [Excerpt from How Obama’s Mistake Led to Slavery in Libya.]
Libya, you see, is not an outlier. What is taking place in cities like Sabha and beyond is the norm for too many throughout Africa. It is easy to get enraged about all this, but looking at the surface of the slave trade that is taking place in Libya without examining the underlying causes is to commit yet another miscarriage of justice. The suffering taking place in Libya is interconnected to the suffering that is being felt throughout the whole continent and the planet. There is a global system of capital theft that is robbing hope from the lives of billions throughout the world; the slave trade that is taking place in Libya is part and parcel of a wider injustice where hell keeps being unleashed in order to make off with the abundant natural resources of Africa and leave the masses mired in a state of repression and beggary.
This is what they don’t tell you on CNN, Fox News and the rest of the soulless media outlets nor will you hear this truth from the lips of duplicitous politicians who love to get on the dais to feign indignation. What we get instead is large scale anguish distilled into 15 minute segments to last a few news cycles before our outrage is captivated by the next atrocity. When a terror attack happens in Europe or America, it’s treated with a urgency that comes with a Facebook app to symbolize solidarity. When wider injustices and bloodshed takes place in Africa, it’s met with a collective silence and mass indifference. Instead of a concerted effort to eradicate this level of evil from our planet, we are treated to duplicity by our leaders. Not to be outdone, too many of us leverage this occasion to turn calamity into political sport.
This one issue that should galvanize us to work together has yet again been turned into a political football. Injustice hunting is the new rage as each tragedy is used as a weapon to bludgeon the other side. Lost in the shuffle is the man walking with irons on his legs or the woman who is sleeping on concrete floors. Humanity bleeds but we are too distracted by scoring political points or turning suffering into water cooler talk. We don’t have to look back in history to wonder how barbarity could have been normalized and how such iniquities could be permitted by the citizenry, slavery is happening in our lifetime. Global injustices are intertwined; as they suffer in Libya and throughout Africa, it’s connected to the suffering in Los Angeles and beyond–this is America. #TradingHumans
“The highest reach of injustice is to be deemed just when you are not.” ~ Plato
Check out the Ghion Cast below where I discuss how neo-colonization is still bleeding Africa to this day and how global injustices are interconnected.
Let me end this on a message of hope, check out the Ghion Cast below where I discuss how Ethiopia united to overcome tyranny and how unity is the key for us to do the same in America and beyond.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
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