Should African American’s Take Over Liberia (Again): How Black on Black Colonialism Failed in Liberia
Picture one nation under bling bling. P Diddy and Master P buying off a war criminal like Charles Taylor who controls part of the diamond trade in West Africa and establishing a Hip-Hop-cracy in Liberia. Everyday a holiday of Cristal and beautiful women. A rap video applied to international politics. Not gonna happen. But the issue of whether to send U.S. troops into Liberia raises the specter of interest in the former U.S. Colony founded by the American Colonist Society with dreams of sending black Americans back to Africa.
In fact, the Liberia issue touches on some of the most sensitive issues in the past 300 years of world history, mainly, slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism. In other words, European (white people) interaction with Africa (black people).
By all accounts and measures the country of Liberia has failed as a nation state. It is a nation founded/colonized by the United States in a failed effort to repatriate slaves from the United States to establish an independent state in west Africa from whence most African Americans descended. However, very few free blacks migrated to Liberia and those who did migrate created a slaveocracy in Liberia. A government based upon the hypocrisy of 19th Century American democracy. Instead of creating a nation based on understanding and forgiveness and representative democracy between African Americans and native Liberians of various tribes. The Black migrants created a colonial state subjugating the native Liberians to a second class status. (Important to note here that African Americans and people of African descent who were slaves in the United States and throughout the Western Hemisphere descended from many tribal nations from the Wolof to the Asante to the Ibo from West Africa to modern day Angola not merely from the land of Liberia itself).
The free Blacks who would establish Liberia deemed themselves superior and more knowledgeable in the ways of democracy than the native Liberians already there and creating a colonial master-slave relationship at the heart of today’s political strife. With free black Americans on top of the power pyramid and native Liberians at the bottom in the same way European governments at the time related to other African nation-states.
This power relationship was created with the support of the United States government who practically since it’s founding has been extracting natural resources from Liberia practically free. U.S. corporate primarily rubber interest in Liberia also has played a key role in the power relationships in terms of maintaining the status quo. The government of Liberia has existed unbalanced since its inception the coups and countercoups and wars of the last 20years are emblematic of its founding.
Charles Taylor is a war criminal for his instigations of the Wars in Liberia, Sierre Leone and Ivory Coast. He is the Milosevic of West Africa. The leaders of the stronger West African nations of Nigeria and Ghana should have captured him years ago. Perhaps avoiding the chaos and destruction of the past 10 years in west Africa. Taylor is through his partial control of the diamond trading is responsible for the funding of the rebel armies that have caused the destabilization in three west African nations. He should be brought to justice in the international criminal court. If the United States does not get involved directly militarily they should provide financial and logistical support to the armies that can bring peace to the region.
There are many African Americans with wealth respect and prominence not only in the United States but throughout the world who are interested in whats at stake in Africa. Be it HIV/AIDS, debt or the persistence of Wars and rebellions. but lack the political insight. No African Americans should not seek to take political control of Liberia. Any colonial relationship is wrong including those that are black on black. But African Americans especially those in a position of power and influence should speak out to help alleviate the suffering of the people of Liberia and should seek to influence American foreign policy to do the same.