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Thoughtless James Watson was seeking cheap publicity over Stupid Africa comment
As thoughtless as it sounds, James Watson knew only too well that being controversial would get all the media publicty ever thought of (cheaply); the Nobel prize not withstanding. Watson found a perfect opportunity to retire by claiming that black people less intelligent than white people and that it's delusional to assume "equal powers of reason" are shared across racial groups. The Nobel Prize laureate and DNA expert has drawn widespread condemnation for saying that Western policies towards African countries are wrongly based on an assumption that black people are as clever as their white counterparts when "testing" suggests the contrary. Dr Watson told The Sunday Times that there is a natural desire that all human beings should be equal but "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true."
Although Africans have contributed to this perception by begging for foreign aid from Western countries despite the continent's unequalled natural resource endowment, powerful African physic, abundant numbers and enviable climate, Dr Watson's assertion is meant to perpetuate the idea of western superiority. This is the same mindset that saw Africans enslaved in a barbaric manner (because ancient tradition of slavery recognized people as human, but whites turned Africans into wild-animals), colonized and gave rise to the apartheid regime in South Africa. It is the same reason that has made the West to perpetuate a matron role of babysitting Africa from cradle to grave.
IQ, in Watson's perception refers to understanding Western education and being able to embrace Western policies and culture- but who said that Western civilization is the yardstick for human progress? Watson has intentionally set a trap for Africans to not only make fools of themselves as they try to prove their worth, but also to waste their time. Today, they tell us to prove ourselves intelligent by passing western fashioned IQ and Technology invention tests. They harp on negative reporting as evidenced in their propped up portrayal of Africa as a place with children whose ribs are protruding; stomachs bloated and fly infested. Does the entire Africa, with over 900 million people fit this gloomy description?
The Irish were once thought of in the same terms black people are today. The Romans also thought the Germans were inferior barbarians. They have proved the contrary. Don't the Chinese also see themselves as the master race? Black people must ask themselves why they should believe this nonsense. They ought to chart how they can claim their stake on the globe just like the Southeast Asians did. No amount of whining will change global perceptions as long as our people go on to live in squalor and depend on Western handouts and ideas. A victim mentality precludes accountability and responsibility and sustains dependency. The onus is on us! The Irish, the Asians and the Arabs took charge of their destiny and waited for no acknowledgements. We have our job cut out for us.
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Ken Teyie works for Mondeas Limited as an Editorial manager. He previously worked for All Times Media, a publishing company based in Nairobi Kenya. He is a regular contributor in the online business magazines, www.africanexecutive.com and played a leading role in the initial branding of www.smartbizafrica.com and is in the process of building an international branding company that will provide the much needed boost in upcoming small and medium sized firms in Africa in terms of identifying new market opportunities and increasing their corporate reach. Through his blog, http://businessinfocus.blogspot.com, Mr. Teyie has been able to air views about business in Africa. His contributions can also be read at http://africareadyfor business.blogspot.com and www.kenyaimagine.com.
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