AFRICANGLOBE – April Fools’ Day is celebrated in different western cultures around the world. Although it’s not a national holiday, it is widely recognized when many people engage in all types of foolishness.
The day is filled of good-humored hoaxes, and other pranks with various degrees of sophistication on friends, family members, teachers, neighbors, and work associates. This is only one of many customs and holidays that’s part of western culture and has been adopted in the Caribbean, North and Latin America together with Africans in Europe and Africa.
They’re two aspects of a prank, the originator and then the recipients. When you examine history circumspectly, one has to wonder whether or not we are the butt ends of a variety of April fool jokes hidden in the culture. Let’s examine three historical events to determine whether or not this accusation has any merit.
Let’s begin with Columbus’s so-called discovery of America in 1492 which we have been taught and what a great explorer and humanitarian he was. Actually, creditable historians have indisputable evidence that others arrived before Columbus and among them were Eric the Red in 950 A.D. and China’s expedition arrived in 1434, and history records indicate that there were scores of contact before Columbus.
Christopher Columbus departed Spain on September 25, 1493, on his second voyage to the New World. 17 assorted vessels, cannons and attack dogs plus five priests and over 1200 men made up ” The Grand Fleet ” in an attempt to establish a permanent Spanish colony.
Under Columbus’s leadership, the Spanish attacked the Taino, sparing neither men, women nor children. Warfare, forced labor, starvation and disease reduced Hispaniola’s Taino population (estimated at one million to two million in 1492) to extinction within 30 years.
If a native resisted slavery, the nose or an ear would be cut off, If slaves tried to escape, Columbus had them burned alive. Columbus’ acts of cruelty were unspeakable and legendary – even in his own day – that Governor Franciso De Bobadilla arrested Columbus and his two brothers, slapped them into chains, and shipped them off to Spain to answer for their crimes against the Tainos.
Nevertheless, the King and Queen of Spain, pardoned Columbus and let him go free, but not before stripping Columbus’s authority in Hispaniola.
Until the European discovery of America, there was only a relatively small slave trade between Africa and Europe. Needing labor to replace the rapidly declining Taino, the Spanish introduced enslaved Africans to Hispaniola in 1502; by 1510, the trade was essential to the Caribbean economy.
First, the trade was only a trickle then it became a flood which led to the Trans Atlantic Slave trade and eventually colonialism that reflects the world we live. Today, he would be convicted and found guilty of crimes against humanity with entries from his own diary.
Despite this evidence against him, every second Monday in October, there is a Christopher Columbus Day. This is the ultimate of an April Fool’s Joke.
July 4th and Emancipation Proclamation Quotes
In African communities, there are quotes which we automatically accepted without question. Such as, “All men are create equal,” from the Declaration of Independence written by the founding fathers on July 4th, 1776. Another one is Abraham Lincoln Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves.
Let’s examine both quotes for accuracy. First, the founding fathers whom wrote the constitution were the slave owners and described Africans as three-fifths of a man.
Next is to address Lincoln’s claim of freeing the slaves . On September 22, 1862, Lincoln announced he would issue an executive order to free all slaves in the Confederacy that didn’t return to the Union before the beginning of the new year.
He kept his promise, because on January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation executive order was issued freeing 3.1 million slaves in the Confederacy. Notably, his order applied only to the states; he didn’t control. Of course, the Confederacy ignored the proclamation, and none of the slaves were released.
Actually, the executive order didn’t cover the nearly 500,000 slaves in union states, and they were the states of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware. Factually, not a single slave was freed. Moreover, he couldn’t free the slaves, even if he wanted because a constitution amendment was required.
Technically, when the Thirteenth Amendment, took effect on the eighteenth day of December in 1865. slavery officially ended. Consequently, these two historical examples are akin to a big April Fool’s Jokes.
World War II
The last of the trilogy is World War II, was the Allies representing democracy versus the Axis of Evil. The Allies were Europe and America, and the stewards of evil were Germany, Italy and Japan. Let’s pause, and define Democracy;
“It’s a form of government in which power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their agents under a free electoral system.”
Obviously, democracy has a dual meaning because it’s not referring to African Americans nor Africans, both victims of slavery and colonialism. Whereas, in America, segregation was reinforced with institutionalized injustices, aided by Jim Crow laws, no voting rights and para-military groups such as the KKK and lynching were common. Additionally, Africans were colonized robbed of their resources and were victimized in their own respective countries.
Is this Democracy?
Now lets proceed with the April Fool’s analogy.
When the facade of Democracy is removed it’s clear why the Germans and Japan wanted control of Europe who held reign on the colonies. The colonies precedent was set at the Berlin Conference in 1884. However, it was a gentlemen agreement, and no shots were fired.