AFRICANGLOBE – What the African elites lack most is the courage to use their “own reason.” This, despite how modern they like to think of themselves, has actually kept them in an age of pre-modernity. The African governing class is in its great majority constituted by marionettes; and string-puppets, we know, cannot think for themselves. They dance to the rhythm of whoever pulls the strings. So do most African elites, dancing to perfection at the pull of the strings. Perfection is the operative word, for indeed, the marionette African elites are pathological perfectionists.
It would have been affirmative that the elites be perfectionist to the cause of nationhood, that they be devoted to safeguarding national dignity. Instead, they are pathological perfectionists; that is, they have misidentified the measure of perfection to be whiteness just as they have mistaken the measure of imperfection to be blackness. Because of this misidentification the Black elites run compulsively—as true as compulsion is another symptom of neurosis—from themselves toward accumulation of the symbols of whiteness in the hope of tending maximally toward whiteness. In so doing, they actually impoverish their living environment while enriching the living environment of the Occident.
It is their proximity to the center of oppression that makes the Black elites neurotic subjects. Black in the thick of exclusive whiteness, placed at the heart of White paradise yet constantly indexed as a devil burning of all the fires of heathen, the Black man, and mostly the African man, has been ruminating his desire for vraisemblabilisation, for imitation, for sameness, for too long to act rationally. Fanon’s admonition that the national elites be kept in check for there to be any hope of safeguarding national consciousness against the perils of sabotage is well indicated. The elites, who are closer to the center of oppression, are the most affected; they are the most alienated.
For the Black estranged from himself through colonial experience, first, and later, in a more disguised way, in a more subtle way, through the promises of globalization, whiteness constitutes the lack of desire. The Black’s every desire is desire for whiteness, White aesthetics, White economy, White politics, White culture, White environment. To wit, former President Wade of Senegal once shed $175 millions to acquire President Sarkozy’s used airplane, so he can fly high above the miseries of Senegal and, in the company of his milky companion, crow to have arrived at the level surface of the Great White Man. Sarkozy knows of this Black ego’s epidermal malaise; and so he uses it to his advantage, making of the Black elites modern slaves in shining shoes and three-piece suits. For Africa to develop, the Black elites will have to learn to think by themselves. To the African elites I say: Have the courage to use your own judgments.
By: M. Frindéthié
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