The Book, Birth Day Cake For George Washington Confirms That Slavery Is A Gift Of Nature
The art and culture pages of Saturday Nation in Nairobi on February 6th was a great read. It had incisive analysis of the fifty years anniversary of Okot P’ Bitek’s Song of Lawino by Godwin Siundu, Also the pages carried excellent editorial reviews of Museveni’s Sowing the Mustard Seed,Tendai’s Hairdresser of Harare, Mugabe’s Julius Nyerere Asante Sana, and Gloria Mwaniga’s review of the Birthday cake for Geroge Washington by Ramin Ganeshram.
Out of the above literary ventures, the last; Gloria’s review of the Birthday Cake of George Washington evokes a response given that it is now trending literature news among the society of virtual readers, as it evocatively discourses the psychology of a slave in the history of slavery.
Even though Gloria’s reaction to these online debates about slavery was only focused on this one book about George Washington, she beautifully stretched beyond normal efforts to introduce a new term in the name of migritude to the society of English readers and speakers as a way of giving a literary version to the current South-North migration crisis. This term squarely borrows its neologistic perspectives from Aime Ceasaire Negritude, Wole Soyinka’s tigritude, and my term whititude, I penned in an article about diplomatic right of Zimbabwe as a country ten yearws ago.
Mwaniga’s review of this book was critical and condemnatory right away from the cover page which has two pictures of smiling slaves in chef’s uniform making a birthday cake for the American president George Washington. According to Mwaniga, slaves cannot afford a smile; they must live by crying for their freedom. This is the point which makes me to disagree with Mwaniga. I want to counter argue that there is possibility of a smile in slavery and persistent agonizing in freedom. Moreover, this is the time for liberal and realistic thinkers to agree with the argument of Aristotle in his book, Politics, that slavery is a gift of nature.
There is a lot of literature that justify social and cultural position of slavery on a condition that there is no cruelty to human life. The best example of this realism is found in the letter that Karl Marx wrote to Abraham Lincoln which was published in the Bee Hive Newspaper of America in November 1865.Karl Marx urges Lincoln to advise black slaves in America of that time to think as the workers and look for genuine freedom by revolting to establish governance of social inclusion, but not to mock one another by saying that my master is better than yours, a French masters is better than a German master or a white master is better than a black master.
Karl Marx is not the first student of Aristotle to follow this realistic thinking by refraining from outright condemning of slavery as openly observed in his other writings in the collected works, where he pointed out that, colonialism was a blessing to Africa and India. There are also other students of Aristotle that stand out conspicuously on this matter. Most notable are Jesus Christ, Luke, Paul and Prophet Muhammad. Jesus did not condemn slavery anywhere in his teachings, the Bible also records that Jesus was assisted his cross by an African slave, Simon of Cyrene. Luke one of the writers that wrote the four gospels of Jesus was born Lucanus in a Greek peasant family and sold away by his family as a slave boy to the, Roman merchants. His name Luke is a Latin or Roman version of Lucanus. He was taken to school for basic education by the Roman masters. This is where he learned to read and write hence the longest gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke. Luke was severally given opportunity to walk out of slavery and go back to his relatives in Greece but he refused. Paul another student of Aristotle, just like Jesus was not hostile to slavery, he called himself a slave of Jesus, he called Timothy as his slave for the sake of Jesus. He constantly urged slaves to respect their masters.
Prophet Mohammed the author of Islam owned eight slaves, Athuman was his favorite slave, when he went out crusading to perpetrate Islam to Egypt, and he got fierce resistance from one of the slaves owned by the then king of Egypt. He admired agility and dutifulness of this Egyptian slave. It is recorded in Quran that, Prophet Mohamed to his followers that let us fight as we can to win this war so that we can take that dutiful slave to our side. Thus Islam does not condemn slavery from the word go. It only teaches that a Muslim should keep another Muslim as a slave.
India has four castes, the Brahmin, the Kshtiriya, the Vishtiriya and the Sundra. The Sundra is the slave caste. They are automatic slaves to the other castes. The Sundra are comfortable with this position, they have never revolted since the beginning of times. This is the natural order of social systems in India. And of course physical and mental capability of most of the Sundra has been the fact of their social postion.
Recently a friend of mine was fired from his job; he had been working as a tutorial fellow at Mount Kenya University. On this fateful eventuality, he quickly wangled his way into the USA, he does not have a relative or a friend there, but he just wanted to be inside America rather staying in Kenya and do job-hunting for years without hope for a neither good job nor stead income.
This is clear testimony that some people take themselves into slavery, the same way those economic refugees from north Africa, south America and Arabia are migrating illegally into Europe and America instead of remaining in their countries and fight from there for economic betterment of their countries. Ilegal migrations are selfishness which is self-willed slavery that is actually a gift of nature not failure in the global governance system. This is a fact when we go by a comparison that Isreal fights on daily basis but they don’t migrate from their country.
So slavery is a gift of nature, those destined to be slaves will obviously end up by being slaves even if they are born in a palace. Just the same way my Ugandan friend that is a lawyer by training, fully registered as a lawyer by the high court of Uganda, deserted her law office two years ago; only to slog the horrors of illegal migration into Switzerland where she is currently working is a baby sitter. Or the way Professor Peter Anyang Nyong of Kenya is a reputed Political scientist with first class honours from Makerere University and doctoral Qualifications in the same field but he is a political slave of Raila Odinga, a man that has no any education in politics. But out of this political and ideological slavery to Raila Odinga, Professor Anyang Nyong is now able to smile; he can even make a birthday cake for Raila Odinga if ordered to.