Joachim Breitner's Homepage
At this school, every friday morning one member of staff holds a speech full of wisdom, insight and motiviation. While usually I find these quite transparent and full of good-sounding, not-very-helpful advices, today's speach by a history teacher was different.
He talked about how africa keeps blaming the European colonialisation for it's current state, and that it should rather look ahead and "forge forward" (I didn't even know you could use "forge" as a verb implying movement, and dict.leo.org doesn't know either). He listed other countries with a devastating event in their history who were successful afterwards: Japan, after the the atomic bombing, became an “industrial giant”, German's economic miracly after being bombed to ashes and the Jew's will to go on after the holocaust.
He assumed that if the bombs had been dropped on an African country more than half a century ago, people would still be blaming their current problems on the bombs, and demanding compensation, which some Africans do now regarding the slave trade, and which the teacher thinks also displays of lack of own initiative. Again, he compared that to Germany and Japan who did not think of expecting compensation (but then, these two have started the war that caused their bombing, so this comparision is, in my opinion, not entirely valid)
Also interesting was the thesis that if these days a large slave ship would land on an African harbour, and announcements would be made that 200.000 slaves would be needed to work on American farms, people would thrash forward to go on that ship. Although it was probably a citique on the mentality of some Africans, it could also be seen as a reference to the state of affairs in Africa, where to some work as a slave might be the better choice.
All in all a very interesting point of view that I wanted to share with you. It definately made more impression than my talk about Free Software, but that one went ok as well, I think.