Uhuru

by zunguzungu

I flipped open Robert Ruark’s Uhuru this morning and read the following passage. It’s an amazing window into the mind of what African independence could be seen to look like from the perspective of a white racist in 1962:

Each native African has his own concept of Uhuru. For some it is a mythical description of around-the-corner Utopia of slothful ease, of plentiful booze and and an altogether delightfully dreamy state in which money grows on bushes and all human problems are ended. To the nomadic grazier it means endless flocks of lovely useless cattle and gorgeous land ruining goats. To the ivory poacher it is an absense of game wardens and stuffy restrictive game laws. To the meat-eater it is limitless meat and plenitude of free salt; to the drunkard a sea of honey beer; to the womanizer, a harem which stretches to the horizon. To the peasant African farmer, it is the white man’s magically rich and loamy land which will most certainly be his on the magic day of ‘Uhuru’ when the white man is driven from the continent and all the carefully nurtured soil reverts to the African. To the willfully lawless, ‘Uhuru’ is a licence to rob and steal, to kill without punishment and to flout rules of decent human behaviour with reckless impunity.

‘Uhuru’ to the white man takes on a slightly different complexion. ‘Uhuru’ is regarded as a threat-a threat to his white property, a threat to his white woman…..

I found most of that quote by googling it and copy and pasting, because that’s how I usually avoid typing out long quotes. The helpful person who found that quote so useful cut off the “Uhuru to the white man” part right there, right before Ruark started pretending to some modicum of balance by mildly criticizing white settlers. Once that person got to “white woman,” they had written enough, it seems.