Maafa 21: black genocide in America [film review]

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The Maafa: Black Genocide in 21st century America is a documentary that attempts to expose the “hidden racial agenda” in the United States. It gives a detailed history of the Eugenics movement in this country from the Postbellum south up to the present day. The formal end of slavery significantly lowered the value of black life to many white Americans. There was widespread fear that former slaves might begin competing for jobs and resources that heretofore were reserved for white people. There was also great fear that miscegenation would ensue and lower the purity of “white blood”.

What worried white Americans the most, however, was the fear of retribution for all of the pain and misery inflicted on black people. The slave rebellion led by Nat Turner in 1831, which resulted in scores of fatalities, weighed heavily on the minds of white Southerners. And while these violent uprisings were relatively rare, it was undoubtedly a grave concern to many whites, particularly to those who owned or operated plantations.

There were a number of possible solutions presented to solve the problem of this newly freed population. There were several homesteading programs that were designed to relocate former slaves to parcels of land within U.S. borders. Due to lack popular and financial support, these programs were ultimately ended and the black landowners were ejected from their tracts. There were those who supported the idea of returning former slaves to Africa (resettlement).

Abraham Lincoln, in a speech delivered in Illinois on October 16, 1854 said, "My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia— to their own native land." When asked about the possibilty of social and political equality between blacks and whites he responded, “My own feelings will not admit of this; and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not.” His lack of political and moral courage put a decisive end to any possibility of resettlement. To be fair, many of the possible host countries like Haiti and Costa Rica, still suffering from the effects of colonial rule, had no desire to take in such a large number of refugees.

There were also some African-Americans who did not want to relocate. They wanted nothing less than the eradication of slavery and full rights of citizenship. The third and most insidious solution came from those who subscribed to Eugenic policies. The American Birth Control League (changed to Planned Parenthood in 1942) represented a convenient vehicle to put such policies into practice. Founded by Margaret Sanger in 1921, it provided “reproductive services” to blacks and others deemed undesirable in the form of birth control, abortions and sterilizations.

The Eugenics movement was simply one of many tools used to address the growing black problem. What this documentary does— and quite well, I might add— is connect the dots between past events and the present. It illuminates the vile motivations of the individuals and groups who were the driving force behind many of this country’s early social policies. While watching the film, I must admit that I began to question the motivations of the filmmakers as well.

Given the questions they raised about other organizations, it seemed only right and fair that I also question the motivation behind this film. Is this film designed to raise awareness or is it simply just another attempt to exploit black people for political gain? It turns out that it may be a little bit of both. After watching the film and reading about some of the tactics used by the creators of this film (Life Dynamics Inc.), one gets the impression that the point isn’t so much about saving black people, but furthering a political agenda and, insofar that black people can be useful in furthering that agenda, they will be catered to.

I must admit that I’m bothered whenever anyone tries to emotionally manipulate me into serving an ulterior motive even if that motive is relevant and important to me. I got the sense that the African Holocaust was just a convenient device to help build support for their true mission— an end to abortion. I would have preferred a much more direct and honest approach.

The film does a good job of placing the Eugenics movement into a larger historical context. It was, however, only one of many movements whose goal was the elimination en masse of black people. Anytime there has been a dramatic social or political shift, we’ve seen a subsequent series of socio-political responses or recalibrations. Before the technical emancipation of slaves in 1863, there were virtually no black people in prison.

Slaves were considered valuable property to whites and to imprison them would make as much sense as imprisoning an ox. After the Emancipation Proclamation and the ratification of the 13th amendment, which outlawed slavery except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, the incarceration rate for black men exploded. The next great explosion came after Civil Rights legislation was passed. This time the response came in the form of a flood of narcotics into black communities followed by draconian legislation and targeted enforcement. It cannot be emphasized enough that most of these so-called political victories (Emancipation Proclamation, Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, etc.) resulted in few palpable gains for black people.

Most Civil Rights legislation was written and passed for the benefit and edification of white people. It is they who needed to be reminded of our humanity. It is they who needed to be reminded that we have unalienable dignity and rights. No oppressed people need a law to tell them that they are men and women who deserve respect. There is a valuable lesson to be had here for those who foolishly see Barack Obama’s election as the culmination of Martin Luther King’s dream.

History has shown us that these strictly symbolic victories often serve as precursors to some very real defeats. And given that we have not seen (and are unlikely to see) any tangible benefits to having an African-American president, I would submit that his election qualifies as another purely symbolic victory.

It is also worth noting that the black people in this country are not the only ones who have been subjected to biological warfare and genocide. It’s been documented that Sir Jeffery Amherst, a commanding general in the British army, intentionally spread smallpox-infected blankets to Native-Americans who had no immunity to the disease in the period following the so-called French and Indian War. It would have bolstered the film’s credibility and impact to show the connection between the different oppressed groups within this country. One might wonder why they didn’t do this.

I suspect this is because they’re trying to carefully craft a message that provokes outrage, but also provides the right target (in their opinion) for that outrage—Planned Parenthood and similar groups. They’re not trying to portray this country as completely irredeemable because, if they were to do that, then the next logical question is: “What do you do with something that’s irredeemable?” You discard it. And that conclusion might trouble them as much as the actions of their opponents.