From Easterly’s The white man’s burden P 20
The White Man’s Burden emerged from the West’s self-pleasing fantasy that “we” were the chose ones to save the Rest. The White Man offered himself the starring role role in an ancien regime of Harry Potter.
The Enlightenment saw the rest as a blank slate - without any meaningful institutions or history of its own - upon which the west could inscribe its superior ideals. As the Comte de Buffon put it, “It is through the European that civilization arrives … precisely because of their superiority, the civilized people are responsible for an evolved world.” The Marquis de Condorcet said, “These vast lands … need only assistance from us to be civilized.”
Even when making beneficial piecemeal reforms, such as the British anti-slave campaign in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, white arrogance was not going to disappear anytime soon. British Torry Sir Robert Peel said in a speech in June 1840 that unless whites stop the slave trade they never would convince Africans “of the superiority of the European fellow men.”
As one of the leaders of the anti-slavery, William Wilberforce, subsequently said about India, “Must we not then … endeavor to raise these wretched beings out of their present miserable condition?” James Mill in 1810, “For the sake of the natives” in India, “the British could not leave them to their own direction.”
Even the Berlin Conference of 1885, which divided Africa among European colonizers - who resembled children scrambling for candy as the pinata breaks open - included some altruistic language. The signatories were to aim at instructing the natives and bringing home to them the blessings of civilization.
I bought this book about 4 years ago and this might be the tenth time I am trying to re-read and finish it, because I never managed to go further than the second chapter for the reason above. Being confronted to the vileness of whiteness was considerably worsening my moods and hence making me more depressed.
I have two certitudes in life: We all die at the end and whiteness is the most repulsive, disgusting and nasty shit to ever have happened to humanity! It is a poison, a venom that must urgently be get rid off and mercilessly fought against!
I am going to try and post the rest later, if I am not too lazy!