KING LEOPOLD’S GHOST
A Counter Racist Book Review
by Josh Wickett
Author: Adam Hochschild
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 1999. 366 Pgs.
King Leopold’s Ghost is a book that chronicles the history of White Supremacy in a specific area of Africa known as the “Congo.” Yeah I know; we were kings and queens in Africa, we invented civilization, bla, bla, bla…but it was all over when the White Supremacists showed up. The Belgian king, Leopold ll, through a series of tricks, smooth talkin and deception, became sole owner of this huge slice of Africa.
This book is well written and packed with information. The author goes into great detail describing the brutality and savage nature of just one part of what came to be known as the “scramble for Africa.” This book is a good example of how White people have access to information and can make it available if they so choose. They have access to letters, court records, private libraries and all the other White researchers that they can ask questions of without getting a “funny look” like I do.
King Leopold was very slick in terms of the way he chose to practice White Supremacy. Part of his strategy for getting other White people to support him was to claim he was taking the Congo in order to protect the inhabitants from “Evil Arab slave trader.” As soon as everyone bought that lie, he set about turning the Congo into a huge one man corporation, everything in it was for sale. He skillfully kept his own hands clean by selling shares to investors and telling them they could conduct any money making business as long as he got half the profits.
Now think about all the greedy people you know and what they would do if you gave them an option such as this?
What ensued was a genocidal bloodbath of epic proportions from which those Black people have not and may never recover. First it was ivory, but it was the rubber trade that devastated the people and the land. At this time, rubber was like oil, and the rubber trees were plentiful in this part of Africa. Africans were forced to collect a certain quota of rubber and if they didn’t, they had their hands cut off. The book details the creative ways the White Supremacists used to “persuade” their victims to cooperate with them. Especially interesting was the way they used their victims to mistreat other victims.
This holocaust became so brutal that even White people started to complain. Campaigns were launched and protests made but this only caused the White Supremacists to refine their practices. The Congo made Belgium a rich country. Money was just piling up. Many palaces and monuments were built to deal with the “problem” of what to do with all the excess wealth during this period. If you go to Belgium and see a monument that both impressive and ugly, there a good chance it was built during this period.
I highly recommend this book. The pictures alone are worth the price. When you read it you will understand why Africa is in the position its in today. The Congo was “orphanized.” So many people were killed that no one was able to raise the children; guest who stepped in to take that job?
The rest is history.
This book is one long graphic description of White Supremacy in the Congo, as you read it, it just gets worse and worse. And just as I expected, towards the end of the book the author hasta state: ” its an oversimplification to blame Africa’s troubles today entirely on European imperialism.”
See what I mean? Even when White people are presenting facts truthfully, they always gotta try to steer you away from the pathology of White Supremacy. But don’t take my word for it, read this book and decide for yourself. Its a good one.