past, present and future | Al-Akhbar: The first independent Mauritanian news agency

It is helpful to have a rational and calm conversation about our common past, especially with regard to the repercussions and legacies that continue to weaken the present.

There is no reason for embarrassment, annoyance or resentment to open or participate in such a discussion. There is no society in the world that has not gone through dark periods in its life. Among the darkest eras in human history: slavery and colonialism. We have lived with them in pain and distress, and we are still suffering from their ugly consequences. My speech today will focus on the subject of slavery, but I will address the issue of foreign colonialism, which is a form of slavery, on another occasion, if God wills.

To speak of slavery is to speak of a mode of production practiced without exception by all human societies. A primitive and backward mode of production based on the division of labor in such a way that society is classified into categories: nobles, artisans, farmers, shepherds, slaves. With the development of the means of production, the slave system gradually changed into a crop division system, then a pre-capitalist system, then a system of capitalism and a market economy. With each new production system a new social structure emerges. Thus we came to the financial and business system today, where nothing of the old feudal structure remains, except the traces of poverty and injustice that the children of former slaves and others bond. victims of feudalism, and the scattering of shaky tribes living on the illusion of glory that is gone and will not return.

The whole world has gone through this painful past and still suffers from its terrible legacy. And I say and repeat: There is no country in the world or any society that does not have a known part of the remnants of slavery, or colonialism, or both. The Western world, for example, today faces its addicted past in the face, slave trade, crimes of invasion, oppression, exploitation, plunder and the denial of identity and dignity.For the rights of colonial peoples and nations.

The African continent, for its part, faces – to varying degrees – the consequences and remnants of slavery and social hierarchy, and the injustice, injustice, persecution and exploitation committed in it. In addition to the colonial legacy, which is one of the reasons for its current poverty and backwardness. If the African continent knew all about slavery, we are distinguished from it by exceptions, among which I mention the ethnic phenomenon (the difference in color), and the delay in awareness of the issue.

What is needed now?

What is needed now is to address this heavy legacy in a way that serves the present and prepares for a better future. The solution is not in the “trial history”, and “digs” in the past for what distinguishes more than unites. It is not fair and just to judge history on the basis of the data and criteria of the present. The British leader, “Winston Churchill” was right when he said: “If we open a battle between the past and the present, we will lose the future.” He said: “A wise person knows when to face confrontation, and when to accept compromise.”

What is needed now is:

  • How do we deal with the damage of the past?
  • How to eradicate the effects of slavery and social hierarchy?
  • How do we achieve justice and equality, and build a rule of law, citizenship and modernity?

What is needed is reform. Allow me to draw attention to four points.

First, reform begins with the recognition of the existence of the consequences of slavery and hierarchy and the damage that results from it. What does it mean to treat a disease if we deny its existence in the first place? What does it mean to repair the damage of the past, if we act as if this past is gone forever, and no trace of it remains? This is illogical. We must have the courage, and be able to see what is left of the remnants of the past to heal and eradicate them. In this regard, I note with satisfaction the official and popular recognition of the existence of authentic popular groups with great weight, who have lived most of their lives marginalized and isolated from the mainstream of general culture and development, and the declaring the need for solidarity and synergy with them and promoting their conditions.

Second: The required vocabulary and pillars of reform are: education, then education, then education; careers, fruitful work, fundraising, business management and participation in decision-making circles. These are the pillars of true liberation and emancipation. It must continue to work to provide basic services to the residents of its “adobe” and slums, and to lift them out of poverty, insecurity and exclusion. I say continue to work because the work has already started by opening schools, building health centers, ending isolation, programs to combat poverty, and raising the spirit of participation in public affairs … I know that so far it has been a modest job and below the desired level, but it is a step in the right direction.

Third: Material alone, despite its importance, is not sufficient to redress the crimes of slavery.The psychological and moral harm caused by it must be addressed, confronted with the force of law, and preferential policies in management and employment must be accepted. In this context, it is necessary to combat the cultural and ethnic superiority of some people, who for centuries have held a bad title in the vocabulary of discourse and social behavior, even if it is not based on religion, reason or the world. not. Today, it is necessary to reconcile for him and all forms of false arrogance, according to what was stated in “Wadan”‘s speech supported by most of the civic parties, movements and organizations.

In the same context, the children of the “historically oppressed” groups must gradually free themselves from that heightened sense of oppression and exclusion that they have inhabited for decades, to be replaced by a more positive sense of participation and responsibility in the light of the progress that has taken place. They must acknowledge that today they have become a great national power and a current player and partner at the highest levels of the state … A power that enjoys the leadership of important constitutional institutions, wins hundreds of seats in municipalities and parliament , ministries, trade union leaders, trade unions and influential civic bodies … The position of President of the Republic is within his reach; We saw how the Mauritanian people stood up with all its components and colors 2009-2014-2019, behind a candidate from its people. On this basis, opinion leaders, dignitaries and activists involved in these movements must appreciate and advance the progress and openness achieved to the level of responsibility for the nation as a whole.

Fourth: To serve these purposes, I proposed ten years ago to ratify a media charter that prohibits and criminalizes racist expressions, vocabulary, gestures and undertones, and the vocabulary of hatred and contempt for others, and the purification of educational curricula of it all. , provided that the school program at most levels includes an article on the disadvantages and harms of slavery and racism, their causes and forms and the reasons for establishing the values ​​of brotherhood and solidarity. In this context, I have called for the promotion and encouragement of the relationships of brotherhood, friendship and compassion to which civil ties have often revolved, taking into account the needs of all people in all people. These are the good relationships that society has begun to regulate and rebuilt itself with optimism and hope.

God gives success

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