Watching the OJ Simpson trial on television, racism raises it’s head frequently. Institutionaliased racism is a constant. Donald Trump wanting to be president of the United States is unbelievable, as his racist comments incite hatred, we can only think that this is a ploy to get Hillary Clinton as president.
Before Mau Mau, no one had ever suggested the Kikuyu to be brutal people. Europeans in Africa were fond of racial sterotypes, and those they applied to the Kikuyu were almost wholly positive: They were industrious and progressive, the kind of Africans who seized upon the benifits of European civilisation and made the best of it, remember African civilisation is standing in Egypt as the pyramids. However the Kikuyu embraced education; they took Christianity; they were happy to accept wages for their labour, as opposed to being slaves, and they were entrepreneurial. Their politics sometimes became assertive and disputatious which reminds us of the fabulous Malcolm X. However, on the whole the Kikuyu were compliant. Most Europeans in central Kenya employed Kikuyu house servants, who washed their clothes, cleaned, cooked their food and looked after their children. Trust was there, even if it was paternalistic, patronising and muted by as sense of racial superority.
The emergence of the Mau Mau altered the image irreparably. Suddenly overnight, the smiling servant became the murderous savage, enveloped in a ‘wild, red rolling madness, like Ruarks Mau Mau antihero Kimani, who returned to the farm of his childhood to murder the white man who had once slapped him across the face. Kikuyu interest in Europeans was now ‘couched in hatred’. Instead of looking after their children, they possessed wild desire to carve them up with machetes.
Alan Lennox Boyd the British secretary of state for the colonies in 1954 said, “Mau Mau is a conspiracy based on the total perversion of the human spirit by means of the power of the oath and by witchcraft and intimidation, all of which combined to place it’s followers mentally almost in another world, in which the pursuit of their twisted aims was only the important thing”.
source histories of the hanged, Anderson D, p279
In my opinion the Mau Mau were not the mirror image of the ruling elite, they were fighting against the dehumanisation of the ruling superiority. All Black people are industrious, progressive, educated and happy to accept wages, however this doesn’t mean that they have forgot their ancestors and their own past. Progress would be taking down the Rhodes statue from Oxford university. Because it seems to me that white people have forgotten how disgusting their past has been.