That is why I specifically referred to the “level of social mobility.” I am aware that social mobility existed, but it was constrained by the law. For example the Supreme Court had ruled that even freed Africans were not citizens. In African societies such as Dahomey and Asante, enslaved persons still had the rights of citizens and the children of slaves were born free. So thus far you aren’t really doing a good job at countering my claim that slavery in Africa was not as bad as slavery in the Americas. And where I am using specific historical examples, you are using more opinion based arguments. If you majored in African Studies as you claimed surely you must have read some African history.

And since you can’t support your argument, you are restoring to moral discussions by asking me whether or not I am okay with slavery, which isn’t even the point of my article. If I was okay with black on black slavery why would I be working with a Pan-African organization that is fighting slavery in Africa? Or did you miss that part in my last response?

I honestly don’t know why you are criticizing me. So far you have failed to raise any serious factual issues regarding my article itself. Any discussions about me personally should be completely irrelevant here since this article is about the history of the slave trade in Africa, not me. But you keep trying to personalize this discussion. Like I said, I don’t like it because you don’t know anything about me except for this single article that you read, so it’s very prejudicial for you to keep saying things such as “people like you”. You know nothing about me except for some article that I assume you stumbled upon.

Whether or not I identify as an African is not nor should it be your concern. Like I said, I come from a country where we practice a great deal of African culture. You telling me that I shouldn’t identify as African doesn’t change the fact that I can point specifically to which ethnic group in Africa aspects of my own culture comes from. Do you think you expressing your opinion to me is suddenly going to make me forget that my ancestors are from Africa and that my culture is one that is rooted in Africa? It seems very arrogant of you not even take the time to ask why it is that I identify as an African before you try to dictate to me your opinions on the matter. In the future, I would advise you at least be respectful enough to ask questions before you make assumptions about people. If you want to bring people together you must learn to listen and not try to impose your opinions on people.

You seem to think bringing people together means imposing your opinion on people who come from a different racial and cultural background than you. The world doesn’t work that way. People are divided by culture, language, ethnicity, historical experiences, etc. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we should hate each other or fight each other over these differences, but trying to pretend that they don’t exist is naïve. And you only create more division by behaving the way that you are behaving. Rather than approaching me in a respectful manner, you jump to unwarranted conclusions. That approach tends to make people defensive about their views rather than making them more likely to listen to your positions.

Because I understand that differences exist, I honestly have no issue with Pan-Europeanism. The European Union was created to unite European nations in an attempt to prevent the outbreak of World War III. What I do take issue with is when Europeans do things to inflict harm on African people. That is something I am opposed to, but I believe that all people have the right to self-determination, which means doing what is in their best interests as a group. Native Americans in the United States have tribal sovereignty in America and that doesn’t bother me because I understand that Native Americans have a particular historical experiences that justifies them having their own standards of law. I am not sure if you also think that Native Americans are tearing the country apart because of it, but if so then I guess you can go try to shame them after you are done trying to shame me.

As for your last question, the answer would be no. But I am not sure if answering it even makes a difference because you have already seemed to have made up your mind that I am a racist and that I am dividing people. I suppose you think shaming people like me on the internet is going to fix America’s racial division.

Dwayne Wong (Omowale) is a Guyanese born Pan-Africanist, author, and law student.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store