African & Caribbean contributor – Joel O’Loughlin

Why do androids dream of electric sheep, why dolphins don’t bite and how come chicken can’t fly? What is reality Papa? Well son you better close your eyes and open your mind.

All of these things are true if you want them to be, but the best truth serves your interest. Let me tell you about a speech Willie Lynch gave on the bank of the James River in the colony of Virginia in 1712. Lynch a British slave owner in the West Indies was invited to teach his methods to slave owners there. This, my son, is what he had to say:

“Your invitation reached me on my modest plantation in the West Indies, where I have experimented with some of the newest, and still the oldest, methods for control of slaves.

Ancient Rome would envy us if my program is implemented.  I HAVE A FULL PROOF METHOD FOR CONTROLLING YOUR BLACK SLAVES. I guarantee every one of you that, if installed correctly, IT WILL CONTROL THE SLAVES FOR AT LEAST 300 HUNDREDS YEARS.

My method is simple. Any member of your family or your overseer can use it.  I HAVE OUTLINED A NUMBER OF DIFFERENCES AMONG THE SLAVES; AND I TAKE THESE DIFFERENCES AND MAKE THEM BIGGER. I USE FEAR, DISTRUST AND ENVY FOR CONTROL PURPOSESDISTRUST IS STRONGER THAN TRUST AND ENVY STRONGER THAN ADULATION, RESPECT OR ADMIRATION.

Photo courtesy en.wikipedia.org

The Black slaves after receiving this indoctrination shall carry it on and will become self-refueling and self-generating for HUNDREDS of years, maybe THOUSANDS”.

So my son when I hear my Caribbean kinsmen speak of Africans and Africa I am time jumped to that bank of the James River and then shunted forward to a galaxy far, far away where the Cosmic Lynch Refuelling machine cranks out self-loathing.

Thankfully the Force is with me, protecting me from the mind-bending Lynchwave warping the viewpoint of African Caribbean people at home and here in the Diaspora.

Photo courtesy flickr.com

The Force was strong in me even at 5 years old when fresh out of Nevis, my art teacher Miss Adams insisted I paint over the chicken in the trees and draw them on the ground because “chickens can’t fly”.

Her truth worked for her in Birmingham but my truth protects chickens from mongoose in Jessups village.

Papa I think I am beginning to understand now. Androids dream of electric sheep because it is in their nature, and it is not natural to fear your origins.

Chickens fly when they need to, and if it is in their interest to fly to Africa that’s where they should go. But I still don’t understand why Dolphins don’t bite. What is reality Papa?