Happy Slaves

It is difficult to control a crowd of slaves in a slave farm but the slave master knows what to do. He targets a few slaves and makes them happy, at least, relatively happier than their counterparts. Make a few slaves happy and they will be loyal to you. They will be happy to defend you with their lives. They will go any length to do so.

Yes! They will defend you at the expense of their own. They will forget that they are slaves too. They will fail to see that they are also having the short end of the stick. They will bring you tales about other slaves. They will snitch on them. They are your loyal foot soldiers and they will help you foil any attempts by other slaves to be free.

Friends, if you are conversant with aspects of the defunct transatlantic and trans-saharan slave trades of yore, you will recall there were such nomenclatures as the “house negro” and the “field negro”. The house negro lived in the house, same house with the master, may be in the attic or the basement. Unlike the field negro, he didn’t work on the plantation. Neither was he exposed to the full extent of the harsh realities of a slave.

The House negro ate the left over food on his master’s table. While his counterpart in the field walked barefoot, the house negro wore his master’s used and abandoned clothes and shoes. He became completely assimilated into his master. He saw himself as an extension of him. However, this was only in his head. He was still a slave and had no real path to freedom or an inheritance in the house of his master. His master knew this but the house negro didn’t know it.

Whenever the master bought a horse, the house negro would say “we have a horse”. If the master was sick, he’d say “we are sick’. Whenever the master said “it is my turn”, the house negro would say “it is our turn’. Hence, he totally forgot his own reality. He worked at cross-purposes with other slaves who were yearning for freedom. He foiled their attempts to be free. Essentially, the house negro forgot he was still a slave simply because of the relative comfort and privileges that could easily be taken away from him.

Friends, from the foregoing, my message ought to be clear. Happy slaves are the greatest enemies of true freedom. They labour to maintain the status quo. As long as they are able to “eat” from it, no matter how bad a system is, they are good. There is nothing as heavenly as having a good system. A bad system beats good people. It makes everyone a victim in the long run.

Interestingly, the happy slaves among us are few but they are sufficiently animated or motivated by the crumbs that fall on their laps from their master’s table. Please don’t allow any happy slave to gaslight or silence you. Keep making your demands known until we have a better society that works for all and not for a few leaders who have gone rogue.

It is a new day!


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