DOWN GOES LEOPOLD!

I’m sure some of you have been aware about various statues of racist devils being taken down recently due to the protests. You have the Edward Colston statue getting “swimming lessons” in Bristol, England and you have Confederate statues taken down across the South. I wondered if Belgium was going to step up to get rid of one of the biggest genocidal maniacs you weren’t taught about in school.

Special thanks to Petrel41 for telling me about this!

I’ve mentioned King Leopold II in a few past articles, but this information bears repeating. For those of you that don’t know, he was the king of Belgium since the late 19th century. Him and other European heads of state participated in the Scramble for Africa starting with the Berlin Conference. His piece of the colonization pie was getting a part of the Kingdom of Kongo in a landmass that would become the Belgian Congo or by it’s modern name of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Even after the annexation, that country is still far larger than Belgium from both a landmass and population standpoint. When Leopold got control of that part of Africa, he turned the entire country into his personal slave plantation since it’s still a resource-rich nation even to this day. The biggest things were oil, rubber, and gold to name a few. Leopold and his brutal regime forced the Congolese to take these insane quotas for the resources and if they didn’t meet said quotas, they would get their hands chopped off. You know those chocolate hands they sell in Belgium? That’s where the inspiration came from. Cannibalistic implications much, Leopold? He did wicked things like shooting the Congolese on site and starved them out away from their communities AKA The Elephant Graveyard Treatment much like what the 2nd Reich did to the Namibians in the 1900s or the Native Americans dealing with the Trail of Tears after being abused by the colonizers. This had a result of killing over 15 million Congolese people during his reign! At that time over a century ago, this was HALF the country’s population. To give you more context, that’s over the same amount of people living in the nation’s capital of Kinshasa (also the 3rd most populated city in Africa, by the way) and Chicago COMBINED! Most people know about Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, and Joseph Stalin which people should still be taught about for their atrocities, but Leopold always slips through the cracks of history classes. I didn’t even know who he was until after I graduated college which is sad. Even more angering in hindsight to me is that I have Congolese heritage…Leopold could’ve abused and/or killed MY ancestors that I may not have known about! His punishment for what he did was relinquishing control of the Congo. Oh, cry me a river.

Hopefully that brief history lesson should suffice to my readers. Leopold makes Colston look like an alter boy by comparison. I’m so happy that they took the statues down that glorify racist demons like that tyrant. Major props to the Congolese-Belgians who were hardcore protesting about that situation. I also hope this leads to Belgium paying up those reparations for that genocide against that Central African nation. It’s been a long time coming.

Leopold azali zabolo! Nzambe yaka Osunga Kongo! Mosembo na boboto ekolonga!

11 thoughts on “DOWN GOES LEOPOLD!

  1. Please don’t hold your breath for those reparations lol I agree with all of these statues being taken down. If people want to know history, they can watch a documentary or read books (or blogs like yours). Our city’s government took one down in the middle of the night after it had been vandalized recently. They plan to take all of them down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good argument there, but one can certainly dream (this refers to the DRC, America, and other black-majority countries). Yeah, we don’t need to see those statues showing genocidal tyrants around on full display. Good on your city for taking a racist statue down and the others. People need to learn about these people and all of this history.

      Like

  2. Hello ospreyshire. Thank you for the history lesson. Sadly humans have a weird need to be cruel to other humans if they think they can gain from it. All the more so if those others don’t look like them. You are correct this is not taught in most US history classes,and I sure did not know about it. I thank you for sharing this, but dang I wish we could stop finding examples of the ways humans can hurt and exploit other humans. I know the ones obsessed with greed never can , but when will the rest of the humans learn we are all one people? Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Scottie. You’re welcome. It’s tragic how some people get off on mistreating others. I couldn’t stand how I wasn’t taught about this case much like Black Wall Street, the Namibian Genocide, and other stories. Don’t feel bad for not knowing. I had to learn so many things myself. I wish there could be a world where people mistreating others would be punished. Thank you so much.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re certainly welcome, Jill. Don’t feel bad about not knowing because I feel like so many people weren’t taught about that part of world history. I was so angry learning about Leopold and his atrocities in the Congo.

      Hahaha! That would be awesome if that were to happen to those statues.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Schools teach ‘selective history’ in this country … perhaps in others too. For example, the lovely little myth they teach us about Christopher Columbus and about how the Europeans and the Native Americans got along so well … history edited to present the rosiest possible picture for the current populace.

        Hah! Just wait ’til I get my broomstick out of the repair shop (last time I used it, I did some heavy smiting and damaged it a bit)

        Liked by 2 people

      • That is certainly true. Very good example with Christopher Columbus. I was taught in 1492, he sailed the ocean blue and “discovered” America (I use that term loosely). Growing up, I found out he was a genocidal sex slaver which really sullied my thoughts of him. It’s selective history and whitewashing on so many levels and that’s the stuff they do tell about in schools. As an adult, I realized how much I was lied to about history.

        Sure thing! Let me know when it’s fully repaired. Haha!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. The founding of white-led countries have all been to the detriment of brown and black people. The world now sees itself on the pinnacles of self-reflection and attempting to correct itself. Not that reflection doesn’t occur at other times. We all do when no one is around, when it’s quiet and there’s no conversation but what occurs in our own head. It’s truth-telling time.

    It is not by chance that the pandemic coincides with the current social climate. The world has to come to a point of stillness so the world could see America on blast; their violence is perpetual both physically on through policies. America’s relationship with black America is an incestuous one for which it is ashamed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unfortunately, that was certainly the case with colonization. It’s good more people have been learning these historical facts that aren’t talked about in school. It is a moment of exposure and self-reflection. I do hope people learn and make sure atrocities like genocide and colonialism don’t happen again.

      Can’t argue with that. The world is now becoming more cognizant to these rampant abuses.

      Liked by 1 person

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