by Emma Colton, Social Media Manager | June 09, 2020 12:17 PM |The Washington Examiner
Democratic lawmakers wearing Ghanaian kente sashes during a tribute to George Floyd were mocked online for the move.
A group of Democrats, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, knelt in the Capitol building on Monday for nearly nine minutes, the amount of time then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee to Floyd’s neck before he died. The lawmakers were also wearing kente sashes, a textile from Ghana known for its unique patterns and representation of West African culture.
Twitter users from the black community slammed the move, calling it a political stunt. Pro-life advocate Obianuju Ekeocha posted a video in response to the tribute, condemning it as “virtue signaling.”
“Excuse me, dear Democrats. In your tokenism, you didn’t wait to find out that this thing that you’re hanging around your neck is not just some African uniform. It’s actually the kente material,” Ekeocha said. “The kente belongs to the Ghanaian people, mainly the Ashanti tribe. Excuse me, Democrats. Don’t treat Africans like we’re children. These fabrics and these … colorful things that we have within our culture and tradition, they all mean something to us. I know you look at us, and you say, ‘Oh, Africans are so cute in all your colorful dresses.’”
“Well, some of those dresses and patterns and colors and fabrics actually do mean something to us,” she continued. “Some of them belong to ancient tribes and mean something to them. So why are you using it as your own show of nonracism or your own show of virtue? Why are you using the kente material to signal your virtue?”
“Stop it. We are not children. Africans are not children,” she added. “And leave our tradition and our culture to us, and if you don’t know much about it, ask somebody. I’m sure there would have been something else you could have done to show your solidarity with black people instead of taking the kente material and making a little show of it.”
Others expressed similar sentiments in mocking the move.
My cmnt: Nancy Pelosi and her sycophants in the House are so ignorant of virtually everything. The Kente cloths they so blatantly appropriated for this political stunt are from the Ashanti people who actually were slavers who sold Black Africans to Europeans.
HISTORICAL EMPIRE, AFRICA
- WRITTEN BY: The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
See Article History
Alternative Title: Ashanti empire
Asante empire, Asante also spelled Ashanti, West African state that occupied what is now southern Ghana in the 18th and 19th centuries. Extending from the Comoé River in the west to the Togo Mountains in the east, the Asante empire was active in the slave trade in the 18th century and unsuccessfully resisted British penetration in the 19th.
In their struggle against the suzerain state of Denkyera and lesser neighbouring states, the Asante people made little headway until the accession, probably in the 1670s, of Osei Tutu. After a series of campaigns that crushed all opposition, he was installed as Asantehene, or king of the new Asante state, whose capital was named Kumasi. His authority was symbolized by the Golden Stool, on which all subsequent kings were enthroned.
From the beginning of the 18th century, the Asante supplied slaves to British and Dutch traders on the coast; in return they received firearms with which to enforce their territorial expansion. After the death of Osei Tutu in either 1712 or 1717, a period of internal chaos and factional strife was ended with the accession of Opoku Ware (ruled c. 1720–50), under whom Asante reached its fullest extent in the interior of the country. Kings Osei Kwadwo (ruled c. 1764–77), Osei Kwame (1777–1801), and Osei Bonsu (c. 1801–24) established a strong centralized state, with an efficient, merit-based bureaucracy and a fine system of communications.
- WRITTEN BY: The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
LAST UPDATED: May 14, 2020 See Article History
Slave trade, the capturing, selling, and buying of enslaved persons. Slavery has existed throughout the world since ancient times, and trading in slaves has been equally universal. Enslaved persons were taken from the Slavs and Iranians from antiquity to the 19th century, from the sub-Saharan Africans from the 1st century CE to the mid-20th century, and from the Germanic, Celtic, and Romance peoples during the Viking era. Elaborate trade networks developed: for example, in the 9th and 10th centuries, Vikings might sell East Slavic slaves to Arab and Jewish traders, who would take them to Verdun and Leon, whence they might be sold throughout Moorish Spain and North Africa. The transatlantic slave trade is perhaps the best known. In Africa, women and children but not men were wanted as slaves for labour and for lineage incorporation; from circa 1500, captive men were taken to the coast and sold to Europeans. They were then transported to the Caribbean or Brazil, where they were sold at auction and taken throughout the New World. In the 17th and 18th centuries, enslaved African persons were traded in the Caribbean for molasses, which was made into rum in the American colonies and traded back to Africa for more slaves. The practice of slavery continued in many countries (illegally) into the 21st century. Indeed, the not-for-profit abolitionist organization American Anti-Slavery Group claims that more than 40 million people are enslaved around the world. Sex slavery, in which women and children are forced into prostitution—sometimes by their own family members—is a growing practice throughout the world.