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The angry tooth

Stories and News No. 1276

Once upon a time a tooth.
Here is what remains of Patrice Émery Lumumba. Apparently, underlining and highlighting the adverb with a vehement bold.
The news inspiring this piece is precisely the delivery to the heirs of the surviving remains of the former premier of the Republic of Congo, the first democratically elected for forty years, as well as activist and political leader, assassinated on the seventeenth January of '61 with the demonstrated complicity of the usual foreign powers.
In a word, a tooth.
The hero's tooth.
A gold tooth from the brave champion of Congolese independence.
This is all that was placed by the Belgian Prime Minister in the hands of Patrice's son sixty-one years after his death, accompanying the symbolic gesture with words that admit the “moral responsibilities” of their country and at the same time recognize the “serious wounds inflicted” and the “remarkable Lumumba's value for the independence of the Congo”.
Of teeth and words, that could have been the title of this short but heartfelt post.
Expanding the shot beyond the reparation ceremonies to more than half a century away, trying to bring in the shameful maps depicting the criminal partition of the African continent by the rich countries, just adding the prefix “neo” to the word colonialism - with all the necessary updates - I can only reflect and reread the rightly optimistic speech that Lumumba himself made on the Independence Day seven months before he was brutally and cowardly murdered.
So I allow myself to extend the message of the late leader to all Africans, and I reflect and re-read when he says that no African will ever forget that independence was won through struggle, a persevering and inspired struggle that goes on day by day, a struggle in which we have not been intimidated by hardship or suffering and we have spared neither strength nor blood.
Because it was just, noble and indispensable to end the humiliating slavery imposed on us. And our wounds are too fresh and too painful to be forgotten. Even today, in my humble opinion, also due to the aforementioned deception by the "generous" Western countries, and also from Asia for some time now.
I reflect again and re-read when Lumumba says that we Africans have experienced forced labor in exchange for a pay that has not allowed us to satisfy our hunger, to dress, to have decent housing or to raise our children as loved ones, which morning, noon and evening we were subjected to mockery, insults and beatings for the color of our skin. We have seen our lands seized in the name of apparently just laws, which recognized only the right of power, that the law was never the same for whites and blacks, that it was lenient to some, and cruel and inhuman to the others, that in the cities the buildings were for the whites and the ruined huts for the blacks. And I can't help but feel indignation and bitterness knowing he is speaking about he past...
I reflect and also reread when ours adds that we will make sure that the lands of our native country are really useful to his children, we will review all the old laws and transform them into new ones that will be just and noble, we will make sure that all citizens enjoy to the fullest extent of the fundamental freedoms provided for in the Declaration of Human Rights, we will eliminate all discrimination, whatever its origin, and we will ensure everyone a state of life worthy of his human dignity and worthy of his work and loyalty to the country, we will establish a peace in the country based not on guns and bayonets, but on harmony and good will. But knowing that he is speaking to the future and, above all, that such dreams are inside the heart of each oppressed people of the earth, I am perhaps able to better understand the enormous value of that tooth.
An angry tooth, which still demands justice, freedom and restitution of the stolen goods. And it does not do this either in the past or in the future, only in the present.
In a word, now.

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