Why does the call for Reparations seem so one-sided? Shouldn’t the call for Reparations include the buyers AND the sellers? Some Africans, kings, chiefs, merchants and others who could, sold their fellow Africans into slavery. This is one aspect of our history that is not widely taught, denied by some native Africans, and glossed over or defended by some AAs who maintain that these particular Africans were ‘tricked’ by crafty white men. Others AAs go so far as to rationalize that 1) the African system of slavery was ‘different’ from the European/American system, in that the African slave was capable of changing his status from slave to free or, at the very least, become an asset to the village; and 2) those Africans who were sold into slavery by their own were prisoners of war or the scum of the village. Bottom line: Slaves, regardless of which side of the ocean they were enslaved, were considered the property of their masters – bought and sold like cattle and goats. When these Africans and the Europeans and Americans entered into this unsavory alliance, they changed the dynamics of scores of African cultures – forever. This alliance also planted the seeds of the selfishness, greed, nepotism and favoritism, among the ruling classes that is responsible for much of the suffering witnessed on the African continent today. Ghana’s Ashanti(Asante) Kingdom become rich and powerful from slave-trading. Unbelievably, the official ceremony to mark the opening of the national commemoration of 300 years of diplomatic relations between Ghana and the Netherlands was held at the Gemeente Museum in The Hague on September 29, 2001. The Dutch-Ghanaian historian Professor Albert van Dantzig stated: “…the numerous forts and castles along Ghana's shores have played an important role in her history. These structures, built by various European nations to protect their trade.” “…these castles and forts do not only symbolize the long-standing presence of Europeans in Ghana in connection with the slave trade. They are as much symbols of the symbiotic relationship that existed between European traders and administrators and the surrounding Ghanaian societies. In a sense they played an important role in the shaping of Ghana's unique cosmopolitan character. Although the Dutch left their possessions on the Gold Coast in 1872 to the British, the Dutch legacy is still very much part of Ghanaian society. Not only in the form of (ruins of) forts and the castle of St. George d'Elmina, but also through the off-spring of Dutch-Ghanaian marriages from centuries past, often recognizable by their Dutch or Dutch-sounding names. Many of these descendants played an important role in the modernization of the country during and after the colonial period, both within the colonial administration and as actors in the independence movement.” Nigeria’s Yoruba Kingdom also had its hand deep in the European/American honey pot. Intrigued by the Yoruba kings who sold their own into slavery, Nigerian writer, Niyi Ogunfolaju’s research into the Transatlantic Slave Trade, yielded two significant players - King Jaja of Opopo and Kosoko, which he mentioned in his article - Nigeria: Many Sovereign Nations At Crossroads - With Different Destinies. Naiwu Osahon of the Lagos-based World Pan African Movement stated that… “,,,of couse, the Yoruba were sold into slavery. You would find most Yoruba in Brazil and Cuba. They were sold by our kings and some very influential nobles. One notorious slave merchant was called Kosoko and he operated from Lagos’ ports in collaboration with white merchants.” In many African countries, the ruling classes would rather shake hands with the devil (white folks) than create alliances with each other to alleviate the suffering of the African masses. One example of this is President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea. In an archived article by Sunday Dare entitled: The Curious Bonds of Oil Diplomacy (’02), he states: “The 23-year-old regime of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has been criticized for allowing the oil companies to exploit Equatorial Guinea’s oil riches with little obvious benefit to the people. The U.S. Energy Department notes that the government’s share of oil revenues is relatively small by international standards. Obiang has announced plans to renegotiate contracts to increase the country’s participation in oil licenses. Meanwhile, the president and his family have been buying up multimillion-dollar homes in the United States. The landscape in Malabo and Bata, the two major cities in Equatorial Guinea, is dotted with state-of-the-art buildings belonging to the president and senior members of his government that stand in stark contrast to the slums in which the majority of people live. In 2000, the president bought a house in the posh Washington, D.C., suburb of Potomac, Maryland, for $2.6 million and another one in nearby Rockville, Maryland, for $1.15 million. The president’s son, Teodoro N. Obiang, purchased a house in the ritzy celebrity haven of Bel Air, Los Angeles, in March 2001, for $5.8 million. Actress Farrah Fawcett lives across the street. The younger Obiang, who is also his country’s minister of Forests, Fishing and the Environment and is in the running to succeed his father as president, also owns a record label and publishing company in Los Angeles called TNO Entertainment, which specializes in rap records.” In Nigeria, the ruling classes line their pockets with an estimated 80% of ill-gotten wealth derived from the country’s oil revenues, while the masses exist on less than $1.00 per day. If Africans in the Diaspora are demanding Reparations from Europe and America, then shouldn’t demands for Reparations should be asked of those who benefited from slave-trading and are still benefiting by exercising that very same mentality? Africa’s wealth should be used to provide for needy Africans and to raise their standard of living. It should not be used to provide a cushy lifestyle for Fat Cat Big Men, their families, friends or paid thugs! It’s way past time to TURN THE HEAT UP!