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444 CHAPTER 25 Reframing Trans-Atlantic Slavery as Humanicide ResolvingHiddenWoundsandPrioritisinga NewVisionofAfricanHumanity Hunter Havlin Adams, III INTRODUCTION Three hours away from Johannesburg, in a remote area of South Africa’s Mpumalanga Province, a mixture of grassland and wetland environments, an amazing civilization existed – 75,000 years before Portuguese adventurers initiated the reprehensible international human commerce enterprise along Africa’s Western shores. Over seven years, a team of South Africans led by Michael Tellinger and Johan Heine1 discovered ancient roads, agricultural terraces, gold mines, and circular stone ruins, visible only from the air. This community covered more than 1500 square miles! These resourceful people constructed the ‘oldest man-made structure on Earth’ – an astronomical observatory, now named Adam’s Calendar! Tellinger notes: ‘These discoveries are so staggering that they will not be easily digested by the mainstream historical and archaeological fraternity, as we have already experienced. It will require a complete paradigm shift in how we view our human history.’ These ruins rebuke popular historical notions, assigned by Europeans, that, a) The Cradle of Humanity existed 6000 years ago between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers in Ancient Sumer (Iraq today) and not Africa; and b) the origins of civilisation begins in Ancient Greece – effectively restricting civilisation’s developmental trajectory, in order to be first, and exclusively, localised in Western Europe. This is called framing. ‘…the present for so many of us is an abyss of fragmented, false meaning, when hopes are as windblown sand in a desert of despair, where a dreaded darkness of a post-modern world debases our dreamings of a better world.’ (Wole Soyinka) 445 REFRAMING TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVERY AS HUMANICIDE FRAMING We have been framed! We have been set up – not in a criminal sense but, in terms of how we understand and interpret reality and history, how we relate and create, how we engage and navigate the world, and expect it to work. Much of human experience depends on the mental models, representations , narratives or frames we use to understand and shape reality. But, what exactly is a ‘frame’? Three perspectives on frames – cognitive, shared social construction, and rhetorical and legalistic stand out. Cognitive frames ‘...structure our ideas and concepts, they shape how we reason, and they even impact how we perceive and how we act. For the most part, our use of frames is unconscious and automatic – we use them without realising it’, according to linguist, George Lakoff2 . As a shared social construction ‘frames are organising principles that are socially shared and persist over time, that work symbolically to meaningfully structure the social world’ notes media strategist Stephen Reece3 . Philosopher, Judith Butler4 illuminates the rhetorical and legalistic persuasive potency of frames wherein, ‘some power manipulates the terms of appearance and one cannot break out of the frame; one is framed, which means one is accused, but also judged in advance, without valid evidence and without any obvious means of redress’. Depending on context, these three perspectives are often entangled, overlap and form networks of unconscious frames in our brains. Cognitive frames set boundaries and determine how some phenomena are seen or not. Butler5 observes: The frame does not simply exhibit reality, but actively participates in a strategy of containment, selectively producing and enforcing what will count as reality …. This means the frame is always throwing something away, always keeping something out, always de-realising and de-legitimating alternative versions of reality, discarded negatives of the official version. Political psychologist, Drew Westen6 elaborates: ‘Frames influence not only what people think and feel about an issue but what they don’t think about.’ This is a ‘framing bias’ or ‘framing effect’ – the tendency to draw conclusions based on how data are presented. Results from a study of frames, biases and decision-making by de Martino7 , B; Kumaran, D; Seymour, B; and Dolan, RJ revealed that: Human choices are remarkably susceptible to the manner in which options are presented. This so-called ‘framing effect’ represents a striking violation 446 CHAPTER 25 of standard economic accounts of human rationality, although its underlying neurobiology is not understood…This finding highlights the importance of incorporating emotional processes within models of human choice and suggests how the brain may modulate the effect of these biasing influences to approximate rationality. While frames are everywhere, with every point of view, most people never think about them – until elections8 when candidates for public office: 1. ‘frame’ issues according to voter demographics sympathetic to their own and their funders 2. ‘frame’ their...


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