As you will have gathered from much of my writing, I’m conscious of the burden of black people, which isn’t surprising because I am black – although I am shocked at the numbers of black people who know of this “burden” but are just not able to communicate what this means to other people. Even as I write I feel like this is too big a subject to explain easily, one can get lost in the argument, because there are so many different angles and touch points where this burden manifests in life, and it is so easy to uncover one area of this burden, only for it to throw up questions containing why, what proof, but, – from people who don’t really understand where you are coming from.
I’ve written many times about injustice and inequality, but I am realising that on a deeper level there is iniquity, a deep-rooted wickedness practiced against people of colour, both by those who do not know what they do, as well as those that do.
Many hundreds of years ago both Muslim, Jewish and Christian people started to interpret Genesis chapter 9:18-27 and the biblical account of what has become known as The Curse of Ham in a particular way. This curse is written in the scripture timeline just after The Flood, with Noah’s curse on his son Ham’s child, Canaan “Kena‘an”, and apparently his descendants. Ham mocked his father’s drunken nakedness rather than find a garment to cover his father as the passage describes:
The sons of Noach who went out from the ark were Shem, Ham and Yefet. Ham is the father of Kena‘an. These three were the sons of Noach, and the whole earth was populated by them. Noach, a farmer, was the first to plant a vineyard. He drank so much of the wine that he got drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. Ham, the father of Kena‘an, saw his father shamefully exposed, went out and told his two brothers. Shem and Yefet took a cloak, put it over both their shoulders, and, walking backward, went in and covered their naked father. Their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father lying there shamefully exposed.
When Noach awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. He said, “Cursed be Kena‘an; he will be a servant of servants to his brothers.” Then he said, “Blessed be ADONAI, the God of Shem; Kena‘an will be their servant. May God enlarge Yefet; he will live in the tents of Shem, but Kena‘an will be their servant.” (Ge 9:17–27 – Complete Jewish Bible)
The curse of Ham, actually directed at one of Ham’s children, Canaan, would if Ham’s actions had been a sin against God, lasted at most four generations or approximately 120 years (Exodus 20:5/6) according to scripture.
[…] “for I, Jehovah thy God, am a zealous God, charging iniquity of fathers on sons, on the third generation, and on the fourth, of those hating Me, and doing kindness to thousands, of those loving Me and keeping My commands.” Young’s Literal Translation
The first questions I am asking are; would a man be able to initiate a curse that lasts longer than the curses which God himself pronounces? Does Noah’s curse fit the crime?
I personally don’t believe that the curses men can bring can last longer than the curses God pronounces, and neither do I feel that Ham’s actions, though not kind and honoring to his father, justify any curse at all, let alone an allegedly perpetual curse on his descendants.
We also need to consider if speaking in The Spirit is compatible with anger and/or semi-drunkenness, which Noah must have been as he awoke from his hangover to be taunted by his son?
Don’t get drunk with wine, because it makes you lose control. Instead, keep on being filled with the Spirit— (Complete Jewish Bible – Ephesians 5:18)
The Nazarites in Israel who were often prophets were forbidden from drinking wine (Numbers 6:1-21 compare with Amos 2:12)
On anger we read:
Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools. (Ecclesiastes 7:9, CJB).
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19–20, CJB).
I say this not to undermine the credibility and uprightness of Noah, he was as the bible states “righteous” (Genesis 6:9), but as the bible also states:
For there isn’t a righteous person on earth
who does [only] good and never sins. (Ecclesiastes 7:20 CJB)
So it seems anger is not compatible with godliness, it is a work of “the flesh”. Additionally, no prophet in scripture that has PROPHESIED or cursed out of anger, God expresses His anger through the prophet. So it can be seen nether wine or anger seem to underpin legitimate prophecy or curses.
Additional problems with the Muslim, Jewish and Christian interpretations of “The Curse of Ham” is that; firstly, even though Noah cursed Canaan, this has been extrapolated to include all those people who were referred to as Canaanites in scripture, and those people inhabited present day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel (also known as historically as Phoenicia). Secondly, the curse was used by Muslim, Jewish and Christian groups to relate to all black people, even when the links to Canaanites being settled in Egypt are tenuous at best and no reference to skin colour is made in the biblical passage.
Moreover, if we are to extend Ham’s curse to people with black skin, then biblically, the Israelites were enslaved to the sons of Ham, in this case Cush (representing Egypt), before their deliverance from Egypt, this happened approximately 800 – 900 years after the flood according to scripture. With that being the case doesn’t that rather make it clear that the distorted interpretations of The Curse of Ham, if it did ever take effect were nullified by that point or were not relevant to all of the sons of Ham and the nations that sprang from him?
The problem is, the Muslims, Jews and Christians did not see this and they still believed (and continue to believe in some cases) that The Curse of Ham was and is a justification to despise a race of people, and for why slaves could be taken from Africa as part of the Atlantic Slave Trade (and Arabic slave trading which existed before that). Looking from a mainly Christian perspective we see the following issues with this:
- From evaluation of scripture the curse never took effect or at the very least was “broken”, or perhaps proved not to be in effect when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt to the sons of Ham (specifcally Cush), this was at least 25 generations later, so much later than the fourth generation to which God’s curses extend to.
- The slave trade happened 1,500 years after Messiah Yahshua preached the gospel of repentance and forgiveness, which would also be at least 3,500 years after The Curse of Ham was uttered.
- The bible says not to mistreat slaves (Ephesians 6:9).
- The bible condemns nations that enslave others (Amos 1:6).
- The bible says slave traders will not enter the kingdom of God (1 Timothy 1:10).
Yet European churches, even though they had over a thousand years to learn, still misinterpreted scripture to the damnation of those that participated in slavery unrepented; which has destroyed the lives of many millions of people, instituting a system that to this day holds people in spiritual, mental, social, economic and even physical captivity. Even so, statues of slave traders and streets named after them are present in colonial countries as if they are truly proud of this heritage.
One could ask, when the church has already been compromised by this kind of activity, had or have churches in themselves become little more than temples of a kind of idolatry, ignoring the rules God set in place and the encouragement to holiness the scriptures encourage, and rather worshiping God by man-made rules which give the appearance of holiness outwardly, encompassing the ceremony and procedure of holiness, but in reality are void of the spiritual presence which demonstrates God’s power, or the spiritual practice that demonstrates an understanding of God’s nature as expressed in the Holy scriptures?
The Europeans that say black people are subject to The Curse of Ham, so when you look closely at the rest of their ideology must therefore believe that they are sons of Shem and Japheth (ultimately Israel and the northern tribes), otherwise they would have had no remit to enslave black people in line with their distorted view of this scripture. This is the error which gives rise to Ephraimite ideology (as well as British Israelism and other pseudoarchaeological beliefs). It is also those same types of ideologies are behind the far-right-wing groups that oppose authority in the USA and other parts of the world.
However, ironically, the scriptures say we should submit to all authorities 1 Peter 2:13, and marks those who despise authority as false teachers 2 Peter 2:10. People like David Koresh (Waco disaster), and Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma bombing), are examples of people with unsound doctrines had links with far-right literature such as “The Turner Diaries” – the staple diet of the Aryan Nation in the USA and anti-authoritatianism. This book depicts a revolution, a resulting race war and a nuclear war.
It comes as no surprise to me, that these types of ideology find sympathy with some former and existing members of Donald Trump’s cabinet as America tries to align itself with Israel. Here the schizophrenic nature of far-right, “Two House”, “Ephraimite” ideology takes another sinister turn, for although the far-right and Nazi’s hate black people, immigrants and in context Jews, they in reality claim to be Jews of the northern tribes fulfilling Abrahamic promises, or otherwise see themselves as a chosen people (herrenvolk – master race), and this ideology has underpinned their historical exploits in colonising various parts of the world, and was the basis for their vision to create a “New Jerusalem”. That misplaced Puritan zeal recognises a heaven on earth for European white people only, even to the extent of asking if Yahshua walked the pleasant land of England.
European people hate to be reminded of the fact that today when many of them complain about immigration, America (North, Central and South), Australia, South Africa, indeed whole swathes of the planet have been forcibly colonised by them and shaped by their colonial slave trading exploits (note Babylon makes merchandise of even the souls of men Rev 18:13), and they hate to see how scripture also points out their deeds as evil. Nevertheless, Europeans claim to hold the moral high ground over other nations, even though it is clear that their continued fake wars over human rights and weapons of mass destruction are nothing more than cover for a growing military industrial complex and fighting for control of resources. Even here, skin colour is another is another factor in their assumed superiority. Examine the spirit and type of actions of the Kasdim (Babylonians) in the scripture below:
“Look around among the nations!
What you see will completely astound you!
For what is going to be done in your days
you will not believe, even when you are told.
I am raising up the Kasdim,
that bitter and impetuous nation,
who march far and wide over the earth
to seize homes that are not their own.
Fearsome and dreadful they are;
their rules and strength come from themselves.
Their horses are swifter than leopards,
fiercer than wolves at night.
Their cavalry gallop in from afar,
flying like vultures rushing to feed.
All of them come for violence,
their faces set eagerly forward,
scooping up captives like sand.
They scoff at kings;
princes they deride.
They laugh at any fortress;
they pile up earth and take it.
Then they sweep on like the wind,
but they become guilty,
because they make their strength their god.”
(Habakkuk 1:5–11 – Complete Jewish Bible).
This may have referenced the Babylonians of old, but as scripture says”what has been will be again” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) and that the Babylon of Revelation chapter 17 is a “Mystery”, and therefore not likely to be the Babylon of old. What spirit do you see on earth right now that behaves like that? What has colonialisation done to this planet?
The devil is described as “masquerading as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14), that which appears to be beautiful, right, but is in fact wrong, that which appears to be good, but is in fact wicked.
There can be a way which seems right to a person, but at its end are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12, CJB).
How is it possible for a race of people who have caused so much pain, death and destruction on the earth, colonised and over-run nations, raped the earth of its resources, consumed so much they can’t control their waste; those cultivate conflict, misinformation, lies, owning arsenals of weapons that could destroy the whole planet many times over, can claim the moral high ground for anything?
We know such nations are never punished for their atrocities, The African (Black) Holocaust, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, but they will always play their part at the judge and jury for the sins of other nations. The longer this hypocrisy remains unchallenged, the more this unjust system that Europeans have implemented on the world will become ingrained and cause further damage to countries and races devalued by their agenda and beliefs.
Unlike the Jewish Holocaust, the hatred and prejudice against black people hasn’t lasted a short span of time and then seen black people integrated fully within society and readily accepted at all social levels and in all professions. This isn’t to say Jewish people are not without persecution from their neighbours, in a continual state of unease with Arab nations around them, and even treated with disrespect and hatred in many European nations as well as the USA. However, Israel hasn’t been colonised to the degree that other nations strip it of its wealth and leave the indigenous people in poverty, Jews never had forty years let alone four centuries worth of slavery in modern times, followed by or Jim Crow or Segregation – in fact Jews had deliverance from slavery with the mighty arm of God.
Jews don’t commonly live in ghettos throughout their diaspora, Jews are not subject to the ideology of racism that on that most primitive level assumes the guilt of a black person just for being black and going about their daily business, for if a Jewish person were assumed to be guilty for a crime you couldn’t necessarily tell they were Jewish just by looking at them and so associate them with guilt in that same manner that you can when you look at a black person and know instantly they are black. It is people’s ignorance, hatred and greed which has manifested itself in a false teaching that has played a major part in beguiling black people into the positions we all-too-often find ourselves in today. Let’s see how Paul deals with false teaching for gain in scripture:
“For there are many, especially from the Circumcision faction, who are rebellious, who delude people’s minds with their worthless and misleading talk. They must be silenced; because they are upsetting entire households by teaching what they have no business teaching, and doing it for the sake of dishonest gain. Even one of the Cretans’ own prophets has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons”— and it’s true! For this reason, you must be severe when you rebuke those who have followed this false teaching, so that they will come to be sound in their trust and no longer pay attention to Judaistic myths or to the commands of people who reject the truth.
To all who are themselves pure, everything is pure. But to those who are defiled and without trust, nothing is pure—even their minds and consciences have been defiled. They claim to know God, but with their actions they deny him. They are detestable and disobedient; they have proved themselves unfit to do anything good.” Complete Jewish Bible (Titus 1:10–16).
I would describe the Muslim, Jewish and Christian interpretations of The Curse of ham as an example of “worthless and misleading talk” referred to in the scripture above in terms of it being a misleading reading of scripture which has been taught for over a millennia, and more than upsetting entire households, this teaching has disenfranchised and subjugated a whole race of people for that timeframe, and has negatively affected the way other races have interacted with us, giving rise to further sin and injustice upon black people, for example:
- The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade
- Exploitation of Africa
- Social stigma for being black
- Ghettoization of black people in the diaspora
- Black people feeling a lack of self-worth, a lack of education and opportunity making crime seem viable
- Over-criminalisation of petty crimes
- Criminalisation where no crime is present
- Social exclusion and limited
- The Prison Industrial Complex
- Institutional racism
- Black people refusing to accept that their is any truth in Christianity because of the example of Christians.
- Disenfranchisement of voting rights
- Poor health-care
- Poor schooling
- Being denied a voice
There has been plenty of dishonest gain yielded from slavery in the past, however the continued economic exploitation of Africa perpetuates this injustice and takes away the ability of Africa to thrive. We have witnesses that large foreign companies pay little or no tax for the resources that they take from African countries, so the means for Africa to support itself dwindles. This coupled with the wars often financed by foreign powers who sell or gives arms to create instability and makes Africa seem like it has no hope. Then foreign countries play the “good samaritan” by giving aid, overlooking the fact that they are giving with one hand only a fraction of what they exploit with the other.
I believe Africans, those in the land and in The Diaspora look on situations like this with despair, looking at our homeland, we are caught between a rock and a hard place.
One doesn’t have to have an outward system of apartheid if the system that has been established imbues bias intrinsically. People, morso in the past, but even in the present day have been arguing about an apology for slavery and even reparations. Is an apology repentance? Paying people money can’t bring back the slain, the lost lives, the lives that couldn’t meet their full potential. Money can’t undo the disruption to families, communities and societies, can never repair the paralysed civilisations that have never fully recovered from the brutality of colonialisation and slavery. Money can’t recover the wealth of nations cheated and exploited into subjugation and relentlessly dominated, money can never make up for the past that didn’t have a chance to be the way people of colour or would or could have lived it, without the nefarious intervention of outsiders bent on conquest and callous ruthlessness.
But this issue isn’t all one-sided and affecting only people of colour, because the knock on effects of the false teaching that led to the wicked institution of slavery (which hasn’t been repented of), are that the society that springs from this will forever contain the seed of that transgression, and by nature create a dysfunctional unnatural society that grows from it. Just like Pharoah, those that have led our world, the kings, queens, rulers, politicians, administrators, clergy, military and others, will not give up the people, they will not free people of colour from the yolk, they won’t set us free, they will not expose the truth, they will not practice justice, they won’t let the unjust gain go, they are hardened to a course of action that is wrong, but one day, what now apparently tastes now so sweet, will turn out to be very bitter indeed.
Look what is said about the Cretans’ in the scripture above “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons”, and how similar things have been said about black people in some quarters today, and especially historically. Paul who wrote this scripture says the people who say such things should be rebuked sharply, and we can take his example here as a pattern for how to respond to any misleading scriptural interpretation around erroneous stereotypes of people. The scripture goes on to talk about Judaistic myths, and again, I would say that the Two House/Ephraimite ideology is a Jewish myth clung to by some sections of the European church. The final part of this scripture reveals a stark truth, because people who know God know that we are all made in his image, the heart, righteousness, emotions, the mind, rational thinking; all that God created is good, black, white, and all shades in between – to the pure all things are pure. But, to the defiled, nothing is pure, they cannot see the goodness of God’s creation in other people, because they can’t see the goodness of God’s creation in themselves, yet they deceive themselves by claiming to know God, when their actions show something quite different.
Again, Paul writes about who the true believers war is against.
For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. Complete Jewish Bible (Eph 6:12)
As believers, we shouldn’t think that all is good in this world, and that we are trouble-free, we have to be on our guard. There is a war going on between the powers of good, and the powers of evil. Evil doesn’t have to kill your body to win a war, it only has to trick you, perhaps by enslaving your mind. Thus evil teachings that become cemented in the church, such as The Curse of Ham have had a far-reaching effect, and have served to build up a spiritual principality that has thrived on deceit and has built a society based on:
- Force and brutality
- Ignorance presented as knowledge
- Misplaced zeal
- Hatred based on external appearances and racial origin
- Grounds for exploitation based on the above
- Avarice, greed, land and resource grabbing
- False teachings and unrepentance
- Creating a social underclass
- Deceiving people to accept, explain away, or tolerate teachings which are a lie
Satan has many devices formed with the intention to prevent us from achieving our full potential, and I firmly believe racism is one of them, it is a device that defames God’s creation, fills one set of people with disillusionment, hurt and anger, and another set with unjustified pride.
From the perspective of people of colour we need an “African Reset”, for like a computer that has gone wrong, Africa has been running in an unstable way for many hundreds of years. We need a reboot to effectively reset our bearings and make progress, to pivot to a way of interpreting, reasoning, understanding and practice which correctly identifies the role of people of colour within this world, free of the constraints of ignorance and hate. This will involve things like:
- Re-assessing spiritual knowledge with self-determination and a mind for enlightenment, rather than being sheep destined for subjugation and control
- Unity and Pan-Africanism
- Legally challenging every usurping of African resource that can be challenged and taking ownership wherever possible
- Creating better laws to manage foreign ownership
- Finding sustainable solutions for the transition of foreign ownership to indigenous people
- Showing our plans for what we would do with wealth that is currently being taken away
- Fighting corruption in African societies without partiality or mercy
- Purging irreligious and satanic practice
- A new court system to arbitrate between nations and set the records straight so that all people can live with dignity
- Contextualising the past and the nefarious effects of economic, political, cultural and spiritual imperialism, and asserting an alternative view of history.
- Reject the cultural dominance of Europeans
- Reject economic and medical dependency on foreign systems
- Establishing better relations between black business & trade, educational and spiritual centres, creating our own network that values itself and assess value fairly, rather than be devalued end exploited, even if those networks are to some degree closed to the greater part of society
- Have a plan for the diaspora that wishes to return to Africa.
I will expand on these areas and outline a plan in part two of this essay. Rest assured when people of colour across the world actually wake up, when the scales are taken away from their eyes, when they learn anew the truth instead of believing a lie, things are gonna change! Spread the word and educate others.