Annals of Settler Colonialism: British Atrocities in Post-War Kenya

The anti-colonial movement in Kenya of the 1950s was mythologized by the British as a shadowy ‘Mau-Mau,’ an irrational outbreak of aimless hatred.

In fact, the movement was protesting the confinement of Kenyans to ‘reserves,’ their crowding into urban slums, the privileged position of white British settlers, and the latters’ plan to go on ruling over 6 million Africans with an iron fist.

Of the 15,000 Kenyans that the British summarily rounded up, many were tortured, castrated, and raped. On the basis of declassified colonial documents proving abuse, four Kenyan survivors sued the British government for reparations.

You wonder if the settler-colonial officials who ordered castration of freedom fighters were aware of its symbolic purport for their enterprise.

The over 400,000 Israeli settlers in the Palestinian West Bank are likewise convinced that backward Palestinians cannot rule themselves, and brand “terrorism” any organized opposition to the creeping theft of Palestinian land and water or the imposition of Apartheid on Palestinian villages. Just as the British succeeded in creating a myth of the irrational, fanatic “Mau-Mau,” so the Israelis have managed to convince the US public that it is the Palestinians who are being aggressive against Israel, rather than Israeli settlers encroaching on the Palestinians!

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