Sat | Feb 16, 2019

Religion & Culture | In my wildest dream - Reliving the death of John Allen Chau

Published:Sunday | January 13, 2019 | 12:00 AMDr Glenville Ashby
Dr Glenville Ashby
John Allen Chau
1
2

I hid under the covers, curled up in a fetal position, wrestling invading images and thoughts. On a cold, wintry night, my pillow was wet from beads of sweat.

In this tortured dream, I walked alongside John Allen Chau, a Christian missionary. I could feel his arrogance and read his mind, so determined he was to spread his faith to every corner of the world like his 'Good Book' dictates.

He knew that the natives were ravished by British colonial rape, depopulated to mere hundreds by slavery, diseases, and medical experiments. He knew that it was unlawful to set foot on the island, which is under Indian administrative jurisdiction, but he pressed on, 'in Jesus' name'.

I cringed in pain as he was put down, hapless, like a prey, a barrage of arrows piercing his body. He fell, his body dragged by semi-naked, barefoot, black-skinned men with bows and arrows. They disappeared into the interior. I was on North Sentinel Island.

And there I was taken up by swirling winds, and from above, I was witness to history and saw large ships docking on tropical shores. And from these vessels were men wearing clothes of a different time. They came, bearing gifts. With them was a man draped in white, holding a book close to his bosom.

And I was taken up again by tornado-like winds and I saw unimaginable horrors. There were scars on the backs of black skins, castrated bodies hanging from trees, infinite toiling, rape, and torture. And I saw villages vanishing before my eyes and entire people wiped out by diseases and labour.

And present was that man with a book close to the bosom. And I travelled through time. And I saw black skins of lighter shades, and they wore clothes of their oppressors. And I saw solemn marches scattered by attack dogs and fire hoses, all amid entreaties for equality. But equality was given only on paper.

And there was a man, a brilliant orator, a civil rights icon who spoke of love and integration but frustrated, began to demand reparations. In his last speech, he belted out, "We are coming to Washington to get our cheque!" This was a radical shift. He was murdered two weeks later in Memphis. That speech was swept under the rug.

And the people I saw were spineless. From mighty politicians to commoners, from the filthy rich to the pauper, they were afraid to articulate an agenda for self-determination. And I read their minds, all seeking validation from the power structure, all seeking acceptance and love from everyone else but their own. So afraid they were to ruffle feathers.

How dare they bite the hand that feeds? And that Book was ever there, now clutched even tighter by the once enslaved. And a voice spoke into my ear: "Enslavement of the mind is far worse."

And I was told: "Admirable is he who holds dignity and honour before titles and riches." And I understood the voice was praising the Sentinelese people.

And I gleaned pages from the Book that the Sentinelese would rather die than read. And I saw: "My Kingdom is not of this World."

I also saw: "For unto you, it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for his sake," and, "It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven," and "Turn the other cheek."

And I understood the source of our beguilement.

And before me was another book titled, Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Dr Joy DeGruy. It reads: "We are a just and forgiving people. Despite the relentless oppression ... there is no large-scale, organised, retaliatory 'terrorism' fuelled by hatred and a need for revenge ... we are a spiritual, loving, and hopeful people."

Immediately, I parted ways with the good doctor, for I saw what made us so forgiving, so boot licking, against better judgement.

And in this dream I saw that Book for what it is. It is the hub around which the power structure is created, moulding the mind into meekness, subservience, subtly infecting us with the virus of colourism and self-hatred.

That's what a white saviour does to the black unconscious. Four hundred years of systematic conditioning. And I saw written in bold: "Black Psychopathology".

And I was swept, even higher and I saw a different people decimated, millions killed but they were not infected by the Book, so they never forgot their pain and never forgave their oppressor, and never did they turn the other cheek.

An eye for an eye, they hold sacred. And I saw Simon Wiesenthal, the famous Nazi hunter. Every Nazi was hunted down and brought to justice. Every last one. No forgiveness. And these people now dominate, reaping rewards in this life. Never were they infected with that Book.

They tirelessly resisted its delusions and false promises. And they rose mightily from the slaughter houses, more powerful that ever imagined. Unfortunately, we took the bait.

And I awoke, confounded, petrified, but not before seeing, one last time, the body of the deluded, narcissistic, arrogant Christian missionary, and mixed feelings came over me. I felt sadness, not for the dead man, but for the spirit of resistance that long died in us. And for a moment I sensed the invigoration of the Sentinelese people, their satisfaction, for having stood their ground to defend their people ... by any means necessary.

- Dr Glenville Ashby is the author of the award-winning audiobook, Anam Cara: Your Soul Friend and Bridge to Enlightenment and Creativity. Feedback: glenvilleshby@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter@glenvilleashby