The arrogance of Western elites should never be underestimated, and this is especially true of their vision for affecting change in the developing world. While they decry as ethnocentric the beliefs of many patriotic Americans—they are uncomfortable with those who see America as the greatest country on earth—they themselves exhibit an astonishingly ethnocentric bias by foisting Western ideas of sexuality on non-Western, non-white, nations.
That is the theme of a brilliant new book, Target Africa, by Obianuju Ekeocha, a Nigerian biomedical scientist who works in the United Kingdom. She is the founder of Culture of Life Africa, an organization that promotes traditional moral values, including a respect for the human dignity of the unborn.
Like most books, the subtitle more accurately describes the thesis: “Ideological Neocolonialism in the Twenty-First Century” is her focus.
When Europeans colonized Africa, most Africans showed them much deference; they learned to “look up to the White Man.” Now Africans are dealing with a new variant of colonialism: Neocolonialism has less to do with explorers and traders than with cultural imperialists.
Who are these people? The do-gooders. Liberal elites from North America and Europe, armed with foundation money and research papers, have invaded Africa, projecting their secular values on to an unwilling populace. To be exact, they are trying to jam their anti-Christian notions of sexuality down the throats of Africans.
As Ekeocha details, these elites are the real masters of ethnocentrism. Every corrupt idea about family planning, marriage, and sexual expression that the West has entertained is being sold to Africans—it really is being imposed—as if it were the key to happiness and prosperity. It is neither.
Bill Gates’ wife, Melinda, is one of the key global elites working to persuade Africans to adopt Western sexual values. The Ford Foundation, which funds the anti-Catholic American group, Catholics for Choice, is also interfering in African affairs. George Soros, of course, is involved, mainly through his Open Society Foundation.
The Canadians, the British, the French, the Danes, the Swedes, the Germans, the Norwegians—they all have their hands in the cultural crevices of Africa. One of their most conspicuous traits, as Ekeocha points out, is their condescending attitude: The White Man, this time sporting a liberal agenda, knows best.
How do these global elites get their way? Money. Every dime they give through international organizations and governmental agencies comes with strings attached. Do it our way and you get the cash. Do it your way and you’re on your own.
What is their way? A pro-contraception, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual platform, one right out of the playbook of radical feminists and radical gays. By hosting international conferences, inviting nothing but the most “progressive” scholars and scientists, the neocolonial masters make sure that Africa cannot decide its own fate. That will be done for them in New York and London.
The do-gooders are obsessed with African fertility rates. “Family planning” to the Planned Parenthood crowd means less children, the first weapon being contraception. Ekeocha objects on moral and scientific grounds.
Who appointed these white liberal global elitists to make such decisions for Africans? As Ekeocha sees it, “Western nations, organizations, and foundations wage war against the bodies of African women.” She also objects to the shoddy scholarship used to justify this cultural invasion.
She cites the example of an English television personality who said the reason why Ethiopia suffers from famines is too many people living on too little land. But the population density of Great Britain, she notes, is more than three times the population density of Ethiopia. “So how can anyone living there tell the Ethiopians to control their ‘wild’ reproduction rate or forever face the scourge of famine?” Moreover, population decline is a problem in America and Europe, and a major one in Japan.
If Ekeocha’s convictions were not representative of most Africans, she could be dismissed as holding to a minority view. But if anything, she is an accurate barometer of the cultural views held by the large majority of African men and women, making plain why so many Africans object to their neocolonial masters. What makes this so outrageous is the boasting by Western elites of their tolerance for diversity. That they have no tolerance for the traditional moral values of Africans is incontestable.
What right do global potentates have to “liberate” African women from their fertility? “I can say with certainty,” writes Ekeocha, “that Africans love babies.” To the chagrin of liberal elites, they do not ascribe to the morally debased views of Cosmopolitan. Why not? “With most African women faithfully practicing and adhering to a faith (mainly Christianity or, in some cases, Muslim), there is a high regard for the sexual act as a sacred and private trust between a husband and a wife.” Not so in the West, she rightly observes, where the “trivialization of sex” is the rule.
Ekeocha buttresses her argument by relaying what happened at a 2014 African conference on family planning sponsored by the Gates Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, several U.N. bodies, and other international elites. Needless to say, they promoted hedonism.
Here is how Ekeocha put it. “These wealthy prestigious organizations gathered in our capital [Abuja, Nigeria] with their conference in order to disparage our widely held cultural and religious views on life, love, marriage, and family. Their campaigns represented nothing less than an attack on the natural modesty and innocence of our vulnerable and impressionable young people.” The conference, she explains, “was convened at the behest of the cultural imperialists who consider themselves our ‘betters.'”
These same arrogant organizations are pushing the Western idea of sex education in African schools. That means an emphasis on pleasure absent any reference to marriage. These sexperts are single-mindedly pursuing children, hoping the boys and girls will experiment at their young age. It never occurs to these busy bodies that they are sticking their noses into a society that rejects their idea of sexuality.
A 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center found that most Africans hold to conservative views on abortion, contraception, premarital sex, homosexuality, and divorce. The cock-sure elites think these poor Africans need to be enlightened, and that is why they persist in imposing Western standards on them. As Ekeocha puts it, the global do-gooders “want to circumvent African parents in order to indoctrinate their children.”
Progress against the spread of HIV-AIDS has been made in many parts of the world, though it remains a problem in much of Africa. What do the elites think the answer is? Condoms, of course. As usual, they are wrong.
No nation in Africa distributes more condoms than South Africa; it has the world’s largest condom plant. No nation in Africa has rejected this approach more than Uganda: it adopted a program that emphasizes abstinence before marriage, faithfulness in marriage or to one partner, and condoms as a last resort. Guess which nation is among the worst in combating AIDS and which is among the best? No matter, Western elites still push the condom model.
When Pew Research Center asked Africans about abortion, they found that the vast majority—80 to 90 percent—were opposed to it. “For us,” writes Ekeocha, “abortion, which is the direct killing of little ones in the womb, is a direct attack on innocent human life.”
In Africa, parents often give names to their children that reflect their idea of life. Chinwendu is a common name: it means “God owns life.” Chijindu means “God sustains life.” Ndubueze refers to “Life is supreme.” Ndudi means “There is life.” Not exactly what Americans do. Instead, we find it adorable that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West named their son North West.
This is an uphill battle for Africans. The Dutch and the Scandinavians, in particular, are bent on promoting the wonders of abortion. Ekeocha knows what needs to be done. “If Western leaders can speak so unabashedly about the right to abortion, as if they are proud of the killing of their unborn, with matching confidence African leaders should speak about the dignity of the unborn child and his right not to be killed.”
Western nations are obsessed with homosexuality—they can’t celebrate it enough—but to Africans, this is a sick agenda. They value marriage as it was intended, namely, as a union between a man and a woman. For them, “male” and “female” are not fluid concepts—they reflect human nature.
When President Obama visited Senegal in 2013, he could have addressed many problems in Africa, yet he ignored them in favor of promoting acceptance of homosexuality. Ekeocha wrote him a letter explaining her disappointment. Here is an excerpt of what she said.
“What if our African values and religious beliefs teach us to elevate the highest good of the family above sexual gratification? What if African society is naturally wired to value the awesome wonder of natural conception and birth of children within the loving embrace of marriage? What if the greatest consolation of the African child is the experience of being raised by both a mother and a father?”
Ekeocha also takes umbrage with those who call people like her bigots. “But am I a hater for believing that a child should not be subjected to fatherlessness by the choice of two women? Am I a bigot for thinking it is wrong for homosexuals to exploit poor women through surrogacy? Am I a homophobe for seeing the biological fact that a procreative marital act can be accomplished only by a man and a woman? No, I am none of these things. Neither I nor anyone in my sphere of family or friends would ever condone or perpetrate an attack on a homosexual.”
Everything she says is true and eminently defensible. Unfortunately, most of those inclined to agree with her—this is certainly true in America—lack her courage.
Though Ekeocha doesn’t address multiculturalism in Western schools and colleges, much of what she says takes direct aim at it.
Multiculturalism touts the notion that all civilizations are equal, contending that we should respect every culture, independent of its norms and values. Here’s the irony: both of these positions, which are dear to the hearts of Western elites, are historically indefensible. Paradoxically, the brainy ones violate their own tenets with regularity.
Noted historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. maintains that what has distinguished Western civilization from the rest of the world are “those liberating ideas of individual liberty, political democracy, rule of law, human rights, and cultural freedom.” That is our legacy. “These are European ideas, not Asian, nor African, nor Middle Eastern ideas, except by adoption.” (His italic.) Western civilization is indeed superior to other civilizations.
It is equally absurd to say that we should respect all cultures. That would mean respecting those that practice infanticide and wife beating with impunity.
So the smug elites who foster the multicultural agenda are wrong on both counts. Yet, as Ekeocha makes clear, it is they who think they have some preordained right to impose their morally debased notions of life and sexuality on the entire continent of Africa. Thus do they flagrantly violate their own precepts.