Look at the picture below and see if you recognize the face – if you can’t, that’s King Leopold II of Belgium, the man that was just as bad as Adolf Hitler.
King Leopold II killed over 10 million Africans in Congo, but you won’t find this kind of information in history books. During his reign, he owned Congo and enslaved its people, eventually turning the whole country into his own personal slave plantation. His businesses were disguised as “philanthropic” and “scientific”, but in reality, he used enslaved labor to extract Congolese resources. His reign was characterized by labor camps, body mutilation and executions carried out by his own personal army.
However, all of this is hidden from the media – King Leopold’s name is never mentioned when talking about the genocide in Africa. Mark Twain wrote a satire about him named “King Leopold’s Soliloquy; A Defense of His Congo Rule”, in which he mocked the King’s defense of his reign of terror. The book is 49 pages long, but isn’t part of the educational system. Books such as Orwell’s Animal Farm serve to strengthen the anti-socialist propaganda, but Orwell supported the working class which is never pointed out. “King Leopold’s Soliloquy; A Defense of His Congo Rule” isn’t in the reading list of schools on purpose – the educational system strives to produce students who follow orders and endure boredom.
Talking about Africa, we know about the Apartheid, the HIV epidemic or caricatured Egypt. We are bombarded by pictures of starving children and safari and deserts every day, but no one took the time to explain King Leopold’s reign of terror in Congo and the millions of Africans he killed. The Congolese Genocide is on Wikipedia, but it doesn’t mention the country. The Democratic Republic of The Congo is only listed in relation to the Second Congo War, when an ethnic group called the Bambenga people were enslaved and cannibalized.
Cannibalism and slavery are evils that have no place on Earth. However, the only mention of the Congo on Wikipedia’s page was in reference to a small group of people who ate human meat, which definitely served someone’s purpose. White supremacist stories from Africa have entered the history books, but King Leopold, responsible for the death of 10 million Africans, isn’t present on the history pages.
Leopold served as an inspiration to white supremacists and was the source of all evil in Congo. He had soldiers and generals who terrorized the population, but no one recognizes it as controversial. As always, the victims of imperialism are invisible.