My dream for years has been to develop, one day ,somewhere, a global platform for multicultural restorative justice and peace with an enriching and inspiring interfaith mission and foundation. That is why I feel blessed to have the privilege to come and experience Mauritius at this time in my life after enjoying such a long enriching global career indeed still growing.
At this point in the history of the nation, Africa, Asia, and the world as a whole,we human beings are in desperate need for a global place for multicultural restorative justice and peace best practices encouragement, designing,monitoring,and transplanting. Why can’t Mauritius become that global capital of justice and peacemaking in our crystallizing 21st century world , indeed, for well beyond? It is a question to not only ponder but to act proactively on given the nation’s pivotal geopolitical location as a knowledge economy based between both continents as an ambitious emerging major African multiethnic/religious democracy.
The Present Crumbling of White Supremacy in Global Affairs
Nations and their restorative justice institutions and communities we thought would be such sustainable venues of global peacemaking –Botswana, Canada,Ethiopia,Rwanda, South Africa, Switzerland,Tanzania, and United States , have at best achieved partially and in other respects , have failed miserably in this most vital global role in these emerging century years. Their partial successes and utter failures are rooted in the same thing.
Namely, I am referring to the Eurocentric or more commonly called White Supremacy presumptions and more conscience norms and values. Their undergirding of current dominant global justice and peace paradigms of the West and westernized East and South fall well short of what holistic restorative justice must be to authentically transform societies dehumanized through the invention of race and its synchronisms with other dehumanizing human constructed statuses such as age, economic class, disability, gender, nationality, religion and tribe.
This is because in the 18th- 20th century world European imperialists made to dominate and exploit those they colonized and reduced down to mythological inferior races any justice and peace perspective, was designed in their interests.So reforms to better the conditions of agricultural or urban colonial workers bubbling up from grass roots movements or trickling down as policies were designed to maintain the status quo though with some degree of marginal crumbs tossing structural adjustment.
We even saw this happening in Mauritius as part of the story of the origins of the Labour Party in the 1930s to 1960s and its fight for ordinary workers met by colonial and economic elites giving in here and there incrementally always at the end of the day on their terms. It is a microcosm of what it has been like in a world for centuries where those of European descent all over the world have addressed justice and peace issues only for their own interests. The rise and quick fall of Black Reconstruction in the late 19th Century U.S.; the Whitening Slavery Abolition Policies in Brazil , the Imperialist designs of the post-World War I Treaty of Versailles and the formation of the League of Nations and later the United Nations were all supposed to promote justice and peace in terms perpetuating White authority and producing the sustained marginality of non-whites . In terms of global justice and peace international infrastructure efforts embedded in White Supremacy presumptions we have experienced how European nations and the United States have at will broke institutional rules and sided with their White nations allies.Though , for instance,in the 1930s , Mussolini’s Italy and Selassie’ s Ethiopia both belonged to the League of Nations, the former was allowed to attack the later.
In more recent times, the United Nations ignoring the 1994 Rwanda Genocide and allowing the American government to attack and destabilize Iraq and Libya with the backing of their European allies are as well illustrations of how much global justice and peace issues are too often driven by Eurocentric unilateral interests.
Meanwhile ,faulty western global knowledge continues to downspiral all of us in dangerous ways while the world cries for the decolonization of understanding how the world really is in all voices. For instance,when the Arab Spring uprising in Egypt and the bloodless couple which ousted Zimbabwe’s Robert Magube caught Western elites off guard their most distinguished pundits confessed the limitations of ( White Supremacy) paradigms.And same for their puzzlement over the defeat of the French and then the Americans in Vietnam and the defeat of the British, Russians, and now Americans in Afghanistan. And now the western public health inability to explain why COVID-19 pandemic registers lower in many areas of Africa and Asia than in Europe and North America or their reluctance to admit more fully non- westerners have indigenous solutions they should be listening to and adapting with public acknowledgement.
As long as this White Supremacy hegemony in global justice and peace endeavors are in place we will have increasing conflictual and other misunderstanding problems given the South to North and West to East geopolitical shifts. This is because though gradual in some ways and rapid in others the shifts symbolize the crumbling of Eurocentric White Supremacy cognitive styles and economic power and privilege and the emergence of African and Asian power and privilege with growing cultural and economic influences. In regards to cultural influences the recent opening of Tsinghua University’s Schwarzman Scholars School which is much larger than the Anglo Saxon Rhodes Scholar Program we see the global spread of Chinese and Indian hardware and software and fashion brands as well as foodstuffs and life philosophies.
Similar to historical relationships among the White dominated continental regions of the world – Australia, New Zealand,Europe, Canada/ USA in North America , and Central/South America we are now finding Africans and Asians searching for strong alliances on numerous critical fronts bound to get stronger as the years roll forward.
African/Asian Justice and Peace: Key Principles
In this emerging constellation of African/ African alliances, there must be a venue constructed and sustained, while changing effectively with future times, to become globally renowned for world justice, and peace.And it must be centered in a deep interfaith spiritual and religious compass which also includes the faith of those who are of the highest moral integrity who do not belong to an institutional faith but respects all positive faiths.
This is because no matter what or who we believe in, external to us and to our humanity we are all spiritual beings on human journeys. As a critically important needed improvement over state oriented Eurocentric models of peace making which disconnect from spiritual and religious considerations ( with faith institutions and spiritual approaches taking on more informal roles and positions), African and Asian justice and peace models will root their best practices models in spiritual and religious considerations to bring together individuals, institutions, communities, societies, and global region leaders together to do justice and peacemaking.
It is critical to say justice and peace not the liberal and neoliberal Eurocentric convention of peace and justice in African/ Asian modeling. Africans/Diasporas and Asians/Diasporas as ex-colonized and otherwise people marginalized and excluded from historical structures of Eurocentric power and privilege should know of all peoples the cosmetic and failed consequences of getting peace while the structures of wealth distribution and social, cultural, and political domination don’t change significantly. What may change ,which is toothless tokenism rather than authentic transformation, is the expansion of opportunity structures for well assimilated ex-colonials and racialized minorities to sit at the master’s table as long as they go along with the master’s agenda.
The world of our future as global human beings much change for the betterment and empowerment of all or what I call developmental empowerment. Developmental empowerment as proposed African/ Asian justice and peace models would dramatically shift us from Eurocentric notions of democracy in practice have been for the elite handful and tyranny, marginality, stigma, and exclusion for the majority to democracies authentically transparent and inclusive of all citizens thus with all enjoying their human rights.All citizens must be respected and treated like decent human beings socially and culturally rather than just in flowering words of a constitution with a written though not holistically practiced rule of law.
The African/ Asian justice and peace models would break from the free world/ unfree world binary paradigm of global affairs which is the product of the American and Western response to the post-World War I Bolshevik Revolution which would sow the seeds for the post-World War II Cold War. Democracy in the African/ Asian framework means the recognition and practice of all human rights rather than the type of constitutional governance. This is an important observation to make as we Americans are finally being forced to admit as we did in the 1950s and 1960s Black human rights movements and even more so ,in 2020, that we have serious human rights violation problems similar to the countries we have enjoyed pointing fingers at just because they don’t share American and otherwise western governance styles.
The reason why so many African, Middle Eastern , Latin and Central American, Caribbean ,and Southeast Asian countries are in such shambles is due to the billions of dollars Western countries , global finance institutions, and world development measurement corporations have spent since the 1960s, trying to force non-Western countries and regions into their governance style images as well in their styles of doing peacemaking. African/ Asian peace and justice models with emerging illustrations on both continents have the potential of moving beyond the free world/ non-free world artificially constructed global scheme as an emerging South way of making the evolving world much more developmentally empowering for every one no matter of the governance structure of the nation in which they reside. This builds on the idea of BRICS but in a much more expansive way in including other African , Asian, and Latin American countries with indigenous and otherwise non-western financial backing rather than from western financial interests.
African/ Asian justice and peace models would discard the 20th century word ” international ” and replace it with “global.”The word international invokes a legal definition regarding relations between sovereign states and their citizens thus ignoring stateless peoples and those who simply live in more than one nation historically and especially in the 21st century.And the word international side steps and thus avoids discussion of European descent colonial and anti-colonial imposition of boundaries and borders of the colonized in Africa/Diasporas and Asia/ Diasporas splitting up and causing perpetual regional problems among cultural groups belonging to the same populations but forced into different artificially designed sovereign states
We can sit here and think about the slicing up of original Rwanda by the Belgians and Germans giving some land and people to the Congo , Burundi , Tanzania, and Uganda.Or the British and French carving up of what became West Africa. Or what the British did in slicing up and off South Asia and along with the French Southeast Asia and the American dividing North from South Korea and same with Vietnam. Lest we forget we have with us the now perpetual Israeli- Palestine conflict a child of one of the first actions of the Western Super Power dominated U N. Security Council.
Therefore ,the word global would be preferred rather than international in any African/ Asian justice and peace model. It discards a reminder of the crumbling White Supremacy order . The word global injects needed complexities, paradoxes, and contradictions in understanding how we all live our lives with or without borders and boundaries.It also conjures up impartiality in letting us all tell our stories of where we are from and how we arrived involuntarily and voluntarily and where we are presently, where in the future we may be going.
My final point is how African/Asian justice and peace modeling would best be grounded in holistic restorative justice processes. Restorative justice as a transparency driven mutual accountability engagement justice and peacemaking process involving both perpetrators and victims is an ancient tradition found within numerous indigenous non-European descendant cultures around the world.
In three ways, restorative justice was popularized and began to move into Eurocentric transitional justice policy making mainstream practice through South African Bishop Desmond TuTu’s early 1990s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
First , through the design and utilization of Truth and Reconciliation models in post- conflict nations and regions.
Second, through all levels of government and civil societies and local communities stressing one or more steps in what is supposed to be , as I have extensively written about elsewhere,a comprehensive holistic such as historical memory, confession, apology ( repentance) , forgiveness, reparations, reconciliation, or unity.
Third, usually as seen utilized in American criminal justice systems, victim rights are the usual focus in the first two perspectives or as stand alone perspectives.
The usual fragmentation of restorative justice processes gravely limits if not destroys capacity to be authentic transformation experiences embedded in the transparency rights and responsibilities of perpetrators and victims. Such engagement processes when fragmented become at best symbolic political gestures well meaning or not rather than leading to the restoration of the humanity of both perpetrating and victimized populations and thus of entire societies and their institutions and communities.
Major fragmented and ineffectual restorative justice practices examples would be government or civil society such as faith communities and universities apologies or reparations ( monetary or structural access and upward mobility) to historical victimized groups or deporting or jailing or executing perpetrators. Since these fragment policies are steps in holistic restorative justice torn out of contextual sequence appropriate engagement preparation and for empathetic awareness for perpetrator and victim perspectives does not occur.
This breeds resentment and conflict rather than mutual empathy essential for unity to occur.It is why, for instance, affirmative action policies for lower castes in India
for historical racially oppressed populations in Brazil, Great Britain, South Africa, and United States ,and for former racialized dominant populations as in Rwanda have mixed to negative images , dynamics, and outcomes. They are state or civil society or corporate sponsored reparations policies without the previous steps to generate mutual transparency and empathetic awareness in both historical perpetrator and victim populations.
African/Asian justice and peace making models will be embedded in holistic restorative justice steps I call multicultural restorative justice. Though costly, labor intensive, and emotionally grueling, multicultural holistic restorative justice engagement processes create sustaining unity as the final outcome centered in life long intercultural opening values and identities of former perpetrator and victim populations. Real justice and real peace rather than cosmetic justice and cosmetic peace is what the world around us so sorely needs and can achieve through African/ Asian multicultural restorative justice models which authentically create and sustain justice and peace.
We are moving on this Africa/ Asia justice and peace initiative now now .We are seeking global partners on both continents and elsewhere to join us committed to our vision of a future authentic all inclusive developmental empowerment approach to post-White Supremacy justice and peace. That is those who understand globalization is not ending; it is changing demographic and geopolitical hands which must endeavor to work for holistic multicultural restorative justice and peace for all not a few of us. This is especially the case given the fact we may be facing soon post US Trump and post UK Johnson and post European Union as well as post South Africa Ramaphosa worlds in need of assistance from our global African/ Asian multicultural restorative justice venue to turn to for unprecedented authentic efforts to build sustaining multicultural democracies rather than solely cosmetic ones being aggressively exposed and challenged with need for best practices knowledge our global venue will be in the position to offer.Yes, as an anomaly in the crumbling White Supremacy global affairs paradigm thus not seen or acknowledged if seen by its iconic pundits,the South and the East assisting the North and West in their multicultural restorative justice developmental empowerment is a probability which perchance will become the leading global affairs master narrative of the next decade or two.
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