He was popular among white folk, who went up to 1906 to see him. The New York Times published a story about a young African man on September 9, 1906, who had been housed in the monkey house in New York 's largest zoo. The article called him a "pygmy" and they used the headline "Bushman Shares a Cage with Bronx Park Apes" The paper reported that over 500 white people gathered with their children at Benga that day to laugh and jeer. Reports say he was 23 but still has a child's body
The September 9 trip was a success for the zookeepers because they had big participation. They expected the next ones to be bigger so they moved the guy to a much bigger cage where he was joined by an orangutan named Dohang. While the audience assembled, he remained still, making him jest, and stared at them in awe. He 's curious about how people might find it so unfair to take him home and treat him like an animal.
More than 220,000 people were reported to visit Benga in the Zoo by the end of September 1906. Many would wonder what it was like to grab a little boy and interrupt him in their proper moral sense. However, no matter how wonders you are, White America can always be supposed to be without consciousness or spirit. Ota Benga 's cruel and satanic show started to spread across the world. But the Caucasian community welcomed it as planned, while a vast number of Black politicians, academics, and individuals were angry that a Black guy should be put in a cage of animals.
On the afternoon of the 10th of September 1906, some Blacks ministers gathered for an emergency meeting in Harlem 's Mount Olivet Baptists Church. This was led by then-influential Reverend James H Gordon, nicknamed "one of the Brooklyn Eagles' most eloquent Negroes in the world." After a few sentences, he and the other ministers proceeded to the train station, boarded a train and headed to the Bronx Zoo, where Benga was imprisoned with animals. Upon arrival, they find Benga with the Orangutan, Dohang, in the enclosure.
We tried to connect with him, but he was not in a mood to speak to us or to respond. He kept a sad face and glared only at them.It annoyed them more and more. He met with the zoos, and Gordon said that he had smoked so much. "We are sufficiently saddened to say that we do not like this display from one of the monkeys of the species, and our society, we think, is sufficiently sad, without an ape showing one of us.
However, for the Zoo authorities, the ministers said nothing was relevant. William Temple Hornaday, the zoo director, and curator, courageously defended her actions and said that it was based on a report. "I just find the display to be an ethnological exhibit," he said. He said. He stubbornly maintained that his dehumanization of Benga was in keeping with the typical African "human shows" that took place in Europe, evoking the undeniable role of the continent as the paragon of culture and civilization on earth.
The Ministers made their grievances and disappointments more difficult, but Hornaday was unrepentant. He He announced the presentation would continue until it had been requested by the Zoological Society to stop. He realized he had the Zoological Society's backing and other highly appointed government officials and there was no way they could force him to leave. He was the President's best friend then, Theodore Roosevelt.
The ministers later that day refused to release young Benga, so they left in anger and promised to file a case for Benga at the New York Mayor's office. But what they didn't say was that no White-America felt guilty about seeing a black boy in a cage. That's why when New York Times staff learned what the ministers were doing, they got upset and released an immoral letter — something a media house shouldn't be doing.
The New York Times published the following: "We don't really understand all the feelings about the matter that others have had," the paper said in an anonymous editorial. "To our understanding, Ota Benga is a typical specimen of his race or tribe, with a brain as mature as its other members.Whether they are considered specimens of delayed growth and closer to the anthropoid apes than the other African savages or are considered degenerate descendants of ordinary Negroes, they are of equal interest to the student of ethnology and can be studied with profit. "They said it was hard to imagine the suffering or humiliation of Benga." Pygmies are very low on a human scale and the suggestion that Benga should be in a school rather than a cage ignores the high likelihood that school would be a place of torture for him ... The idea that people are all alike because they had or missed chances of getting an education about books is now far outdated.
In the same year 1906, September 16, the zookeepers freed Benga from his cage and made him wander around the zoo. The rangers had been watching him and keeping an eye on him. To the young, and unhappy Benga, the day was overwhelming. That day about 40,000 people were at the park and they all watched Benga wherever he went. They 'd circle, poke, and smash him. He kicked some of the people in the crowd during one point when the crowd appeared to intimidate him. Three men had struggled to hold him down before returning him to the monkey cage.
In a letter of protest on Monday 17 September 1906, the zookeeper, Hornaday, wrote: "I regret saying that Ota Benga has been very unmanageable," he wrote. "He's been too overwhelmingly abused in the papers, and so much in the public domain, we shouldn't be punishing him; because if we do, we'll immediately be charged with abuse, harassment, etc., etc. I'm sure you'll understand that. 'Hornaday complained that' the kid's doing whatever he wants, so it's really hard to handle him. He showed consternation that if they wanted to get him back to the room of the monkeys' Benga threatened to bite the keepers. Star-attraction Hornaday had been a liability. "I don't see any way out of the matter," he wrote, "except it should take him away."
The strain was starting to mount in the zoo around the Benga area. Many people believed the zoo was charging money to encourage the boy to gain access to the enclosure. So, an investigator was sent out from the town controller 's office on September 26. He results clarified that he was meant to be safe at Benga. Further newspaper stories also decried Benga's use as an animal exhibit. And Benga himself and whoever came near to him began battling through it. He 'd kick and punch, then use a knife to frighten the keepers once.
The Zoo curator and keeper released him on September 28, 1906, despite further street protests and newspaper stories crying out against Benga 's plight. He was suddenly, without warning, dropped from the media. Minister Gordon had moved him to an orphanage in Weeksville, Brooklyn. The orphanage was called Howard Colored Orphan Asylum, and the minister himself ran it.
Gordon gave Benga a room to himself and he had the freedom to do whatever he wanted. Gordon said in an interview, "He seems like a very dwarfed kid with extraordinary friendliness and interest ... So that is our strategy: we 're trying to treat him like a visitor. We've given him a room for himself that he could smoke if he wanted to." They thought of him as speaking English so he understood the days.
Gordon sent Benga to a Theological Seminary and College in Lynchburg, Virginia, having spent six years in the orphanage. The school was an all-Black institution that took Blacks into account all the White Theology schools had neglected to teach them. Benga rose, along with the community. He would lead the young boys into the surrounding forest on several occasions to teach them how to do bows and arrows and hunting. He appeared relaxed but retreated as the weeks progressed. He felt depressed and still was dreaming about moving back there. He 'd make an immense pit, dance there, sing his native songs and weep in sorrow.
From rage on March 19, 1916, he left the house, sneaked into a broken gray shed across his house, and stayed over there. He took a gun he had held earlier in the morning and shot himself in the back.
In America, the crimes against the Black Man are still too thick on the conscience to let go of. We've always wondered why people should treat fellow human beings like this, but we've found this to be mental conditioning.
The White people have been told this they are bigger than the Black race. And the knowledge comes from the pinnacle of society — the king, the bishops, the physicians, the scholars who brought forth all manner of theories to prove the sub-humanity of the black guy. Therefore the world was then ripe for the Black man 's oppression and degradation after years and decades of preparing the White man for bigotry and Black man's subjugation. Killers, thieves, looters, and terrorists were helped by the governments of Europe and America, thereby besieging Africa and every other ancestral Black region in the world.
And when the men who would feel any guilt were busy abusing, murdering, and damaging the old Black families, they felt there was nothing. Of course who feels remorse killing an animal-man? Nobody. Religions and philosophies are opposed to slavery. Their slavery was allowed by Allah. This has been supported by their fathers and leading figures. And their wickedness was justified in the eyes of Heaven and man.
Source: Liberty Writers Africa.
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