“Slavery is in and for itself injustice, for the essence of humanity is Freedom; but for this man must be matured. The gradual abolition of slavery is therefore wiser and more equitable than its sudden removal.” (Hegel, 157)
The racism in the excerpt from Hegel cannot be understated. It is written with this sense of having no doubts in his knowledge, even though it is clear he has attempted to learn nothing about the people of Africa. His judgement of African peoples against the supposed successes of those in the West make for an insulting and shallow explanation of the thousands of years of civilization in Africa.
The quote that I chose to start this post with seemed to really sum up just how little he saw in those of Africa. He argues that slavery is injustice and therefore immoral, but thought that this is only true for those from civilizations that he thinks are “matured”. Hegel’s version of “matured” is a civilization that is similar to/is a western nation.
After this slavery endorsing end to his summary of African people, Hegel ends all discussion of Africa there. Claiming a lack of “movement or development to exhibit” he decides there is nothing from Africa to speak of. I think the claim earlier in the excerpt about the north of Africa, and how it doesn’t really count as Africa just sums up how ridiculous his argument is. Those African nations “must be attached to Europe” because they are more like western nations and if those examples are included in Africa then his argument is void. Besides being incredibly racist, Hegel is academically dishonesty with his analysis.