Before I even start this month’s reflections, I feel I should apologise to those who may be upset by what I am about to write. You see, I have come to accept that the more the truth, the more likely it will upset. So if you can’t handle the truth, you may want to stop reading right here. By Akua Djanie.
I am not racist. I simply believe in empowering and promoting Africa. Yet if you do this, the world demonises, labels you all sorts and tries its best to discredit you. Just look at what happened to former Libyan President al-Gathafi. Look at how Robert Mugabe is vilified. The man has his flaws (don’t we all). However, his vilification in the western media has nothing to do with his flaws as an African president, but more to do with his stance towards the western world: “You can’t tell me what to do; you can’t come and take my land; you keep your Britain and let me keep my Zimbabwe”, he has famously told the West on many occasions. And if the West hates one thing, it’s a black person who they can’t control. A fearless African is a real headache to the West. Why should this be the case? What is it that makes one group of people believe they have superiority over others? In all human history, it’s white people who feel they have the right to take and destroy. From Australia to America to Africa, history clearly shows how white people came to steal land, resources and people.
I am not racist when I say it. It’s a historical fact. And if people are truthful enough to themselves, they will admit it. Yet, people have a huge problem when I cite history! I am not making these things up. It’s not a lie I have made up when I say the missionaries came to Africa with Bibles to tell us that our ways were primitive. Yet these were the ways that helped our ancestors build pyramids, for example. Before the Bible arrived on our shores, we were merchants, astrologers, medicine men etc. Today we just quote the Bible more than our own ways. Just look at us today, what are we building? Even with toilets in our homes, we wait for a foreign NGO to come and build them for us.
Slavery is still on
I am not racist when I say Africans in Africa should be running their own affairs. If we were not capable of doing anything for ourselves, we wouldn’t have been enslaved to go and do it for others. Seriously. Just take a breather here, and think about it. Would you employ a stupid person? Of course not. Africans were not stupid people before slavery. The colonisers came, saw our strength and achievements and rather than employ us on an equal basis, used guns to overpower us into working for them for free.
I am not racist when I say slavery is still going on in Africa today. Sadly, some Africans are very much part and parcel of it. Let me cite you an example. I recently did a job for someone, a foreigner in Ghana. A month after payment was due, things got rather ugly when rather than even pacify me over not fulfilling his end of the bargain, the person rather decided to insult me! Now, this is somebody who’s well known in Ghana for being rude to all his Ghanaian employees. I have seen this man interact with foreigners and I have seen him interact with Ghanaians…huge difference. It’s not unusual for this man to insult his workers. Staff at the company are overworked and when the salary is eventually paid, it’s late and little. Indeed my observation of the situation at the company is that the workers have been abused into submission. Visit the company and the Ghanaian staff are like zombies. So imagine my surprise when rather than be happy somebody had faced their boss, these same workers cowered! And this made me realise just how easy it must have been for my ancestors to have been enslaved. Because if I had said to these workers, ‘’Listen, you’re maltreated. Just for one day, go on strike’’, these same workers would have been the ones to go and report me to the boss, the ‘’Massa’’! That is how slavery came about. The colonisers came in, initially as friends. I am sure by the time they had dealt with the people, the majority were so submissive they could manipulate them to their advantage.
Do black lives really matter?
I am not racist when I say the world couldn’t care less about black lives. Again let me cite an example. My then 18-year-old son and his friend were set upon by a gang of white youths in Dartford, UK. I was so livid, I posted on Facebook asking why whites continue to maltreat us in Europe and America whilst we treat them like gods in Africa. I asked, how would white people feel if every day the police in Africa killed their men. How would
a white mother feel if her white son was just minding his business, going to school in Africa and a group of black boys attacked him? I asked, should Africa continue treating whites nicely in Africa when we in Europe and America are abused and killed daily. You see, the world has been so whitened that even black people find it unacceptable to question white supremacy. And if you dare question white supremacy, be ready to face the backlash.
Black people have been so abused into submission that many feel it’s ok and avoid rocking the boat. Because the truth is, if black people were treating white people the way white people treat black people, there’s no way white people would allow it. No way! For every white life lost, white people would make sure a black life too was taken. From the days of public lynchings of black men who dared to look at a white woman to today’s lynchings by American police, black people have not retaliated. And if a black person even hints at such a thing, I am sad to say, it’s their very own black person who will have issues with this. Let something bad happen, for example a white boy shooting cinemagoers, and black people will be up in arms, supporting. Now, let the police shoot a black boy, and the white community stays mum. This I know from my own group of friends. My black friends, like myself, will fight against injustice anywhere. But my white friends will only fight for injustice if it concerns a white person. So whilst black people were changing their social media profile pictures in protest against “terrorist’’ attacks in Paris, white people were not wearing hoodies in support of Trayvon Martin. Yet when I say these things, both black and white people who don’t want to rock the boat get upset with me. Why should this be the case? Why it is that the world accepts the murder of black people by white people, yet will not allow you to speak out against these evils? Like I said, if white people were the ones being murdered by black people on a daily basis, they would never let us get away with it.
I am not racist when I observe these truths. Rather a realist.
But hey, these are just the reflections of an ordinary African woman. NA