It is important however, to manage our emotions and conversations. It is pertinent to not succumb to hate, which is the bedrock of racism, and prejudice in general. We must be wary of the flip-side of racism, which is a hard thing to do when you are fighting oppression. Opposition will call you bitter, hateful, woke, criminals, and employ diverse resources to undermine you. It is crucial to raise our children with appropriate cultural values of love, community, and respect. It is necessary for us to discern that the opposition is not a white person, but white supremacy, empowered by the phenomenon called prejudice. It is the responsibility of all people to open up avenues for conversation. We owe it to ourselves to listen, acknowledge, admit, repent, forgive, make amends, and not stand aloof when another human like you faces injustice. We must shun the system that enables Amy Cooper to be confident that with a phone call, she could lock a black man away, hurting his family and probably raising his kids in anger, possibly altering their trajectory in life, thus propagating the black family stereotype. It is important to resist the attempt to bring up black-on-black crimes as a defense to justify racism, and to understand that the mind that stirs up such thought is inherently racist. How is it that the only intra-racially acknowledged crime is black on black crimes? How is it that this conversation comes up only when a great injustice has been done to a black man? Why is there no white on white crime? Asian on Asian crime? We should expunge the mentality that propagates the stereotype that black men are criminals and we only idolize them when they become president, have white collar jobs and speak English in an accent we approve of. While crime should be tried and punished, racial crimes should have never existed. Crime is not a racial concept, but racism is a crime. Crime is a commonality to humanity and not an exclusive preserve of black people.
While it is important for us as humans to go into our privacy and admit where we have fallen short in our estimation of the beautiful diversity of our race, I must say that I have spent some time studying racism from a non-black person, but my mind goes through some sort of electrocution when I think of the vast number of Nigerians who excuse, justify, exonerate, and defend racism. They humble me. More like they weaken me. The probability that a black man defending racism is a Nigerian is very high, too high for comfort. This high probability possibly has no direct correlation with the huge population and ubiquity of Nigerians. I have spent the past weeks trying to vibe the minds of such Nigerians, and I must say that as a Nigerian, I hit a road block. You see, the thoughts and conversations from this category of Nigerians is purely racist, except that their history with racism and black skin start to make you want to revisit Stockholm’s syndrome. Especially when you view how these people adore the white man, and would do anything to take a selfie with him. Such people would have photo frames of themselves and white people hung in their homes as statement of class and achievement. I can recollect that we were mandated to cut our hair in through six years of secondary school, but excuses were made for mixed girls with Caucasian features to keep their hair. I must confess that it could be embarrassing to visit other black African countries with this category of Nigerians because you get to hear and experience how superior they feel about other Africans who actually accord them sort of respect. The Nigerian spirit cannot be conquered, but the flip side is that a Nigerian can as well be insufferable. Sometimes, I wonder if it is an adaptation to slavery, colonialization, segregation, and the civil war. As though in our quest to evolve our spirits into that which can not be broken, we broke something in our feedback mechanism. The Nigerian conversation will take another day. American politics and debates are fiercely debated in Nigerian as though the people had a right to vote. People who have jobs and schools to report to the following day would stay up all night to watch all debates. I remembered that it was different under President Obasanjo while President Bush was the American President. However, Nigeria spiraled into a cesspit of political mess in the past decade because of an unhealthy alignment of the peculiarities of Nigerian and American politics and the influence American politics has on economic and political outcomes in Africa. It is graver than a non-Nigerian can understand. This is why we foresee the dangerous path America is headed before they even get there and the only hope is that America has a stronger system and a military, loyal to the country, and not politicians. It is important, dear people, that we are united in our humanity and resist the efforts of political gladiators to exploit our differences which is the beauty in our diversity.
In conclusion, the phoenix that rose out of the ashes should always remind itself that it remains a bird, not a dragon. If he disdains the aves and flies to the flames, to ashes it shall return – never to rise again. Matter of fact, on any level, it is unhealthy and narcissistic to consider yourself as superior to anyone. The statement that all humans are equal remains true and sacrosanct. If that statement is jarring to you, you should take a break from the buzz and have some introspection with your diary. Why is the other person, whom you have no knowledge of, the problem? What would it cost you to meet this person and confirm or debunk your bias? Why do you feel like you will lose your rights and privileges, if they got theirs? Why is it cool for you to lose your humanity? The only rights you lose where humans are respected as members of the same dignified race is the right to oppress a member of that race- the human race. So, you cannot put a leash on a human as you would on a dog because of the concept of racial sacrosanctness. To do that would be immoral and criminal. For God, for race, and for country, racial inequality,racial injustice, racial subjugation, and all its nuances and manifestations, is a crime, and grossly immoral.
(Images are culled from the social media pages of friends at the forefront of the struggle and from CNN)