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Guest Blog: Black Life Matters - Redlight On Racism

I write this as a black person. Anti-black bigotry in America can take many forms, some overt and some harder to measure. The sudden artificial demise of George Floyd after the US Police pinned him to the ground on Monday has filled my ink with so much venom. My heart bleeds and I become even irate the more.

Racism, xenophobia and intolerance are problems prevalent in all societies. But every day, each and everyone of us can stand up against racial prejudice and intolerant attitudes. The onus lies on us (Blacks) to interrupt any racial narrative.

Most Africans throughout the world living in the Western countries suffer displacement, isolation, racism, survival and the fight for their rights. The resulting trauma, grief and loss are nothing to write home about. African body is layered with suspicion of criminality, inferiority and inadequacy.

The black body is viewed by the Whites as unworthy and undeserving. It is not seen and heard, it is also felt. It is rampant and obvious for those (Blacks) who experience it, but silenced and denied by those who perpetrate it. It’s being watched constantly with suspicion. Some (Whites) even say we are too black, hence monkeys. Such utterances or statements show how the whites abhor and disdain our blackness.

The kink of our hair, and complexion mark is inferior, worthy of ridicule, humiliation and ostracism. Therefore, to be non-white, particularly to be black relegates us to the background or margin. This feels like an enormous degradation of the black. Outrightly unreasonable, myopic, weird, insane and inhumane! Black is not a burden ; black history has a message for humanity.

It's an indisputable fact that, many Africans in the Western world, belonging means masking yourself. To fit in is to curate one's Africanness and one's Blackness. You teach yourself to see-saw between the splitting identities of who the Whites need you to be, and who you really are. You just, never simply are.

They best us. They kill our brethren and on top of it all loot our resources. Even under full glare of the public, they (four policemen) stifled life out of our brother who was unarmed and handcuffed. They strangulated our brother. They subject us to violence and mistreat but they say only Diplomacy can solve the problem of racism against the Black race.

Historically, those who openly professed or practiced racism held that members of low-status races should be limited to low-status jobs and that members of the dominant race should have exclusive access to political power, economic resources,high status jobs, and unrestricted civil rights.

The expressions and feelings of racial superiority that accompanied colonialism generated resentment and hostility from those who were colonized and exploited, feelings that continued even after independence. The perverseness of the slave trade, the insidiousness of colonialism, incessant hatred of black has attracted a lot of opprobrium. Undoubtedly, blacks feel the sting of discrimination. It's just intolerable within the African threshold. Does Africa cease to be a geographical space? Africa is not an embodied experience.

I strongly believe that, times like these remind us that we must continuously disrupt and address issues of hate and bias, which often find way into our shores and lives. This is the alloted time to build our own communities without the help of the same people killing our people. We as Africans shouldn't keep dreaming without acting, if not we will be history.

Until we build our continent and make it great, our innocent children will fall prey to racial abuse. Today it's George Floyd, tomorrow it could be you. It seems far but soon it will be at your door step. It's time to stand up to be counted. I hope that when we're done with the protest, we'll restrategize and make Africa a beacon of greatness.

Nonetheless, I don’t understand why in a world of so much religion, there’s so much hate! I don’t understand why in a world of so much advancement there’s so much indifference. I can’t understand why people cannot learn to love and tolerate each other.

Why should one be killing another in the name of law enforcement? What happened to the justice system for another to take matters into their own hands? People do not choose their colour, it is assigned to them at birth. Racism is a grave evil but sadly, it continues to rear its ugly head amongst us.

The international community must collectively condemn the killing of George Floyd in cold blood. Despite how inhumane this police officer was to his fellow human, I won’t wish that the same thing be done to him, ever!

I may not be in Minneapolis, where this sad incident occurred, but I believe, like the great heroes and heroines of the struggle for freedom in yore and today, that ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’

We have a shared humanity.

Colour is a little part of who we are! Let's be human rights champions. Let us love one another and shame hate, racism and indifference.

Bright Philip Donkor



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