By Derenle Animasaun
‘Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me’ Zora NEALE HURSTON Dr Shola Mos-Shog bamimu, PhD, MBA,
LLM, MA, LLB, IAQ . She is a New York Attorney & Solicitor of England & Wales, Founder & Editor of the Women in Leadership publication. We have a courageous warrior queen not afraid to stand up to racists and misogynist bigots anywhere no matter their status, she is fierce and her name is, Dr Shola Mos- Shogbamimu. For those are not in the know, she is one our own but most crucially, she speaks the truth, unblemished and clear as day.
Dr Shola is a New York Attorney and Solicitor of England & Wales with broad expertise in the financial services industry, an author, public speaker and political commentator featured in mainstream and online media. A political & women’s rights activist, she also teaches intersectional feminism to female refugees and asylum seekers; scrutinizes government policies from a gender and diversity inclusion perspective; and co-organises women’s marches and social campaigns. She founded the Women in Leadership publication as a platform to drive positive change on topical issues that impact women globally through inspiring personal leadership journeys; and established She@LawTalks to promote Women & BAME(Black Asian Minority Ethnic) leadership in the legal profession through universities and secondary schools. She is also the Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Africa committee. An academic enthusiast, she has an Executive MBA (Cambridge); PhD (Birkbeck); LLM (London School of Economics & Political Science); MA (Westminster) and LLB Hons (Buckingham University).
Why is she making waves? She went viral this week after her TV interviews on the British TV programmes; This and Good Morning Britain, when contributing in the media treatment of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan. She is not a newcomer, she has been around and has been a champion of the maginalised;women and people of colour.
She spoke with conviction and composure that the British media character assassination and assessment the royal couple was based on the fact that Meghan was black. Yes, she said ! The ripple,nay, the seismic impact was felt everywhere in the UK and the social media universe. It was blatant racism and she called it out, they, majority of the British media were called out and the closest racists then shouted foul! She yank their chains and they are not best pleased.
They said give us examples!She was not going to play their game. She steely told them: that it was not her responsibility or the responsibility of black people to educate them about racism, that they should educate themselves. As if that was not enough, she then laid down the cognitive Dissonance of the racist rule book: their denial, demean, denigrating and disbelief and distance. It was pure masterclass.
For those in the diaspora, it is evident that racism and racist attitudes play a daily part in living as a person of colour, discrimination, segregation, harassment and victimisation, life examples too numerous and it is happening as we speak. This is not an imaginary or spurious entities. This is real and the impact is a generationally traumatising. It only those who feels it knows it. Money and privilege does not protect one from racism and as long as you are the other, then one way or the other, it will be felt.
Of course, those that know could see it regardless of their race but those deep in the trenches of racism and misogyny were up in arms and begin to throw the racist go to: go back to where our come from, you are the racist, and so on, further proving her point- they are racists.
As our Ngozi Chimamanda Adichie to Trump supporters: “If you’re a white man, you don’t get to define what racism is” well, that is so true.
So why the brouhaha; Prince Harry has decided to protect his wife and son, from the incessant racist and bullying from the British media and some part of the British population. Despite the face that Meghan is biracial, the part of her that they have trouble with is her black side. They even took delight in wanting to see how their children was going to turn out.
It was toxic. It was barbarity at it most vicious but woe betide the victims for pointing it out to them of their actions, and they just double up and attacked them more so they are surprised that the couple decided to leave their gilded cage that no longer serve as a protection and go else where?
Life,should not be lived to grin and bear abuse and ill treatment. It was clear, some part of the Britush population were not happy that a British prince married a woman of colour. It is glaringly obvious, they give the bloodline should not be diluted with black blood, no matter how minute. For those who know the british royal history, will know that meghan is not the first and now,will not be the last.
What Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu did, was to shine the brightest touch on the the conscience of the bigots and the blatantly racist section of the British population and they did not like it. What about space trade, apartheid and segregation for starters.
This one woman warrior queen,Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu stood tie to toe and eye ball to eyeball and she stared back and it shook them momentarily to the core. She spoke about white privilege and how it blinkered them from emphasising and reflecting on their failure to see racism or racists behaviour and it perpetuate this dehumanizing act for those who are at the receiving end. Thank you, thank you again Dr SholaMos-Shogbamim. This is 2020 and generations of people of colour are having to endure such treatment of deprivation and segregation.
What we are made to believe is that, as far as the oppressors says there is no racism, then, it should be the end if it and we should all shut up and get on as usual. We should all know our place and not rock the boat. Soulds so much like the old times, when blacks sit at the back 8f the bus and do as they are told or else.
Mos Shogbamimu was fight to challenge them and those that understand the interplay, will think and be part of the solution. We have a long way to go but I have hope .that Cognitive dissonance is a concept in social psychology. It is the discomfort felt by a person who holds conflicting ideas, beliefs or values at the same time. … Cognitive dissonance theory says that people have a bias to seek consonance between their expectations and reality.
Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will, and must be defeated- Kofi Annan
We must challenge racism anywhere it raises its ugly head. When you don’t, because you think you shouldn’t, you are giving permission that it is all right to be treated like you do not have value and you do not deserve better. Once you know your worth, none will ever treat you less than you deserve.
A case in point Burna Boy.
So proud of him,when he stood up to complain when Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande with Burna Boy were headlining at one of America’s annual Coachella festival , Burna boy complained on Instagram that his name was “so small” on the festival poster, urging them to “fix tings quick please”.
“I really appreciate you. But I don’t appreciate the way my name is written so small on your bill.
“I am an African giant and will not be reduced to whatever that tiny writing means.”
Yes,he was honest about his stature. He got the respect that he deserved and he not only fought for his respect but those who will come after him. We must at no time be complseant when it comes to racism, racist dont stop, they will continue because they believe that they are superior and wants to maintain the status quo.
Wherever, there is oppression of one group over another, it is important to challenge the them. Race seems to be the last bastion of oppression, it needs to be challenged wherever it raises its pernicious head. For those who do not want to face this head on, they will be left behind, they are of the old and bad times. This is now and it won’t be tolerated. Progress is doing away with what no longer acceptable like the oppression of others. We know better, we should do better.
Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another. It may also mean prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against other people because they are of a different race or ethnicity. Modern variants of racism are often based in social perceptions of biological differences between peoples.
Ten years ago, my father wrote for the bicentenary of abolition of slave trade;’ Africans are flocking the countries of the West and suffering humiliation in different hues because of the need for survival. All sort of impediments are being put in their path to restrict their immigrations- strict visa regulations and discriminatory wages being just two of them. Against all odds, yet Africans struggling to leave their countries. Many die for in boats trying to enter their destinations illegally, drowned or killed, definitely traumatised if they survived. Many die in the deserts either from exhaustion or desert marauders .
We must all governments and people accept this universal truth and work towards sustaining amity’