By Ebele Orakpo
IT is no longer news that the Black race is being maltreated, dehumanised, hounded and killed just for being Black. From North America to South America, to Europe, to Asia, the Black man is punished for all sorts of reasons.
It’s a paradox that Africa, unarguably the most beautiful and richly endowed continent with lands and resources that are the envy of all, is among the poorest in the world and her people treated like trash the world over.
It is obvious now, even to the blind, that the main crime of most Black people is their skin colour. Is it their fault that the Creator made them dark skinned? And why do other races think they are superior to the Black race?
They make the dark-skinned person feel inferior. It is time we turned the table. It is time the Black race rose up as one and stop being apologetic for their skin colour. Blacks are strong, intelligent, beautiful and they seem to have what other races don’t have.
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade started in earnest after the White slave traders got Indians to cultivate their sugar, maize and cotton plantations but discovered they were not strong enough and couldn’t last under the terrible working conditions. Subsequently, they got Africans and discovered they were very strong and therefore qualified.
These brothers and sisters made America what it is today with their sweat and blood. They went through unimaginable pains and today, over four centuries later, the Blacks in the US are still being treated like slaves. Even after the murder of George Floyd which sparked protests across the US, other Black people, including a little boy, have been arrested and tortured by the police.
Rev. Al Sharpton, an African-American civil rights activist talking about the ordeal of Blacks in the US said the story of George Floyd is the story of all African-Americans; they can’t breathe not because they are less intelligent or less human than others but because, like Floyd, the oppressors have their knees on their necks. The system has programmed them to always fail and never reach their full potential and those who try to break the jinx are hounded in every way possible until they are brought down in ignominy.
A White woman had a dream that a Black man tried to rape her, she went to court; the jury which I believe were all White, found him guilty for a crime he did not commit and threw him into prison where he spent over 30 years before he was released. That’s unbelievable, right? But it happened!
Do Blacks all over the world not have a common ancestry? Don’t they have a continent of their own that they can run to? Don’t they have governments that can speak for them? Why the deafening silence from the African Union? Supposing the Jews in America or any part of the world are being dehumanised, do you think the little State of Israel would keep silent?
Africa is the ancestral home of the Black race; so when shove comes to push, like it has now, African-Americans can relocate to Africa or the Caribbean Island countries where Blacks own the land.
The Black race should start thinking in that direction. Wherever you are, identify with your ancestral home and the people. Bring part of your wealth home and help in its development so that when troubles come, as they often do, you have a place to run to.
It is true that the only homes these African-Americans know is America because their ancestors were forcibly taken away from Africa to America. They didn’t go there on their own; so many don’t even know where Africa is, but some have come home to settle in Africa.
I know many may think that most African governments are messed up and the system is very corrupt but that can be remedied with our collective efforts because no matter how bad your home is, your home is your home! We can all rise up and say no to bad, corrupt, oppressive and nepotistic leaders in Africa.
If need be, we can fashion out a system of government that best suits us and stop copying others. African societies were well organised with their systems of government before the invasion of the White man.
This is the time for the African Union to stand up for the Black race. They can decide to register their displeasure by boycotting international organisations like the United Nations, World Health Organisation, FIFA and the likes because of the toxic relationship they have with Africa; but will they do it? It has been alleged that many of these leaders gain a lot personally from these organisatoons to the detriment of their people.
It is no longer news that the former AU Ambassador to the US, Dr. Arikana Chihombori Quao was sacked after she revealed the kind of toxic relationship France was having with its former African colonies, the Francophone countries. Some will say that no man is an island; that Africa needs the rest of the world.
True, but not at the expense of African lives. We need to withdraw and put our house in order first, otherwise we would continue to be cheated. Let us shut the doors and windows and hold a family meeting, decide to move as one and be able to stand on solid ground and negotiate with others from the position of strength.
In Africa, these people of African descent would definitely be treated like kings and queens because the average African is welcoming and treats people well, especially those from outside. An Igbo adage says that a rejected person does not reject himself. If the world rejects you, it’s time for you to look inwards and develop your own home, make it the paradise you want to see.
The White man sees America as solely his and every other person as a visitor. Right from the days of slavery, he has been taught to see the Black person as a wild animal and that mentality, unfortunately, persists today among some white folks.
The African-Americans can borrow a leaf from the Jews and Indians who live as a community. I love the Jews and Indians for one thing – no matter where they are and no matter how long they have been there, they still think home.
After the holocaust during which six million Jews were killed in gas chambers and they got the State of Israel, some moved back to Israel while some remained scattered all over the world. Now, no matter where a Jew is in the world, he is conscious of the fact that he is a Jew with Israel as his ancestral home; so he works hard to help in the development of Israel because when the chips are down and he is treated like trash anywhere in the world, he will have a place to run to.
In conclusion, like the Igbo name, Nneka, which means ‘Mother is supreme’, Africa is our motherland and when there’s trouble anywhere, a child most of the time runs to the mother for protection. It is never too late.