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Racism: Different similarities, similar differences

by Ganiyu Adeola - 26 December 2020 170 Views

Racism: Different similarities, similar differences

Racist remarks in football

After the killing of George Floyd in the United States and the reactions it generated, one would think that it should end racism and discrimination across the world. Alas, the trend still continues, only in a different fashion. The recent racist remark by a match referee brings back the gory tales of segregation in a cosmopolitan world. However, the united stand jointly taken by the players rekindles the hope for better days ahead. When people come together as a united whole, even their silence will be loud. 

Racism today is a global phenomenon manifested in different shades and hues- mild, soft, serious, severe, critical... Tribalism, nepotism, semitism and others are but branches of the same weed planted to truncate the growth of the tree of human unity. Unfortunately for it, it's roots are too shallow to gain stability in the face of human universal Brotherhood. 

Back in Africa - Nigeria

Here at home, the African continent which houses people who are racially abused, racism, nay discrimination is also a part of our living. Nigeria as a mini continental space has a manifestation of racial bias across the various sociocultural groups. Other African nations also evince similar peculiarities, and beyond that, they discriminate against fellow Africans. 

Racism and discrimination is rife

Considering how fellow Africans were maltreated in South Africa, to the point of being killed; how Nigerian traders are being humiliated in Ghana; how English speaking Cameroonians are being haunted by the French speaking majority how the Hutus fought the Tutsis, as well as other similar occurrences, one cannot but become bewildered by the crazy and insensitive attitudes of a people who cry about being discriminated against. Why do we segregate and build walls against ourselves and then complain about it being done to us by the West? This is among the major causes of African underdevelopment; the absence of true unity to forge a continental alliance. With the reality facing us, we have yet to initiate the change we desire. We still perpetrate the bias we complain about, though subtly. Let's consider the following statements :

Alabi Yellow(for albinos), Baba dúdú(for a dark-skinned person), Baba pupa, Short man devil, Agali(to subtly lampoon tall people), Bo se dúdú níwà rẹ̀ dúdú(loosely means 'he or she is as dark as his or her attitude), Ààfin ó jẹ iyọ̀(the albino doesn't eat salt). These are about the same statements being said to us by our foreign abusers, with which they haunt us and maltreat us. How then can we explain our own roles as subtle accomplices? 

Ethnic and religious bias, It's all about the complex

From the same source and back, yet unequal; that's the story of our global identity. Seeing the other person as less in status is the result of zealotry, but it will not be out of place to opine that the racially abusive person is the truly low one whose aim is to force himself up above his fellow human. To whose benefit, at whose detriment?

Looking back at how far the world has gone through racism, it is trite to conclude that we are still far behind. The gaudy gains and benefits of subjugating a race has resulted in a developmental cul-de-sac, dragging humanity backwards. 

Racism is a decision, the planet is one

The reason why we have brains is ultimately to better our world, if we choose to. Rather than see the other person as inferior, we can choose to take him as a partner on our progress journey, that's who he is meant to be. We may have been programmed to segregate, but we can decide to integrate our diversity. The world started as one, let the polarisation be for class studies. Before we slide into the racial precipice, our present reality is that of a sinking ship, or a plane gone off radar, yet, the situation is remediable. Making amends is a matter of time, but time won't wait for us. So, before it goes out of control, let's salvage our humanity.

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