By Dr. Cecil Blake
Nice move on the news about visa requests and processing, BUT STATE dinner for a civilian? I will accept being educated about who qualifies to be honored with a state dinner.
More tantalizing is the choice of our national animal: CHIMPANZEE — validating a nasty stereotype in the annals of the Euro/American rhetorical construction of the African, adopted and used by other races to taunt and denigrate us?
African footballers working abroad as well as others, and tourists, are racially taunted by being called monkeys or chimpanzees–a chronically sick negative image, eager to eat bananas. In fact, bananas are thrown at some African footballers in Europe during football games.
We have a name of our country –“Lion Mountains” with no known presence of lions. A name given to us by a Portuguese explorer(s), who reportedly “discovered” our ancestors.
A bo!!!! Watin dis????? Ush O African workers abroad, African students abroad and African tourists. Has our government forgotten so soon the “Monkey dance ah yu banner” song and its connotation?
Salone, to my mind just made history! We have validated those who very, very recently used our “national animal” and its kinfolk to insult the first African American president and his wife. So please take heart when you — an African — are called a monkey in various parts of the world. Sierra Leone just made it official.
Let me hasten to state that the Euro/American “other”, not us made a mockery of the animal. After all, the animal features prominently and respectfully in the Chinese zodiac. Had I been born in China, I would have proudly celebrated my birth during the Year of the Monkey!