TWO EDGES OF THE SAME SWORD: WHITE RACISM AND TRIBALISM IN AFRICA
I will mark down 2020 as the glorious year that thrust humanity into the abyss of moral awakening, for certainly, there has been a trembling wave of events that has struck the human race with virulent force. On one hand there is the deadly Corona Virus that has defied all elements of scientific reason, and dazzled us with novel inconveniences, far apart from our accustomed practices. Even religion, once held as the home of Providence, has fallen prey to this Eastern crusader, crushing territories of all race and colour, as we recoiled in the confinement of our homes and forced to deal with the new normal. Handshakes are forbidden, lest we may shake the hands of death! Observing social distance in preference to eternal distance, masking up to protect against the air we so conveniently breathe, lest they cast our ashes into floating air. And just when we thought we’ve had enough, May 25 brought us to a halt, turning our hearts and minds to a virus that has been forever present.
Kneeling on his neck as he struggled for breath, George Floyd became the latest victim of a long held practice of social injustice and racism. Awakening a global outcry, with screaming cries of *enough is enough*. George Floyd’s death had breathe life into millions of souls right across the globe, as we daily lament the ills of racism and the impudent victimization of blacks. This was another black man, slain by the hands of injustice, a climaxing case of the daily lives of black people in white man’s land, faced with various forms racial discrimination.
Racism is a grave social evil, and it is one that stands in contrast to the moral expectations of humanity. Indeed enough should be enough. The whole world is perturbed by these outrageous acts of gross inhumanity, and rightly have we expressed our displeasure at the unabated continuity of these systemic acts of social injustice. Surely George Floyd’s murder has urged humanity to stand in his honour and support his right and dignity which was so brutishly taken from him. Such has been the scale of global condemnation, that even the continent of Africa has joined the bandwagon.
The case of Africa has been particularly interesting for me. Certainly, for a continent plagued by its own social problems, joining in global solidarity against black persecution can indeed be an interesting sight. A continent plagued by *Tribalism and Regionalism*, and for which many souls are daily slain could cry out social justice even if ironically so. But how may one really dissect the credibility of our concerns when we fail to address our own discriminatory problems such as tribalism? *How many George/Georgina Floyds have fallen victim to our own racism*? With our societies replete with social divisions and discriminations, how could we cry for black lives, when we daily cast souls to eternal rest in the name of tribalism? Why blame the White man for racism when we ourselves practice tribal bigotry? Or aren’t we cognisant of the fact that what the white man practices in racism is what we practice in tribalism and regionalism?
There can be no wrong to stand in solidarity for George Floyd, but mustn’t we accept that we must respect the right and dignity of every George Floyd in Africa irrespective of their tribe, region, or political affiliations? Our societies are deeply rooted in tribalism, regionalism, and political animosity, creating a widely divided continent, at each others neck. We cannot blame the white man for our own social ills, and accost them to claim moral responsibility for theirs. We cannot cry for black lives, when we don’t make it matter. We cannot shout enough is enough, when we’re enthused and eager to bath in our own blood over tribe, region, and politics.
As egregious as racism is, it is not the only social injustice that afflicts the human race. Did we march in solidarity when Muslims were being slaughtered in China? Do we march in solidarity when terrorists kill innocent people? Do we march in solidarity when we put our own people to the sword in the name of tribalism and regionalism? Do we march in solidarity for every time our own policemen and soldiers kill innocent people? Black lives does matter, but I’ll say all lives do matter!
As much as it is our moral right to speak against the ills of society, us Africans must equally scale up for our own shortcomings, because killing each other in the name of tribalism is same as the white man’s racism. The white man do not have tribes, what they have are nationalities and colours, and upon that, lays their social problems as manifest in racism.
We should not only kneel in honour of George Floyd, we should kneel in honour of all humanity and for the rights and dignity of every being, irrespective of race, colour, or creed. We must respect that all lives matter, and speak against all forms of injustice.
*Black lives matter*
*All lives matter*
*Enough is Enough*