Racism is something that doesn’t belong to my vocabulary. At least i thought so. I was doing my thing on my blog. While i was getting crazy, because my blog had problem to work properly, one of my former followers read one of my posts. Since then something happened. Let me explain you what is all about.
Everything started with a post!
As i said earlier, i wrote this post. It was actually a very short list of three places i would love to visit if i had the opportunity to. It was an innocent post, until my former follower “Ebitimi Creates” left a comment. He wrote about places he would have wanted to visit: Spain, Scotland and Ghana. As soon as i read Ghana, i got curious. And that comes my problem. I don’t know anything about Africa. And in Europe, we are not too concerned about Africa. Not because we are mean people, but because we have our problems in Europe. To be honest, Between Russia, Covid, extremisms we don’t have time to read things about Ciad or South Africa.
So, i asked him why he wanted to visit Ghana, because i had genuinely no idea what Ghana has to offer. I literally didn’t know. And he answered me nicely, telly me why he would love to visit that country:
I would love to experience the culture , the food and the people. Ghana has a vast land and heritage and It’ll be a great place to visit and even live. I actually look forward to visiting Ghana more than than Scotland and Spain.
I was surprised. Actually i was missing something. But i should see that coming. The world is a huge place and every single country has something to offer. And then i answered that:
Ok! I didn’t know. I live in Europe and for most of us Africa is only the place where the “evil” immigrants come from. We have no idea if there’s something interesting in that continent!
The Beginning of the end!
My answer was the truth. Journalism has been selling Africa as a place where men fight, often for stupid reason, and family run away from. This is Africa for us. There’s no tradition, history or monuments. It’s only a huge continent where things happen. As soon as i wrote this comment, he left this comment:
That means you people are racist and xenophobic.
Racism and Middle East.
In the first moments, i was upset. I mean, we are not all like that. He didn’t have any right to generalised. It’s a little bit racist, thinking that i am racist, because i live in a continent where racist people live. Then i thought about it a little more. Well, technically he’s not so far from the truth after all. I’m not saying that we are all racist, because we are not. However, just take a look back of 2017. Do you remember all those refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, who came through Turkey and Greece? I do.
More specifically, do we remember how the news talked about those people? Well, TV, Radio and Internet called it an “invasion”. And some of the media associate this “invasion” with criminality and terrorism. In addition to that, do we remember how lot of country in Europe behave with those refugees? Technically, the media and Europe itself was telling us to have fear of those poor people, because those innocent are all terrorists and rapists. When, in truth, they were just women, kids and men with a good graduation.
Racism and Africa.
The same happened with Africa. Every summer thousand of Africans try desperately to come in Europe through Italy. And Europe doesn’t really want to deal with them, because European leaders and journalist are sure that Africans are all terrorist and criminals. Don’t you believe me? Let’s be honest. Normal people think that Africa is just a continent full of savage people, poorness, corruption, civil war, wild nature and safaris. Companies see Africa as a continent to buy and to make the most out of it. Politics sees Africa as a problem, due to all the people that have to be integrated and often educated.
This is the rhetoric i was born with. This is the rhetoric i was grow up with. And this is the rhetoric i am trying to fight back, because i know that Africa and people in general are much more than their look.
Europe is not full of racism. Absolutely not. We have this rhetoric in mind, because of lack of information. The problem is that lot of us find hard to think differently, because Africa doesn’t do so much to change its image. It doesn’t give us an alterative source to listen to. Africa lets the world believe what we believe and then it gets upset when we say those mean things.
African countries still sell their resources to us, they fight civil wars because of religion, lot of leaders are corrupt and the education level is pretty poor. European people are trying to improve the way they think, but it’s hard when we don’t find a reason to think differently. Why doesn’t Africa start to fight back all of it and promote itself differently? Why does not the entire continent start to raise up?
RACISM: I’m Sorry.
I’m not racist. I’m really not. Like me there are millions of others. All the racist voice are just a minority, but they are way much louder. there’s no way to convince you that i am not. Right now i sound exactly like this racist who tells that they are not racist, but they are stay away from black people. On your side, i know that there’s no way you can believe me. I can tell you whatever i want, you will never be enough.
My dear “Ebitimi Creates” I’m sorry if you felt hurt or upset. It wasn’t my intention. However, i want to give you all a little bit of advice. Don’t start with the “insults” as soon as you feel upset. Before to write something, think. In Internet we have no idea who we are talking about. In my case, you told me that i am a racist, just because i am European, without knowing who i am and what i do. It’s just sad!