By Usama Abdullahi
I didn’t want to talk about this. But my mind is sick of it and wants me to spell it out. My piece centres on racism today. It’s something that most of us are barely familiar with. Yes, most of us, who haven’t travelled to the white world, know next to nothing about it. Some of us might not know that this ill-treatment against black people exists. While others, like me, do hear and read about it either on television or in newspapers.
As a kid, I knew nothing about racism. Neither did I ever acknowledge its existence. It is because I was too young to understand what that meant. I used to think that the whites were superior humans that accord us, the blacks, some respect. But, contrary to my little kiddish thoughts about the whites, a vile or an irresponsible white man loathes this glowing dark skin. This blessed skin that wrestles all sorts of skin threats or irritation, someone from the other part of the world has aversions for it.
This skin that withstands the sun’s heat, someone who’s driven by hatred for the faultless black men, considers it hell. I came across the word Ku Klux Klan at 12. At the time, I had Longman Dictionary with me. I would carry it wherever I go. So when I first took a glimpse at the then unfamiliar word, I paused for a while. Afterwards, I proceeded to read its meaning till the end. I couldn’t believe it at first.
True. I couldn’t believe that there used to be a secret society during the 20th century which supported white supremacy in the Americas. This outlawed secret society fights the blacks and drives them out of the United States despite being legal citizens. I’m glad that this fraternal group is now defunct. But the problem is that racism is feathering again. It is fast dominating the white world. Some of them, the racists who have no respect for individual differences, honour its stay. They see nothing wrong when a black person gets badly treated because of his skin.
Sadly, we are entangled in a world that supports baseless animosities toward the people we share different views, faith or race with. The world we dwell in is a respecter of evil. We live to dine at the expense of our oppressed brothers from other parts of the universe. We see skin colour as a barrier to our unity and coexistence. Hence we look at each other with intense disgust. Unknowingly, this racism kills our hope to live a meaningful life.
Last year, we were hit by the tragic news of an African-American man who had his fate crushed in the hands of a cruel white policeman. The news filled up the media until it captured public attention. Concerned black folks, particularly the deceased’s bereaved family, went through hell as a result. As a result, many people took their outrages to the streets, protesting against racism with the hashtag, “Black lives matter”. And they were assured of drastic measures to prevent such by the American government.
Considering America’s quick intervention on the matter, we thought the issue of racism was laid to eternal rest, but it, like Lazarus, has been resurrected. We saw the uproar and slighting comments which trailed the media over the failure of Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho to score during the penalty kick of the Euro 2020 final. We also saw the unusual treatment against Zouma over a minor offence on his cat, costing him millions of dollars. And, unfortunately, Poland is at it again.
It’s sad to watch how the blacks were denied entry into the train conveying people from the war-ravaged Ukraine to Poland. Despite the threats they face, the racial prejudice in these racist morons prevails and has got to the point of favouring the Ukrainians over Africans or blacks – as if they aren’t all humans in need of urgent aid. Racism is a disease that bites deep into our hearts. It is also a barricade that holds back our progress as humans. So, It’s high time we stopped promoting racial discrimination.
Usama Abdullahi wrote from Abuja, Nigeria. He can be reached via email@example.com.