It is only Tuesday & already it has been a horrible week in global race relations. As the saying goes “give people enough time & they will eventually show you who they really are or better yet “people show their true colors when they think no one is looking”. Which ever saying you prefer, it applies to the disrespect & utter disdain that the decendants of former colonizers & enslavers continue to hold for Africans & their descendants globally.
There seems to be an all out assault on global Africans from our former colonizers & enslavers. From The Americas to Europe, politicians & everyday people are looking to take the world backward to the time of Jim Crow & WWII intolerance, racism & distorted sense of nationalism that seems to go hand in hand with every global economic crises. Today alone 3 stories came to my attention thru Facebook postings that many media outlets in the nations that they occurred in didn’t even bother to cover. There was the story on the World Bank having to apologize to Ghana after showing distasteful images of naked children taking baths in the streets, naked women & breast feeding mothers etc. to depict Ghana’s image at a World Bank delegation meeting in Washington DC ; there was the story of Samuel Eto’o being taunted with racial epithets at a football match between Inter-Milan & Cagliari & there was the story about Perfumer-Jean Paul Guerlain basically referring to global Africans as slaves on French TV.
Samuel Eto’o is no stranger to racism in his chosen career of football. The nonsense of constant racial terrorism that has been going on in “the beautiful game” will continue because people continue to make excuses for it instead of taking it head on. We all say or are surrounded by people who say bigoted, racist & prejudiced things whether it is co-workers, family, friends, lovers, enemies or acquaintances, when we make the choice to remain silent, act like it doesn’t exist, or that we didn’t hear it, or give someone a pass on it because they supposedly “didn’t mean it like that”, we are condoning the behavior & this is why it continues & will continue until we all take account first for our own actions then hopefully help another in need of a reality check after we have become accountable for & to ourselves. The worst part of the recent racist football incident in Cagliari is that the coaches & some players continue to pretend that this incident is some sort of fluke instead of an epidemic that has been happening for far too long & far too harshly leading FIFA to change its rules to threaten to stop games if racist chants are hurled at players. Some people never learn & that’s why these things continue. The idiotic coach had the nerve to congratulate the fans for stopping their racial taunts so the game could continue instead of feeling disappointment that they went there with racist chants at all ? They should have been thrown out of the stadium not congratulated.
“Referee Paolo Tagliavento stopped the game after just three minutes and called the two team captains to the centre circle over the chants. He also asked the stadium announcer to remind fans that the game could be abandoned if the chants aren’t stopped. The pause lasted just three minutes before the game got underway again. Eto’o had the last laugh, though, as he scored the only goal of the game to send Inter joint top of Serie A…”READ MORE
“Perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain has caused controversy in France for using a racial epithet on television while discussing the making of his fragrance Samsara, CNN reports. Guerlain said (translated from French to English by CNN):
“One day I told her — and I still called her Madame — ‘What would seduce you if one was to make a perfume for you?’ and she told me, ‘I love jasmine, rose and sandalwood.’ And for once I started working like a [racial epithet]. I don’t know if [racial epithet] ever worked that hard.”
In French: “Pour une fois, je me suis mis à travailler comme un nègre. Je ne sais pas si les nègres ont toujours tellement travaillé, enfin…” READ MORE
I was less appalled by the oblivious ingrained racism of an old man who was never taught any differently than by the laughter of the reporter who knew it was wrong, but remained silent in challenging his words because it was somehow amusing to her because she probably has said the same at one point just not on TV. Many of us have said we work like slaves to mean we work hard to the bone & get little to no pay for it , so racism often times is more about intent than the words used & this is where it becomes a gray area instead of a black & white issue.
A friend of mine who is an Black American posted “I work like a slave to become a Master…” as his facebook status with many people giving him the thumps up “like” for his great ambition, so then why should we see the similar comments made by Guerlain as any different? Is this another case where global Africans within the text of their different languages feel some sort of ownership of words that they can use freely amongst themselves like the word “Nigger” but when said by a White people it all of a sudden has a change of meaning in context? I personally do not care for the word “Nigger” used in any other context than its historical definition by anyone Black, White or other because I have no confusion or delusions about the word in any context.
Jean Paul Guerlain to me knew exactly what he meant so his apology is just as worthless as his words & his intentions. This is most likely the way he always speaks about Black people & he just didn’t think it was being racist or that it was a big deal because a large majority of the Black peopel who have ever stepped foot in his country or whose country his country has stepped foot on did/do work like slaves in colonization & in freedom. This is nothing new & nothing surprising , particularly in France- the same nation who was ready for a modern day ethnic cleansing after their shameful showing at the world cup , which many blamed on having too many “non-traditional AKA non-white” french players on the team. This is the same nation who has been shipping Romas out in droves as the EU stands by silently. This is the same nation that has threatened to strip citizenship from all foreign born citizens who have criminal records. The part President Sarkozy seems to skip over is that these people are citizens whether they were born elsewhere or not. The whole idea of citizenship is accepting someone as one of your own & having them pledge allegiance to your nation’s flag. Why is it acceptable to the world when Sarkozy does this, but not acceptable when Mugabe does the same in stripping his nation of foreign born citizens who he deems are criminals in taking land that is not theirs?
“French lawmakers passed a controversial new bill that will strip criminals born in other countries of their French nationality if convicted of carrying out a violent crime against police officers..According to RPI, members of France’s lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, voted 294 to 239 to pass the measure. Proposed by Immigration Minister Eric Besson — who reportedly wants his ministry to be “a machine to produce good French citizens” — the measure will also allow European Union nationals to be expelled from France for repeated acts of theft, aggressive begging and illegally occupying land..” READ MORE
“We, the principled people of Zimbabwe, we, the true owners of this land, shall not budge, the land is ours”. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has given a stern warning to white farmers that his government will stick to its policy of removing them from their land.”We set ourselves an August deadline for the redistribution of land and that deadline stands,” he said in a keynote speech, the first since an eviction order for thousands of white farmers came into effect late last week..Mr Mugabe’s speech was to mark Heroes’ Day – which celebrates victory over the old white regime. He also took the opportunity in his address to attack former colonial power Britain and Prime Minister Tony Blair, whom he said was a “gangster” who had “gone insane”. “All genuine and well-meaning white farmers who wish to pursue a farming career as loyal citizens of this country have land to do so,” he said, adding that “no farmer need go without land“...READ MORE
The World Bank fiasco took the cake for me today not only as a proud Ghanaian but because it stands for so much in the bigger scheme of why all these nations have no shame in disrespecting Africans & Africa as a whole. I do not believe Ishac Diwan from the World Bank’s apology for one second. If the images from the World Bank’s website are 20-30 years old how idiotic does he & the world bank look that it took a Ghanaian journalist 20-30 years later to bring it to their attention before they realized it was there? You can’t have it both ways because why was it there in the first place 20-30 years ago? What purpose & propaganda was to be served by showing World Bank members such images as representative of the totality of Ghana? What type of ignorant fools are running the world bank & why do we hold them in such esteem? Do they have these same images of poor areas in the European & American nations which they give money to or invest in hanging around for years to showcase their members as representation of these nations? We continue to let the world bank & the IMF act as modern day colonizers -why do we need charity & loans from them when they rather owe us money for all they took & bartered from Africa & all the free labour for centuries that they never paid for but benefitted the same nations that we now beg for money? Ghana should demand a complete wipe out of any world bank debt & real partnerships if the world bank wants to have a foot in Ghana. We fail to realize that they need us more than we need them. If our governments would truly govern as leaders instead of greedy self serving puppets to their puppet masters at the World Bank, IMF & countless NGO’s then maybe this can truly be the decade of the African as Dr. Kwame Nkrumah proclaimed five decades ago when these same types of sentiments were hovering throughout the world as our former colonizers & enslavers were getting too big for their britches in their blatant disrespect for global Africans, our nations & our commendable contribution to the world.
“The World Bank has apologized for displaying damning images of Ghana at its recent annual meeting in Washington DC. Some of the pictures have half-naked women breastfeeding their kids and portray a country high on poverty levels. A journalist with the Daily Guide newspaper intercepted the images while covering the conference. He told Joy News the World Bank portrayed Ghana as a country full of hungry and miserable people. But the World Bank said the images are old and weren’t meant to tarnish the image of the country. The Country Director of the World Bank, Ishac Diwan, explained that the Bank’s photo library was linked to a website that was available to delegates attending the conference and the reporter saw the photos because of that linkage.He commended the Daily Guide reporter for his observation and “for alerting us that such photos were on our website…” READ MORE
I am not one of those people who believes that racism & all of our other ills & “isms” will ever be wiped out in my lifetime or ever, but I am one that believes it can be silenced & put in its place when we take ownership & act like this is truly the decade of the African by reevaluating, reorganizing, rededicating & reenergizing the teachings of Pan-Africanism that was built during a time in history just like this when Africa & her descendants throughout the world recognized that we had a mutual struggle in attaining economic power, true freedom & global respect.
As I read Steven G. Fullwood’s words about the re-organziation of the Schomburg & how what was meant to be a gathering of the community & their ideas for rebuilding went a-rye, I realized that the place is now the time is here to go back to the Pan-Africanism blueprint in order to rebuild a lasting & strong legacy from Africa to her Diaspora. There are too many Black millionaires & billionaires in the world today for us to beg & plead for anyone other than ourselves to come to our rescue in saving our cultural institutions , our history & ourselves.
If Jay Z wants to be tutored on how to become an official member of the Forbes list of billionaires, he needs not go to Warren Buffet but rather go to self made African billionares like Patrice Motsepe of South Africa or Aliko Dangote from Nigeria or the many others who have sprung up in the past few years in Africa while there is only 1official Black Billionaire in America, Oprah Winfrey. If the Pan-Africanist mindset had truly been adopted as a way of life for global Africans Jay Z would know that his billionaire dream could be recognized quicker by investing in Africa. If the Pan-Africanist mindset had truly been adopted as a way of life for global Africans, hip-hop artists like Kanye West would be looking to build & follow their African brothers & sisters on twitter instead of looking for White validation in chasing Rocafeller & Louise Vuitton dreams. If the Pan-Africanist mindset had truly been adopted as a way of life for global Africans Black actors, actresses, directors, writers, producers etc. would be working on many more Sankofas instead of waiting for Hollywood to give them a chance & validation when there’s a thriving billion dollar industry in Africa waiting to welcome you & build with you.
As European & American businesses gather in a new scramble for Africa, The Pan-Africanist mindset , ethos & practice is needed more than ever in order to not have history continue to repeat itself. I was recently walking down the infamous 125th street in Harlem & within 4 blocks , I must have heard the word “Nigger” about 25 times from Black people. When I got to my African-American friend’s house & told her how saddened & irate I was about my experience on 125th street which felt more like I was at a KKK rally rather than W.E.B Dubois’s Harlem, she looked at me in shock because she was surprised that I was in anyway effected by that since it has become an everyday thing in our community. As I watch Harlem’s gentrification, it makes me more irate that we refuse to capture the renaissance of old & rebuild it anew by changing our own attitudes & acting like the intellectuals & descendants of kings & queens that the old renaissance in Harlem taught us to be. As others are lured to what they see as the new emergence of Harlem’s romanticism & renaissance, they are seeing themselves as the new pioneers who have conquered new territory like Columbus.
“I made it quite clear that from now on – today – we must change our attitudes, our minds, we must realise that from now on, we are no more a colonial but a free and independent people. That new African is ready to fight his own battles and show that after all, the black man is capable of managing his own affairs. We are going to demonstrate to the world, to the other nations, that we are prepared to lay our own foundation.Our own African identity. We are going to create our own African personality and identity. It’s the only way that we can show the world that we are ready for own own battles. We have awakened. Our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa. We will not sleep anymore. Today, from now on, there is a new African in the world!” Dr. Kwame Nkrumah-Founding Father of Pan-Africanism
Global Africans & their supporters in France say no more to racism (pas plus de racisme) after there was little to no media coverage outside of FB for the racist remarks made by 4th generation Guerlain perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain. Groups and individuals met in front of the store on the Champs Elysees calling for a boycott against Guerlain & asking for The House of Guerlain that was founded in 1828 & bought by LVMH in 1994 to disassociate themselves from JPG & his racist remarks, while yet another promising young Black man gets murdered by police in New York State as Global Africans in America just shaking their heads & saying “Again?” waiting to see if justice will b served..have we lost the spirit of protest, fighting for our rights/respect & standing up 4 what we believe in in America?
At the end of the protest video you see a sign that says Guerlain, Le Negre T’ermmerde which roughly translates to the fact that Guerlain basically said Crew you or fuck you to the Negro or that the Negro is saying screw you or Fuck you to Guerlain. My French Global Fusionist please make your voices heard in the proper explanation.