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jueves, 4 de agosto de 2011

Racism still remains a major problem in Europe.

The 14th of March, 2011, started as a normal day in Spain. Woke up and as usual, performed my morning chores, took my breakfast and since I was off from work, I decided to take the opportunity to follow on other personal business within the city of Bilbao. Being a bright morning with an illusive show of sunlight, me thought it wise to leave my pullover at home.

I, therefore took an underground train and within ten to fifteen minutes, I was in the city center. The first place i visited while at the centre was a lady colleaque at her law firm situated not far from my past residence.." La calle Bruno Mauricio de Zabala". She was glad to receive me and even more delighted to take up my goodies...and the rest is between me and her...

On my way back, passing near a train station, I witnessed a cruel act of racism involving three security personel and an african from Cameroon. I stood for a glance with an intention to move on with my business but my conscience did not allow me, especially when the victim took notice of my presence. I walked towards the scene and carefully stopped at a distance near enough to have an account of what the matter could be...

To my surprise, my presence did not deter them from unleashing violence on the boy until i decided to express my disapproval of what was taking place. What is the matter? I asked. The african boy with one limb seemed injured stretched his hand towards the direction in which I stood. I raised my voice loudly enough and this time around I got the attraction of the violent security men. They asked whom I am of which i answered that I am a member of the public and as a tax payer, I demand to know why they have decided to use violence towards a non-violent and unarmed individual.

No sooner could they answer my question than the local Police arrived. The arrival of the Police agents seemed to be a sigh of relief to the African boy who was already bruised but unluckily for him, he was the one to be warned, to be punished rather than being the other way round. The police recorded statements from the security personnel in isolation, ( mistake number one), and then turned warning the boy to talk slow and in a comprehensible spanish ( well, smelling a rat?. I do). The boy explained himself saying that he either lost the train ticket or somehow failed to pay the train ticket for one reason or the other ( The boys mistake)..but he did not refuse to be fined. The boy refuted the version of the security personnel after the police narrated it to him. As all these were taking place, the police had asked me to stay put as a witness, a role which i accepted with humility.

When my turn came to say what I saw,  I stoically stated to the Police that I don´t know whether the boy had truely paid for his ticket or not. I said that is the work of train service personnel to determine whether yes or not but...In whatever the case it may be, there is no room for violence in state of the Law. I asked the Police if there was any need for the law enforcement officers to be alerted if the security officers were at liberty to take the law into their own hands. I also asked the police agents whether the judges were to serve any purpose if the laws were to be interpreted by the train watchmen and lastly, I asked them in my capacity as a person who is subjected to comply with paying tax if this is the kind of service for which taxes are remitted and my last question was if black people pay less taxes as compared to their white counterparts. The answer to all those questions, ofcourse, could not be found with the policemen and instead of humbling themselves, they resorted to insulting me (purposely) to provoke violence doing so masquarading as if they were writing my details as a witness. During their fake interrogation/provocation, I became extremely careful and ended up faking a call and pretended I was talking to a lawyer. In Spain, the Police are notorious for beating immigrants especially africans.

The case ended up that I was sued by the Police. a paradigm twist from what was supposed to have taken place. The security men that unleashed violence on a defenseless man went free; The incompetent Police agents that arrived, observed all the evidence of violence and did nothing about it were not questioned anywhere; The only witness/ good samaritan by the name Joe was sued and later charged to pay 30 euros and racism is still the order of the day in Spain.

Note: Before i left Africa for Europe, I was a victim of ignorance. The wrong assumption which was imposed by the colonists into our heads that everything white is angel and that everything black is evil.

Not everything that is dark is evil and not everything white is angel. Infact, the angels are also the devils in their large numbers.

domingo, 15 de mayo de 2011

How to resist Racism without Physical confrontations...

There is the question that lingers into our minds whenever we come across unpredicted tragedies like a group of armed racists. Individuals who perpetrates acts of racism do so either triggered by hatred towards their victim, as a tool to trigger a physical confrontation or to intimidate, humiliate and undermine not only the victim but the race to which the victim subscribe. Racism can be active or passive depending on the methodology in which it is carried out and the effects that inflicts on the victim.

Passive and Active Racism;

Common Examples;

A native african gets on a public bus, helps himself on a chair and he/she notices that a whole row of european passengers stands up and moves away from their respective (neigbouring) seats; A white new member of your work staff prefers to wait for another white to tell him where the toilets are located; An African traveling miles searching for his native dishes leaving all the nearby white shops; An Asian being offered lens by the whites to insinuate on the aspect of their faces; Arabs and Islam being associated to terror.  The above mentioned are some examples of passive racism. Once the victims notices them, the best reaction is to ignore them and if opportunity of a dialogue arises, take a neutral position to defend race equality. If you are a black man, you may highlight areas where you think blacks should polish up (without exaggerations and without mentioning names of individuals) but remember to use every single oportunity to put forward your case as a victim.

Active Racism in my opinion impacts on lives in a very negative pattern. There exists street active racism and Institutional active Racism.

"Once upon a time in Madrid- Spain the years 2001 to 2002, I was a caretaker of a social hostel, big enough to shelter 20 to 30 individuals mainly from the the sub-saharan Africa." I met a group of violent racists face to face, two of our colleaques had been brutally injured and no sooner had I organized for an ambulance than the armed racists reached on us.." The universal right to self defense in my opinion could have been legislated by a person/or people who had gone through the same odisea in whch I experienced that fateful evening". I have never defended myself with the strength, vigor and the resolve I had on that fateful day, ..together with the boys, we managed to surpress them but we incurred injuries".. We can avoid this by not inhabiting in areas where active racism is rampant; We can always unite, take a licence for a peaceful protest against Race descrimination.

In the USA especially during the period of economic meltdown, given the percentage of US citizens who lost their employments as per race and states of origin, the overal tally of african Americans were more than Caucasian americans. One can argue that this was a case of a national crisis but again the same crisis having a harsher toll on people from a certain race more than the rest is not justifiable. It is institutional racism.

Institutional Racism can be fought by rebutting wrong legislations in place which promotes descriminations of persons/ or replacing them with strong laws that ensures race and gender equality in all areas.

These are my personal experience and my opinions about them.

domingo, 1 de mayo de 2011

Racism is worse as compared to terrorism. The best weapon to fight terrorism is to start by fighting racism..

From time immemorial, the main enemy of mankind has been and continues to be the discrimination of one from the other either because of his/or her religious affiliation, culture, country and to a large extent our physical appearence.

If we study and investigate the history of slavery and the slave trade, it was based on the assumption of Inferiority/ superiority complex of a one people who in their minds did not even contemplate to believe that africans were human beings let alone the fact that they deserved a treatment with human dignity. This continued in the face of mankind for well over 400 years.

The slavery which ended only on pen and paper was followed by the extensive colonialisation of the continent of Africa for the sole purpose of robbing their God given natural resources. During the conquest of Africa, the natve africans spilt blood and due to the fact that the aggressor had maxim weapons, they native africans had no alternative but to give in to the aggresor.

The slave trade ended, Colonization of africa also ended after a rigorous fight against the racist oppressors.

The mere fact that slave trade and colonialism have ended does not necessarily mean that the racist mentality went with them. Racism is alive and true today as it was then.

As new technilogy comes in our world, Racism has advanced. The racists have largely changed tactics and are constantly threatening the peace that mankind ought to enjoy living side by side.

I believe that all persons were created equally and ought to enjoy equal opportunities.

That No man ought to arrogate to himself the right to judge, qualify or disqualify the abilities of another man based on the pigment of his skin.

I welcome you all the family of mankind, to assist and do all within your disposal to fight against Racism.

Racism is much more lethal as compared to terrorism and in my opinion, the authorities ought to fight against Racism as a way of doing away of terrorism.