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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.

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