I have tried so hard not to write anything about the #BlackLivesMatter rampage. But I shared my thoughts with around 100 colleagues last week and will do so again.
We cannot deal with racism until we fully understand and accept that it is a form of prejudice. All prejudice is BAD!
I have encountered racism & prejudice. THEY ARE THE SAME!
It really does not matter if it is a white person who treats me less or a brown person or even a fellow black person.
It stinks & makes me feel really angry.
But here is the thing..I once got fired from a job (working overnight) when I was a teenager because the manager said that we were ‘having fun’. I said yes we were laughing and chatty but just to keep us awake and I showed him our box full to the brim while others were halfway. He was not impressed & asked us to leave. I insisted he called us a cab especially as this was like 2am and there was a female in my team. He did not want to but I stood my ground. The agency who I had worked with for many years informed me later that the guy said I had pulled a knife on him. Yes he did…but they knew me well enough to know it was a lie.
He was not white….he was Asian. This dude belongs to the same minority category as I do. More recently I had an estate agent accuse me of forgery. Why? He could not believe that myself and my wife earned the type of wages that he say in our bank statements. He actually told me that there is no point putting it through because the vetting company would know…I was absolutely livid. I gave him the talking to of his life despite my wife insisting I did not blow my gasket and allow us jeopardize the transaction. Again he was Asian. Categorised BAME like me.
Let’s talk about the level of contempt we black people have for each other. How the Jamaicans hate the Nigerians and the south Africans who suffered apartheid that we all condemned are now the masters of xenophobia against their fellow black Africans. A crime worse than apartheid in my book.
After we finish dismantling the statues of the imperialist and slave masters, we must also remember to remove those of our forefathers who colluded with them and sold some of our ancestors into slavery.
This is the time for soul searching and deep reflection.
What we need is a template that allows us to treat each other kindly and fairly whether black, white, green or brown.
My name is Babasola Kuti