Quoting the words of legendary Bob Marley, “Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everything is war.” In retrospect, racism has evolved as civilisation came along from a simple human problem, ballooning to something subtle that has refused to be shaken away . Adolf Hitler blamed the Jews in the First World War after defeat of Germans. He called them sub Humans. Many decades ago Christian regions blamed Jews for the death of Christ, this was until 1960s when Catholic Church stated Jews were not to blame for the death of Jesus. Pundits in this area are in agreement racism emanated from Western countries.Some of the worst hit are United States and United Kingdom, but in 1994 Rwanda almost crumbled after extreme xenophobia was witnessed when at least 800, 000 Rwandans were killed in a span of 100 days. The Tutsi tribe were brutally murdered by the Hutu community.
First forward now, you would shudder to imagine that some people still find it okay to be racists. A recent case in time was when Brazilian International full back player, Dani Alves while taking a corner at Villarreal for Barcelona was thrown a banana by a ‘fan’ just to signify he is more of a monkey, presumably. Sensationally, he took it and had a bite which would later trend all over the social media as fellow footballers across the world took cue. The same week, an elderly American owner of little known Clippers team of NBA was recorded by his twenty something girlfriend scolding her for bringing along black Americans to watch Clippers games.Lupita Nyong’o only recently broke the bomb shell of how she struggled with her dark skin. She prayed and hoped one day she would wake up light skinned. This was to change when she stumbled on a celebrated American based Sudanese model Alek Wek on magazines as she stole the limelight in all runaways. The fact that people were dazzled and talked of how beautiful she was, inadvertently helped Lupita overcome and surpass her own insecurities and perceived inadequancies.
South Africa struggled with xenophobia even before they got their independence in 1994. It initially started with institutionalisation of apartheid where black and whites schooled and shopped in different places. After independence the hunter became the hunted,cases of xenophobia became rampant and dire. In a recent research, 21% South Africans favour complete ban of foreigners and another 64% support strict limitation on the numbers allowed.
Back home, as we struggle with national security, the Somali community have been the worst hit with all manner of security xenophobia. This week on Monday, worried Kenyans coming to terms with the twin blasts along Thika road, alighted from a matatu in Nairobi after a guy with the so called ‘somali features’ boarded the vehicle. You would be forgiven not to appreciate that the said young man was a winner of a popular leadership reality show dubbed ‘Uongozi’ which aired last year in one of the local TV stations. Am also told of a woman on buibui, who was forced to alight from a matatu by fellow commuters.On social media, there has been a popular narrative commonly referred to as ‘Light Skin Syndrome’. Any lady with a brown complexion will be made to look more of a blonde for all the bizarre reasons.This retrogressive actions depict and badly cast this nation badly in terms of tolerance.
With all the remarkable civilisation globally, you wouldn’t expect condescending and primitive behaviours or statements belittling fellow humans at this day and age from the very developed nations. Its just sad and disheartening for anyone to discern or subscribe to a notion that one can be sub human based on skin colour.I can only peg my hope on a quote by Martin Luther King Junior, “I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”