Part of the joy of blogging is having people following your blog, regularly reading your written thoughts and sending you feedback through their comments, likes, emails, reblogs etc. If you have ever wondered why people are not following your blog, these may just be some of the reasons:
They don’t even know that your blog exists in the first place…
You are not following their blogs…
People get to your blog, but find out your posts care less about their core values…
Beyond sharing my thoughts and being a source of inspiration to my readers, blogging has become a journey of personal development for me. I have learnt new things, improved on my writing skills, acquired new skills, met and interacted with different kinds of people from different places around the world.
I have inspired some people and I have also been inspired by many other people. I have defended my faith, read several insightful posts, gained vast knowledge in many areas of life and so on and so forth
Racial discrimination and prejudices wear attires in Nigeria different from the ones they wear in America. While racism exists as a result of differences in colour of the skin, tribalism hinges on differences in birth-roots. Both are common societal evils that must be dealt a decisive blow in order for us to have a better world.
No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite – Nelson Mandela.
Thank you for reading and happy new year in advance.
...Being prejudiced comes in many forms and it isn’t just restricted to those who have a different skin colour although that is one of the more obvious forms.
I’ve often wondered why it is that we almost automatically zoom in on those who are different from us, be it a mannerism they have, or a defect of any kind.
Recent studies in DNA show that all of us can trace our ancestry back to Africa, which I think, is kind of ironic, when you stop to think about it. I have a gut feeling that a lot of our prejudice stems from a feeling of superiority, where we think we are better than someone else.
And it should be noted that being prejudiced is not restricted to only those who have a lighter or white skin colour. I’ve seen and experienced prejudice flow both ways.
I actually think that all of us are prejudiced in some ways, it could be education, upbringing, intelligence, success or failure and a host of other “particulars”.
Short story is that it is all wrong, because regardless of what colour we are, we all are sinners and there is no “coloured section” at the feet of Jesus. Nor is there a section for the “educated” or a section for those who have been “successful”.
God is no respecter of persons, He looks at the heart and the last time I checked, we all have hearts.
It is sad that prejudice exists, in all of it’s various forms but I fear is a condition of the human heart that has not come to understand how we all are alike, regardless of our skin colour, regardless of our education or upbringing or success or failure.
We all are creations of our Creator, made in His image and we [are in] error if we think otherwise. And most importantly, we all need the saving Grace that God in His wisdom holds our to us, namely the acceptance and saving shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, to make us new.
Thanks to Bruce for this wonderful contribution.
I agree that prejudice or discrimination exists in many forms other than racism based on skin colour. But it has to be reiterated that such prejudice or discrimination is bad, irrespective of the form it is presented.
You should feel free to lend your voice to the conversation by leaving a comment below👇
Misggrace has been a victim of racism herself. Although my post which she responded to examined the issues of racial discrimination and prejudices with specific references to America and Nigeria, she expanded the discussion by sharing her personal experience of racism as a black foreigner living in Southern Africa.
I have her kind permission to share the story here so we can all see things for ourselves:
In Misggrace’s words
…Discrimination is something that really pricks me because I have experienced it. For the life of me, I just cannot understand why people choose to look down on other people because of intangible attributes/features.
The funny thing is that you don’t have to go as far as America to witness and feel the effect of racism. Come down to the southern part of Africa, you would see and feel it yourself. It’s more transparent in South Africa and Namibia than in other Southern African countries.
You can google some of the stories of how whites treat Black workers in South Africa, you would be disappointed. I must say that there are good white folks out there that don’t belittle other people.
The first time I visited South Africa, we stayed in a neighbourhood at Randsburg and due to the condescending attitude of white folks towards us, it dawn on me that we were in a predominantly white neighbourhood. There were police cars patrolling the area more often and if you are black, you automatically become a suspicious character.
Most of the black people you see around the area were cleaners and gardeners and if you were not wearing the attire for this domestic duties, the police patrolling will ask for ID’s. I was so disappointed.
We rented a house for one week in Ransburg because we came to SA to do our Nigerian passport from Botswana. When we first arrived, I just couldn’t understand why the white old lady was acting rudely towards my family (I, my parents and 2 younger brothers).
My Dad being who he is paid no attention to the woman but I and my immediate younger brother did. I kept quiet because I was dumbfounded plus I was 8 years younger than I am now.
After this woman finally gave us the keys to the house we had rented, we had to walk about 200 meters to the house. Our last born was about 2 years and we pretty much had to carry him alongside all our luggage.
One of the domestic workers quickly volunteered to help us and he told us that they would usually drop their white clients to their houses but they could have at least pitied us since we had a small child and heavy bags. I was initially just annoyed that we had to walk a long distance to the house but knowing that it was because we were blacks, I was boiling in me.
It made me observant throughout our stay in SA and in deed, anytime I visit, I am observant. I tell you that it is painful to witness black people being belittled just because of their skin colour. Its was as if white people were afraid of black people in their neighbourhoods or work buildings.
Seeing a black person in a predominantly white area signals thief, beggars, cleaners unless of course you’re a black person with a known professional reputation.
Thank you Misggrace for sharing this story. I felt touched by it in no small measures. How I wish the human race did not have to experience racism anywhere around the world!
Do you have any personal experience of racial discrimination in any part of the world? Feel free to share your story in the comment section.
I was born here in Nigeria and it is where I have lived all my life. I have never had the privilege of travelling outside the country. (I hope that would soon change!). So consider the views expressed in this article as one from an interested distant observer…
If there is any destination I would love to visit first outside my country, it would definitely be the US – yes, the United States of America. And that’s understandable for so many reasons – some of which are outside the scope of this piece.
As the Land of Promise, America remains a beckoning place to many of us from the so-called Third World countries. The people from our backyards who have visited the US or who live there have shared with us stories that are good enough to act as veritable attractions to that country.
I love the level of development in that country. The right infrastructures exist in the right places. The schools. The technology…Hope you got my drift?
Now let’s delve into the heart of the post…
Racism in the freeworld
As someone that views America from far across many seas and oceans, there is something I often ‘see’ or hear about America and Americans that I would say I can’t so much relate to. It is the disheartening issue of racism in that country.
But that I cannot properly relate to it now does not mean I want to underestimate its reality. More than many people are willing to admit, racism (that “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior”) is still an in issue being grapled with in 21st Century America!
While I was making the draft of this post, I came across the following confession by a blogger, an American citizen, who was wondering if racism also plays out in other parts of the world as it does in America. Hear her:
As an American I often wonder does the racism here play out the same in different parts of the world? What does racism look like other places? I also often wonder of the races within each country, The world is so big there has to infinite potential of races and mixed races living in different countries. Are they accepted in there own country or are there still barriers and such around? — TruthsOfaLostKid
Well, I’m glad to offer a little insight as it pans out here in my native country Nigeria. But first, let us put the question in a more direct way:
Does racism exist in many other places around the world?
Yes, it does exists – even in the so-called freeworld countries!
Unfortunately, not everyone agrees that it is wrong, neither is everyone actively engaged in fighting against it.
Is racism right?
No, it is not! And it cannot be. As Linda Lee remarked in the post What Colour Am I?,
What is wrong with people, that anyone would think racism is right? We are all human beings, we have all been created by the same Almighty God, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US was made in His image.
I would agree that, black or white and everything in between, we were all created in the image of God. Unfortunately, not everyone would agree with that position.
While some people may deny that racism exists in the US, even at institutional levels, many people agree that it does exist.
From the way I have read about it in prints, watched it on the news and seen in movies, I can conclude that the issue of racism in America (especially as it affects black Americans) is real. If this were not so, why do we have such outspoken movements as “Black Lives Matter,” and not “All Lives Matter”?
The black people in the US claim they are the victims of most racial prejudices in that country. But there are some reports which also claim that white people suffer some discriminations too.
Like I pointed out earlier, I speak as a far-flong observer from another side of the world. So feel free to enlighten me more on the issue if you have firsthand experiences on racial issues. I may not know so much where the shoe pinches, because I am not wearing it.
You already know I am not living in America. So I do not have any firsthand experience of racism in that country. But that does not mean that I am looking forward to being discriminated upon or being subjected to an unwholesome treatment on the basis of my race like several people have been reported to have experienced (or still experiencing).
I am simply saying that due to my limited exposure, I am unable to comprehend the full breadth and depth of the issue of racism as it affects non-white Americans – the black Americans – in America.
The Toga of Racism in Nigeria
Does that mean we do not face the challenge of racism here in Nigeria, my country of birth and residence? Probably not!
But I do not want to pretend and say all is well with the way we the citizens relate with one another and with non-citizens around here. In fact, what you refer to as racism in America, takes a different hegemonic form here in Nigeria.
It is called tribalism, which, just like corruption, manifests itself in all aspects of our collective existence. But unlike racism, tribalism has nothing to do with the colour of one’s skin.
So you can imagine how odd it felt to be referred to as “people of colour” when you know that everyone else around you has the same skin colour as you.
People of Colour? No way!
I was taken aback a few years ago when a popular Hollywood celebrity actress who visited Nigeria during a movie award event referred to her audience (predominantly Nigerians) as “people of colour.”
Watching her on primetime television, I was like “hello, hold it…this is Nigeria, not America; we do not see ourselves as “people of colour” around here.
My point is that racial discrimination and prejudices wear attires in Nigeria different from the ones they wear in America.
In the words of Chimamanda Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah, “In Nigeria race is not a conscious and present means of self-identification. Ethnicity is. Religion is. But not race.”
This response she gave in a Goodreads interview as far back as 2013 aptly captures the differences between race issues in America when compared with same in Nigeria.
Unlike the experiences often reported amongst blacks in the US, no one in Nigeria is identified or should I say discriminated upon on the basis of the colour of his or her skin.
All of us are black! Instead of race, we talk of our ethic origins, religious affiliations and regional bases.
Ethnicity – the question around here is often, are you Yoruba, Ibo or Hausa? (Those are the three major tribes that constitute the vast population of the country);
Religion – Christian or Moslem? (These are the two hegemonic religious groupings but there are some insignificant others in between);
Region – Northerner or Southerner (broadly speaking) or (in terms of the six geographical regions), South West, South East, South South, North West, North East, North Central).
To our undoing, political decisions most often than not, are made on sentiments contrived along those three lines of ethic origin, religious affiliation and regional heritage. Unfortunately, the story is not so different in some other institutions such such as schools, labour market, and even in some churches!
While racism is the issue in America, tribalism it is in Nigeria. While racism exists as a result of differences in colour of the skin, tribalism hinges on differences in birth-roots. Both are common societal evils that must be dealt a decisive blow in order for us to have a better world.
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite – Nelson Mandela.