2.15.2008

i guess folk still don't understand...

was reading this blog today and a fellow commenter (white lady) seemed aghast at the author saying that black americans were still the most hated group of folks by africans and some other diasporan, africa-descended groups.

my response follows (cleaned up a bit from the initial posting):

it's true. here's a blog entry i wrote w/ some more background on that...

it's just like bootzey said: africans come here, see that blacks are on the bottom of the ladder economically, socially, academically, etc., and choose to befriend the white folks. in their own countries, many of them were taught to uphold the ideals and morals of the british/french/etc. more so than their own.

many of them have rejected ages-old languages, traditions and spiritual systems to embrace evangelical xtianity and islam because those are the groups with the money and the schools and the missionaries who can give them scholarships to american colleges.

all in the name of "bettering" themselves.

many of the staunchly pan african folks (think: kwame nkrumah, fela and femi kuti, the groups that fought apartheid in south africa) and traditionalists stay in africa, so we don't see that alternate POV.

they see black americans starving spiritually and beginning to reject and question christianity for traditional african spiritual and metaphysical systems. to them, the "cleaned up, acceptable" africans, we're going "backwards".

they wonder why our children can't learn and are belligerent when they don't understand lead poisioning, criminalization, and the ancestral pain of having one's original language/culture/understanding ripped from them.

they understand the effects of hiv/aids, but not drug addiction (some africans make money from illicit drugs, but drug addiction in & of itself is not a huge social problem...at least not to my knowledge), the psychological effects of poverty in a consumer society, and so on.

so, yes. when ppl from other countries come here with a different understanding of what it means to be poor (when EVERYONE'S poor except the govt, police and other bribe-takers, it makes for different communities...), being able to take culture/language/clan-ethnic ties for granted and see the "boundless opportunity" all around them and us, and call us "lazy" and "stupid".

also remember that we're seeing largely middle class africans complete with the notions of bougeois privilege & propriety. i'm sure people probably think a bit differently in the "hoods" of nigeria and ghana.

it takes some education to figure out that, internationally speaking, any forced labor migration population has the same issues we do. most folks don't get that far. easier to just see what you want to see.

peace


i get hype about this. i don't mean ANY of it, not one word, as an excuse or a shield to hide behind. imo, what black folk NEED to do is do better. stop complaining about the system and refuse to perpetuate the systems and mechanisms that keep feeding our babies to the lions. period.

understand your history and the nature and reasons behind your oppression and rise above it. use the pain, don't succumb to it. too many angry black folks fall into that snare of using pseudo-science and other tenuous ground to root themselves in. they stay stuck there, hating everyone when it's not necessary. history has bourne us out on its own; there is no need to make shit up. even national geographic finally had to admit we ruled kemet...

that said, i will stand down anyone who refuses to see the strength, beauty, and heart of my people. yes, we can be fucked up. but this whole culture is fucked up.

don't get it twisted: i'm here by accident. had our ancestors' places on goree island been switched, i may have stayed in yorubaland or wherever and you would have been raised in west baltimore or philly or...

i ain't gonna be flyin the stars & stripes anytime soon, but i'll be damned if i'll sit back and let folks look down their noses at me out of ignorance of what we've been through.

fuck that.

2 comments:

Ifaleye said...

Se Alafia Ni
I can feel the fire and passion of your post
Ire
Ifaleye

sweetness said...

my godmother says that's the sango coming outta me. lol.