I had just woken up one morning and I decided to check my social media platforms so as to get updated with happenings around me and also read a couple of online newspapers when I stumbled on a tweet which read “I don’t even consider black women as women, more like feminine men to me to be very honest”. In my usual positive state which someone else would call “naivety”, I told myself that this was someone who was probably referring to the strength of a black woman, and I was about to move on, when I saw another statement made by her “Laughing my fat ass out, they gave the month with the fewest amount of days to black people #BlackHistoryMonth #WhitePrivilege”. In that moment, I paused, went back to the last tweet and a certain kind of anger rose in me as I realized what she meant.
A few months back, I had spoken to a friend of mine who is based in Canada and when I enquired about “racism” and if he had encountered anything like that, he told me that though it was something that was a rare occurrence, he had experienced it a couple of times. According to him, on one occasion, he was walking and a white was standing somewhere nearby and suddenly, the white spat in his path. He told me how confused he was as he could not understand why someone who did not look like he had any illness would exhibit such unwarranted behavior.
Trust me, you have not heard the best of racist “gists” if you have not heard this one. One of my Dad’s friends was the last person to get on a London bus which had just one seat available beside a white lady. According to him, immediately he sat down, the lady stood up and refused to sit and she maintained a distance from him. My friend’s father understanding what was being played out, stood up so that the lady could sit and “enjoy” her journey. She ended up occupying the two seats, all because “the colour of his skin”.
I must confess that these behaviors are really pointless to me, I mean, I see totally no reason to it. Why would somebody make effort to reduce a person because of his skin color?
But then, maybe we Africans are the ones who have let this escalate. Let’s bring it back home, our television screens are full of “white Nigerian girls” who have either toned their slightly fair complexion or have just switched “somewhat miraculously” from black to white. I almost jumped out of my skin when I saw the throwback pictures of a friend whom I have always known to be fair. She actually used to be very dark skinned. I couldn’t help wondering where all the melanin went. And you can’t blame her at all; have you watched today’s adverts and music videos? What do you see? Even to get a job these days is now about your skin color and not how good you are “Oh, she would learn on the job, we need her face for marketing”.
Listen to the radio, and you hear on-air-personalities that are trying so hard to be British and end up mixing everything up. After all is said and done, they sound like a mixture of Japanese, Chinese, American, and British – you can barely hear what they are trying to pass across. There is a big difference between pronouncing words correctly with the stress in the right places and trying to sound like you are from Mars.
Away from the media, let someone who is black tell you about something and you may not be interested, but let a white man make a move to tell you that same thing and you would probably kiss his feet before he starts talking.
In as much as whites need to understand that we are one irrespective of our color, we as Africans need to be proud of our skin color and stop trying so hard to be white.
I am black and not any less human. My skin color does not reduce my worth in any way. I am black and proud; you should be too!
This article was written by Blessing Iyamadiken