06.05.2022 Feature Article

Africa The Only Place Sane Black Men Still Retain Their Dignity

Africa The Only Place Sane Black Men Still Retain Their Dignity
06.05.2022 LISTEN

Many of us can no longer live in one country after toiling all our life. There is a friend that returned home after his sojourn abroad. As soon as his plane landed on African soil, he kissed the ground and exclaimed: Thank God Africa, where Black men are men. After clearing Immigration and Custom, we asked him why he fell on his face when he landed. He was not in a rescue mission from Libya, a Muslim praying or the Pope kissing Airport tarmac.

Mind you, his first cultural shock outside Africa was when he saw a Black man carrying a sign in a demonstration that read: I Am A Man! On his return back home, he swelled up, lifting up his shoulder in a pompous manner. Our friend claimed he has just regained his dignity as a proud African. Our first thoughts could have been that he got into trouble with the law, his wife or children abroad. Actually, he was too careful and respectable to put himself into such situations. But he saw too many Blacks in such trouble, he swore that it would never happen to him.

So why would he display such gratitude on landing in Africa? The answers and the emotional tolls he repressed for many years would be told later in a better atmosphere and a lighter mood. Apparently, he left Africa in the good old days and invested back home to enjoy some level of comfort on his return. During his time abroad, he studied, worked as a professional in the day and supplemented his savings with any second job he could get, so that his wife and children could live reasonably well.

Despite his success, he never got the respect he thought he deserved if he had made it in Africa. The environment was so hostile to Black men, no matter how successful they are, the level of reward for their hard work is lower in the Western world than those accorded to whites and Asians. Indeed, anyone can climb on Black men that championed Civil Rights which opened the way to success for others. The only sanctuary is at home with a lovely wife and children. Even then, if anything goes wrong at home, a Black man is guilty until proven innocent.

Africans or Blacks are inductively programmed, especially the ill-informed to disrespect one another and be courteous to others first when in doubt. So, you find Black on Black crimes worse in Black neighborhoods, tribal turfs or some slight misunderstanding in African/Black homes getting out of hand. Indeed, if Police are called, a Black man could be shot before the facts are known. You must have heard about the Black Talk in the families of Africans, when confronted by Police. Even if he needed protection and had called the Police!

It is the messages passed on to Black children when the most successful Africans like the late former Secretary of State General Colin Powell and former President Obama, shared experiences they had with Police and on the job. Yet, there are Africans that claim they have never experienced discrimination in their lives abroad. They live in self created bubbles unknown to their relatives and friends. Let the fools fool other fools.

In addition, many Africans claim they had worse experiences with Police in Africa. We have to be clear and not justify Police brutality in and outside Africa. The point here is that disrespect, humiliation and discrimination are separate from Police brutality outside Africa to Black men. Hardly would a depraved Police in Africa pick on you or even shoot you dead execution style for no other reason, other than the color of your skin.

What we have in African countries is violence we all dread during political struggles, campaigns for power and vicious crime bred by abject poverty. It can be brutal when Police are used against civilians. In many cases, armed gangs would fight the Police back. Some of the African Police are so scared, they refuse to wear uniforms in volatile areas for fear of being attacked. It means the Police have been used beyond their lawful duties of law and order. We cannot imagine one or two African Policemen executing an innocent man in broad daylight with a gun and walking away scot-free without being mobbed.

Those of us that have read the history of “Black Wall Street''. how Symbionese Liberation Army were bombed out or seen what happened to Black men when they dared organize revolts against Police outside Africa, we know better. So we have to be careful in our consideration when comparing slights and outrageous crimes against Blacks/Africans at home and in the Diaspora. This does not prevent our Youths from taking the deadly risks through desert and sea to their "dream" countries since they lack opportunities at home.

The way most of the countries treat innocent Africans at the point of entry is so appalling, many of us dread going out just as others endure the shabby treatment at overseas airports as the price we pay for the criminals denigrating us outside. Mind you, that there are worse non-Africans criminals traveling unhindered around the world is not a justification. Many whites are more concerned about angry Black men than angry white men as a couple of legislators openly stated after the insurrection at the Capitol Hill in the United States.

In spite of all these, there is an African brain drain of professionals who think they are welcomed with the opportunity they never had at home. Dig deeper, it boils down to how much you are paid compared to African currencies. Foreign workers hardly learn that they will never get paid for their worth or as their coworkers. Foreign employers know devalued African money does not buy much at home and very little abroad. Whatever they pay, tickles you. Buying a plane ticket at home costs a fortune to convert. A fortune that could start some small businesses, only in Africa. If duly successful at home, taking a business or holiday trip abroad is refreshing.

Nevertheless, Africans are deemed the richest Blacks in America! Please bear with me. One of the reasons successful Africans become disillusioned abroad is that their success does not give them basic respect accorded to others. Even more devastating, is that Africans have to work two or three jobs to make the same or more money than their counterparts. They will never work that hard at home. Some of them die early hustling like a lion hunter to provide for their families and extended relatives at home. There is the African proverb that if a hunter thinks about what he has to go through to bring meat home, he would not share it with anyone.

The bottom line is, until African Youths tackle the demons in their individual countries and make them productive, Blacks, no matter where they are in the world will never be respected. It is insane that those in charge of African productivity are the same ones jetting out at will, using incomes they cannot earn fairly to buy exalted underused shelters abroad where they are disdained and least respected. If those they saw working hard to achieve abroad cannot earn the dignity they deserve, what makes money launderers think they can be respected anywhere?

Farouk Martins Aresa @oomoaresa

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