(151): Black people: No peace at home, no peace abroad?
By Muhsin Ibrahim
Tunisia has been in a socio-political crisis for the past few years. The North African country was earlier praised as the success story of the famous Arab Spring, while the same failed in Syria, Libya, Yemen, etc. But, the recent development has dented the relative success recorded in the aftermath of the uprising.
Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed, a controversial figure, looked for who to blame for his country's troubles. Shockingly, he blames West African migrants. In other words, black people living, legally or otherwise, in his country. It sounds farfetched, but that is what happens. He accuses them of crimes and changing the (racial) demography of the country!
Due to racism, many black Africans don't prefer to live in North Africa. A few thousand in that region are mostly descendants of slaves or come from the so-called Francophone West African countries. That "I speak your language" idea drives them there. Others pass through the area on their way to Europe.
Before the current Tunisian imbroglio, Moroccan police massacred African immigrants wanting to cross over to Spain. The BBC Africa Eye did a harrowing documentary about the incident and released it before the 2022 World Cup. I wanted to write about it but changed my mind for some reason. You may watch it here: Death on the Border.
The fact of the matter is, black people suffer racism globally. That comes in many ways, covertly or overtly. While some of us living in the Diaspora are lucky to find ourselves in cosmopolitan cities and towns, many others are not so lucky. Thus, they live in constant fear and daily discrimination and abuse.
We like it or not, so-called sub-Saharan Africa is the best place for black people. But, unfortunately, we fail to unite, tolerate our ethno-religious and regional differences and live peacefully. For instance, since the last weekend's presidential election in Nigeria, the same Nigerians have been insulting one another over who won and lost the elections.
We should not remain a pariah of a sort worldwide. No peace at home, no peace abroad. We need to grow up. If, for instance, black Muslims are not safe in the hands of Arab Muslims, and black Christians are not safe with White Christians overseas, where else should we go? Please, let's put our home in order.
Just so you know, this is my eighth year abroad. I have lived in India and now Germany. I have visited several countries, particularly in Europe. I have a white-collar job - Alhamdulillah. Yet, the above is true for most migrants, especially those doing blue-collar jobs. I wish to someday return to a prosperous and peaceful Nigeria.
Black lives matter!