AFRICANGLOBE – America, how we wish it would walk its equal-race and human rights talk, for the rest of the world to admire and follow suit! Riots by angry Blacks in several American cities to protest the deaths of American Africans in encounters with police tell a sad, nay tragic story about the racial hatred that descendants of enslaved Africans continue to suffer at the hands of white police officers who appear totally intolerant of Black minorities in the communities to which those who are supposed to be guardians of the law are deployed.
Since Monday last week the city of Baltimore has been on fire as Black protesters torched property in a violent reaction to the death of a Black man who in police custody after his arrest, literally turning the city into a war zone as thousands of law enforcement officers were sent in to try to quell the disturbances.
The turmoil in Baltimore apparently capped disturbances that have previously taken place in Ferguson, New York and South Carolina after white officers shot and killed unarmed Black men.
Now, how is one to describe a situation whereby a person wields a hammer to swat a fly if such high-handedness as demonstrated by armed American police officers does not fall into the category of racial hatred — a continuing hatred that white America for years demonstrated against descendants of enslaved Africans while Big Brother USA self-righteously pontificates to smaller nations, including those in Africa, about the need for racial harmony and preservation of human rights by their governments?
Terminologies used over the years in America to describe Blacks have clearly been replete with racial overtures.
To begin with Negro — a term that according to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary means “a member of black-skinned race of mankind” — was used to describe the offspring of Africans shipped away by force to America for labour centuries ago.
Apparently aware of its racial connotations the word was dropped in favour of “people of colour”.
The latter term was even more discriminatory, implying as it did that white was a universal, Godly colour while black was some kind or oddity, or something resembling a fly in a bowl of milk.
The upshot of these terminologies is that Blacks, also commonly known as minorities, really do not have a permanent place in the overall society that they can call home without fear of arbitrary treatment by white guardians of the law who are not known to have wantonly shot unarmed white Americans with the same callous intent as that which appears lately to have been visited upon their Black victims.
What clearly appear as cases of race xenophobia are that the trigger happy white officers have literally got away unscathed, as one does after swatting a fly or a cockroach threatening the health of a household.
And come to think of it, when president Obama — son of a Kenyan father and a white American woman — first made his decision known to run for president, white Americans tried to play the race card but all to no avail and today the man is ensconced in the most powerful office of the only superpower in the world after the demise of the Soviet Union.
During a journalism career spanning nearly forty years up to 2001, this pen twice extensively toured the United States of America with a brief working stint at the Amsterdam News in New York City in the eyesore ghetto of Harlem during one of those visits.
It was clear to this pen from observations and discussions with Blacks that the” people of colour” were viewed by whites as an unwanted appendage to the American society. The children of former slaves said they suffered discrimination, some of it subtle, and some of it blatant, at the hands of whites.
A Nigerian taxi driver in New York City claimed that in some cases white employers preferred to give jobs to wives of Black people rather than to their husbands because they knew that if the wives controlled the purse strings in the family chances were marriages would break-up.
He claimed that that was one way of trying to destroy Black families, although his claims could not immediately be verified.
Sometime last year, an American radio broadcast claimed that where whites and Blacks held similar university qualifications, white employers gave preference to white graduates in an apparent case of discrimination against Blacks.
Another thing, Americans appear to think they can dictate what they believe to be world order to the rest of the global community with impunity.
For instance, just days ago, gays protested a court decision that gay marriages were unconstitutional. A man said to have been “married” to another man for eight years said he “wanted the world to know” that gay marriages were part of human rights for those with inverted sex.
In other words, the protesters want their constitution to legalise sodomy in the form of same sex marriages.
But if that kind of nebulous thinking is not a brazen defiance of God’s opposition to homosexuality one wonders what is.
But do Americans surely not know that Sodom, a wicked town in ancient Palestine was destroyed by God in his anger at the rampant acts of homosexuality taking place there?
With the sought of mentality demonstrated by gays it is not surprising that the West appears hell-bent on exporting homosexuality to Africa with countries that oppose it risking a ban in foreign aid to them, while those that want to curry favour with the financial donors appear ready to pollute their societies by accepting homosexuality willy-nilly.
The racial upheavals in America, if not solved quickly and amicably, might escalate into a bloody, racial conflagration with more lives and property being lost, making a mockery of the self-righteousness of those who rule that country and regard themselves as a model society where human rights are observed and no one is discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion or creed.
The US touts itself as an economic and military world power, but if the inter-racial animosities continue to rear their ugly heads unabated they might turn out to be that superpower’s veritable Achilles Heel.
By: Stephen Mpofu