The recent outburst of outrage on social media about the dehumanization of African people in China has brought to light the ingrained prejudices and discrimination that still exists in the 21st century. What I find ironical is the fact that the Chinese government constantly seeks investments in Africa. At first, it is somehow unbelievable that such kinds of backward and rotten behaviors are still tolerated. I say tolerated because until today, we have not seen any country sanctioned for being racist or undermining African people and those of African descent.
However, we cannot say that we are shocked at this kind of behavior because it has been going on for decades only that now, thanks to technology, we get evidence. The fact is, racism is ingrained in people with white skin because they are brought up to believe that they are superior to people with black skin. In my interactions with some, they do not recognize how racist they are because it exists in their subconscious.
During a presentation in one of my classes, members of a group spoke of fair trade and used examples showing how ‘white owned’ companies were ‘saving’ people from developing countries i.e African countries & India by implementing fair trade.
First of all, ‘fair trade’ is a concept that baffles me because common sense denotes that everyone involved in the supply chain should be compensated as they deserve. Nevertheless, because of the mistreatment and undermining of minority groups and people from developing countries, this word was created to show how these white owned companies really ‘cared’ about being fair yet in real sense, it is a way of upholding the ‘white-man as a savior’ mentality.
It is no secret that some of these countries have benefited from oppression of African people through slavery & colonization and now, in order to redeem themselves, they invent such preposterous terms!
Secondly, the group members did not find anything wrong with the perpetuated savior mentality. This goes to prove that they are socialized in an environment that makes them believe that they are better than people from other parts of the world i.e developing countries. (let’s also acknowledge the fact that the constructs ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries were also put in place to show white superiority).
Let us not forget how white people are happy to flock to African countries for their humanitarian efforts so that they can add ‘CSR in impoverished countries’ to their CVs because it shows how dynamic and caring they are!
What I still and may never understand is the fact that some people think they are better than others just by the color of their skin. It is even worse to think that these were the thoughts of backward and insecure people who happened to have set foot on this earth decades ago.
I mean, look at the world now, in the middle of a pandemic that does not discriminate; climate change that does not discriminate.
What’s more is that the so called ‘superior’ races are continuously upholding such stupid racist ideals that this concept of being better doesn’t make any sense i. e how are you better if you can’t even think for yourself other than believe in the traditions of dead people?
In conclusion, it is very clear that the fight against racism is going to continue even into the next century. I believe that in this day and age, there is no excuse for being consciously discriminatory against other people. It is no longer excusable to talk of ‘I didn’t know’ yet we are surrounded with a wealth of knowledge and cultures every single day! It is clear now more than ever that talking about such issues isn’t enough for action speaks louder than words!