We who live in Africa have gotten used to equally atrocious acts being perpetrated against us
By Baz Bhasera
On the 25th of May George Floyd, an African American from Minnesota was killed during an arrest. A white American cop is seen in a video that went viral on social media, pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck for up to 9 minutes while Floyd begged for relief and calls out that he could not breath. Floyd latter on dies.
I was outraged when I saw the clip, to say the least I was terribly disturbed that I had just witnessed another black man murdered by another white cop for no logical reason other than the fact that a white cop chose to kill him.
The fact that all this was happening in America did not even register. It shook me all the same. I felt rage, and I stressed over issues of racism in my head. I am an African – living in Africa.
As we have all seen , social media has been awash with this issue and black lives matter hashtags have been dominating face book walls and instagram posts. Twitter is blowing up with the topic, people are outraged. In America protests have erupted, and the wave has even spread to other parts of the world – including South Africa.
This is where we pick up the friction: many Africans have begun to sound their disapproval of other Africans living in Africa, joining this movement, because as they cite “Africans have to fix their own issues first before they start jumping on the black lives matter wagon”
We who live in Africa have gotten used to equally atrocious acts being perpetrated against us, by those who have the same skin color as us. Tribalism and xenophobia can account for many public murders.
Most of us have seen video clips of a black person being set on fire by another group of black people simply because they are from another African country. Disgusting! Terrible and equally disturbing as watching an African American being killed by white supremacists.
But are those who say we must not stand with black lives matter justified in saying so, because we have the same messed up issues going on in our backyard? Are they wrong? I would say the answer is yes and no to both questions, and here is why.
All lives matter period. Whether its white, black, brown or other.
The sixth commandment in the Bible is “Thou shall not Kill (Murder). the command to not kill is in the context of an unlawful taking of someones life. so that means
- We in Africa must also stand and condemn the unlawful killing of George Folyd, because his life like any other was sacred and shouldn’t have been taken in such a manner, it is against Gods law.
- But, we cannot continue to jump on the black lives matter wagon because it is trending, if we do not ever speak out against the daily murder of our brothers and sisters by our own regimes, tribal movements and xenophobic groups. because even these lives matter too! God equally condemns the murder of one of our own, so we should do so too.
In a nutshell, we in Africa ought to be commended for jumping from one wagon to another instead. Lets keep the wagon that condemns xenophobia, human rights violations and oppression rolling.
Let it be upon that wagon that we can spring easily and get onto the black lives matter wagon with our brothers.
Equally they can also join us in our fight, because truly, what is happening to our brothers across the sea affects us, and what happens to us, affects them, we are one.
We know that many from the west have sacrificed much to fight for causes here in Africa that were not theirs, but they sacrificed much to join with us.
It is so reckless to say that we should not fight with them now.
But it is even worse, rather, it is a big farce, if we in Africa become keyboard warriors for the black lives matter movement, while still looking the other way, even as the innocent blood of our own people soils the ground where we tread everyday.
Baz Bhasera is a Pastor. Check him out on https://bazbhasera.wordpress.com/. Contact him at 00263 77 633 8470.
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