COMMENT | Rebecca Karagwa | I read from several sources to find out how African leaders and the AU have responded to the Africans being mistreated in China. What I found was that there hasn’t been any collective and serious response to such a humiliation that Africans in China have and continue to face.
Our leaders are not making serious demands and it’s not the first time. For so many years, in similar or worse situations, we have continued to suffer just because we are “black”.
There is a saying, “I would rather die without ‘kneeling’ than dying on my ‘knees’.” I remembered it because I know we are not as economically empowered (which shouldn’t be the case anyway but I will leave this for another day) and so African leaders, often won’t do the needful in representing true interests of the African people for this reason.
We will be abused, tortured or killed and not much might be done to address such in a manner in which similar situations are handled – if they involve whites.
However, our leaders must know that, not having the economic muscle doesn’t justify the compromise of our dignity and rights as Africans.
This is because there is nothing good our oppressors, Chinese and all the others, are doing for our benefit. We are sustaining a “death” that will eventually lead to our death. And I am here to say that, it’s important for us as Africans to choose how we die. It must be honourable.
Why do we have to continue living as though we are half human and therefore undeserving? Why do we tiptoe through life because of our skin colour? What are we afraid of?
Worse still, our leaders, despite being well placed, won’t address any of such matters rightly and bravely to our oppressors.
I read a statement from the AU President and he still referred to what’s happening to Africans in China as allegations. In the meeting he held with the China ambassador to AU, he didn’t even ask for a simple thing such as an apology from the Government of China and neither has any one of the heads of states in Africa.
I understand diplomacy, which by the way I have great respect for but this is not being diplomatic!
On 13th April, the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda was hosted on NBS television via a Skype in an interview to address Ugandans about what’s happening to Africans in China and summarily, he denied that there aren’t any sufferings. Imagine!
The AU President further mentioned via a tweet that they will improve the situation of Africans in line with the strong and brotherly partnership between Africa and China. But in all honesty, what is brotherly in the way China relates or operates with us?
Is it through their poor quality products across the continent, which products are by the way designed for us because elsewhere in the world, China doesn’t export poor quality products? Or is the brotherhood expressed in the continued racism against us?
If there is anything brotherly, why didn’t the Government of China call upon the African Governments to take away their citizens who are illegally in China? And the humiliations, evictions and all discriminations are not just to those who are illegally in China.
Take an example at the McDonald’s temporarily closed branch in Guangzhou, China because it barred black customers in compliance to local regulations! Was it barring illegal blacks in China? And anyway, is it only blacks who are illegally in China?
What is so special about China and all other foreigners who mistreat us both here in Africa and elsewhere in the world? What exactly are we benching for from our oppressors? Don’t we know that they are not for us whether they construct roads, factories or make whatever nature of donations? Look at the public debt burdens for almost all the countries in Africa but our leaders are still excited about partnerships with them. Some are private investors. Can’t ties with China and all our oppressors be cut?
Why tolerate the racism yet we know we can make a choice to be respected? OUR LEADERS HAVE ‘KNELT’ FOR TOO LONG and there is nothing they are saving for us or themselves anyway! WE SHALL ALL EVENTUALLY DIE and WHAT’S THE POINT IN DYING ON OUR ‘KNEES?’ Stop making us to feel crippled and suffocated. Do right things for the now and the future of this Continent.
We MUST IMITATE and APPLY the bravery of our ancestors; our fore mothers and fathers who fought so hard for our dignity! Over the years, we have continued to “massage” our oppressors. It’s UNNECESSARY & DISHEARTENING and I have no doubt that our ancestors look down on us in sheer anger and disappointment.
There is need to do better and whereas there is nothing easy, it is possible.
Rebecca Karagwa is an AWLF Award Nominee 2020, Chairperson Law Council-UCULS 2019/2020, Learner of the law| Feminist |TuWezeshe fellow 2017 | Activista | AWIIH Volunteer| FOWODE fellow 2018