By Osula Daniel Enahoro
When the white supremacy riot trended weeks ago in some parts of America, the black race felt threatened. They revisited and recounted their history and reiterated already established submissions which are indeed, facts, that all man is born equal.
I had carefully followed the trend and watched some pretty disturbing videos. In the course of this, I learned that racism wasn’t restricted to the discrimination and prejudice against people based on their race and ethnicity. In fact, it had more to do with their skin colour. An average white racist is a little more tolerant with light skinned people of the black race. I kid you not, this isn’t restricted to the westerners.
Black has always been associated with dirt, ugly, evil, sadness, mourning, dangerous, death, bad, ills, darkness and all. Just name it. And white? Peace, love, harmony, good, bright, light, and so on.
You wear black to mourn and white to wed.
The stories being told, even by Africans, have always or not to exaggerate, most times, symbolised blacks with evil and white with good. The witches in your movies are blacks and the angels that appear to kill them come with shiny white lights.
Religion has further demonised blacks by the representation and translation of doctrines from pre colonial to slave trade eras.
Most goats are black and goats are associated with foolishness, so black symbolizes foolishness. Eureka! Genius 👏 👏 👏.
This has yielded unfortunate results for the black race. This has negatively influenced our society, much so that people are repulsed by anything black. You can’t wear a black overall from head to toe. You’d automatically become a suspect. The Nigerian Police Force further aided the negatives associated with black until the recent change of their uniform.
One would think these effects are not so visible yet and that people aren’t taking lessons, until there are circumstances that forces people to exhibit their tiny bit of baby racism.
In the Kenya VS Nigeria internet war, Nigerians showed how racist they could get with skin colours, just because they’re a not as dark in comparison to Kenyans. Most of the memes that trended had something to do with Kenyans being too skin-black. I wasn’t shocked that a lot of you ‘black lives matter’ folks found those memes hilarious.
Yesterday, I was mentioned on a page that exhibited a very black Kenyan model. Truthfully, she was not so good looking, (in avoidance of using the adjective ‘ugly’).
The caption was something like ‘be proud of your black skin…’ around that line. And boy, the comments were disgusting. These were black people slandering their very own because she’s darker. This is how racism began. Exactly this, is how blacks sold their very own to slavery until the entire black race was looked down upon like piece of shit.
I had an altercation with someone who mentioned me when she said ‘las las, black no epp anybody sha’. I was taken aback. We argued further and I didn’t seem convincing enough. She furthered to say the model was ugly because she is black. To which I replied, “people are beautiful, people are ugly. Black or white. The model isn’t ugly because she’s black. Ugliness isn’t color. It’s looks. If she were light skinned with same looks, she’d still be ugly”. She no gree. When I said ‘people are ugly’, she replied with ‘black people’.
The argument didn’t end easy as she wasn’t willing to yield. It became clear to me why most of our ladies are pressured to bleach or tone their skin. Societal conception of what beauty should look like, I guess?
And with our very own hands, by our very actions, through our very own propagations, we have failed to reflect the shiny gold hidden deep within our blackness. We don’t tell stories of how engines and power run on black crude. We have failed to show that the darkest of nights are the most still, peaceful and quiet time for meditation. We haven’t taught no books, emulated no stories, filmed no music or drama where black represents good.
So our society has been grooming boys and girls to relate black skin to dirt. And they’re irritated to associate with it. Black is as much an insult as fat.
The very little piece of racist mentality that could make a person tone their skin to say black don’t fit or is ugly; that could make people opt for surgery or spend a lot of money to switch their appearance, would spark into full fledged racist assuming they were to be colored persons.
Black is a color too.
Black is gold.
Black is beauty.
This piece first appeared on Osula Daniel Enahoro’s Facebook wall.
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