Racial Profiling of African-Diaspora, And Tribal Prejudice in Africa – A View of Both Worlds

If there is one thing many conscious Africans would agree, it is the fact that “we are most persecuted race on earth.” But the above statement can be seen as a coin with two sides. The first side is the persecution of Africans by Europeans, Arabs, Asians etc. And the other side of this coin, is the “persecution of Africans by Africans.” This later ordeal is what we love to refer to as “Self-Inflictions.”

Africa currently seems like a house divided against itself. With ethnic tensions caused by political and social insatiability and instability, most tribes seek to own power and use it against the others. Also, in countries like America, the African is under intense scrutiny and deprivations for the color of his/her skin. The average African-diaspora in America stands a lesser chance to certain benefits as a free citizen of America.

In this piece we tend to identify and bring together the many troubles of the Africa, both home and abroad.

RACIAL PROFILING OF AFRICANS IN AMERICA

Racial profiling of people of African descent in America, is one social issue that has reached high levels in recent times. Some sources in America say that the country has entered a “post racial era”, but it is evident through reports of day to day lives, that the Jim Crow laws have only taken a new form.

Racial profiling‘ simply refers to the practice by American law enforcement officials of targeting individuals for suspicion of crime based on the individual’s race, ethnicity, religion or national origin. This can be said to be a one side approach to law enforcement or a wild goose chase by the law, just because Africans can be easy targets.

In an article by CNN, on May 11, 2018, on racial profiling, they reported that “In just the past month, an owner of a golf course called police on black women because they were playing too slowly. A white mother called the police because two Native American students made her “nervous.” And a white student at Yale called police because a black student was napping in a dorm building.”

Although we do not accept the use of the word “BLACK” in describing Africans, the above report helps in pointing out the issues at hand.

The racial profiling has gone beyond just police brutality and harassments. African Americans are harassed at stores. They also get turned down for employments. A study found that white job interviewers sat father away from African-American applicants, and that the interview ended 25% sooner.

Studies also show that stereotypically white names, get more callbacks than African-American names, after resumes are sent out to employers. Even if the two groups had similar qualifications, the Greg and Emily would get a call, while the Jamal and Lakisha wont.

It has been reported that African-American customers get charged higher interest on their cars than the whites. This happens even if they had similar credit histories.

Isn’t it worrisome that African-Americans comprise 12 percent of the American population and 13 percent of the drug users? Yet, they make up 38 percent of those arrested for drug-related crimes and 59 percent of those convicted of drug crimes. This numbers only point to the concentration of law enforcement efforts on the African American man, and this has created disparity throughout the judicial system of America.

We gathered that the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have requested for the practice that violates a person’s civil rights, to be reviewed by the United States Federal government.

TRIBAL PREJUDICE IN AFRICA

Tribadism in Africa has always been fingered as one of the biggest challenges to the growth of many nations in Africa. If history is visited, one would find that disagreements of tribes have led to many civil wars In Africa. Examples can be made of the Rwandan Civil war of 1990-1994 and the Nigerian-Biafran war of 1967-1970.

Often times, we are then led to wonder if it was wise in the first place to knock these different tribes together, because of colonial interests. Maybe Africa would have remained individual tribes, doing business on agreed terms, and intermarrying to better relations.

Till this very day, tribalism plays a role in many facets of societal life in Africa. Many nations have moved past the civil wars, but tensions still exist between these tribes.

Just like racial profiling in America, the use of law enforcement to suppress and intimidate minority tribes is a daily routine in many African countries. In Nigeria, majority of those in law enforcement are from the North and Middle Belt. The highways and streets in the Southeast, which is majorly the Igbo region, are always filled with police and military men, who frustrate road users and make away with their money.

Securing a job in the civil service is easier if you are any other tribe than those from the South East and South South. The Igbo tribe has faced systemic marginalization ever since the Nigerian-Biafra war which had the Igbo on the Biafran side. An applicant with a Hausa-Fulani name stands a chance of getting a job, instead a more qualified applicant from the South-East or South-South region of Nigeria.

Often times, a president gets into office, and then neglects one region of the country. There is no real federal presence in such areas. And after many governments from the same tribe, you will find that a section of the country is backwards in infrastructure, just because they don’t speak the same language with the tribe who has held unto power for many years.

Politics, civil service, law enforcement, public office, and appointments in many African countries are often times subject to tribal sentiments and bickering.   

Extrajudicial killings are highest in Africa. Law enforcement agents, drawn from a particular section of the country, find no crime in shooting peaceful protesters of another tribe to death. They kill them in their hundreds, take away their bodies and bury them in mass graves. Examples of this can be found in the extrajudicial killings of Igbo protesters by men of the Nigerian police force, just because the protesters are of a different tribe.

IPOB members killed by Nigerian Law enforcement

Also, another example is the genocide going on in Cameroon, as the Francophone region, which runs the government, kills those from the Anglophone region. In Ethiopia in the December of 2018, the ethnic crisis between the Oromo and the Swahili tribes, left 21 dead and over 61 injured.

Killings of people fleeing genocide in French speaking Cameroon

South Africa, remains the only African nation that shares its country and resources with foreigners, mainly Europeans, Indians, Americans, etc. South Africa’s story and her journey through apartheid, is not one that is new to many in the world.

Despite the gains made by Nelson Mandela and the ANC in taking back their country, the native Africans of South Africa, are still been marginalized and persecuted by law enforcement. The SA Human Rights Commission, in 2016/2017, said that they have received lots of reports on equality, healthcare, food, water, social security, and arrested, detained and accused native Africans.

If we are to mention the numerous cases of ethic prejudice in Africa, we might not come to a conclusion of this piece. But we are very certain that the reader understands our narrative.

WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON?

Anyone who really cares for the African man, home and abroad, should ask this question above. I mean, why can’t we come together to discuss and find lasting solutions to our problems? We are persecuted in foreign lands. And those back home who dont have “white priviledge” to contend with are caught up in the ethnic rivalry.

Our people need to become more conscious of how fast we are spiraling into nothingness. We are steady loosing respect before the committee of races in the world.

Our hopes are to see a better Africa, and an American society that respects and treats the African-American right, for the sacrifices our people have made in building that country.

Article Written By Chuka Nduneseokwu

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