I recently read an article in the news about Germany and its “Marshall plan for Africa.” Marshall plan for Africa. Seriously? Sounds like white supremacy at its best.
This article made me put together my thoughts about the problems of black and white, racism, marginalization, supremacy, curiosity, diversity, equality and so on.
What is racism to me? – Being marginalized based on the color of your skin. How do I see the concept of equality vs. diversity? Well, we cannot be the same. Simply because we are not. We are different. That’s the beauty of it. But we should be treated the same. If we are treated differently, then it should be only under the circumstances based on our behaviors. When someone behaves badly, then I’m not gonna let him…to the club, let’s say. Can be white, can be black, but the condition is that he/she doesn’t behave well, and that is the reason why I’m not gonna let him in. Then the treatment is based on behavior. Contrary to not letting someone in, because he is black. Then it’s based on race. And that’s not right. Simple as that. Unfortunately this thing (with the club) is still happening quite a lot in Czech. Oh well.
Another thing that is bugging me is this “black face’ issue. My youtuber boyfriend made a video called “How famous people wake up” which included sketches picking on celebrities and things their known for. Stevie Wonder, Chris Brown or 50 Cent were among those people. Whenever depicting a black guy, my boyfriend would paint his face with a brown color, simply to look more alike the depicted person. After publishing the video he got lots of comments that he is being racist and doing black face and oh my god how can he (!). I know, it has roots in the past, when black actors weren’t allowed to play in the theaters in the US, so then it would always be the whites painting their face black to play a black person and then often mock the black people with stereotype, racist kinda jokes. It’s bad but it was in the past. In a different context, in a different era. Honestly, why should it offend someone to have his/her face painted black if displaying a blackman, in an innocent comedy video on youtube? ! The color is a prop, just like a wig, make up or a…unicorn horn, whatever. Would I be offended, if a black person paints his face white while imitating a white person? No. It even sounds silly if yes. Why would I? Yet, it is recently a big issue and taboo, especially in the US/UK, to do blackface. Let me get to the idea of racism mentioned above. According to my opinion, racism is when people are treated differently because of their origin or color of their skin. If I paint my face black, do I treat someone differently? Especially if a black person is allowed to paint their face white freely? The logic here is very simple. But people often forget to think about the logic of things. The point is, where is this laziness to think and our excessive political correctness gonna take us? I seriously don’t know but I’m scared.
My stream of thoughts continues.
I often hear my black friends living in Czech say “People are so racist here, they just keep staring at me.” Now, is that really racist? They stare at you because you are different. People stare at me when I’m in Africa, too. But that’s not racism, that’s curiosity. Once they treat you differently though, that is racism.
This thought leads me back to Africa and the question is, if I am charged double or triple prices (mzungu/toubab/… prices) in Africa, what is it? When the procedures in public institution are different for white people? When the business is just done differently when you have white skin? Is it just taking advantage of someone who doesn’t know and can’t do much about the situation? Of an innocent tourist? Well, it’s a different treatment for sure. But it’s not racism. Actually, charging white tourists a higher price is reasonable; economically-wise it is a perfect price discrimination. The toubabs and mzungus might be upset about it, but no one makes a big thing out of it. Maybe because of the pain we caused to the continent in the past, which we are, somewhere deep inside, conscious of. Maybe we are scared of our political correct society, if we dare to question this behaviour (back to the political correctness, yay). Anyway, no matter what we think, this all might just be our own fault. Let me make a parallel between charging different prices for white people and the Marshall plan for Africa mentioned in the beginning. So if we keep acting like the omniscient, almighty Europeans who come to finally deprive Africa from all its trouble, of course we will be perceived by the Africans as someone who disposes of finance, or simply has the money. And then you can’t blame them for wanting you to share it with you, to redistribute the wealth a bit. It’s like a vicious circle.
I was just thinking out loud here, so don’t get me wrong. You know I genuinely love Africa and African people. And I am the least likely person to ever marginalize someone. I am just reckoning here.
Conclusion? Don’t ever treat someone differently, just because he or she’s black, green or red. Praise the diversity, because that’s the most precious thing we have on this world. Peace.