Thoughts On the Trending Black Lives Movement From Africa
Honestly, I don’t want to write this. I can already imagine the backlash and I am tempted to just delete this draft. I am not following my usual process of writing with this. I am just going to pour my heart out on this subject in the way it comes to me.
A friend just sent me a video of Vusi Thembakwayo speaking out on this issue. And it really hit me so much I know I have to say something. But coming out like this is hard, especially on this platform. Now, don’t get me wrong.
I am very grateful for Medium. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my ideas with the world in a way I like (which is writing) and get paid for it without having to sell anything. Without this platform, I would still have found a way to do what I am doing. But the fact that I use this means so much. But you can’t help but read between the lines sometimes.
I read some time ago that Medium prioritizes articles that lean to the political left. Since I realized that, I stayed off politics topics like a plague. Thinking about it, I have seen posts by the left US politicians recommended to me even though I don’t read anything politics good or bad. I haven’t seen anything from the other side. And there are several articles by general writers that lean to the left also. In my use of this platform, I think I have only seen one article that leans to the right. (Or people who lean right are not that bold?)
But hey, it’s none of my business. This platform functions as a publisher as much as they do as a platform. So, I am really going on a limb to speak something different from the popular narrative here. Try to finish reading before writing a comment. Don’t worry, I’ll be back to sticking with the subject of money right after this. But I’ve got to pour my heart out.
Where do I start? As some of you know, I currently live in Nigeria. And it is not because I can’t travel anywhere else. I have cousins in Europe. My junior sister has been in North America for over 2 years. My parents have traveled out of the country several times. They particularly loved their visit to Israel.
Long before my sister decided to travel, my parents asked me if I wanted to leave the country. I said no. The country is Nigeria and life is not particularly easy there. I cringe when I hear people who live in first world countries say they are having a hard life. In my mind, I’m like, “you don’t know what a hard life is”.
This is not to discount the pain of other people. This is to put it in some serious perspective. Try as much as possible not to look from the frame you are used to. Try my frame on.
And I am not saying this to be pitied. Damn, I make more money than 95% of the people who write on this platform. And that is just the income that comes from here. Yes, I have other sources of income too.
I know people who used to live in Nigeria, who have moved to the USA and are chanting that the system is unfair in the US. Hypocrites! Why don’t they get angry and come back to Nigeria? (I mean, if you are a US citizen in Nigeria and the system becomes very unfair, you would return to the US in a heartbeat). They don’t because they know that whatever they are experiencing in America is far better than what they would be experiencing in Nigeria. But when they take to the streets in the US, everybody takes them so seriously.
I know you will tell me of people who are descendants of slaves who know no other home but the US. But I asked someone a question one time, how many years ago was slavery abolished? Why is it still a thing today? This just makes something clear: you can liberate a man from bondage but you cannot liberate the bondage from the man. And for generations, the bondage can continue living in the minds of the people. What those people need is inspiration plus enlightenment. They need light, not how to curse the darkness. Let me just stop that by saying this:
If the system discriminates you, it only means you need to be better — it is a challenge to be “extra-good”. If you are so good, they will be forced to play ball with you
I shake my head in a sorry state whenever I hear someone say they want to end racism. It is one of the most ridiculous concepts I have ever heard. This is because there is no place I have seen zero racism. Absolutely nowhere. There is racism in Africa! Surprised?
It’s just that they don’t call it racism here. They call it tribalism. And it eats into everything. And when I mean everything, I mean everything. In the part of Nigeria where I live, I am unfamiliar with the locals. I don’t speak their language. And just so you know, there are over 300 languages spoken in Nigeria.
The local guy selling smoked meat will give you more for your money if you speak the local language. They can’t help it. It is a known fact. I guess that is racism. But no one protests that here. What you do is to learn the local language. And try to get them to laugh when you are negotiating with them.
There are people who work in government agencies who only hire those from their tribe. That is annoying, but hell is not breaking loose here. What about police harassing people? I have been harassed before by the police in a city that is dominated by the tribe my parents are from. I know a lot of people this has happened to. What about killings? They exist beyond what you can imagine. And I am not going there.
Anyone who is telling you that they are fighting against systemic racism in America is either a fraud or the person doesn’t know what they are doing. Hey, don’t judge that statement so fast. Let me explain.
Sometimes around 2011, I was watching CNN and I saw this project they started. They called it the CNN Freedom Project. I’m not sure if they still do that. The goal of the project was to end modern-day slavery. Sounds nice, right? I just saw a few clips and I forgot the whole thing.
About 4 years later, I was in a hotel and the TV in the room was tuned to CNN. And they brought up a program to commemorate 4 years of the CNN Freedom Project. When I saw it, I remembered when they started so I decided to watch and see how far they have gone with it. I will never in my life forget what happened.
They brought up the guy heading the project (or maybe one of the guys wh were heading it). Then the interviewer asked him the impact of the project thus far on modern-day slavery. The guy was honest. He said the problem has grown worse 4 years later. I thought about that for a long time.
Later I got the answer I was looking for. And I learned a very valuable life lesson I will never forget:
Wherever the awareness of a problem goes, the problem goes
There is another one:
You increase the problem in a place by talking about the problem
So, all the conversations about racism will only create more racism. That is the only thing that will happen. If you talk about the crime in place, crime will only go up in that place. This is the lesson about life that I learned and has made me change my approach to many things.
This is the reason that when I talk about money, I talk about wealth, abundance, being rich, and things like that. The knowledge of poverty will make you poor. The human being was designed to know to become. This means that you become what you are knowledgeable about. If you study sickness, you cannot be healthy. It doesn’t matter how careful you are.
Anyone who really wants to make a positive change or difference in the world has to use words like weapons. You say what you want to see, not what you are looking at that you don’t want. Ask these people who are clamoring for racism to end about what they want. Most of them will be speechless.
Protesting racism is like cursing the darkness and expecting that the light will come on. It is the dumbest thing in the world. Hence, anybody protesting racism doesn’t know what they are doing.
On the other hand, some people know exactly what they are doing. They know that the discussion and chant about racism will not produce anything tangible. But they are doing it for political reasons. Should I go there?
Believe it or not, the world is watching what is happening in the US. The problem is that most people only hear the narratives on TV. There is actually a silent majority globally that is watching what is happening. If the mob should have their way in the US, believe me, that is the start of something nasty. That will be the approval needed to spark nasty things across the world.
If you ask anyone who has lived through armed conflict, they will tell you that there are no winners in the end. The things happening are already looking like the mob could steal a win. This is because many people have now started making concessions in the name of joining the fight against racism.
I was at a live online program recently where someone asked a question about why the company (that is based in Canada) does not have black representation. And I was furious. Are we bringing that here? Of course, the company organizing the event caved in. And I sent an email to them to check that. If you already have a culture of excellence that operates without bias, why do you want to incorporate “black” people into the forefront of your company because of “inclusion”?
It is an insult on the “black” people themselves — they are acknowledging that they cannot get to the top by merit hence they have to hack that by some policy. If a person deserves a position, give the person the position but never give someone a position because you are trying to be inclusive. Never do!
“But the system is not fair”, you say. My dear, life is not fair. Do you think if I had to pick a country to be born I would pick Nigeria? But I take responsibility for my own life with what I have been given. Just so you know, Nigeria is the worst place to try to run an online business. Should I talk about that?
Currently, there have been some high profile online criminals that have just been arrested who are from Nigeria. And honestly, the number of cases of online fraud by nationals of the country is very disturbing. But there are other well-meaning people there trying to do something decent and earn. But everyone feels the impact of the fraudsters.
People have been rejected visas because of this whole issue. Good people have lost job opportunities because of this issue. In fact, people have called me a fraud on this very platform you are reading from. And I am not mad about it. It is part of the process. And I don’t want anyone to try and make it easy for me.
This is because in trying to make my way easy, you take out all the fun
But it is easy to shout racism when things are made easy for you. That is because you keep looking at those who have it easier and claim you want to have it easier too. If you are among those chanting against racism, let me ask you an honest question:
What do you want?
If racism is darkness, what is the light you are trying to turn on? I know many will jump out to say equality. But equality is a myth. I don’t understand how people consider it a viable goal. How in the world would you measure equality? How will you know when you have achieved it?
Do you go to the jungle and say that the lion and the antelope have equal rights?
Do you ever see the antelopes trying to protest the lions for equality? No. That is because life doesn’t work that way. If you want something, go for it! Don’t ask for your way to be made easier. But that is what people ask for today. They want the same quality of life as a millionaire without all the mindset, strategy, sales skills, etc. All those saying they want equality do not want equality. They want preferential treatment because that is what they keep getting that makes them satisfied. And you do know that preferential treatment is “racism” but in another color.
Most of the people making this fight today think they are on the right side of history. But some of us can see both sides clearly and we know that they are not on the right side of history. The hypocrisy is vivid and I don’t think history will be kind.
I was beyond shocked when I saw certain politicians in the US get African fabrics (we call them “Ankara”, by the way), and kneel with it. I was speechless when I saw it. Enlightened people here laugh at the display. But of course, they can’t laugh publicly. If you are impressed by that, I don’t know what to say mehn.
I thank God I am not someone in the US at this time because the backlash would be crazy. But this won’t be complete without talking about Trump. The stats are there for anyone who cares. Trump can be an extrovert who speaks roughly and bluntly, but you can’t deny the stats. You can’t deny what the man has done for his country.
Some of you may be surprised that someone coming from a country that Trump banned US Visa several times is saying this. But I know things you don’t know. And I cannot talk about these things publicly. First, people queue to leave the country, very few want to go there. That says a lot.
Let me tell you something strange. If another attempt is made at slavery, with a little bit of better (humane) treatment, many people in this African country will queue at the port waiting for the ships. Of course, they will plan to revolt and escape once they get to the destination. Sound familiar?
I don’t hate any political figure. I don’t hate Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden. I don’t even know who they are. (And I don’t believe the TV interviews, by the way. I don’t even watch TV anymore). But if I had an organization to run and I have to pick between those guys and Trump, I won’t pick those guys. Why? I want the guy that knows how to get results.
But apparently, Trump is synonymous with divisive information today. But it is interesting that if you listen to Trump without the pundits, he doesn’t sound any of how they make him look. Is this to say that you should vote for him? Hey, make your own decision. I have never participated in any elections and I don’t think I will ever. I always know who will win the elections in Nigeria before the election day. And anyone sincere with ears on the street will know too. Only countries like the USA still have an election system that works. And I hear they are trying to break that too. Sigh.
I am tired of writing this stuff. I should just stop here.
The poverty of “blacks” is their own making. Believe me, I know. Most of these people have a culture of poverty they carry everywhere they go. If you are going to be successful, it doesn’t matter what odd stands in your way, you will be successful. It may take a while because of the unfairness in the world, but if you keep your eyes on the goal, you will get there.
And when you get there, your story is sweet to the ears. You become an inspiration to the next generation. Not someone who was given a position because the company is looking for “black” representation. Earn your way to the top. Dominate. Become so good at what you do that they can’t ignore you. Shine so bright they have to wear shades to look at you.
And when you get to the top, inspire people. Don’t fight a pointless fight that doesn’t have an end. There was a time of obvious racism, but the world has gone past that. Even though, I think the situation then could have been handled a lot better than it was handled. It matters whose side of the story you listen to though.
Most of those who are welfare recipients are 3rd, 4th generation welfare recipients. Why? It is because poverty has been conditioned into their blood. If you give these people a million dollars today, they will protest why you didn’t give them 2 million. I have seen scenarios like this play out.
I have still not decided to publish this. This conclusion is even getting too long. There are many more things I can go on to say. But let me just leave this here. I look forward to getting awards, prizes, endorsements, and board seats for my bravery 😬