I have a silly question. Are Black people racists? Now that is not a funny question, or is it? I hear a loud “no” in one corner, and a “yes” in another.
I have read lots of literature on racism. I remember when Barack Obama was campaigning for the US presidency; he made a remarkable speech on race following reports that his pastor had a reputation of spatting out venom against White people. The speech was compared to Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream”. Something that would help ease race relations.
Speeches may highlight the problem, however, might not take it away until something radical is done about it.
The problem of racism is not just in Europe, America or Asia, but also on the African continent.
Unfortunately, every time people talk about racism; they imagine a White bully taking on a Black person. However, the truth might also be the opposite. Who said, Blacks cannot be racist?
Last week, I watched a video on YouTube where a black teenager goes to the park and sits near a White young woman. When she sees him, she shifts and moves a few inches away. Despite the distance between them, the Black boy whispers something into her ear. It is like he was asking for certain directions. The young woman shrugs him off. But the boy persists, and even asks for a few cents to catch a bus. The lady checks her bag before gesturing to him that she had no money left on her.
A couple of minutes later, a White guy comes, and repeats the same things as the previous one. The lady doesn’t move an inch despite the White stranger sitting very close to her. She is responsive when he asks for direction and later, gives him coins when he asks for some.
The video was a racism experiment to highlight the problem..
We cannot bury our heads in the sand to deny racism, because there are even worse stories. Some victims kill or die. However, racism is not always directed towards non-White people!
If we want to solve the problem, we should talk about it with a 360 degrees perspective.
And this is where my friend’s story comes in.
We were visiting an Indian priest last weekend in Kamuli, Busoga sub region. He was celebrating 25 years since he came to Africa.
I had met him earlier in Bombo, Luweero in 1997. I learnt many things from him just like I did from many other Indians I met at the Don Bosco Mission houses.
We were five in a car enroute to Kamuli when I casually mentioned that the priest we were going to visit was Indian.
“I have not seen an Indian Catholic priest before!” William mused. There is a belief that Indians either practice Islam or Hinduism, which is not always the case. Human beings are dynamic. Their choices keep changing.
If you want to know how racist Black people are, ask why few of us are adopting White children?
That has always puzzled me. We meet many White couples carrying Black children. It is even normal. We think they are helping the child. African or Asian parents offer their children for adoption willingly to White people.
That is why I ask; how about a Black couple adopting White or Asian children? How come I have not seen any!
Anyway, if well to do African couples adopted children, do they consider White children too?
And if a White parent received a Black couple wanting to adopt their children, would they accept?
The hesitation, prejudice and reluctance are at the core of our racism.
Children don’t actually mind other people’s colours. For them, it is just fascinating unless they are told this and that is bad. They might have a few questions, but, they harbour no ill intentions.
It is adults, however, that teach them racism when they tell them bad stories about other groups of people. They start to build walls out of fear.
I look forward to seeing bold Blacks adopting White children. There are many well to do Blacks and many disadvantaged White, Asian or Arab children. I look forward to Blacks standing up and doing something for the rest of the world. We can start with adopting Syrian children, for example.