Africans’ defensiveness against ‘racist’ comments our main weakness

Is Africa the s**th*le that United States (US) President Donald Trump was allegedly said to have called it?

Donald Trump

 

Well, being an African myself, based in Africa, and having no plans of ever leaving my homeland, the answer is an emphatic, YES!
My reaction will certainly shock those who proclaim themselves to be pan-Africans, or those nice people, especially Whites – who sincerely believe that we need their help in the defense against vicious Western hegemony.
The chorus will surely be that, it is either I am a White stooge, or a downright fool – comments not too unfamiliar to me.
However, if one were to ask me what the greatest weakness to today’s world was, I would bravely answer: political correctness.
If ever there was a single danger to world security – and should surely be an issue for the United Nations (UN) Security Council – political correctness.
The greatest recipe to peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, and unity is honesty.
Nothing is greater.
If ever one needs to be reconciled and be at peace with their neighbour, the cardinal rule is ‘honesty’.
No relationship can be sustained without honesty – no matter how brutal.
I have always believed, and preached – especially to my family – that, no blessed are the peacemakers, not the peacekeepers.
There is a huge difference between a peacemaker and a peacekeeper.
A peacekeeper is that one who pretends to like someone or something, just for the sake of keeping the peace – yet, in the mid to long run, this creates further resentment and possible strife.
The peacemaker is the one who says things as they are, not with the intent to cause strife,  but to let the truth be known – as to what they genuinely feel – so as to resolve any issues.
Thus, if, for instance Trump feels that Africa is a s**th**e, then the question is why does he think that – not every African and those ‘Mr and Ms Nice People’ crying ‘racism’.
Trump may have denied ever uttering those words, but we know what he thinks about immigrants, Moslems, and Africans – however, I personally believe that instead of being defensive, we should try to understand where his opinions are coming from.
Is he wrong in his views?
Are not our nations truly a truly disgusting pot of dictators, failed nations, and people who would rather kill each other than make a living for themselves?
Let us also look closely at Moslem countries, is that not the area most  affected by terrorism, by fellow Moslems?
Are not some of the most gruesome acts of terrorism committed in Europe and the US at the hands of Moslems?
Quite frankly, ask any American – including African Americans – whom they would feel safer with, or in which neighbourhood they would feel much safer: Black, Latino, or White?
Let us be brutally honest here!
We all know the answer.
So where does the problem arise – is it because someone dared say it aloud?
How can these problems be resolved if they are not spoken out loudly and clearly?
There are obviously deep-seeded causes to these issues, but the only sure way to resolve them is by first openly speaking about it.
However, if we continued being so defensive, it is akin to an ostrich bidding its head in the sand – we will never know the issues.
Personally, I do not believe there is such a thing as prejudice, just for the sake of prejudice – there has to be an underlying issue.
Let us openly speak about those issues, without fear or favour.
Tell me why you do not want to see me, or for me to be in your neighbourhood – from there, we can openly and honestly resolve our differences…as long as there is a genuine will, not defensiveness and retribution.
If then, Trump says those things about Africa – or any other group of people – instead of boycotting him, or making a show of ourselves, should we not be engaging each other?
I grew up in the midst of cruelty at the hands of White people, as we moved into a ‘White’ suburb soon after Zimbabwe’s independence.
I could have chosen to be bitter and hate all Whites, but did not.
I would rather be honest to them as to how I honestly feel about how they treated me, and how that makes me feel about them.
Nevertheless, I would also want to understand why they did that, without bruising them off as mere racists.
In that way, we can both move forward.
Therefore, let is all honestly take a re-look at what we as simply brush off as prejudice, and be prepared and mature enough to talk about it honestly.
Racism should never be reduced to my simply desiring to be accepted by White people, who then reject me.
It has to be something more serious, something we can sit down and talk about.
° Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. He is the Programmes Director at the Zimbabwe Network for Social Justice (ZimJustice). Please call/WhatsApp: +263782283975, or email: [email protected]. Please also ‘Like’ the ‘ZimJustice’ page on Facebook.
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