12.03.2013

Anti-Black racism from Asians in Nigeria

This is what the French would call témoignage...it is going to be long.

When relations really started booming between Africa and China, I was based in the UK and as such I very much had an outsider perspective on things. This is something that I've learned in hindsight. Coming home to Nigeria for a few weeks in a year or two, I would constantly catch glimpses of the presence of China, and as time moved on other Asian countries who didn't want to be left out, in Nigeria. I wrote about some of them here on the BN, whether it was the Chinese chef flirting with the Nigerian waitress at this Chinese restaurant I frequented, or my other cousin's friend who is Malaysian Chinese and always trying to speak pidgin to her, or my other other cousin (you know how it is with us Africans and cousins) who works with a Chinese construction company and testified that his bosses were always at clubs in the weekends trying to chat Nigerian girls, or my Igbo friend telling me about his Chinese neighbours in Equatorial Guinea who he learnt Chinese from and taught a bit of Igbo to. One thing I didn't talk about then was how despite these seeming positive stories, my people did not have good things to say about Asians. "Asians are greedy", "Those Chinese are so stingy", I heard it all including the horrid "ching chong" jokes. I spent hours lecturing people on how their views were wrong and wondered at the Western influence on these anti-Asian and anti-Chinese remarks (I'm sure Nigerians did not come up with "ching chong" on their own).

Earlier this year I came to Nigeria with the intention of staying for a month or two, then heading to China. In that month, my mother saw a job advert for a position with the embassy of a certain Asian country (I shall not name names and remain vague for privacy reasons). She thought I should send in an application, which I did. To my surprise I got called for an interview and got the job. I started almost immediately and almost immediately I knew, subconsciously even though I'm only just admitting it, that not all was right. Still, it is considered good to work with an embassy and as a graduate of international relations this was just in my field. In fact I had been queried about my dissertation on Africa-China relations during my interview. My friends thought the job was perfect for me because of my love and consumption of Asian medias. I looked forward to enjoying the "international" environment. Yet one of the first things a Nigerian staff told me, on my first day at work when they introduced me to her was "we are a family, you know these Asians never respect us. You can never trust them." She spoke in a mix of Yoruba and pidgin. I felt disconcerted, not this again, when will I see the end of Nigerian anti-Asian behaviour? Little did I know that what would come to disturb me was not anything the Nigerian staff would say but the way the Asian staff acted towards them.


It is one thing to read news reports on the dark side of Africa-Asia relations, there is some sort of detachment, been on ground is another ball game. I have been here since March, and since then I have witnessed the humiliation Nigerians can and do receive in their own country, ironically at the hands of Asians who we're supposed to be in a "win-win" partnership with. When it comes to anti-Black racism from Arabs, that is nothing new but anti-Black racism from East and South-East Asians is not what most Nigerians would expect. As hinted above, Nigerians generally don't think much of Asians, so for an Asian to call us "monkeys" is preposterous. For Asians to shout and yell at us, even to the point of physically assaulting a woman in her 40s is unheard of. As you may be aware, Nigerians thrive on respect, as do Asians, older people command respect yet to my non-Nigerian colleagues this does not cross over nationality. I see that they have respect for each other, but literally zero, zilch, none, for older Nigerian staff. I know a bit of the language, so I can understand when they are insulting us in our presence, calling us "bastards". Just a few weeks ago, one of the younger staff (she should be in her 20s) reported some Nigerian staff (in their 40s) to the admin head for "disobeying" her. I was out of the office that day when I heard this news and my mind was blown away by the sheer ridiculousness of it all. What does it mean to "disobey" someone? I was there when the incident that lead to this "disobedience" went down. The Asian lady colleague was rude as hell, snapping her fingers and banging on the table to get our intention when a simple "excuse me" would have done. And we are supposed to be working together. One question always running through my head these days is, "would they do it to us if we were from their country?" and the answer is a resounding "no!"

I was speaking with some other staff, who were not there, about the incident and one lady said, "you know the problem is that they think they are white when they are just bloody Asians!" I cringed at the "bloody Asians" bit, and at her implicit assertion that only white people can get away with disrespecting Nigerians (when really no foreigner should get away with treating you like shit in your own country) but as I said above, Nigerians are generally not used to anti-Black racism from anyone who is not white or Arab. Despite my qualms I can honestly agree that Asians here do act, or at least try to, act like white people. Essentially they adopt the view of whiteness to look down on Africans while viewing themselves as superior. How many pale skinned people are walking around in African countries assuming the role of "master" which automatically means Africans are supposed to be "slaves"? It is like if working here has lifted a veil over my eyes and now I see more examples of Asians behaving badly in Nigeria, in the media, through friends and on my own. For example recently two Chinese men tried to rape a Nigerian woman (it is hard attempting to read the comments below the link). When my older Nigerian colleague was physically assaulted by one of the younger men at the embassy I work in, she could have gone to the media as well. At least the Chinese men may face the law, this Asian man at my embassy won't. We were told he had lost his job but I just learned that he was actually employed by a heavy industries company in Port Harcourt. Will I feel that this is a case of my enemy doing well, I can rest assured that in Port Harcourt this dude would be beaten the hell up if he tried any shit. I won't even go into how this dude tried to date me (this was before he physically assaulted my colleague), I quickly realised that I was not been accorded with the respect I deserve even from someone who claimed to "like" me. It ended before it began, but not before he tried to grope me in the office. I have now joined the ranks of people he thinks he can bully.

The few times I've gone out clubbing, I see more Asian men with white women than I should be seeing in an African country. Same at dinner places, Asians hanging out with the white folk. A friend and I took our Korean teacher out for a late lunch and she bluntly told us "the Koreans here don't like Nigerians at all. They think I'm strange for going out with you girls." A new friend of mine who aspires to work in an Asian embassy strongly believes that before leaving their respective countries for Nigeria their respective foreign affairs departments tell them that they are only Nigeria to work, and not to mix with the locals. I personally think it is the other way round, they come here and initially all is well, there are smiles, curiosity and then a few months down the line someone is shouting at you for not giving them *your* car keys and refusing to call you by name but preferring to bang on a table shouting "listen to me!".

I've told my mum all the sagas I've witnessed in this embassy, the first thing she asked was "do they treat you like this as well." Surprisingly the answer is no, maybe it's my "global citizen" background, or the fact that I come from a wealthy family and my salary here doesn't mean much to me (another theory the Nigerian staff have is that the respect initially held towards us goes down the drain when they realise how little we're being paid). The only person who has tried to bully me is the physical assault dude, it was a really silly situation that seemed more to me to do with his pride been hurt because our "relationship" did not work. I really wish he had tried to yell at me or put his hands on me like he did to my colleague, I would have beat him back unlike my colleague who amazingly did nothing. Still when I was new here, I became the one who gets asked "why do Nigerians always try to cheat us?" to which I responded "you know not all Nigerians cheat, people from your country cheat Nigerians too". In other words I was now lecturing Asians on how not to be anti-Black, but it got tired pretty quick. I now adopt a policy of no-smiles, no greeting until I am greeted first, I don't care if I'm labelled rude and disrespectful but respect is mutual. I must add that this sort of behaviour is not coming from the older generation, but from the young ones. Those in their 20s and 30s, not the older folk.

As this year reaches its end I find that I'm exhausted emotionally and mentally. I detest coming to work and rubbing shoulders with those blackinasia calls "neo-colonial Asians", a term that I would not have been comfortable using before this year. It has also really become hard for me to enjoy media from this certain Asian country since I started working here like I used to before. It took a reminder from Hateya that these are poor representatives of their country, for me to pause and take a breather. Yet something must be said because so many Asian countries are sending bad eggs to Nigeria, and I can imagine to other African countries as well. What does this mean for Blasian Bridges, to borrow Silver Tiger's term? What I keep on seeing is the lack of kinship at best, and this dangerous idea that white people are better than Asians at worse.We are not moving forward if Asians in African countries struggle to have the basic respect for Africans and adopt anti-Black attitudes towards us.

Update: Due to the republishing of this essay, there has been renewed interest in the situations I mentioned here. I wrote this immediately after those negative incidents occurred, when I was still upset that they occurred at all. Since then the environment has considerably improved. The diplomats who have always been respectful, as I mention in the essay below took the allegations very seriously. There were organized meetings with foreign and local staffs in which grievances were aired and measures were taken. While reading this essay, it must be kept in mind that the offending parties have been either chastised or have been relieved of their positions at the embassy. Steps have been taken to improve mutual respect and tolerance that are required for better relations, and I hope the environment continues remains favourable.

64 comments:

  1. Am from Ghana so as you can expect the same thing happens in my country. I do not live in Ghana, but a good friend of my mum who works in Ghana told me that ones a Chinese guy told her that most of the workers in Ghana are/were prisoners who are sent to Africa to work. In Ghana actually you have all sorts of Asian communities but mostly Chinese and Koreans who live in their own 'ghetto', I mean they have their residence which is then surrounded by walls to protect/separate them from the locals. Furthermore before they come to Africa they are told not to mix with the 'dirty Africans'. They even bring in Chinese prostitutes for their men. The problem we face in my country with the Asians are illegal gold mining. Lately the Ghanian government has been tracking these illegal gold miners down. Some Chinese people were even shot to death.http://wwwhttp://m.peacefmonline.com/pages/news/social/201306/166995.phptheguardian.com/world/2013/jun/06/ghana-arrests-chinese-illegal-miners

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have followed the news on Chinese prostitutes and the illegal gold miners in Ghana. I wonder when our governments will start taking action.

      Delete
  2. Poaching is a big issue in certain parts of Africa, esp with the dwindling elephant population and the unsated desire for ivory in certain parts of Asia. One thing I've wondered about is if these relationships Asia countries are making with certain African governments have also facilitated illegal practices that can affect the livelihood of people on the mainland as well as their ecosystems. There is an imbalance of power and I don't support bigotry in any form but this reminds me of a quote about foreigners who come to Africa not being expected to be treated like slaves but if you're an African going to a western or westernized nation you can be expected to be treated as such. People may treat you better when you possess a particular kind of privilege that they consider to be noteworthy, usually compatible with Eurocentric standards. But without those privileges I suppose you might be treated much the same as the people in your anecdotes. We can't really get rid of bigotry if we also don't discuss power relationships. People perceive and receive benefits from holding a low view of others and keeping them down systematically.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am well aware of how I would be treated without my privileges. It's part of what makes me so angry, that there is a disparity in how I am treated when compared with the other Nigerian women who are older than me. Speaking of power relations, part of the reasons the Nigerians don't want to speak out is that they will lose their jobs, unemployment is a huge problem here and people would rather deal with such disrespect that face the prospect of losing their jobs.

      Delete
    2. I understand. It's easier to speak truth to power when you don't risk losing your livelihood. This is a sacrifice many make.

      Delete
  3. This is just so well-written and thought out, I'm not sure where to start. I didn't grow up in Nigeria, but it hurts to hear about this as a Nigerian. I remember reading about the growing Chinese relationship with Nigeria when I was working on my PoliSci degree. I thought it would be a good opportunity for both countries to do great things without the West being an interloper. But the more I read, the more I realize that the Chinese seem to be "neo-colonists" who don't care about the well-being of Nigerians at all. And now that I've read your personal perspective, I can't help but feel disappointed, but I'm not really sure if I'm surprised...

    Of course, with any group, not all Asians are bad seeds, but the abuse they've hurled at you, your colleagues, and the people you know are things that I hear all the time here in Taiwan. Granted, I chose to come here, but I don't think they tend to act this way toward their own like you said (or, honestly, toward white people). I mean, I bet if you replaced one of your co-workers with a white person with 1/4 of the abilities needed to do the job, the workers from Asia would still worship the ground they walked on. The amount of ass kissing some Asians give to white people is almost embarrassing, whereas if you really know your stuff, it doesn't matter because you're black. :/

    This whole things just makes me mad, sad, ect. though because no one should be marginalized in their own country. The many Africans in Asia don't do it, so why do they think they can go to African countries and treat the people like this? I think it's because they believe this is how white people act, and like you basically said, whiteness is what they sometimes try to embody.

    "I now adopt a policy of no-smiles, no greeting until I am greeted first, I don't care if I'm labelled rude and disrespectful but respect is mutual."

    ^This is my policy now with some people I encounter. I did come to Taiwan by choice, but I don't deserve to be disrespected when I've never been disrespectful. Good on you for taking this stance.

    For some reason, even though I know that food, language, and media is all part of culture, I think I've progressively divorced those things from my negative experiences. Maybe it's just a way for my mind to make them more palatable, I don't know. But I see how your experiences could have taken a toll on your enjoyment of those things.

    Take care! I hope you get a new job soon, seriously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like you I was optimistic. I'm still interested in Africa-Asia relations but I know nothing will work if no one stands for us Africans. Honestly I've seen how they act towards white people, my desk is close to a meeting room so I always hear how the guy in charge of admin yells at the top of his voice when talking to Nigerian service providers. You can guess it is the opposite when the service providers are from Europe. There are no raised voices asking "why are you trying to cheat me?" "why did you say this?" It is very frustrating.

      It's harder for me to divorce media from such bad behaviour because I think to myself "how does this actor/actress/singer that I'm squeeing over regard Africans or Black people in general?" As for food, that's easier to divorce, and for language I need the interest to follow through with that and encountering bad eggs leads to a loss of interest.

      I hope I get a new job soon too! I've been looking hard.

      Delete
    2. You know I was NEVER optimistic about this. I saw it for what it was from DAY ONE. I'm sorry, but my attitude towards Asians in Nigeria and Asians in general is going to be "Racist Fucks until proven otherwise."

      Delete
    3. ***comment moderation***

      Asians in general is going to be "Racist Fucks until proven otherwise

      Not on this blog. On this blog, we don't randomly assume negative things about 60% of the human species. That is a sweeping judgment in overdrive.

      Delete
    4. Come to Nigeria first, and you will stop being all kumbayah about it. It's because no Asian in America can lock a black person in a cage ( it was done to some Nigerian employees by their Chinese employers in Lagos ), and nothing will happen.

      It's because you have never seen an Indian boss beating their black employee black and blue in broad daylight, WELCOME to Nigeria.

      It's because you have never seen black people being treated worse than dogs and pigs by Indians, Lebanese, Chinese, and now Koreans.

      Please just come and spend a few weeks in Nigeria, and your eyes will open wide.

      Delete
    5. Oh, and there are WHOLE SCHOOLS in Nigeria where Nigerian children are NOT ALLOWED to attend. Only children of whites, Asians, and Lebanese are allowed.

      There are also WHOLE APARTMENTS, AND WHOLE ESTATES where Nigerians are not allowed to rent, only foreigners.

      This is the reality of whites and Asians in Nigeria.

      Delete
    6. What you described is monstrous and your anger is justified. The world needs to change and we need to hear about the things that are happening in your locality. Racism needs to die. Now.

      If you've still got ears or are willing to hear, making careless racist statements (even out of anger) is lowering yourself to their level. You are basically swallowing their evils, stomaching it and churning it out. You are turning yourself into their machine. We've all been there. The Blasian Narrative exists to change the reality you're talking about and to prevent us from going back down that evil road. There's no kumbayah. If you think there is, you should read back the history of the BN and the authors who write here.

      One more thing, respect our authors. They work hard to make this place happen so you can come here and share your experiences.


      Sorry Ankh and Cosmic and Nicolette, you can have the microphone back.

      Delete
    7. @Sugabelly. My stance in the situations you described is always what did the Nigerians around do about what was being done to their fellow Nigerian? And what did the government do? The Nigerians that suffered the abuse, what action did they take to seek redress? Come on! These bastards get away with such recklessness because people are too busy protecting their miserable jobs or turning a blind eye. I know for a fact that if I were in any place where such a thing happened, I would do everything I can to make sure that whichever Asian is involved does not walk away free. So, @Sugarbelly, using racist terms for such Asians is not the solution; making them pay for what they have done is the right way to go. There are civil society organisations that will follow up on such cases. There are blogs that will publicise them and draw them to the attention of relevant people. If you know anyone that has been involved in such situations, try and link them up to organisations like CLO (Civil Liberties Organisation), and help them to get their stories to blogs like Lindaikeji. I am sure if you search online you will see more relevant blogs and CSOs. The crying foul has to stop and people have to start taking action against abuse from Asians against Nigerians in our own country. I am really infuriated by the examples you gave and even more upset by the fact that other Nigerian workers stood around and did nothing. We need to value ourselves more as a people.

      Delete
    8. Oh and on the estates for foreigners only @Sugarbelly, place that squarely at the feet of greedy Nigerian real estate owners that want to collect outrageously high rent in US dollars from corporate entities and expatriates. As for the schools, blame it on our clueless government that would allow such blatant discrimination against its own people. It should be noted, however, that those schools actually use curricula from their home countries, and attending them would be equivalent to attending a school back home for these expatriate kids. Personally, I don't care if they have their own schools, what I am interested in is our government giving education the attention it needs and making sure that Nigerians can get internationally competitive education. After all, even if these Indian, Lebanese, German, etc. schools are opened to Nigerians, it is the rich that will be able to afford the fees and send their kids there. That, in my opinion, does not help the average Nigerian in any way.

      Delete
  4. honestly its soo ttue am from Ghana and i've experienced a little of this snobbish behavor indirectly, its like they literally look down their noses at you *laughs humorlessly* like the first commenter said apart from the people they send to the embassys like your work place most sent here are criminals they want to get rid of and I can vouch for this. recently there was a woman who saw two chinese men stealing electrical cables in broad day light in a plush neighborhood in a suburb of accra no one approached or questioned these men or even bothered to call the police, this woman (who wasn't even from that area) called the authorities they ignored her so she approached and confronted these men and they verbally and almost physically asualted her can you imagine? she finally decided to call a radio station (which seems to be the only effective way to grab the attention of authorites here lol) to report the incident. again our goverment comissioned brand new solar paneled. street lights for all the newly built highways and within a month 90% of them have been stolen 3 guesses who the culprits might be *sighs*. the only reason why these people treat us the way they do is simple, we let them. if we stand up for ourselves and don't take their BS they will treat us with respect simple. am glad people like you are blazing the trail of awareness and allowing us to know whats going on right under our noses so we can stand up for ourselves. thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The way I see it, if they hate Africa and Africans so much, what the bleep are they doing in our countries? They can take our money, our services and our resources, all the while looking down at us. Honestly I won't be surprised that those sent to embassies are criminals too. The folks that behave have diplomatic passports, those that don't, the young ones are from God knows where. One of my colleagues says they are "people without a future" because those with means will not voluntarily choose to move to Africa. So imagine us Nigerians, as proud as we are, being abused by someone whose father is a farmer or who will go back to their country to be a taxi driver. The saddest thing is we would never take this kind of behaviour from our fellow countrymen or even other Africans.

      Delete
  5. This is the type of shit which gets me fuming.

    One term often associated with Africa is "Brain Drain," in which the best and brightest often leave the continent. This is mainly due to other countries having certain educational and language requirements. Yet African governments don't seem to set the bar that high; the people being brought in from other continents aren't being properly vetted.

    Silver Tiger pointed out that "Big Picture" mentality which is fucking everything up. Because Africans are so excited to have such and such jobs/projects/"billion-dollar" headline in their countries, that they're not thinking the whole thing through.

    Africa is continent of abundant resources, which has fed and fueled this world long enough, and the freeloading needs to stop. The opportunities for Blasian Bridges will always be there, but our leaders need to raise the standards for immigration and "investment", and let the world know that the gravy train is coming to a screeching halt. Everyone wants a piece of the Motherland. Everybody needs something from the Motherland, but they don't want to show the proper respect to African peoples. Our leaders need to stop being so easily impressed by every foreigner with a check. They need to plan better, actually think things all the way through, and be ready to protect their people and send foreigners packing prontito whenever they pull this type of shit.

    It's one thing to have a shitty experience while traveling abroad. It's another thing when this happens at home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...so ticked off I can even write coherently.

      Delete
    2. Believe me, that was very coherent. Everything you said.

      Delete
    3. "Our leaders need to stop being so easily impressed by every foreigner with a check."

      Oh God, I want to brand this on the bellies of our so-called Jamaican officials. They're just turning their eyes aside where foreign f*ckery is concerned - unless it's from the Caribbean, and that's a whole other story.

      Delete
    4. Yet something must be said because so many Asian countries are sending bad eggs to Nigeria, and I can imagine to other African countries as well.

      I want to shake some of our leaders and ask, "Do you think that when Europe invaded Australia and the Americas they sent their best and brightest? Hell, no. They sent their prisoners, their ex-cons, and anybody else they couldn't stand."

      History is repeating itself, and the last thing Africa needs is to go through another 400-500-year bout of bullshit. Vet these motherfuckers. Pass laws declaring that if you have a prison record, you cannot step foot on the fucking continent. Ask the uncomfortable questions - "What do you know about Nigerians/Ghanaians/Cameroonians*? What do you know about African history in general? How do you feel about working alongside Africans, having African bosses, living among Africans, learning our dialects and eating our food?" And then gauge their response. And let them know that if hired, they're on an automatic 1-year probation where not only can they be fired for abuse, but deported for racism.

      *Nigerians...take your cue from Cameroonians.

      Delete
    5. It's one thing to have a shitty experience while traveling abroad. It's another thing when this happens at home.

      It really is. And your comment is coherent. Yesterday I got talking with a colleague who said he lodged a complaint at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs...and they did nothing. So he's talking about heading to the Human Rights Commission and other organisations so that something gets done. He's willing to leave his job if that's what it takes and mentioned that our main problem is that no one wants to speak out.

      We need history to quit this replay, African leaders who should be looking out for our interests are acting like mere puppets. We know the kind of humiliation Africans face in the West where were are constantly expected to know the history of our adopted countries and learn to "blend in". Sometimes Nigeria feels like a big for nothing, we're the most populous Black nation, we are extremely proud people, yet this kind of shit keeps on happening and to an extent we allow it to happen. If we were deporting people for racism, more than half of the countries "expats" will be gone. Instead we have white only schools in Nigeria, and white only estates where Nigerian guards will embarrass you if you're found walking there while Black.

      Delete
    6. Are you SEERIOUS? This is apatheid all over again it must not and cannot be allowed. What nonsense!!! I remember a couple of years back there was an italian restaurant that didn't alllow black people over there, well unfortunately for this restaurant a journalist who happened to be black went there (not knowing their policy) well to cut the long story short this man wrote bitterly about his experience, the name of the restaaurant, and where it was located in the newspaper he worked for. well other media houses took up the story and the ministry of tourism had to take action and that restaurant was shut down. Well the point of this story is the outrage that the people expressed including myself (although not pulicly as others) got the goverment to take action. smh

      Delete
    7. Akatsukihana here
      Many chinese had come to Jamaica as indentured servants in the mid- late 1800s and have done well as Jamaicans ever since. However since the last decade, we have seen a rise in investments from Mainland Chinese;nonetheless the horror stories of Asian-African relations is yet to become an issue in Jamaica. Until then, if then ever comes, no Asian can come to Jamaica and treat us like that.... nevah! Maybe they were briefed on the Jamaican temperament.

      Delete
  6. Though I'm not from Nigeria or from other countries of Africa, to read about this kind of disrespect is terrible. The thing that bugs me is when Cosmic discussed the part where ,in spite of having similar cultures, they ( the Chinese workers)disrespected the elders. I'm an African American and I've been taught to respect my elders regardless of race,nationality, etc. They should do the same. I guess their idea of "Asian- African relations "is about the green.

    These people are sad..seriously sad. I guess they think that they are exempt from racism and that they are with the White man. Their arrogance is just disgusting. They're in Nigeria and just acts like the country is nothing. I've read stories about some African countries expelling people like that. If this keeps up they need to expel them out of those countries ( the racist ones). They are truly cowards.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is unfortunate to hear. And I'm really sorry for everyone's experiences here. One of my roommates is from South Africa, and she was saying similiar things(she is also half chinese) but about East Indians. I remember her telling me vividly about them doing stuff like this, and particularly about how "Gandi wasn't s***"( he only wanted to eliminate apartheid for Indians not the black africans) and how East Indians/Arabs have a caste system based off of race and that they consider black Africans beneath them. She said initially, at the school she went to in South Africa she was treated well because people thought she was part East Indian, but when she spoke Zulu their attitude changed towards her. One of the reasons why she eventually left.

    The amount of ass kissing some Asians give to white people is almost embarrassing, whereas if you really know your stuff, it doesn't matter because you're black. :/


    A thousand times THIS! Not trying to hate on anybody, but I've totally seen this, not in Africa but in Toronto with East Indians/Asians. The kicker is that SOME of them will throw you under a bus for a white person but when they get discriminated against, the first person they come to for comfort is usually their black "friend". Funny that. :-/


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The kicker is that SOME of them will throw you under a bus for a white person but when they get discriminated against, the first person they come to for comfort is usually their black "friend"."

      I'd invite them to kiss my black ass, and then tell them to go straight to hell.

      Delete
    2. Gandhi is literally the worst, not only was he a racist (although it is said that he changed his views later on in life), he treated women extremely badly and had strange things to say about the Nazis.

      Delete
  8. Very nice! Well, you know where I stand. Its all part of a Western ideology that we are sooo incredibly different when we are not. Africans think of Asians=ching chong garlic smell; Asians think of Africans=dirty and dumb...what this means is that blasian bridges are being burned even before they can be built. But you are right, we can't be bullied by Asians in our own countries. That would not fly if it was the other way around. I mentioned this before, but my Korean co-workers are so confused as to how I understand their culture better than the previous teachers before me. The principal of my school says "you are Korean". No sir, I am not, but I understand you better than...ahem ahem...the white native teachers. Until we realize how similar we are...things won't change. This anti-black racism is RIDICULOUS AND HAS GOT TO GO!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We really aren't that different, and I'm sure if you head to the root of it there's something related to white people there. The thing is regardless of all the similarities, the preference still largely rests in favour of white people. I'm not sure if Korea is as bad as China in its preference for white teachers, a South African friend who has lived in China for a couple of years now tells me that school would rather hire people from Eastern Europe who can't really speak English, than her as a Black African.

      Delete
    2. So true. I've heard of stories where a Black person seemed to interesting to them and when they submit a picture of themselves and /or learn where they're from, the employer will forget the and even other Asians. It's a crying shame .

      White worship is so potent .I'll never forget a YT news clip I seen where decoys were being used about race/nationality relations in Korea (I believe) Two (or more) decoys were used in asking for help around places in the a city in it .Sadly, the people were far more willing to help White foreigners than other POCs and Asians .That's so crazy.

      Delete
    3. Here in Korea, total opposite. They are bringing in more POC...because and I quote "blacks are more dynamic and fun in the classroom" this is what we were told...the number of South African and African American teachers has increased immensely here in Korea.

      Delete
    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    5. I recently peeped in at an ALT meeting and was surprised to see that there were far more African-Americans than I expected.

      On the other hand, I know German and Polish ENGLISH teachers who cannot get English-teaching positions in Japan. Of course, this country goes against all grains. The last South African I knew who got a job at a university was actually Greek with a "neutral" English accent and he had to sue to get the position.

      Delete
  9. How ironic we should be discussing this the same week Nelson Mandela dies.

    ReplyDelete
  10. POC solidarity is looking pretty dim.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As far as I can see, POC solidarity doesn't exist outside places like the US, and maybe the UK. If you look at the Caribbean, South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia...there is no solidarity between POC at all.

      Delete
    2. Can I just add that POC solidarity really does not exist in the US either. If we are honest about it because there are huge fractions between communities that are non white. Anti blackness still prevails and immigrants bring this attitude with them when the enter the US. Which is why there are so many tensions between black people and others. I think it would be better if we were real about the relations between non white people and stop bringing a false togetherness.
      AC

      Delete
    3. Here's what people like Cosmic (and I) are trying to saying. POC in the West make an attempt; our comedians, vloggers, and bloggers recognize a common problem and try to raise awareness. We're not denying or downplaying our problems. We are actually trying to do something about said problems, and it's thankless work. Either we're not taken seriously or people are annoyed that our efforts don't fix things fast enough.

      The Angry Asian Man blog is an exemplary form of solidarity - exactly the form of solidarity Asians would need to fight the deep-seated, white-obsessed colonial mentality - yet the author is constantly criticized for singing allegedly "Kumbaya" and disregarding the differences among Asians, though he does neither.

      Delete
    4. Here's a weird question: why SHOULD solidarity btw POC happen? I don't think it's necessary. We all our communities have such different needs everywhere. The only reason solidarity is forced on us is in opposition to the common oppressor. But as Cosmic has pointed out, that oppressor now comes in so many forms, even as it leads back to the root of the Slave Trade and Imperialist Europeans.

      The idea of POC as understood by us here (what are we all, anyway?) is an activist idea. A belief that oppression shouldn't exist. That there are those in our communities who have absorbed Imperialist supremacy ideas toward one another is a crying shame.

      Delete
    5. The idea of POC as understood by us here (what are we all, anyway?) is an activist idea. A belief that oppression shouldn't exist.

      This is why I'm on board.

      Delete
    6. I don't think it is a weird question at all. My two decades in North East Asia has certainly made me more interested in my own people than anyone else. While many visitors to the area enjoy being assimilated into the target society, I find myself looking towards connecting more with other people with sub-Saharan Black African ancestry. My library of Blackness has also grown to an astronomical level and I fear I never will be able to read the books, the stories.

      Everyone around me represents the majority and some TRY to treat me accordingly. When I'm with Asians, I seldom ever feel the tug of POC solidarity strings. When I make friends with Asians though, it's based on normal stuff like common interest in chocolate or tea or saving the bears and I prefer it this way.

      In truth, I've only felt the POC connection in the Asia once (beyond my connection with other Black people). On the way to a conference on the outskirts of Manila, our "limo" was surrounded by five little dark children selling flowers. The Euro-American guy in the car admonished us abut giving the children money because they'd just run back and give it to their parents who would then by drugs. Whatever.

      Anyway, I rolled down the window and tried to pass the little girl nearest to me a couple of bills. Instead of taking the money, she took my hand and looked it at with pure awe. If we'd been Vulcans, I'm sure we would have been sharing a Vulcan mating ritual. She compared hers to mine and then mine to that of her friends. Of course, I had no idea what they said when they spoke, but I recognized that me being brown was a huge deal to them.. My brown skin was much different than theirs, but there was a connection there. By now, you've probably guessed that these indigenous children did not have Chinese or Spanish ancestry.

      Anyway, though I thought I had only "paid" for only one flower, the kids dumped all of their flowers into the car, much to the chagrin of the Euro-American guy. I'll never forget their huge smiles or the sight of them running after our car when the driver took off. I've never forgotten what her little hand felt like even after all of these years and I will never forgive those who mistreated her and her friends simply because they are dark and BEAUTIFUL.

      The encounter also struck me as odd. Surely, they must have encountered Black Americans. Perhaps soldiers? If they had, how did my people treat them? Did they treat them with the same disdain as the majority society? Did the two groups ever have contact? Did Black Americans considered themselves above and beyond Indigenous people?

      On a side note, a few minutes later, Euro-American guy announced that he loved Black people because our teeth were so big and white. The other person in the car with us, a half-Nigerian, half-Filipino guy told jerk off to cease and desist.

      In the end, maybe POC only desire solidarity when they encounter oppression. My husband believes in human rights and civil rights and he is good to my family, but he does not have an intrinsic connection to Black people or vice versa. Most people treat me like a decent human being and I do the same for them.

      Delete
    7. That is why I Love Jamaica, hardly any racial bullshit, except when some of us crab barell our own people.

      Delete
  11. Totally not surprised AT ALL. The Asians that come to Nigeria cling to the Whites here for dear fucking life.

    Last month my boss and I took an Indian client out to Vanilla to close a deal. After a few drinks, we started talking about how he is enjoying life in Nigeria, when he revealed to us that he lives in a high apartment building quite close to where I live (I live in a very good neighbourhood) where ALL the occupants of EVERY SINGLE FLAT is Indian.

    And then he admitted to us that whenever a Nigerian tries to rent a flat there, they all band together to discourage the Nigerian from renting there, and they even went to the extent of pooling their money to rent out the one vacant flat so that no Nigerian could move in.

    Needless to say, my boss and I were so fucking disgusted. I nearly beat him with the vodka bottle, but when I thought about how the Nigerian police would run to comfort him for being Indian and not me, I decided it wasn't worth it.

    He said it so fucking proudly.

    Also in Spar (one of the huge grocery / supermarkets in Abuja), they don't bag your purchases for you unless you are White, Indian, or Chinese or other East Asian.

    Just go there and look at the checkout lines with Nigerian customers, all their purchases just strewn about with noone to help them.

    On the checkout lines with foreigners, CROWDS of Spar employees almost fighting themselves to help the person bag and carry out their purchases.

    Whites, Indians and other Asians in Nigeria can go to fucking hell and eat shit while they're at it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Regarding your last sentence and a previous comment above, I don't blame you for having that attitude in this situation. I think as blacks/Africans, one of the hardest things we have to deal with is not adopting the mentality that "they are all like this" in one way or another. I'm sure from the amount of stories we have all read about, seen, and heard, I'm surprised the majority of the black population doesn't have that mind set; and if we do, we are good at hiding it. It's time to stop being so nice.

      Delete
    3. I'm sure from the amount of stories we have all read about, seen, and heard, I'm surprised the majority of the black population doesn't have that mind set; and if we do, we are good at hiding it.

      Really? It's the opposite for me. Many of us most certainly have that attitude and make no qualms about expressing it.

      Delete
    4. I wish Nigerians will storm that house, those Indians living there need to realise that they are in Nigeria. *kmt*

      Crazy Negroes live in my hometown. By now, they would have burned down that apartment block right along with the SPAR. Then we'd all lie and pretend that we didn't know a thing about it.

      Delete
    5. SPAR in Lagos does not have this problem. I shop there once in a while (I have a deliberate policy to patronise Nigerian owned businesses way more than those of Asians), and I have never observed or experienced what you describe as happening in the Abuja SPAR. I wonder why Nigerians still spend their hard earned money in SPAR Abuja if they are being disrespected there? I really don't get it.

      Delete
  12. From my perspective, countries export two kinds of people; winners and losers. Since winners tend to associate with others who are equally successful, that leaves many of us forced to deal with the scum. Let's face it. These people aren't even wanted in their own countries.

    I suppose powerless people in can't help but show their asses when they go abroad and realize that they have a higher rank than the locals. It must make them feel special to see other people tremble and cower in their wake.

    They would never ever get such satisfaction from me. Every single person I encounter here in Asia, regardless of their ethnicity, understands one thing. Hateya does not consider herself INFERIOR to anyone and people can't help but respect that or just plain fear for their lives, whichever comes first.

    I am all for forging an alliance with Asians who are willing to join the struggle with us; however, I'm not looking to them to save us. Furthermore, I'm investing in my own people. I don't have time to worry about Europeans, Europeans-Americans or Asians with attitude problems.They mean nothing to me; however, if I saw an Asian man pushing around an older Black woman, I would kick his ass from here to kingdom come. I cannot and I will not, tolerate such behavior. The same goes for screaming, ranting and raving, and cursing in the presence of an elder. Like any other decent person, I have home training and I won't deal with maggots who have no respect for us just because we're darker.

    I wish I had the answer or reasonable advice to give all of you who are suffering. I believe that deep-down most people are decent human beings. Despite this, those of us with darker skin and amazing hair, tend to run into the jerks far too often.

    Perhaps all you can do is NOT to show fear and to challenge them at every step, especially if you don't need to worry about putting food on the table.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose powerless people in can't help but show their asses when they go abroad and realize that they have a higher rank than the locals. It must make them feel special to see other people tremble and cower in their wake.

      I think this is honestly the case, and there are an unholy number of Nigerians who are willing to prostrate to anyone with pale-skin too. The most annoying thing about the pushing incident is that there were Nigerian men there, they stood back and watched and did absolutely nothing. But afterwords went to have a "man to man" talk with the dude where he explained that he was "just stressed". Ugh, I wasn't there when it went down, but I was afterwards when the lady was also misbehaving and now I look back unconsciously I started challenging her as well. It takes little for me to rebel. When she'd order people to stay in one place or sit down, I'd say out loud "please do what you want to do." Ha, maybe I should have been part of that "disobedience" meeting.

      Delete
  13. This is mind blowing. And I'm sorry about what you, and other Nigerians, have had to endure.

    For me, once my anger disspates, I find it cathartic to just do something--exercise some personal agency. I don't know how invested you are in Afro-Asian relations, but at the very least, you do have a demonstrated academic interest in the subject matter. You also have a frim grasp of continental geopolitics, and professional diplomatic experience. Who's better suited to engage in this kind of discourse than someone with your credentials? Pehaps you can begin documenting the scope of the problem, the attendant implications for Nigerian and regional African development, and recommend some policy perscriptions--e.g., Ankhesen's sugestion about criminal background checks as a requirement for issuing visas. Draft a white paper, organize forums and conferences around the region, ally with like minded Nigerians, and start a fact-based dialogue about the problem.

    I want to be clear that I don't think that you're obligated to sacrifice your health and sense of well-being in the process, rather, I only want to suggest that perhaps there's something productive to be gained from all of this. You're well educated, come from an affluent family, and as such, are uniquely positioned. Plus, there really would be no postcolonial studies without the contributions of African thinkers and writers, so I think that there's an intellectual tradition on your side. Also, as Hateya mentioned, don't think about this soley in terms of the Chinese. Sure, it's the Chinese in this particular instance, but it could be easily be the presence of some other global power. This is about you working to "invest in your own people" and affect change for the good of your country.

    Plus, if nothing else comes out of this, you've got material for a dissertation and a book deal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is about you working to "invest in your own people" and affect change for the good of your country.

      BINGO!!!!

      Delete
    2. Plus, if nothing else comes out of this, you've got material for a dissertation and a book deal.

      Thanks for giving this great idea, unfortunately I'm sure nothing would come out of it except the dissertation and maybe book deal. I mentioned above that I've got a colleague who is trying to get something done, so far none of the Nigerian government agencies have responded. I'm not good with organising anything, but working with my colleague is what I can do for now.

      Re investing in people, sometimes I think Nigeria works on its own plane, the prevailing attitude here is every man for himself and God for us all. I'm constantly been told and reminded that I'm on my own (or as my aunt says OYO as in "on your own"). So honestly I'm less inclined to devote myself to investing in people, I mean if I found like-minded people with resources and connections and if I could project and see that the change would really be effected then I'd be willing. I'm too lazy to fight an uphill battle on my own.

      Delete
    3. I think Nigeria works on its own plane, the prevailing attitude here is every man for himself and God for us all. I'm constantly been told and reminded that I'm on my own (or as my aunt says OYO as in "on your own").

      Nigerians aren't alone with that mentality in Africa...which, of course, explains why we keep running into problems like these.

      Successful countries don't have OYO mentality; they protect what's theirs by any means necessary and invest in their people. Until African nations adopt this mentality, our people will always have these problems with foreign entities.

      Delete
    4. Until African nations adopt this mentality, our people will always have these problems with foreign entities.

      And it really doesn't look or feel like any change is happening, which is why I remain pessimistic.

      Delete
    5. I think the mentality is a bit different in my country. I'm from Angola and my country has also relations with China. Here in Angola the Chinese and White people are really nice to the locals. It is actually forbidden to discriminate against local people. If they do they will be send back to their home countries. Angola recently deported dozens of Portuguese and Chinese (they were illegaly there). Many (uneducated) Portuguese people who come here think they will get the best jobs (white privilege) and once they arrive they get disappointed because educated Angolans are getting the jobs they desire,then they accuse Angolans of racism. I do think if Nigerians would adopt this mentality the foreigners would not dare to discriminate against them in their own country. Sorry for my English i hope i didn't make too many mistakes.

      Delete
    6. It is actually forbidden to discriminate against local people. If they do they will be send back to their home countries.

      *nods* Like in Gabon.

      I do think if Nigerians would adopt this mentality the foreigners would not dare to discriminate against them in their own country.

      They really wouldn't. And these countries would stop sending their bad eggs.

      Delete
    7. "Many (uneducated) Portuguese people who come here think they will get the best jobs (white privilege) and once they arrive they get disappointed because educated Angolans are getting the jobs they desire,then they accuse Angolans of racism"

      Ain't that some shit.

      Delete
    8. @Sarah

      Clearly I have to move to Angola. My love for kizomba and kuduro means I've always wanted to visit Luanda but your comment brings good news. Funny, I've come across those many articles on Portuguese moving to Angola and Mozambique for work but none of them ever mention the deportation. Angola is on the right track! It's sad that the only African countries I know of that take a stand against discrimination from foreigners are Angola and Gabon...this while I've heard of and experienced the discrimination in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, South Africa...you are in the minority and this is distressing. In Nigeria where foreigners segregate themselves, and this is allowed, I have never heard of anyone being deported for racism. I doubt this mentality will change soon.

      Time to start learning Portuguese.

      Delete
    9. Speaking of kizomba, I wonder if there's really a difference between kizomba and zouk (from the Caribbean). Whenever I hear kizomba, I hear the same music (zouk) as kizomba was heavily inspired from the latter. Maybe the dance is different?

      Delete
  14. @ cosmicyoruba

    you have good taste in music =),. of course they won't talk about the deportations you know white people will never admit that there is a country were they are not welcomed with open arms. Most Angolans have not forgotten how the portuguese treated us during colonial days, that is why Angolans are happy that the tables have turned. There are still many things that need to change in Angola but as a whole I'm really proud of how far we have come. You should really visit Luanda it's a beautiful city. As long as you a speak a bit portuguese you won't face any troubles. You should be cautious though if you are Muslim, Angolans are also not very welcoming to muslims (there was a beheading of an Angolan girl by the muslim community).

    ReplyDelete
  15. Interesting read, but as a Nigerian who has lived in Nigeria all my life, this does not strike me as strange in anyway. One thing I learned about 20 years ago when I first worked with foreigners was that expats of all races tended to congregate and socialise more together than with the locals. Also, I found out ages ago that Nigerians had always preferred Whites to Arabs and Asians. This sentiment, however, has grown worse with the increase in numbers of Asians, especially Chinese in Nigeria.

    Now as to Nigerian employees putting up with bad treatment from Asians, blame it largely on the economic situation of the country. Jobs are hard to get and many people take nonsense from employers (local and foreign) so that they can keep their jobs. If things were better economically, Asians would find it difficult to get any locals to work for them because your average Nigerian worker dislikes them (especially Indians, Chinese and Lebanese) and would really rather not have anything to do with them. People who have options do not take rubbish from the Asians (and other employers, local or foreign). For instance, I recall the story of a driver who gave his expatriate boss the beating of his life and walked away from the job; he had had enough of the disrespect.

    On the Asian men with White women, I think what most people fail to realise is that your average Nigerian girl/woman is not too hot on dating foreigners, especially Asians. A relationship with a White person is better tolerated than one with an Asian; and Nigerian females who desire an interracial relationship would rather be with a white man. Even then, the vast majority of Nigerian girls, even with the hard economic times and the economic advantages of a relationship with a white guy, would not be caught dead with one. Part of the reason for this is that the prevailing perception in Nigerian society is that only lose girls and women end up with foreign men. And sadly, the reality is that here in Nigeria most local girls/women that do get involved with or married to foreigners are of questionable background and morals. Hence, to date it is still unfortunately common for many Nigerians to refer to girls/women they see with whites, asians, etc as ashewo (prostitute).

    Finally, these foreigners that treat Nigerians badly are smart and know when not to do it. They know there are people that will make their lives hell if they tried it with them. In the days I worked with expatriates, they quickly learned to be respectful towards me and to mind how they talked to Nigerians when I was around. This was due to the fact that I did not (and still do not) make excuses for racist behaviour from anyone. There will be a big change, however, when the Nigerian government gets its act together and starts protecting its citizens better.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are no longer accepted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.