REMOVE YOUR KNEE, WE’RE ALLOWED TO BREATHE

On May 25 2020, last week, the world was horrified by the death of George Floyd in monstrous conditions.

 He was out buying cigarettes, as he probably did every day. A store clerk suspected him of forgery and called the police.

We know what happens next, George is arrested brutally, while on the images that circulate we see no resistance, the police officer proceeds this heavy-handed arrest, pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck, already on the ground and handcuffed, for 10 long minutes, ignoring his pleas:

 “Please, I can’t breathe.”

These last words of George are anything but trivial. Power is having the right, the permission to do something.

This policeman decided that he had the right to control the air George breathed and that he could take it away from him.

Once the astonishment had passed, one wonders why and how? Things had nonetheless evolved in the right direction?

At the risk of disappointing you/us, the equality we advocate is only a facade.

This racist act is captured by the cameras is perhaps astonishing for some, but for black people, it is part of everyday life. Being black is a constant struggle.

Derek Chauvin’s knee held on George Floyd’s neck is the perfect allegory of the oppression suffered by human beings, who are unlucky enough to be the wrong color.

These scenes, even if they are not filmed, exist and no, they do not just happen in the United States.

What allowed Derek Chauvin not to consider George Floyd as a human being to the point of taking his life without batting an eyelid, with his hands in his pockets, was built over years of dehumanization of the black man.

This process, which relegated the black man to the rank of inferiority by scientific theories, has turned into institutionalized racism to the point of devaluing the value of the black man.

No, that knee has not moved one inch.

This knee we feel it when, in the textbooks taught to children, an important part of black history is hidden, and black people only appear to illustrate the “third world”, and “underdevelopment”. We feel it, when instead of giving all the reasons for the problems that the black continent is experiencing, it is decided to make a clean sweep of slavery, of the colonial past (except to salute its good foundation), of exploitation, to speak only of the aid that Europeans give to poor Africans, forgetting to mention that they are indebted to Africa for having plundered its wealth and culture.

When one conceals the prominent role played by Africa in liberating Europe from Nazism.

When one erroneously says that, the black man has brought nothing to humanity except desolation, wars, and barbarism.

This process implants a superiority complex implanted in the subconscious of these children, which will decline in various ways in adulthood.

 This knee is pressed on the future of children who are not the right color, when they are categorized, predestined for jobs to keep them at the bottom of the ladder, regardless of their intellectual abilities.

We feel this knee in companies, when even if it has the capacities required, a person cannot aspire to certain positions because of the color of his skin. And let’s not talk about the exceptions, because they only confirm the rule.

This knee, we feel it through the clichés conveyed, the hurtful caricatures we have to face, and when our pleas are rejected or considered inadmissible.

This knee is already on our neck at birth, because of our color, we start our life with a heavy load that we have to spend our life alleviating, dismantling.

Imagine starting a race, knowing that the other competitors are just a few meters from the finish line, and that not only do they set the rules but also that your race is blocked by obstacles, by people throwing stones at you. You can easily guess that reaching the finish line is almost impossible. When you have the misfortune to complain about your conditions, you are told that you should be happy to participate in the race since before, this was far from being the case. That’s what being black is all about. It is being caught up in a system, which creates potentials Derek Chauvin, who in the name of their superiority, give themselves every right over the lives or the fate of other human beings.

Reacting to injustice is the duty of all of us; let us not choose to look away; or to be a passive witness.

 It is not only black people who must tackle this injustice, but all those who take part in this race regardless of the color of their skins or religious beliefs must fight alongside them to put an end to it. As Toni Morrison said: “If you can only be tall because someone else is on their knees, then you have serious problem.”

 As for us, let us educate our children and ourselves, let us make our history our own to contribute at our level to restoring our place in humanity. No one will come to do this on our behalf. It is not a question of identity retrenchment, which can only lead to decline, but rather of establishing a basis to facilitate a re-balancing of the skewed history that is being served up to us in spades and to promote a fair exchange without the dominated and dominant.

You have your privilege; we have our pride. Remove your knee from our past, our present, our future, or else we will do it” by any necessary means” because we have the right to breathe.

Rest in peace George Floyd you have lived a meaningful life.

The coronavirus turned our lives upside down

In the last few weeks, we’ve had the course of our lives turned upside down by an intruder. He looked so harmless and distant that we could not have imagined that he would cause a global upheaval. You guessed it; it’s the coronavirus, the name of the disease it causes is so charming that it was hard to fear it. The plague is at least a name that scared the hell out of people, made them want to barricade themselves in, to run away. But corona, who wouldn’t want a crown? But this crown, instead of being on the head, is grafted onto the respiratory system and like anything else in the wrong place, causes considerable damage. The supreme crown that can be obtained in case of contamination is death.

Very quickly, the virus was able to cross continents; it demonstrated its power of propagation by crossing the Asian continent at the speed of lightning, inviting itself onto the old continent and make the pillars of the coliseum tremble. Once Italy was affected, the virus continued to spread and laid siege to Europe. The common European response to the virus remains an illusion. Europe has clearly shown that it is a colossus with feet of clay, a monetary chimera, incapable of the slightest cohesion beyond the Euro. Full lockdown, semi lockdown? Each country has the choice to make the arrangements that suit it. We’re going to war in scattered ranks.

But the watchword is almost the same: get to safety, and the safest place to be, is home.

Schools, nurseries, all places of entertainment and social gatherings are closed.

 Parents who have become substitute teachers have discovered it is a real job. If we have trouble managing our kids, imagine having to put up with 20 of them.

Sports activities, events, all the distractions that allowed us to escape from our lives have been canceled.

Visiting friends, going to the cinema, etc. is no longer possible.

We will have to be content with being ourselves, 24 hours a day, a difficult exercise when we have only learned to live through the eyes of others.

Sartre used to say that hell is other people, and with quarantine, we discover the escape route is other people. Without them, there are no points of reference.

Here we are faced with ourselves and our “loved ones” within the four walls of our sanitized jail.

Now we are unteaching our offspring the elementary rules of politeness that we have instilled in them:

“No, you mustn’t shake hands.”

“No, stay away from everyone.”

We fight against a concealed enemy with the means we have, even if we feel they remain derisory.
Mandatory safety distance when shopping or meeting someone. The corona is a great pass for misanthropists. No need to engage in empty and hollow conversations about the weather or the color of granny’s sweater, existential questions certainly, but which you can do without.

All things considered, it’s still important to emphasize how lucky we are to have the comfort of a roof over our heads and to be surrounded by the people we love. Unfortunately, not everyone can say the same.

For some, the home is anything but a place of rest because of the physical or psychological violence they suffer there.

Africa, spared at the beginning of this pandemic, was astonishing to the experts. Yet it was known to be the cradle of all evils in the absence of the cradle of humanity.

But even if it is dragging its feet, Africa is finally making its debut, to the enormous relief of the birds of ill omen.

The privileged who, to escape the quarantine imposed in Europe, go to Africa will contribute by their unconsciousness to the proliferation of the disease.

They forget that under our skies a quarantine similar to the one in Europe is practically impossible, also, our hospitals are unequipped to cope with this pandemic.

But as a tweet widely spread on social networks pointed out, African leaders who can no longer treat themselves in Europe will have plenty of time to experience the realities faced by their people because of the under-equipped hospitals, while hoping this tragic episode will bring them closer to the populations they govern.

The media is giving us the gruesome rubble of the victims, so happy to have something to sink their teeth into. The virus has succeeded in relegating the migrant crisis and ISIS to the background. We forget that during this period, the most vulnerable are the ones to whom we can reach out and extend a helping hand…oups a helping elbow.
Anonymous, celebrities, rich, poor, black, white, this virus makes no distinction, “all equal in the face of COVID-19.”
The damn long-toothed virus gnawed away at two massive African baobabs, which eventually fell out.
Aurlus Mabele precursor of the soukouss died on March 19th, 2020.
Manu Dibango singer of soul Makossa affectionately called papa groove whose famous “mamase mamasa makossa” was sampled by Michael Jackson and many others, put down his saxophone for the last time on March 24th, 2020.

Great losses for the African continent. Dear departed loved ones, may the land of our ancestors welcome you. We will find you again every day through the legacy you have bequeathed to us. “The dead are not dead,” said Birago Diop.
If the animal vector is the preferred source for the origin of this virus, we can’t agree on the culprit. Is it the Pangolin? Or the bat? My vote goes to the bat. From the beginning, this virus has been turning our lives upside down.
Let’s take advantage of the fact that we have our head down to ask ourselves the right questions and get the right answers to enjoy our life, once we are right side up.
Happy quarantine, happy introspection. Take care of yourself, take care of us, take care of them.

Negro Nations and Cultures, bible of African history.

cheikh Anta Diop

The book “Negro Nation and Cultures” is the fruit of phenomenal research, carried out by Cheikh Anta Diop, to restore the history of black Africa, which has long been obscured.

At that time, scientific racism, carried by eminent figures, was rooted in Western society, and had attributed to white the Cartesian being par excellence, the father of all civilizations, and defined black as a primitive, emotional being, incapable of the slightest logic.

The ancient Egyptians were black

It is in this torrent of racist certainties that Cheikh Anta Diop, a young man 27 years of age, is going to take the dominant ideology to the task, by asserting that the ancient Egyptians, precursors of civilization and science, were black. He not only asserts it, but he also proves it.

This thesis had the effect of an earthquake, and since it was bothersome, he had to be silenced.

You can’t hide the sun with a finger, as the African proverb says. Even if the Sorbonne University rejected his thesis in 1951, Présence africaine published the book in 1954.

Notwithstanding the evidence that is not lacking in his book, prejudiced scientists will try by all means to bring his work into disrepute.

Deemed too revolutionary, some African intellectuals found it difficult to adhere to the ideas conveyed in the book. Aimé Césaire was one of the few to support it. In ” Discourse Against Colonialism “, he will describe Cheikh Anta Diop’s book as ” the most audacious book a Negro has ever written “.

It was only until the 1974 Unesco colloquium that most of his theses were finally recognized” in its way of writing, its culture and its way of thinking, Egypt was African”, these were the conclusions of this summit.

Evidence of the negritude of ancient Egypt

statue of Montouhotep II Egyptian National Museum, Cairo, Egypt. Photographic Rights held by The The Bridgeman Art Library

The fight was a long one, and yet long before it, the fatherhood of Egyptian civilization had been attributed to the black race.

 In the testimonies of Greek scholars such as Herodotus, Aristotle, who were eyewitnesses, the black skin and frizzy hair of the Egyptians were mentioned.

Aristotle called them “agan malane” to describe their skin, which meant excessively black.

In the 18th century, the Count of Volney, a French historian, faced with overwhelming evidence, drew the same conclusions:

 “The Copts are therefore properly the representatives of the Egyptians, and there is a singular fact that makes this acceptation even more probable. Looking at the faces of many individuals of this race, I found a peculiar character that caught my attention: all of them have a yellowish and smoky skin tone, which is neither Greek nor Arabic; all of them have puffy faces, swollen eyes, crushed noses, big lips; in a word, a real Mulatto figure.  

I was tempted to attribute it to the climate when, having visited the Sphinx, its appearance gave me the key to the riddle. On seeing that head, typically Negro in all its features, I remembered the remarkable passage where Herodotus says, “As for me, I judge the Colchians to be a colony of the Egyptians because, like them, they are black with woolly hair” In other words, the ancient Egyptians were true Negroes of the same type as all native-born Africans.”

One of the other irrefutable proofs of the Negro character of the ancient Egyptians was the color of their gods. Osiris and Thoth, to name but a few were black.

The dark representations of the pharaohs and the hairstyles they wore also support the negritude of ancient Egypt. (See MENTOUHOTEP II and NEFERTARI).

The analogy goes beyond the physical and capillary features.

Ancient Egyptian values such as totemism are still present in Black Africa,

A comparative linguistic study highlights similarity between Egyptian and African languages such as Valaf and Serere (non-exhaustive list).

  In light of these arguments, the conclusion is final: The invention of writing, of science, we owe it to blacks. The Greek culture which inspired the Roman culture draws its sources from Negro Africa. “Pythagoras spent 22 years in Egypt, from 558 to 536 BC. Plato stayed there from 399 to 387 B.C… It was therefore there, at the feet of the Egyptian priests, that they drew the knowledge that made their glory. Pharaonic Egypt which was their teacher for so long is part of the heritage of the Black World. It is itself a daughter of Ethiopia. And “in its way of writing, its culture and its way of thinking, Egypt was African”.

Giving the black man his rightful place in the history of mankind 

The fact that this part of the history of mankind was brushed aside was linked to the need to justify colonization. The barbarian negro was then invented and culture was brought to him.

This propaganda found it difficult to accept that African society was structured and advanced before the arrival of the settlers. That the emancipation of women was not a problem. As African society is matriarchal, women held positions of responsibility long before this was the case in Europe.

The goal that Cheikh Anta Diop had in restoring this truth, was to give back to the forgotten continent its letters of nobility. It was not a question of awakening underlying hints of a superiority complex that could lead to forms of Nazism. […] the civilization he [the Negro] claims to have created could have been created by any other human race – as far as one can speak of a race – which would have been placed in such a favorable and unique cradle” [Cheikh Anta Diop, Negro Nations, and Culture, op. cit. 4th edition, p. 401].

Far from being a racist as his detractors wanted to describe him, Cheikh Anta Diop was a great humanist, who was recognized as such.

His work aimed to combat scientific racism and to prove that intelligence is in no way linked to skin color. He challenged the conception of the dominant race, which can be considered a significant contribution to the history of mankind.

The Legacy of Cheikh Anta Diop

Years laters, How do we contribute to the propagation of the colossal legacy left by Cheikh Anta Diop?

He advocated for a united Africa, gathered together, after having forged a strong identity, which would serve as a solid foundation. Where are with pan-Africanism? With the adaption of our languages to the realities and sciences as he experienced with the Valaf in the book? With the decolonization of mentalities?

It must be said that these subjects remain topical.

It is our duty to contribute to the emergence of our continent, which will first and foremost be cultural.

In the field of education, we must implement textbooks adapted to our realities.

Let us adapt our languages to modern realities. It is not a question of banishing the colonial languages acquired, but of revaluing our own and adapting them to modern science.

It is with feet firmly anchored in its roots, free from alienation, detached from the yoke of the colonial, and from the alienation of the colonized, that Africa will know its true value, and that it will be able to take its place on the world chessboard.

This re-foundation, which should not be done in a belligerent manner, will generate Africans proud of their origins, who will take their destiny into their own hands.

Help! African youth are drowning in the Mediterranean!

 Every year, thousands of migrants from Africa are swallowed up by the Mediterranean Sea, trying to reach the European continent.

This unfortunate phenomenon is reminiscent of the fact that Africans were already being kidnapped from their land in the 15th century to serve as free labour in the West. In the recent case, this migration is not a priori forced.

But are these young people leaving the cradle of humanity voluntarily?

Let us read the story of RM (name modified by the editorial staff) a young Ivorian who arrived in Europe on a boat from the Libyan coast.

“The horror described is true… but leaving was the only way out”

 “From the outset, I can tell you that everything you see on TV is true” was the first sentence to come out of his mouth.

 What do you mean by “everything”?

“The dead, the pregnant women, the children, the horror described is true. “he pursued with a serious look.

 RM was born in Côte d’Ivoire, into a low-income family.

After studies, which led him to his senior year of high school, he wanted to take an administrative exam to join the civil service to have a guaranteed salary and be able to help his family. 

To say that bribing,  is an integral part of ivory coast entrance exams, would be to reveal an open secret.

His father refused to comply with this requirement, so RM went from one failure to another.

It was in this hopeless scenario that Europe came into play.

Some friends of his had tried the adventure and it was clear that their situation was better than his.

He then decided to try the Europe route, for lack of anything better.

Unfortunately, his path crossed that of a scammer who abandoned him to his fate in Morocco.

As he could not return to his country, he decided to go to Algeria.

There, he heard about the sea route. Reluctant at first, he finally gave in.

From his account, it is clear that the network of smugglers is very structured

If the candidates for exile have no assurance that they will arrive safely, the smugglers are assured that they will receive their money regardless of the outcome.

The cost of the journey: 550 euros and RM was not the only one.

A true warrior’s journey

They reached Ghadames in Libya by night on foot, and thus made their way into hiding. They will almost no longer see daylight and will be transported in car trunks.

First stopover, Tripoli, where the financial transaction between Algerians and Libyans takes place.

If, however, the Algerian smuggler avoided his task, the Libyan trap would close on the migrant who was reduced to slavery.

From Tripoli, they left for Sabratha, where they were housed in a dump with pregnant women and children.

 “The toilets were so dilapidated and dirty, that no one dared to use them. As for the food, we had dry bread and water, but I wasn’t hungry. I was praying to leave Libya alive. We were given instructions We should stay inside, because outside we were in danger of being kidnapped.

On D-Day, we were taken to the coast.

There were about a hundred of us.

The smugglers asked if any of us were able to steer the boat.

A volunteer from Gambia came forward. Being able to drive a boat was an advantage because not only did it guarantee a place, but the migrant did not have to pay the transport costs.

At the sight of the sea, a feeling of fear invades me. I didn’t know how to swim. In the event of a fall into the water, my fate was sealed. Faced with this eventuality, I almost gave up on my project, but turning back was no longer a possibility.

When I saw that pregnant women were the first to board the boat without fear, I thought to myself that I couldn’t get cold feet. I had to get on board and come what may.

On the boat, there was a heavy silence. Even the children were calm. The situation was serious and we all understood it.

The only problem we faced during our trip was when the engine stopped. Panic reactions almost caused the boat to capsize.

The majority did not sleep a wink we waited for the deliverance that which was slow to come, the seconds seemed like eternities,

A Spanish boat that spotted us came to our rescue.

 Finally, on this boat, which was a symbol of our arrival at the port, tensions eased.

We had made it! We were alive!

I had a thought for my family. I wanted to have them on the phone to reassure them.

“if you had to do it again?…”

 

“I can’t tell you, I never imagined in my life to reach Europe by boat, but caught in a spiral, I took this path against my will.

If I had a job, I would never have left my country.

Europe is far from being Eldorado, but I will continue to work hard. My dream is to go back home and make things happen.

To all those who are thinking of coming to Europe, I will be the last to discourage them, but I advise them to avoid the sea route if possible because it is really dangerous.”

Concretely, what are we doing?

To believe that individuals are willing to face the sea monster at the risk of their lives, without the need to do so, is to be cynical without limits.

Even if the chains are not visible, the constraints are no less present, whether economic or political.

The awareness campaigns, the solutions we propose, from our ivory tower to ease our consciences, do not seem to have a significant impact on this devastating scourge.

The figures of the IOM (International Organization for Migration) puts us in front of our inability to retain our youth.

The evils which have plagued our countries since the independence of the facade are not only not fought but maintained by successive regimes. Corruption, mismanagement, to name but a few, and they are part of what drives our youth to flee.

What are the concrete solutions proposed by our governments?

What is Europe doing besides building itself into a fortress?

What can we say to our youth if staying or leaving is for death?

Part-time mother, full-time woman

Ango diva(mom of 3 kids, fashion and lifestyle blogger) with her son
Credit: https://www.instagram.com/angodiva/?hl=nl

Last year, I officially with great fanfare joined, the group of unworthy mothers.

What’s my crime? You may ask. I decided to travel without my family.

To be honest, I didn’t think that taking a solo trip could be considered as violating the rules of the book How to be a good mother. A manual intended to be useful, written by superwomen, for all women, even ordinary ones like me.

So, in this manual, the main rules are as follows:

-Be at the disposition of your family 7 days a week.

-To concoct healthy and balanced menus for your kids and husband.

-Participate in all the extracurricular activities.

In short, to be omnipotent, omniscient, at a push “omni stifling”.

Not content with not meeting almost any of the criteria listed above, I violated the rules: leaving my family behind for a limited period. The inadmissible affront!

 A weekend without the kids? It was borderline but still forgivable. A week? Now we are downright in the middle of infanticide!

If I was to be condemned, I thought, I might as well do things right.

 I was leaving for three weeks.

The reactions were not long in coming.

Some wanted to make me feel guilty:

“But you’ll never be able to do three weeks without your kids.

Others somewhat macho, coming from women:

“But how is your husband going to manage? “  

Yes of course, fortunately, they are present and active, to defend these poor abandoned husbands. Altruism that the world would gladly do without.

And then there were those, who in a barely veiled way was telling me that I was a bad mother:

“I would not have left my children even for a weekend.”

“Yes, of course, but no one is forcing you to do it. It’s a good thing I am who I am, and you are who you are! “was my answer in this case.

A year counts 365 days or 366 for leap years, so it is not 21 days without me that would create an irreversible trauma in my children, quite the contrary, it would allow my family to breathe. I was convinced of this.

I’m the kind of mother who doesn’t carry her role like a cross. Being a mother does not mean burying the woman you were/are. Sometimes I give in to “guilty pleasures”, like thinking about my well-being. Taking care of others is a good thing, to be able to take care of others, you have to take care of yourself, so taking care of yourself is a good thing. Coherent Syllogism, right?

In the name of this sacrosanct maxime, I go once every six weeks to Erica’s to lie down for three hours. Erica is not my psychologist, but my beautician. Spending three hours at her house is doing me a lot of good. I can entrust her with my projects, my desires, my frustrations between a hair removal session, a massage or, a facial treatment. The advantage with Erica is that she is multitasking, and I come out of her house relieved of a lot more than just my hair.

In the name of the same maxime, I authorize myself activities that have nothing to do with motherhood.

I love being a mother, a wife, but I will only be able to fulfill her roles in the freedom to be me.

So this trip? Well, I went, and it was a great experience.

I can hear you from here, no! That doesn’t mean I didn’t miss my family.

I prefer to reassure you it was far from being the case. At least it won’t add a stone heart to my status as an unworthy mother.

 But the absence is not a punishment especially when you come back with the batteries recharged to make up for it.

After the end of my retreat, when I expected to be benched at best,  or burned alive at worst, great was my surprise to find that it was the opposite.

 I was, without being hyperbolic, considered a heroine when I returned.

I had a hard time understanding this 360-degree turnaround, but soon, tongues began to loosen little by little and made me realize that many mothers dreamed of this break.

But they were depriving themselves of it either because they put pressure on themselves, and believe that without them the world would collapse, or because they do not have the opportunity, or are simply afraid of being judged by others, and their entourage.

In their eyes, I was probably the one who had defied the ” forbidden “.

 But to tell you the truth, I certainly am not a heroine, an unworthy mother even less so, I am just me.

An imperfect mother who does the best she can, allows herself breaks, a part-time mother and a full-time woman.

JUST LIKE LILIAN THURAM, WE MUST FIGHT RACISM AT ITS ROOTS

Lukaku,Football player victim of racism during a match
© Jonathan Moscrop – BELGAIMAGE

During a Series, A match in Cagliari, Italy, a horde of supporters shouts monkey cries at Belgian footballer Lukaku.

“What was this footballer’s crime?” you might ask. It’s his high melanin level, his skin color.

No, this scene is not from a history book or a fiction film.

It is taking place in 2019.

Before Lukaku, players like Samuel Etoo, the Cameroonian international, received similar treatment.

Despite almost unanimous condemnations, black players in stadiums are still victims of racist jokes, without any effective action against the perpetrators of these acts.

In Moses Keane’s case, these racist shouts were even downplayed by the Italian football federation, which is reported as being a provocation, rather than racism.

 Some Milan ultras have tried to pull a fast one on us, as far as Lukaku is concerned. According to them, these shouts would only serve to destabilize the opponent, but under no circumstances could they be racist.

Astonishing, isn’t it?

“The racist has a superiority complex” Lilian Thuram

Lilian Thuram © P. Lahalle L’Équipe

Interviewed by an Italian newspaper, Lilian Thuram, a former footballer, to explain the behavior of these racist supporters, talks about their superiority complex linked to history. This statement, taken out of context and highlighted, was enough to provoke a general outcry.

Despite his explanations of the text on different sets, the storm is not about to calm down.

The avalanche of reactions was not long in coming. Lilian Thuram was guilty of anti-white racism.

But, at the risk of disappointing people with selective indignation, Lilian Thuram knows what he is talking about when he talks about this superiority imbued with white culture.

He has been studying the subject for some time and has even set up an association https://www.thuram.org/ ,to educate and combat stereotypes with the sole aim of teaching.

Far from being racist, he only reported the facts as they are.

.

Racism, a variation of the racial hierarchy

Racism did not emerge overnight; it does have a long history.

There are plenty of racist “masterpieces” in literary or scientific archives, which have helped to relegate the black to the bottom of the scale.

One only has to read Arthur Gobineau’s “racial inequality” to realize the extent of the evil. And he is not the only one.

Highly racist studies by scientists and renowned “enlightened minds” have concluded that black is the missing link.

These racists, subjective demonstrations are the basis for racial hierarchization.

Under the pretext of science, black was declared subordinate, which allowed white to gain superiority.

It was in the name of this superiority that slavery was created.

This superiority was also the argument for colonization.

It was in the name of this superiority that slavery was created.

Today, it still enables intellectuals to consider that colonization was positive for the African continent.

It has long governed relations between blacks and whites and has had time to make its way through different minds. Even the highly educated black intellectuals did not fail to perpetuate these false ideas without their knowledge. The famous phrase of the talented Senghor “reason is Greek, emotion is black” is the illustration.

It reemerged during the debates by many Africans against Africans, without them having the slightest idea what they are doing so, the apology of scientific racism.

All logical reasoning has long been denied to the black, in an attempt to justify his servitude. The saddest thing is he has been convinced of the merits of this approach.

These sequelae left by this scientific racism are very present nowadays.

The image of this poor Africa, which is reaching out to its hand, is not meant to make things better.

The monkey cries at black players are just an extension of this superiority complex.

 “Stop dwelling on the past! Racism is over!”

Some people wonder if we are not doing too much about it. “it’s just animal cries,” they say.

We could have thought the same thing if portraying the black in a simian way, was not one of the foundations of scientific racism.

We are all equal, of course, but it is not enough to order the end of a thing to make it disappear.

 Injustices built on theories do not magically vanish into thin air.

These theories were planted like seeds, and had time to sprout.

All you have to do is get out of your bubble to know that the black is still not treated as an equal. He must show “white paws” to be accepted, do twice as much as white, and needless to say that he is expected to set an outstanding example.

In everyday life, being black is not easy. And even when you excel in your art as Lukaku does, you are not immune to being “put back” in your place.

The cries of monkeys at the sight of blacks not only revive the wounds of the recent past, but also make us understand that progress on human equality is only a facade.

Racism is a scourge that undermines our society, and to eradicate it, we must deal with it at its roots.

Lilian Thuram may have punctured the abscess and the unpleasant repulsive smell is undoubtedly inconvenient, but it is a necessary step.

Looking away, closing the nose, being a frightened virgin will not help us move things forward nor will it keep us quiet.

Many people nowadays allow themselves to make racist shortcuts out of ignorance.

Naming things does not mean making racism anti-white.

This anti-white racism, if it existed, is far from the racism of which blacks are victims.

Dear Caucasians, It is undoubtedly very unpleasant to be indexed at parties by blacks, or to receive remarks about your mixed couple, but know that blacks envy you this treatment.

They, because of the colour of their skin, almost get lynched, are refused jobs, apartments, or have to justify themselves at all times.

Black scientists have never developed theories comparing the white race to an animal to justify any exploitation. So let’s avoid comparing the incomparable.

Thuram only told the absolute truth and if it disturbs, let us join his fight and educate future generations for true equality.

By the way, we would like to reassure you that we do not take pleasure in discussing racism, we are tired of having to talk about it. It would have been more relaxing to write an article on the reproduction of seahorses, but unfortunately, the glaring inequalities in the society in which we live leave us no choice.

Full support to Lilian Thuram!

MUGABE, THE DEATH OF AN AFRICAN HERO

Portrait of Mugabe on a wall somewhere in Zimbabwe Credit: AP: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Robert Mugabe has died at the age of 95 the sixth of September 2019.

After hearing this news, my instinctive reflex was to Google his name.

To my dismay, I found that his name is being associated with dictatorship and mainly that.

Some articles in European newspapers even compared him to Hitler.

To be honest, I did not expect less from them.

On social media, I have seen some journalists or fellow Africans sullying his memory or celebrating his death.

I could have been joining the celebration of Mugabe’s death, if I had not taken a different path that led me to question my biased views influenced by what the media wants me to think.

Some years ago, Mugabe was the reincarnation of the evil as the only portrait of him accessible to me was one of a racist dictator, killing his people.

They manipulated the public view through a well-orchestrated distortion of his image. For instance, we will see pictures of him in unfavorable moments:

Sleeping through important meetings, being in clownish poses or making sulfurous declarations.

They painted an image of Mugabe through a western lens as a dictator that lost his mind and we agreed to this illustration.

But do we know who Mugabe really is?

Mugabe of Africa with the clenged fist

Mugabe and Mandela Credit:John Parkin/AP

When I started reading the story of Mugabe, I was shocked to discover that he had a glorious past.

Mugabe fought for the rights of black people in Zimbabwe formerly Rhodesia.

During those years, in Rhodesia, the white minority ruling the country was ensuring the protection of their privileges, at the cost of the black majority.

Mugabe has been in prison several times for defending his people, the longest being for 11 years.

The dream of the white minority was to mimic the model of South Africa but they didn’t account for the fierce resistance of the Zimbabweans.

Their determination led to the independence of Zimbabwe in 1980.

Robert Mugabe played a great role in this achievement.

However, this glorious past is often unreported and unknown by many.

What is amplified and known is his last years of power that have been used and misformed to undermine his legacy.

Yes, the last years were not the most brilliant moments of Mugabe, I will readily concede that. But did he suddenly start “eating white people for breakfast for no reason? Did you know that he used to be the darling of British and was even was awarded an honorary knighthood by the Queen of England.in 1994.

At that time, he was protecting the white minority land and were hunting the squatters out their property.

What caused the honeymoon to end?

The cause of the rejection of Mugabe by the west

Mugabe and queen Elizabeth Credit: Anwar Hussein—Getty Images 1

Mugabe inherited a country with blatant inequities due to the British colonization that was officially dedicated to helping the “primitive African societies” to develop into modern world states. (source blogs.stockton.edu) But unofficially a legal way to expropriate the Africans from their properties.

The consequence of the colonization was, that the withe minority controlled the ressources of the entire country.

 In order to compensate this deficiency, Great Britain agreed to support the land reform in Zimbabwe, reform initiated by Mugabe after his election.”All was well, in the best of all worlds”

 In 1997, for unclear reasons, Tony Blair decided to stop supporting the process.The abrupt end of the contract, left president Mugabe in a delicate position and forced him to take” unpopular” decisions.

Here is what he (Mugabe) had to say about the back-pedaling of Tony Blair:

“We did not send away whites. We took away land in accordance with what the British and ourselves had agreed upon, Margaret Thatcher’s government. That commercial land reform programme, land shall be taken from the farmers and be given to the Zimbabweans. So, it was all constitutional.

“If Blair’s England was no longer willing to pay for the land, should we have just folded our hands and said, ‘Oh, Lord Almighty, I pray in the name of the father, the son and the Holy Ghost’?

“Goodness me, no! Blair, Blair, who was he? Just the prime minister of Britain. I’m president of Zimbabwe. So that is why we say ‘OK, it’s your money, keep it. It’s our land, we will take it.’ Balance.”

So, between Toni Blair who broke the promise to solve the problems created by Great Britain, and Mugabe who noticed and reacted accordingly who is to blame?

The IMF has also contributed to asphyxiate the economy of Zimbabwe and the European Union under the cover of human rights, applied targeted sanctions with the hope of bringing Mugabe on his knees.

Why all those attacks? How was he supposed to react?

Make no mistake, he won his “dictator’s star” because instead of turning the other cheek, he opposed resistance.

At various occasions, he spoke up for the interests of Africans without hesitations.

When the France of Sarkozy attacked Lybia, a war that brought the country from the economic pride of Africa to the no-man land we know today, he was the only African president to openly defend Gadhafi.

By refusing to bend backwards, he has signed his death warrant.

Overnight, he has left the category of political genius to join the club of dictators. An online campaign to reshape people’s perception was cleverly constructed.

The truth is, if we based the opinion of a person on a segment of history, we will be surprised that even Jesus could be labeled as violent, if we refer strictly to the episode of the cleansing of the temple.

In order to form an accurate opinion, one should consider the entire story and actions of an individual.

Why we, Africans,should celebrate Mugabe

That the westerners demonize Mugabe is understandable but that Africans follow their path without adding some perspective is unfortunate.

Bob Marley sang:“How long shall they kill our prophets, While we stand aside and look?” Killing does not necessarily mean physical elimination; like in the case of Thomas Sankara or Patrice Lumumba. Tarnish a reputation can also cause many damages.

As long as we base our opinions on the classifications of the western (made in their interests) of who is a dictator or not, who is approachable or not, we will participate in the lynching of our leaders and the celebration of theirs.

“Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter”

 Valery Giscard d’Estaing the former French president who had his presidency punctuated by various scandals, the Diamonds Affair of Bokassa being one them, is still celebrated in Africa. Cote d’Ivoire has a boulevard named after him.

We can still find schools in Africa with names of people we barely know about but who were considered heroes by the settlers.

In the Oxford dictionary, they define a hero as: “A person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities”. In my eyes, Mugabe certainly met those requirements.

He was a hero, with dark sides for sure nevertheless, he remains an African hero who has spoken up for our rights and fought racial oppression.

We need to emancipate ourselves from “mental slavery” and tell our story.

Rest in power Mugabe.

Fortnite : Dive into the world of our teenagers

Credit:Epic Games

Are “Kills”, “Headshot”, and other whimsical words floating in the air of your home? Rest assured, your teen has not been hired by a terrorist organization.

Dances as quirky as any other performed at a whim by him or her? No, it’s all under control, your teenager hasn’t gone insane.

Like all those of his/her age, he/she is under the influence of a game called Fortnite.

Fortnite, the Phenomenon

Fortnite, you’ve certainly heard about it if you’re a parent of a teenager. If not, then it is not a teenager you are currently raising, but a saint. Hurry! Waste no time and make a statue out of him or her, and don’t forget to light that voltive candle you so dearly stashed and forgot about.

As for us, mere people who’ve been blessed with normal teens – such as me, Fortnite has been shaping our day-to-day routine these recent years. Merciless parents including myself, use it as a blackmail weapon: “do your homework or say goodnight to Fortnite, either you clean your room or…”

And it is proving to be very effective.

It is safe to assume that Fortnite is the driving force behind more than 80% of our teenagers’ cerebral activity.

When they are not playing Fortnite, they are watching Fortnite on their screens, when they are not watching it, they are talking about it, when they are not talking about it, they are dreaming about it. Fortnite is served to all of us at every possible setting and escaping its pandemic influence proves to be an encumbering task.

As a parent, you might feel powerless watching your teen get sucked into this system. The latter truth becomes even more painful when you realise that prohibitions and restrictions are in vain since he or she will find a backdoor way to give in to the temptation.

Being unable to compete with Fortnite, considering that the battle was unbalanced from the start, I decided alternatively in the end to try understanding my 12-year-old son’s passion for the game.

What does it bring him? Does he acquire notions that can be useful to him at school? Or perhaps in everyday life?

“Fortnite is the ideal school”

Bringing up Fortnite during a discussion is a practical way to “connect” with your teenager.

When I announced to my son my desire to write about Fortnite, he had trouble containing his enthusiasm.

Being put in the master pedestal was very rewarding for him as I was his pupil.

Besides, knowing that I was interested in his universe was pretty “Cool” as he called it.

To hear him talk, Fortnite could practically replace school.

According to him, Fortnite has sharpened his strategic mind. Built his team spirit and allowed him to practice foreign languages.

Would his arguments be enough to classify Fortnite as an educational game?

Fortnite outperforms the European Union

This game has conspicuous positive aspects that cannot be ignored easily.

Players from all over the world are welcome to practice English, French and for the more ambitious, Chinese and all in an entertaining experience.

Essentially, what Fortnite did was abolish linguistic and geographical borders and thus achieved something superior to the European Union.

Unlike the European giant Fortnite is free of cacophony, no temptation to For-Xit (in reference to Brexit), all players adhere to a common charter, and have the same objective: to remain the last survivor on the island.

On the island all races, all nationalities are welcome and you do not need to swim or wait in line to get a visa. All players are treated in the same way. In Fortnite all players are born equal in law.

The programme is well defined and unanimously supported.

Fortnite a business royal

The battle royale version, the free version, is by far the most popular. To acquire “battle passes”, however, you have to pay money. But who cares?! right ?

Players from all over the world compete against each other. Displaying the same lexicon, with the same dances. The followers of the Fortnite sect understand each other for a reason after all.

You can play in Duo, join a Squad or go Solo.

The 99 players participating are parachuted from a flying bus to an island.

They are elaborating sophisticated strategies to supply themselves with ammunition in order to defend themselves or attack others.

To avoid the inevitable storm that strikes the island following their landing.

To build constructions.

And lastly but not least, avoid pitfalls.

From the bus, a map is available to them, allowing them to choose a suitable landing area. They have access to the former map throughout the game, to locate hot spots, and determine their trajectory.

The game marries geography with precision and dexterity.

Collecting ammunition alone isn’t enough, one must be skilled in managing it, using it and at the right opportunity from the appropriate distance.

Equipped with a “shotgun”, you can do more damage to the enemy, with a “headshot”.

Recurring terms in the language of Fortnite players, which they scream louder and louder, during their quest for transfiguration, on those tumultuous noisy rounds that you’re familiar with.

Besides, Fortnite is not “violent” like other competitive games. We eliminate the opponents, without getting our hands or the beautiful island dirty after all, because in Fortnite, blood is missing, and the bodies of the losing side simply evaporate. As if these two premises were the basis of anti-violence.

If Fortnite’s success hit the nail with teenagers, it is by no means a pure fluke. Epic games and its developers have gone to great lengths. Aesthetically speaking, the costumes and heroes are appealing and eye-catching decorated with a story on a red thread, which is a notable highlight. The island is constantly updated, allowing players to be exposed to new and different challenges.

Fortnite is also a business. Gamers with fictitious names like Gotaga, Ninja amassed a fortune just by playing it. They are called youtubeurs or influencers. They participate in competitions and make recommendations to their fans or subscribers in the form of prestigious experts.

The majority of these children who play are surreptitiously hoping to obtain a similar level of notoriety and success. How can we blame them amidst the societal art of being a poser?

Fornite, shall we give it a try?

Trying Fortnite, why not?

Become an expert? An impossible endeavor for me. The number of buttons to crush, push, press and essentially triturate on the console in order to achieve anything, the commands and guidelines to follow, the traps to avoid… all of it made me giddy.

I am not in any risk of becoming a believer in Fortnite’s religion, but I at least reap out the seeds of this article by becoming more informed.

As a parent, I will continue to cope with Fortnite as each generation has its own trends and interests. And besides, you can’t stop progress.

On the other hand, balance is key lest letting excess harm us.

Restricting access time of our teenagers to Internet is our responsibility as parents – if we want them to do something else with their time.

Happy holidays sprinkled with Kills, shots, hype, take the L, Zany, joy, love, reunion, and sunshine.

Gisele Doh with the valuable collaboration of Aurélien den Dekker


“The insult made to a book lover”

One can plan a day carefully but predicting the future is a fool game.
Yesterday, we went to Paris with as intention to visit the “classics “.The day started out great!As planned. But what we did not know was that in the Metro a beautiful encounter with a pickpocket would force us to shorten our one on one with Paris.
The irony of the story is that before being robbed, I was the one telling everyone to pay attention.The good thing is,robbery does not know discrimination. As long as one has a bag,one is eligible.The action took place in a record time to be included in the Guiness book.
Among the items in my bag, there was a book of Yasmina Kadra” the insult made to Sarah Ikker”(own translation)
The pickpocket had carefully avoided this treasure and picked something as mundane as a wallet!He could have had at least the decency to take the book as well.It would have more useful than this catch all .
He would have read it, shared with his colleagues,told stories to his friends while reviewing their booty in the evening…
I dream of a world in which pickpockets read, quote verses to their victims to numb the pain.
I advocate for educated pickpockets.

Racism,a mental disorder

Dr Mamadou Barry

It’s official! Racism is a mental disorder.
If you suffer from it ,I strongly urge you to have yourself admit to a psychiatric hospital.A treatment with electroshocks could restore your brain. For the worst cases a lobotomy could be considered.
Mamadou Barry a brilliant young man ,an academic doctor was murdered in front of his wife and 2 years old daughter.His only crime was to be born with the wrong color .
His agressor officially recognized as “mentally unbalanced “used racism slurs before delivering mortal blows against him.We are in 2019, and being born black can be a cause of death,and I am afraid that will still be the case in years to come.
What can we tell his wife?What will we tell his daughter when she will be old enough to understand?
A young man full of projects,a young man with a promising future ahead…
The circumstances of his death are aberrant, repugnant…
I wonder how many of those racists oups…”mentally unbalanced ” are walking in the streets.
Rest in peace Dr Mamadou Barry.My sincere condolences to your family and to those who carry you in their hearts.
Mine is bleeding when I see your pictures.