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!

The reign of buttocks on social networks: like an air of Sara Bartman

Do you know the story of Sara Baartman?

That young South African girl who was displayed in Europe like an animal?

Captured or freely brought to Europe?

The versions differ, but they converge on one essential matter, the life of this woman, has been a succession of gradual sufferings that made her the symbol of scientific racism.

Even in death, which is supposed to be the ultimate deliverance, her misery could not end.

Who was Sara Baartman? How did she get to Europe?

Sara Bartman was a young Khoi- san woman (a mixture of nomadic Khoikhoi herders and San hunters). She was born in 1789 in South Africa, where she spent her life in the service of her masters.

Although her life in South Africa was far from being quiet or peaceful, things took a dramatic turn when Alexander Dunlop, her employer’s friend Hendrik Cesar, saw in her a potential that could be exploited in Europe, and convinced the latter to take her with him to London.

 At the time, the freak shows were a growing attraction in Europe, and Dunlop saw her as the ideal candidate.

In fact, the explorers had already spread, through their writings and stories, a fascination around the “extraordinary” physical attributes of the women of her tribe:

Developed buttock (steatopygia) and hypertrophy of the labia minora (elongated labia).

So much so, that they had gone from myth to obsession.

The two friends made her sign a contract, selling her a life of a star.

In 1810, when Sara boarded that boat for London, she had no idea that she would become the object of so many voyeuristic fascinations.

She didn’t know that her uniqueness would be scrutinized, analyzed, dissected.

Saraatje didn’t know that the notoriety she was promised would be at her expense.

Sara Baartman, a “Venus Hottentot” in London

Once in London, she performed in various shows, in which she was presented as a circus freak.

She was not naked during her performances, but dressed in light and suggestive ways, leaving little room for the imagination. The advertising posters representing her, highlighted her generous forms and her “hottentots” origins, the derogatory name given to the khoi Khoi by the Dutch settlers. She was called “the Venus of the hottentot” on stage, to accentuate the mockery.

Sara’s performances were popular in England. Was she forced to perform? Was she paid under the terms of the contract? Difficult to say even if it is easy to doubt.

A small glimmer of hope arose when her working conditions were noticed by the African association, which sued her masters/impresarios for exploitation.

While we can be impressed by England’s avant-garde approach to human rights, given that this trial was held in 1810, it must be said that Sara was given two choices:

Either return to her home country and be a slave or stay in England to do her shows and be at the mercy of her managers.

She probably thought she was choosing the lesser of two evils.

On the stand Sara admitted to consent. According to her, her conditions were fine except for the lack of warm clothes. So she then remained in Europe.

What if she wanted to stay in England and have a revisited contract? Or build a life as a free woman? Sadly she didn’t have these options.

Sara Bartman’s resistance against scientists

Her shows in England grew unpopular as time went by, so she found herself in France, where she fell into the nets of Reaux, an animal trainer. Once again, she was exhibited for her anatomy, again under even harsher conditions than in England.

To make matters worse, she crossed paths with scientists Georges Cuvier and Geoffroy Saint-. Hilaire, as they were in search of guinea pigs to support their racist theories.

For them, this woman “hottentot” was a scientific manna, which they were eager to take advantage of. They were hoping to see this famous “hottentot apron”, the name given by Europeans to Khoi san women’s genitals, because of the lengthening of their labias.  When they thought they could have access to her body and use it as they pleased, Sara refused to give-in to their unhealthy curiosity. She categorically refused their request to reveal her private parts. They even tried to convince her, by offering her money, but nothing worked, she remained firm on her decision. Which left them wanting more.

Sara’s remains stained with scientific racism at the hands of Georges Cuvier

Torn apart by her living conditions, unfortunate cocktail of spirit, prostitution, abuse, and broken dreams, Sara’s star faded away in Paris in 1815.

For every human being, the journey to the afterlife means the end of suffering on earth, but for Sara this was not the case.

Her death was a godsend for the scientist Cuvier, who now had the freedom to continue his research without having to undergo her protests.

After dissecting her body, the father of comparative anatomy wrote her a eulogy, which earned its rightful place in the records of scientific racism.

This report entitled « Extract of observations made on the body of a woman known in Paris and London as Venus Hottentot. » although despicable as it was, it is only a reflection of that era.

Dehumanizing the other even if it means using shortcuts, arbitrary and confusing classifications.

Contrary to what is read everywhere, Cuvier did not describe Saraatje as a missing link since he was not an evolutionist, but he did no better. He finds in her similarities with primates.

In his report(https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_R2q2Weu3Q4IC/page/n5 )the reading of which has left me with a heavy heart, the young woman is described in a simian way.  « Her movements had something sudden and erratic that were reminiscent of those of a monkey. »

 Her physical features did not escape the subjective judgment of the scientist « The most repugnant thing about our Bushman was her physiognomy.. (…) I have never seen a human head more like apes than hers …. »

The scientific prosecutor Cuvier pronounces his sentences :« they were no exception to this cruel law which seems to have condemned these races with depressed and compressed skulls to a never ending inferiority. »

After a perilous exercise supported by craniometry, he took the opportunity to say that blacks could not be at the origin of Egyptian civilization (supreme blasphemy!) as the Scottish explorer James Bruce stated « What is already clear is that neither these Gallas nor these Bushmen, nor any race of Negroes, gave birth to the famous people who established civilization in ancient Egypt, and from which one can say that the whole world has inherited the principles of law, science, and perhaps even religion… »

Even if he recognizes her intelligence. She spoke three languages and had a good visual memory.

The renowned professor will remain faithful to the racist dogmas conveyed

The danger is that these words from scientists were considered as gospel words and distilled in public opinion.

They were even taken up in later years by other researchers brought up on scientific racism and written in textbooks.

This passage was not Sara’s last suffering. Her remains were exhibited as a war trophy at the Musée de l’homme in Paris. until 2002, when she was finally returned to her native land.

Sara Baartman in the age of social media

Nowadays steatopygia still fascinates, it is no longer the distinctive trait of the “bushmen” but extends to all regions, all cultures around the world.

It even generates income, so the less fortunate do not hesitate to resort to surgical interventions or miraculous creams.

Freaks shows have moved from the real world to the virtual world.

In this world, it is difficult to distinguish the real from the fake,the free from the oppressed, as the illusion and the pretending is the norm.

If Sara Baartman had been on social media, we would have been there with our gravely comments, shared her photos, participated in her public dissection, as we do today for many women, who believe they are free but who are in fact prisoners of their buttocks and the role we want them to play. A role they think they can capitalize on, but one that goes far beyond them.

What if we were cautious not to be accomplices of the Cuvier, Reaux, Dunlop and many others lurking in the shadows?

Rest in Peace Sara Baartman and may the world learn from the sufferings that were inflicted on you.