Opinion State Of Mind

Do ‘black lives matter’ to Africans?

Eric Garner. Tamir Rice. Michael Brown. NAACP bombings. If there was any point African-Americans needed our solidarity, it is now.

African-Americans have been voicing out oppression to the world, and  the world hears them, we cannot say we don’t hear or see them. We see their protests on the news.  We follow their hashtags on Twitter.  We watch and share police brutality videos on YouTube.  But the world responds in silence, even worse – we Africans – distant relatives to African-Americans understand and fully identify with brutality based on racism, but we join the world in mime.

Why are we the public and our leaders quiet on these issues? Is It because we do not believe in our power due to America’s economical strength and aid in Africa?  Are we selling our power of voice and control for foreign aid and investment? Have we forgotten that last year 5 out of 10 fastest growing economies were African nations? Have we forgotten about their support in times of our struggle for freedom?

Coretta Scot King among various protesters picketing against apartheid regime
Coretta Scot King among various protesters picketing against apartheid regime

Off the bat, it is easy to remember their solidarity in our times of struggle. For instance, during the apartheid era Congressional Black Caucus, a movement established in the 1970’s that utilized policy making, passion and political muscle to establish TransAfrica: a foreign policy advocacy organization that was used as the pioneer of crippling the apartheid regime. The movement may have resulted in 5000 odd arrests of Americans at the South African Embassy in their country, but crippled the regimes power in American entities ceasing to invest in South Africa at the time.

to date, CBC is still in operations, along with NAACP and other various African-American driven organizations , they are the same organizations chanting Black lives matter, among different races and economical classes in America. And what may seem to be a lack of urgency in their government, is our gap to put pressure towards an immediate and effective response.

Instead of wallowing in silence we must use our power of investment feasibility, economic growth and intention of return of investment to the advantage of our distant relatives over the seas. We cannot carry the regressive mentality that because we are Africans, we must first make order of our own home, eradicate poverty and grow our economy. If we are to focus on ourselves and not take heed of the occurrences in countries which have already shown an interest in us, what does that say about our culture of solidarity we value so much? Our ‘one united Africa’ uniting in inactivity and silence.

We cannot live with eyes washed over with milk, we have the power to use the similar approach CBC used in crippling apartheid. To make things easier, last month President Barack Obama announced a white house plan that will build trust between civilians and the police through police training, creating a task force for police accountability and body cams. A way forward to re-establish and nurture the growth in solidarity is for us the public, along with national entities and governments to ensure the plan is implemented through, and changes or developments are tracked through field research and statistics.

Is this a mammoth task? Yes, however we are a continent of 54 nations that encompass 54 United States embassies and consulates. We have the power to help. We may need foreign investment, but they need a thriving platform to invest in and more importantly, we all need African-Americans to have equal civilian rights, and not learn about people dying over medicine being mistaken as a gun.