Racism: Africans Deserve Respect

Published on 26th February 2020

Mali international and FC Porto forward Moussa Marega, 28, recently walked off the pitch in protest after being subjected to a torrent of monkey chants. He was handed a yellow card but under pressure, the Portuguese government termed the incident “unacceptable” and urged perpetrators to be brought to book. In 2017, former Ghana midfielder Sulley Muntari’s protest against racism earned him two yellow cards from Daniele Minelli, the referee. Due to public outcry, the Italian Football Federation rescinded the player’s one-match ban. In 2013, a friendly match between AC Milan and lower division club Pro Patria was abandoned after Milan's players, led by Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, walked off the pitch. Italy’s first black minister, Cecile Kyenge, constantly faced racist abuse when she became Italy’s minister for integration.

Kenyan authorities recently arrested four Chinese nationals for beating a local Kenyan employee at Chez Wuo, a restaurant in Nairobi. Hotel workers said that this incident, which was captured on video, was commonplace. Another Chinese businessman identified as Liu Jiaqi had been earlier arrested for saying that everyone in Kenya, including Kenya’s head of state, was a monkey.

Although a 2018 report observes that racial discrimination is “commonplace” across 12 European countries, and one in three people of African descent experiences harassment, Africans deserve respect. They are human beings. They have also demonstrated great competence in various disciplines. Africans must be bold enough to articulate their position and interests without apology. The dire picture of discrimination, black odium and infamy heaped upon Africa’s brave and illustrious populations should excite indignation from every true world citizen.

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