• El Hadj Diongue

What if all of this was the Wake-Up Call

Updated: Jan 17, 2021

Photo by: @fortyfive_ff

The riots that followed George Floyd’s murder have sparked a universal conversation about racism. Racism, not only based on skin color but the systematic hostility towards a particular category of people because of their ethnicity, religious belief, origin, culture, etc., has always been a distinctive feature in the history of all peoples in the world. It is as old as the hills.

In Africa, we can never forget the reasons for Apartheid in South Africa, the causes of the genocide in Rwanda, the inhuman treatment of black migrants in Libya, the discrimination of black Mauritanians in their own country, among others. Senegal, in West Africa, is no exception to the rule either.

From the negative connotation that taints terms such as "ndreƞ" to refer to Guineans, "ñàg" to refer to central Africans, in Senegal, between ethnic groups or within the same ethnic group, there is no shortage of hostilities. And what’s absurd is that all the "mumbo-jumbo" which is supposed to legitimize them is only based on superstitions. Yes, Senegalese ancestors did not lack inspiration to make their people believe as hard as iron that joining “this” or “that” caste by the bonds of marriage would cause bad luck, or something similar. What’s disappointing is that in 2020, you can still run into some very daring people who laboriously try to "rationalize" the matter. Will we ever get out of obscurantism?

Photo by: @posaticla

The evil is even deeper than we can imagine. The form of racism that is rampant in Senegal has not led to a filmed death because it is more subtle, but it has shattered millions of lives. Those who give themselves to it, do it so quietly, separating their daughter or son from their loved one, mentioning other reasons, more acceptable by prevailing mores. Those who suffer the consequences of this racism are ashamed to externalize their pain for fear they will be seen as inferior. Opposing it vocally and actively will therefore never be the object of a real revolution as it’s happening in the USA and elsewhere following George Flyod’s death. It is a whole complicit society, facing a complex issue without anyone lifting a finger. From time to time, the issue is brought to light in some songs, a few TV shows and programs, but is quickly filed away.

The civilized people we all claim to be morally reject this type of treatment, especially when it is inflicted before our eyes, as was the case with George Floyd’s murder. The popular uprising noted around the world is no longer intended only for him, but actually sounds the alarm against all forms of discrimination. It is a wake-up call, a heartfelt cry against the impunity of systemic, unjustified and violent racism, one that can result in the death of man, more precisely human being’s death, the only reason of condemnation being their skin color, ethnicity, religious belief, origin, or culture.

Photo by: @lebasane

This revolution is proof that the alarm clock has rung, the train of change against all forms of racism is on the move, at least for this generation. As Frantz Fanon once said: 'Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity'. At Fulla & Fayda, we believe in the richness of difference, sharing best practices, focusing on common human values such as open-mindedness, understanding, tolerance and respect for others no matter what they look like or where they come from. We believe that the train of change didn't leave us standing at the station, motionless, because we were too busy arguing among ourselves to take it.

Photo by: @sheiraf_photography

#racialjustice #equality #caste #ethnicgroup #differences #cultures #Senegal #WestAfrica #history #discrimination

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