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  • Hubert Marlin

Africans in the West have their own Racism: Tribalism and Regionalism


The world is going through great changes, mutations equally positive and negative that spare no one. In the age of instant communication, it is no more easy to live in isolation, or get locked into obsolete patterns. But old habits die hard. Before contact with the West it is true, that all was not so rosy between different ethnic groups that inhabit Africa, there was, of course, here and there, tribal wars and customary misunderstandings which usually were settled effectively by custom talking. However the undulating and diverse wealth of Africa has contributed to its loss. Since the slavery and colonial times, it is a factor of division that once was well used by slavers and colonizers to put under their yoke and this sustainably, an African populace who in the naïve simplicity of his good nature, thought that all the rest of the world had noble ideas like themselves for the most part. these stories of African princes who were given to slavery by their own fathers, who believed that slavers could help their offspring discover what was better in the world beyond the cantonal horizon, are integral to the story of perpetual naivety of the African in contact with those who always plan their approach. plans of domination of others on Africans have worked so well that 500 years later, Africans continue to struggle and to subject themselves to the rules that prevents them from moving out of the darkness. Some would say how could they then? since they are the creation of the West, like computers programmed to servitude. Even Africans who get the Diploma of Excellence in Best Western schools get them first to serve their masters; it’s not always to enjoy themselves on their knowledge. The Obscurantism, and assimilation to the Western ideal is the basis of underdevelopment, and extroversion of attitudes resulting to the dislocation of socio-economic fabric, as planned by the West, which more than 500 years later continue to snaps up on what is dear to human beings. Freedom and the right to self-determination. Social Darwinism, which is the set of draconian rules written or unwritten involved in the exclusion of the black populace to all social progress, were imposed on the continent by the West, and threw in the paths of immigration an African populace who now feels cramped including at home. While migrating towards their tormentors in the northern hemisphere, of course Africans export as well their habits and customs, they try to adapt to their new environment and sometimes to the chagrin of daily realities of lands that they invest. If western racism towards the African and his descendants rage from New York to Paris via London and Toronto, common sense would dictate that Africans despite their cultural diversity, should be more united, since they all live in the West, and all of them directly or indirectly face the same enemy, who doesn’t make any discrimination in the shadowy design. Black is black some will say. In a hostile environment the African is prone to verse into navel gazing that resembles a kind of self-flagellation and mimicking of the whites. He/she believes it is important for him/her, also to makes his/her racism towards his/her peers, whether to look like white, since some find that it’s very chic to be assertive by belittling others, or to prove that since they are equal to whites they can as well endorse the depredation of Western diagram, showing to the world's eyes the great extent of his/her lowly work, and his/her cunning, which would consolidate the arguments that the African is worthless since in general he/ she is the enemy of his/her own social progress. Tribalism as regionalism with their corollary nepotism is scourges that must be fought without sparing any effort. While some are complaining about what the whites are doing to blacks, it's time they raise the question of whether themselves are not subjecting their peers to the infamy of discrimination because of ethnic or regional origins. When one reviews the meandering forms of discrimination, it is important to note however that the sterile discrimination does not exist, racism was invented by the aristocracy to legitimize slavery, and it will never be overstated. Peoples do not hate each other just because of their color or origin, but in general they hate each other because one speculates on its prevalence to another, from the material, social and psychological point of view. Also for example in the case of racism against black, some could say Africans are uglier than whites, this implies mutatis mutandis that everything that is relative to the beauty should look like and conform to white beauty, for this purpose an industry of cosmetics based on the ideal generated from white funnels huge profits to the proponents of the racialist thesis. Did Someone ever thought about the opposite pattern? if for example the ideal of beauty was to have African braids can you estimate how much would earn those African braiders around the world. And what would become of this profession which would become one of the most lucrative in the world. The refusal of the US military to admit black women with African braids was not motivated by the cultural or disciplinary code solely, but by the capitalist order. Racialist or discriminative societies are based solely on the profit of some on others; racism is the secular arm of capitalism. Also the study of specific cases like the Cameroonian community living in the West is an atypical example, it’s a country that is one of the most diverse in the world with more than 280 ethnic groups and dialects, it has had a turbulent independence undergoing a civil war by napalm with the French colonial army, is surprising by tribalism some of its ethnic groups. It is a powder keg that should explode if tribalism impulses of some were to triumph in the civil debate. In that country, ethnic groups who enjoy a certain economic aplomb are struggling with the ethnic groups that enjoy some real or imagined political power (the government policy of African states generally is dictated by the West) and it is a titanic struggle that was quick to consign to oblivion, the rest of the diverse population in this country has, as if their voices were not counting. Also some members of certain ethnic groups wherever they are in the world do not hesitate to uphold the interests of their ethnic groups on the remaining other Cameroonians. However, those who enjoy a certain economic aplomb forget that if their ambition to conquer political power is legitimate, it is a figment of the imagination for them to believe they would be able to convince others fellow citizens that undergo their nepotism, that once in the business, the interests of the nation and of the others 200 ethnic groups and more would be preserved by their clique. There lays a paradox that only deceive the naive. It is hard to believe that if they were persecuted by the political power as they like us to believe, they would have experienced such economic upturn. Furthermore champion of democracy as they see themselves, the coming of their traditional leaders in some Western capitals are most popular events that the coming of the one who is the guarantee of the institutions of their country; you can hate the man, his questionable management of the country and even his ideas, but not the country he represents by his presidential duties. They are offended by the luster of the presidential office and want at the same time, others to respect their country. Who can respect a country whose president would be like a beggar when visiting foreign countries? Also if some of these ethnic groups enjoy a significant traditional organization, if they had the same respect for the nation and its republican institutions like the one they devote to their traditional patriarchates which are far from being democracies, their country of origin would look much better. In other words if they had the same esteem and temperance to others than to their tribal clan, Cameroonian national unity would not be a mere political slogan.

On the other Side those who enjoy real or imaginary political power, do not hesitate to do in cronyism, influence peddling and kleptomania, one must be in their good grace even when part of their ethnicity, to have a public service that they would be in charge of, rendered properly. In their vision, Public Service Management follows a variable geometry whose ventripotence would freeze hell. Apart from Cameroon arbitrary divisions of African countries after the colonial period has helped some peoples nevertheless brothers, to become true strangers to each other and even worst enemy. Also the Gabonese, Fang Beti and the Equatorial Guinea, Fang Beti also often look upon the Cameroonian of the south with a very dim eye, yet he’s also is a Fang Beti like them, because of national egoism and resentment towards each other that ultimately reflects on inter-African Relations in the West. These resentment and division that have been encouraged by the colonial forces, thought it was important to divide and rule, nowadays continues to deftly handle the carrot and the stick. leaving on the floor the little pride africans would have had to be more fraternal. The first war opposing Tutsi and Hutu ethnic group in Rwanda between 1958 and 1960 is a classic of the colonial policy of Machiavellian division on the edge of independence in Africa. Fraternal ethnic groups in Nigeria and Cameroon from Adamawa and other northwestern Cameroon stare each other as chinadogs. Blame, the 1961 referendum organized by Western forces and the successive defeats that the national football team of Cameroon inflicted to that of Nigeria in African Cup of Nations, as well as border disputes that have not helped to approximate these peoples brothers. Wherever they are in the West sometimes they devote a fierce hatred on each other . Same for the Eritrean and Ethiopian communities whose enliven history has left a huge resentment on each side. Indeed the annexation of Eritrea by Ethiopia in 1961 gave rise to one of the longest war of independence of our time who did finish 32 years later with the Eritrean independence in 1993. Since then tensions persist between the two countries. In 1998 a new conflict between the two countries did more than 100 000 deaths. Right now Eritrea and Ethiopia are fighting a proxy war in Somalia, Eritrea are among the main supporters to Islamist insurgents fighting the invasion of the Ethiopian army. And this hatred between two nations very close culturally shades the relations of these groups of people in the West. In view of the foregoing it is clear that slavery and colonial period laid the foundations of the current status of tribalism and regionalism in Africa,defects that prevent a whole continent to really take charge and take the place that it deserves in the concerts of nations. This relational discomfort among Africans, makes the business of Afro pessimistic Westerners who wants Africans and the world to believe that Africa is poor and overpopulated, an ignoble fib, since when one gives worth watching Africa outside the hype retrograde, Africa has enough resources to feed its billion inhabitants and more, the only problem is that social Darwinism imposed on Africans by the West, as made the continent a cash cow of its critics, and even the tendency to microcosms vectors of wars that makes Western armorers business should have to be abandoned soon to give way to the African macrocosm which should make it clear to all sides of Africa, that their common enemies and challenges are common. Pan-Africanism is not an ideology but a reality that is required as the black diaspora in the world faces the same evils, however do Africans (the term African descendants should be banned because black is black) are aware that their destiny is tied, and has been tied for over 4 centuries now?

By Hubert Marlin Jr. Elingui journalist Writer


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