moral musings

Black on black


1. intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries.

The world appears to have gone berserk with all these waves of attacks globally. From the brutal beheading by ISIS to the barbaric killings and kidnapping by Boko Haram; to the ridiculous switch-over of roles by American Police (apparently turning from protectors of the people to hunters of  the people with a terrible racial prejudice); and now to the xenophobia playing out in South Africa.

Each of these categories of violence is totally condemn-able and unacceptable. But in a particular manner, the xenophobia stemming from South Africa is actually making one to begin to wonder if there is more to the visible black skin of the African man.

This is the same country that cried out under apartheid and oppression by the United States, and now that the tide has turned and the country is by and large under black governance, black men of other nations have suddenly become unwanted. That is in spite of the fact that the freedom of South Africa from apartheid was fought for by many African countries, some of whose nationals are now targeted like criminals.

There is the argument that the source of this hate is the poverty in which the locals of the country find themselves. In their poor conditions, they find nationals from other countries as competitors for very scarce jobs. The resolve is therefore to drive these people out of South Africa at all cost, even by murder. But if the country is not thriving and there is sprawling poverty across the land, how could the killing of fellow men of same racial affinity be the solution?

Unfortunately the institutions that are meant to foster harmony and a culture of peace in South Africa have been fingered as promoters of this xenophobia. The Telegraph of April 18 reports that the Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini, is alleged to have told a cheering audience on March 20 that foreigners were “lice” who should be “plucked out and left in the sun”.

South Africa has indeed made a terrible mistake in letting this xenophobia get out of control, just like in 2008 when some 62 people of other nationals were reportedly killed. This time around, the country has not only been unable to protect the security of those who find themselves within her walls, but has apparently left unchecked those who actively  promote a culture of hate like the said Zulu King,  who is from the same province as the President of South Africa.

The disconcerting feeling is that the black man, unable to solve his problem on his own continent, is turning with anger to the wrong person while leaving the sources of their sad situation uncontrolled. Those sources, principally located in corruption and gross incompetence of the leaders of the people, has now added yet another source: that of moral depravity of morbid hatred. In time, It might prove to be the biggest of all the sources of problems in South Africa. For a culture where life is not sacrosanct is a culture open to further grave ills to come.

At a time that many African countries are trying to get out of the throes of oppression, misrule and corruption, turning to each other and making targets of each other is the least solution that the African person should be tempted with. Neither should the scourge of religious hatred like the one reported among the immigrants on the ship to Italy be ever found among us. The irony of that episode is that apparently while the black person is running to Europe and beyond for succour, asylum and a better life, the same problem that caused him to leave the shore of his homeland is travelling with him. He seeks fair treatment in the hand of the white in his new-found-land and treats his brother with hate.

Or else how can you explain such indignity, hate and maltreatment of the black in the hand of the black?

 kindly follow @


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