Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Slavery might be over - but not mental slavery

When one really takes time to dig on the internet, it's quite interesting what amount of things they end up coming across.  European people have also been slaves (and I'm not just referring to the Norwegians under Sweden and Denmark, but also Europeans enslaved by African masters). Don't believe me? Check for yourself:  A Million Europeans Enslaved

While I was reading comments below a picture which was posted as a joke (which I don't feel was really funny at all, neither was it appropriate) - a young black girl holding unto a leash which has been tied around a white boy's waist and the words underneath After several years of slavery it's their turn - I was saddened by some of the negative comments posted underneath.

Most black people are well aware that their ancestors were not the only ones who had been slaves, but when a person (like one of the people who commented) states things like 'Black people are like women, they'll hold a grudge forever', that is offensive on so many levels.  Part of the problem that most black people have is not just that our ancestors were enslaved, but the fact that many of us are living in continuous enslavement with regards to how we are viewed and treated in society, how the media portrays us etc.  If slavery was truly abolished and we were considered to be equal to other races, there would be no need for complaints or supposedly "playing the race card".

Why is it that in America alone, in 2012 only 14 % of black people were recorded drug abusers, yet 74  % were imprisoned in comparison to 74 % white drug abusers > 10 % imprisoned?  The same statistics showed that 60 % of violent crime in the United States were committed by white people, yet only 23 % were in prison.  Despite people with an ethnic background only accounting for 40 % of the violent crime committed in the United States (it would make sense since the minority is lower in number. There are only 25 million African Americans in the United States compared to 175 million white Americans), we are still made to believe the percentage is much higher.

It doesn't help when one is doomed to be regarded as much less than their peers because of the colour of their skin. This is not something I, or other black people who have experienced racism, decided, this is a fate that was decided for us even before we were born. Regardless of how many years, decades or centuries black people have fought for their rights to be treated as fellow human beings, the fact that change is still a process still remains.

When a person is still being referred to as a 'Nigger' on social media platforms such as Youtube, should one still question why most black people feel so uncomfortable around their peers (other races)?. Most of us are depicted as criminals, animals, whores (music videos etc) or loudmouths who like to find themselves in the middle of trouble.  If you push a person standing close by a river, never ask why he fell into it.  Why talk about slavery as though it has ended, when it in fact still exists? It exists at the workplace, in schools, in the movie and music industry.  Whenever black people are duped into believing they are equals, something happens to prove them absolutely wrong.

Only a year back there was a video showing a black man assaulting a few Koreans on a bus in South Korea (I am in no way supportive of what the man did, however, quite saddened by the fact), and a ton of negative comments stating that the man was an animal and that this was the same for a majority of black people. What does one say about the man who murdered 77 people in Norway, or the guy who killed 12 people at a cinema in Colorado?

Image courtesy to

Africans being physically brought from their continent of peace to a foreign land to work for the white man has since passed and is history, but not mental enslavement. It is still there and very visible. It is indeed the parents' responsibility to teach their children that they are beautiful no matter what, but how much does that help when one is ostracised by society and never positively represented in the media?

Can one look at all the facts and still say black people are overreacting?