25 September 2021, Jolof
We have to think Africa and Africans first, support each other, choosing African first, helping Africans first. Because if we do not, we will always stay behind.
If you are a proud African, just like me, by reading the title, you may wonder: “why do we have to think like them? Why not just be ourselves?”
Those questions are valid. We must be ourselves, real and proud Africans. Unfortunately, the reality still shows otherwise. Although it is disappearing slowly, there is still a certain percentage of Africans who still see themselves as “inferior” to White people, or less beautiful than people fair skin. From fashion to business, and even in people’s daily lives, some of us are still considering “what is white as better.”
In Senegal for example, people who respect their commitments, hold themselves accountable, keep themselves clean, etc. are called “Toubab” (White). Women are still “killing” themselves with skin lightening, fake hair, fake nails, fake eyelashes, etc., just to look “White.” When you go to countries like Congo, men are also getting themselves into the skin lightening “torture.”
When it comes to business or rent, a Senegalese person, even the Senegalese president, is ready to give privilege to White businessmen against the Senegalese one. We’ve seen it over and over again, to the point that Senegalese inventors and businessmen living abroad are sometimes reluctant to go back home and invest due to the attitude of the Senegalese government against them.
All of this privilege given to White people to the detriment of our own African interests makes me wonder: How did this unfold? Aside from history, how, during all of these years, white people were considered “better” to the point that some countries cherish what is “white” and reject the “black.”
Well, I may not have all the answers. However, after spending years in “White” countries and observing their daily lives, I believe that the following three examples have contributed in creating the “privilege” White people do enjoy today. And it is all about how they think about themselves.
White people choose always White first
Whether buying or selling, hiring or contracting, loving or marrying, most White people always chose what is white first. Always! When it comes to buying a finish product, White people pay attention to the maker of the product and often times, would prefer buying products from white-owned businesses. It does not matter whether or not the product is made in China. What matters is that the owner of the product, the company is white-owned. The same “rule” applies when it comes to going to a restaurant, buying food etc.
When it comes to hiring, depending on the country you go, most “important” jobs are held by White people, because deep down they believe that they should be the ones in charge. This has led to several discrimination cases in the United States for example where Black people have troubles reaching certain levels of job position.
In terms of love, most White people would marry their own people, and some would go as to encourage others to do the same. In Kitchener for example, a city located in Canada, there was a time when people were seeing some flyers in their mail, about the “risks white people may face if they marry Black people.” Per the flyers, “marrying a Black person can lead to lower intellectual abilities…” And that happened in Canada, a country known for “welcoming” people around the world. Mixed couples do exist, but the reality remains that most white people would choose their own first.
These are just some examples among hundreds, demonstrating how White people do always choose themselves among any other ethnic groups. Chinese and Indian people have seen that and have been doing exactly the same. It is time for us, Africans to do the same if we want to go ahead.
So what can we do? Choose African first. We have to help each other if we want to get ahead. If every other ethnic group see us – Black people and Africa – in a negative way, we have to unite our forces, help each other to get ahead. We have to encourage doing business between us, and only if it is necessary, we may open up to others. White people have understood that for centuries, it is time we do the same since it has worked and it works till today. From now on, think Black, think African and let’s help each other. Let’s make the notion of helping each other our own standard.
White people always see themselves as “the universal standard”
Yes, you hear me. White standards are seen as the “universal standards.” Do you really think that the “universal human rights” were established and decided by us, Black people? Not at all. When White people criticize what they consider “unethical”, “cruel”, “uncivilized” etc., it is based on their own standards that they think should apply to the rest of the World. That is the reason why the West mistakenly think that democracy is the right governance model for every country. And, because they have their weapons, they use their pretext to further their own interests in countries with smaller military infrastructure under the name of “restoring democracy.” What a lie!
Beyond politics, White people deeply believe that they are the reflect of “universal beauty”, that women should ne skinny, women’s hair should be straightened, the skin should be “fair”, etc. They use their media and their influence to make their own standards “universal.” The truth is that there is no such thing as “universal” anything. People are different, societies are different, and the rules of any society should be decided by the people of that society.
What can we do then as Black and Africans? Let’s celebrate and embrace our own standards. If we are able to embrace our own standards by staying true to ourselves – no fake hair or fake fair skin needed – from fashion perspective by setting our own rules, we will not need to spend billions outside of Africa. Embracing our culture, our fashion, our habits can lead to a strong positive effect in our own economy. The perfect example is China. China was able to embrace its own culture and they are respected for that thanks to their success. As a result, they were able to export their own culture outside of China – e.g.: Chinese food, Chinese traditional medicine… The bottom line is that, if we are unable to accept and embrace our own standards, we won’t be respected as we are since we are showing that we do not respect who we actually are.
White people think and find solutions, instead of relying on others
This is a very positive attribute. And thanks to that mindset, it is fair to say and admit that, most known inventions in the World have been from White people. There are several hidden Black inventions, however the purpose of this article is not to focus on the past or to do ourselves justice. Instead, it is about opening our eyes and think about how we (Black people and Africans) can get ahead.
Thinking always about solutions is a strong skill we must all possess if we want to built Africa and empower Africans.
Think about how Switzerland was able to become the “Chocolate country” of the world when they do not grow the cocoa needed? Well, the answer is simple, they think solutions at all costs. From negotiating with countries producing cocoa (e.g.: Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana) to using their White connections to get to the material they need to produce what they want – chocolate – and enrich themselves. Meanwhile, most countries do not even know about Africa’s contribution to chocolate the world eats.
Talking about chocolate was just a random example among most notorious examples such as the inventions of everything we are currently seeing in the world – planes, cars, trains, computers, software, etc. All those inventions were possible thanks to a “solution” mindset. What if we did the same?
What can we do about that? Well, we can learn from them. We can start thinking about our own solutions to the needs and problems we are facing. We have to start thinking about solutions to our own problems instead of always getting “help” from the West or other countries. Africa is the richest country in the world in terms if natural resources. How about learning to use our own natural resources and build our own “chocolate.” What if we kept the cocoa for our African industries before selling cocoa to Switzerland’s Nestle? Or if we have to much cocoa and can export, let’s sell the materials at fair prices to ensure that we benefit from when we own?
The bottom line is that, we cannot get ahead if do not shift to a “solution mindset.” We have to and we have to encourages our African talents to do the same, to come back to Africa so we can create solutions together.
These were just three among tens of examples showing how thinking like White people do can get us ahead as Black and Africans. It is not about becoming White because that is exactly the opposite of thinking like White people do.
If it exists, it is extremely rare to see a White woman risking her life trying to be Black, so why should we? Why are Black women doing that?
It is extremely rare to see a White Manager favoring a Black talent against a White talent, unless there is something to gain from it. So why are Black leaders doing it? Why are leaders in the Senegalese government sacrificing Senegalese businessmen and investors for the benefit of French businesses? How can we even do that? What a shame!
If we want to get ahead, like China did and other Asian countries, we have to start thinking like White people do about themselves. We have to think Africa and Africans first, support each other, choosing African first, helping Africans first. Because if we do not, we will always stay behind.
If you are African, please, start now, and together we will make it happen.
▼ Recommended for you