The Tragedy Olympics: On Je Suis’ing Nigerian
On my newsfeeds and timelines…
There are a slew of events I can only call “Tragedy Olympics” that have captured the discourse of youth across the world. Who will get the whole? France? Nigeria? Pakistan? What is the prize? The attention of western media of course. The kind of media that can determine whether you get military intervention, aid flows, or a neat British tune for a giving drive. Yes… This is what’s happening. Naturally I took to Twitter saying the following.
1. Why are the attacks still happening after a year of funding, military aid and multilateral assistance?
2. Where is our African media house that does biting, in depth, factual news reporting of the incidents for the edification of Africans and Nigerians to act?
3. Isn’t there something wrong with the relationship between bad events and investment? Or is it right and Nigeria just needs to get it together?
4. Wouldn’t it be nice if unity resulted in pressure and accountability from Nigerian leaders on behalf of the Nigerian people?
5. Isn’t it problematic that Western Media is the only media that matters when it comes to providing news and accountability meant to deliver democracy across the world?
6. Given the fact that this is an election year in Nigeria, couldn’t a better angle for this be… “Why vote in a leader who has haphazardly dealt with terror?”
But we have ALWAYS been Nigerians. If you are a minority or a person of color anywhere in the world, then it’s likely you have been ignored, sidelined, mistrusted and mistreated by the great Western gods in some form, fashion or manner (whether institutional or otherwise).
Je Suising Nigerian is what Pan Africanism was supposed to be in the 50s with Garvey and Nkrumah.
Je Suising Nigerian is opting not to say a person speaks bad English just because they have an accent.
Je Suising Nigerian is putting your money where your mouth is and uniting to build black wealth and capital that creates meaningful trade between the diaspora and the continent.
Je Suising Nigerian is demanding that the African Union, ECOWAS, EACC, etc. take a stance against racial bias and injustice with the American justice system
Je Suising Nigerian is recognizing that while no one celebrates Kwanzaa, those principles (Umoja- Unity, Kujichagalia- Self Determination, Ujimaa- Collective Work, Ujamaa- Cooperative Economics, Nia- Purpose, Kuumba- Creativity, Imani- Faith) are truly the bedrock of our collective ascension as people.
Je Suising Nigerian is demanding attention from Western media for a balanced and fair representation of Africa and African Americans from Western media.
Je Suising Nigerian is an active and ongoing identity of blackness that comes merely because in 2015 we are STILL judged by the color of our skin and not the content of our character, and this manifests itself in violence— and in silence.
There is SO much more that emerges from these moments when black people (whether American or African) cry out for their humanity and desire to be accepted– nay, affirmed by Western gods. We. Need. To. Unite. Not against the west but FOR ourselves! More on this next month (Black History month… yay!) when I will do a series on Africa, Africa America, Black America and the Diaspora— Paying for the Skin You’re In.
Until then, I will hashtag like Nigerian President, GoodLuck Jonathan might do in response to the tragedies of his nation: #jesuisnigerian #jesuisbaga #blacklivesmatter #selmaisnow #panafrican #buildblackexcellence #blackexcellence #bringbackourgirls #youready?