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Tension climbs highest in poor communities

Monday, February 13, 2006

By Ervin Dyer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
 

In 1989, Zedueh Doerue, a proud and traditional-minded father of eight, smuggled his family out of civil-war ravaged Liberia into Guinea, a more stable West African nation to the south.

Zedueh Doerue:
"I don't understand it."

 

Before long, Guinea, a former French colony, began to slide into political unrest as well, and Mr. Doerue was jailed and harassed as an insurgent because he spoke English. 

Four years ago, a Catholic refugee resettlement program brought him to Pittsburgh, where two of his children were born. Now, working as a nursing assistant and living in a two-story Bon Air home, Mr. Doerue and his family would seem to have left danger and chaos behind.

But Mr. Doerue, 44, said that for the last year he's been continually harassed, his children have been bullied by neighborhood thugs, his car damaged and the windows on his home have been repeatedly broken.

Mr. Doerue has called police because he feels "hunted" by the perpetrators, who he claims are mostly black youths.

Police are unclear on the motives for the attacks, and Mr. Doerue said, "I don't understand it."

He's not alone. Many sociologists and researchers are trying to understand the relationships between black Americans and a recent boom of immigrants who have come to America from Africa and the Caribbean.

It is not always an easy transition and black Americans and the immigrants find they are being forced to confront complex issues of identity, ethnicity and community.

"As a general trend, the two groups are having tensions," said Jacqueline Copeland-Carson, a scholar with the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and author of the book, "Creating Africa in America."

The tensions can be especially raw and violent in urban communities struggling with poverty, she said, as black Americans who feel economically trapped clash culturally with immigrant Africans who have escaped turmoil worse than Hurricane Katrina and may have stereotypical views of black Americans as being lazy or glorifiers of gangster life.

There are other barriers that create problems, too, said Ms. Copeland-Carson, who studies contemporary immigration issues.

These include widespread ignorance about the history of ethnic groups and nationalities and not understanding how others define their identities.

For example, she said, in Nigeria alone, there are more than 250 ethnic groups. Africans don't come here with the same racial notion of "black" identity that African Americans have formed, said Ms. Copeland-Carson.

Furthermore, she said, when immigrant Africans move into communities of concentrated poverty, where people are already struggling with low-wage jobs, they are often seen as economic and political threats.

When the misunderstandings loom that large, "even by speaking English with an accent," said Ms. Copeland-Carson, "[immigrant Africans] can become the enemy."

Mr. Doerue says his children were picked on and targeted simply because they speak differently.

Accents can also target immigrants as people less familiar with the system and thus more vulnerable to scams, robbery or attack.

Some of the 30 to 40 Somalian families in town have faced other hostilities from black Americans.

Their dress, mannerisms and accents mean they stand out as foreigners in many neighborhoods, said Joshua Kivuva, a University of Pittsburgh teacher and Kenyan native who helps ease the families into life here.

In Northview Heights, there are allegations that a Somalian has been threatened with a gun; in Homewood, a Somalian middle school student has had a gun pointed at him, and a Somali mother in Homewood has been told she needs to move to be safe, said Mr. Kivuva.

In Oakland, with its stew of international students and faculty, the immigrant Africans can fit in, said Mr. Kivuva, but in low-income areas open conflicts are more likely.

"I think the perception is that [immigrant Africans] are given priority for services and that causes tensions," he said.

The tensions surface not just in Pittsburgh, but across the country.

Three months ago, a 13-year-old Ghanaian boy was brutally beaten, police say, by black American youths in his neighborhood in southwest Philadelphia.

On occasion, the conflicts turn deadly.

Congo immigrant Nzubamunu Mitete, 51, a Pentecostal preacher, was robbed and murdered in Lincoln-Lemington while driving a jitney on a cold December night. Police say his attacker was a young black man.

Thirty days later, David Agar, 24, a "Lost Boy," one of the survivors of the conflict in the Sudan, was killed while leaving an Uptown club. Police arrested Todd Akrie, 26, of Windgap, charging him with robbery and homicide in the incident.

While issues of racial identity and poverty can heighten the hostility of black Americans against immigrant Africans, said Ms. Copeland-Carson, the rancor against newcomers is nothing new.

"In the early 20th century, there was enmity against Irish immigrants and Italians," she said. "This dynamic is a piece of the ethnic history of the United States."

To make it more confusing, said Mr. Kivuva, is the fact that most immigrant Africans hear from black Americans that whites can't be trusted; but, in Pittsburgh, he said, few black organizations help the Somali families that he works with.

"The person who comes to the house with bread, who comes to read to a student, who takes children to the zoo," said Mr. Kivuva, "is a white person."

The solution to help everyone get along is using common ground to build bridges, said Yinka Aganga-Williams, an immigrant Nigerian who works with local groups to ease immigrant transitions into Allegheny County.

What black Americans need to understand, said Ms. Copeland-Carson, is that their culture, from spirituals to food to healing practices, is an amalgam of African traditions. It can be revitalizing to re-link these cultures with immigrant Africans.

Likewise, black Americans who have survived in this country can help immigrants sustain identities in schools and help build political coalitions.

The glass is not half-empty when it comes to relations between the two groups, said Ms. Aganga-Williams, who warned that media stereotyping paints a picture that all black Americans are harassing Africans.

"I don't think they are being targeted. [David Agar] went to a bar, and there happened to be a bad guy there. I don't think Mitete's killer set out to kill an African immigrant that night.

"There are people in Nigeria, Ghana, wherever you're from," she said, "who get killed from this kind of robbery every day.

"I just think we never hear about the ones who have said this is my African-American friend, and he truly wants to hear about Africa."

Waka Snek Feeds: Blog
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No one is spared;'upwardly mobile' African Americans and children/young people can be similarly singled out. I grew up in a neighborhood that was a mix of cultures and economic groups, ie, Mexican American, Filipino, working clas white, 'well-off' to welfare. My family was in the middle, and I took violin lessons, and wore braces, and spoke 'funny'. my mother did'nt allow incorrect tense and all that, which caused me grief, the grief of my peers. My mother also took it on the chin from many of the Black American neighbors, because of our 'standard of living' in the neighbor-hood'. Then I attended some of the 'UC' schools, (UCSD/UCLA/UCB), caught grief for that. The clash of cultures is nothing new in the U.S. Welcome to America.
Propaganda anyone who as actually connected to africans from the continent,I mean really extended and olive branch knows the deep affection africans have for us and visa versa, its just those self hating ignorant brothers and sistas on both sides that perpetuate this myth. Africans in America has always looked to the Continent as our homeland.Africans on the continent have always looked at Africans in the diaspora as their brothers and sistas that were taken from their homeland to the new world, and often stories are past down from generation to generation or oral history about relatives taken away never to be seen again. Its the eurocentric indoctrination of both that seperates us and only a strong KNOWLEDGE OF SELF, will save us
From the above news posting it stands that those beatings or murders were based on ROBBERY and NOT ethnic hate crime.

I've ofter wondered if AA's visiting any nation in Africa , the Caribbean or South America were attacked by the indigenious population would be reported as a regular street crime or as ethnic hate crime ?
quote:
Originally posted by ZAKAR:
Propaganda anyone who as actually connected to africans from the continent,I mean really extended and olive branch knows the deep affection africans have for us and visa versa, its just those self hating ignorant brothers and sistas on both sides that perpetuate this myth. Africans in America has always looked to the Continent as our homeland.Africans on the continent have always looked at Africans in the diaspora as their brothers and sistas that were taken from their homeland to the new world, and often stories are past down from generation to generation or oral history about relatives taken away never to be seen again. Its the eurocentric indoctrination of both that seperates us and only a strong KNOWLEDGE OF SELF, will save us


appl appl appl
My only question is how far wide is this problem.

This is no myth.

I remember my family being knocked on a lot by Northern African-Americans when I was younger.

For some reason, Black people from the latest Southern waves weren't as bad.

We got the same comments from them as we got from biased Whites. That my family were job stealers and the like.

All the stereotypes of non-American Blacks were thrown at us. That we were ignorant and barbaric.

Our Blackness was always in question.

In response to one of us saying that something was done a certain way back home, we might hear, "Real Black people do this."

In fact, I STILL hear this shit, although not as much.

And I know I'm not alone in this experience.

I've had too many talks with others from immigrant families.

And it scares me that what we went through is pretty light compared to other experiences.

I know people who have been physically attacked by African-Americans for their immigrant backgrounds.

It's no one-way street. Many immigrants also hold negative preconceived notions about natives.

There is a tension. Perhaps it varies from space to space, but it does exist.
I would hope that this is not true. I look upon other black people with origins in Africa as my brothers and sisters. I treat them the same way I treat other black people.
Now, I must say, I've come across some African-American bias from Africans in other countries, but only in situations where there is a large group of African-Americans in an area. However, I've been in situations in Europe where I've been alone and I spoke with ease to other Africans because they automatically assumed by where I was at that I was African born. And the fact that I also speak some French and Spanish helped.
I think the only friction happens when Africans come here to the U.S.
Its basically due to ignorance. Black Americans have been so disconnected from Africa and what we were taught was basically negative. For example we were taught that Africa was a primitive backwards lands of voodoo-worshiping heathens and we should be "glad" that the benevolent white Christian slavemasters rescued our behinds from such a backwards heathenish place. Africa is still considered backwards and it's people mired in ignorance. And of course we were told that African physical features were ugly especially our hair. With nearly 4 centuries of this negativity no wonder we think so lowly of Africa and ourselves.

Of course some Africans are no better towards us. Like other immigrants to this country, they have a tendency to look down on us and to heavily judge us when it was the struggles of our people that opened the doors to their being able to immigrate here in the first place. Some Africans are colonial and slaveminded just like some AAs.

I love and try to understand all cultures especially those of Africa and the African diaspora. Of course my favorite is Afro-Brazil. Also some African men do come off as "sexist". I try to understand and tolerate different cultural traits and not judge or get offended by them. Understanding needs to be on both sides - both ours and theirs. We need to unlearn negative brainwashing about Africa and blackness in general and they need to understand that we are centuries removed from Africa and have been miseducated about our motherland. They should not be so judgemental about some of us and our "ignorance".
quote:
Originally posted by ZAKAR:
Propaganda anyone who as actually connected to africans from the continent,I mean really extended and olive branch knows the deep affection africans have for us and visa versa, its just those self hating ignorant brothers and sistas on both sides that perpetuate this myth. Africans in America has always looked to the Continent as our homeland.Africans on the continent have always looked at Africans in the diaspora as their brothers and sistas that were taken from their homeland to the new world, and often stories are past down from generation to generation or oral history about relatives taken away never to be seen again. Its the eurocentric indoctrination of both that seperates us and only a strong KNOWLEDGE OF SELF, will save us

I totally agree with you Zakar. Africans are my brothas and sisthas. I have gotten nothing but love from my African brothas and sistahs. It is very sad that situations like what was posted happens. But they do happen ignorance is a deadly thing.
Pittsburgh is '6 clicks' away from being a 'Southern Town'.

Pittsburgh sits in that conjunction of Maryland, a 'southern State', West Virginia, another 'southern State', and Pennsylvania.

Some may have seen the recent news item where a Georgetown basketball player threw the 'bird' in response to racial harassment by West Virginia fans.

I say that to say, intolerance by African Americans to others of African ancestry is to me totally within the character of the city.

They do the same to who walk, talk, and/or dress different.

Pittsburgh is a very, very provincial place.

PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by ma'am:
It's no one-way street. Many immigrants also hold negative preconceived notions about natives.

There is a tension. Perhaps it varies from space to space, but it does exist.
I agree with you.....

I personally have seen it the other way around.... where African or Caribbean ( scream) immigrants are biased against African-Americans because of the stereotypical image portrayed by the media......

However, as in all things, there are always two sides to a coin..... and exceptions within those rules......

Like Ma'am says... "it varies from space to space" and I would add "it transforms its image from space to space as well".....


Peace,
Virtue
quote:
Originally posted by StaryeYenightess:
Why do they always say we blame the White Man to much.


Have people said this a lot to you? They have never said it to me and I know many continental Africans. Are you sure you aren't just believing what 'they' (meaning the propogandists) say Africans from the continent 'always say'? UNless you have personally heard this comment a whole bunch of times, I tend to think you may be falling for the old divide and conquor stuff.

quote:
But then turn around and cry to the White guy about the US or rich nation not doing enough for their homelands.


This sounds like some more false propoganda.
I here a lot of liberal white folks complain about this and I hear it a lot on the Tell-Lie-vision in media bites(and we know wh controls that), but I have never heard it out of the actual mouth of a continental African here or when I was in Africa. Although I have heard many Continental Africans say that the West is raping Africa for it's resources and the Oyimbos need to leave 'us' alone.

Don't believe the hype.
quote:
Originally posted by Yemaya:

And the fact that I also speak some French and Spanish helped.


I'll bet you've heard some interesting conversations in español between latinos. My wife certainly has. Especially on the bus. In latin america, everybody assumes (rightly) that she's latina. But here, everybody assumes that she's gringa. So latinos converse quite openly in front of her, saying whatever racist thing might come to their minds, confident that she can't understand a word that they say.

She usually just listens quietly, and finds some excuse to say something in español as she gets off the bus, just in time to watch their jaws drop to the floor.

Now, in her country, there's no way that anybody would ever mistake me for anything but a gringo.
Keep in mind that not all Africans have a feeling of superiority over African Americans. I am an African American and i have many Somalian friends that i am very close to. This sounds like a problem that may be taking place in areas that Africans are new to around people who aren't welcome to change. For them it would be like a black family moving into an all white neighborhood. Most likely the white people would radther object the black family out of fear and ignorance instead of getting to know them and accepting a new family into their community. I'm getting off topic but i think i made my point.
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quote:
Originally posted by little minx:
i find that the attitude of africans is disdainful towards african americans. i have often heard africans talk about their own superiority over african americans. if there is tension, it may also be somewhat due to this.


I partially agree with your statement, in my area many of the African immigrants try to ignore AA's, they keep at a distance avoid eye-contact saying either nothing or very little to you as though you a necessary pest they are forced todeal with. I've noticed however it's usually not the same with their off-spring who were born here or came to the U.S. as infants they will interact with you.
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by Yemaya:

And the fact that I also speak some French and Spanish helped.


I'll bet you've heard some interesting conversations in español between latinos. My wife certainly has. Especially on the bus. In latin america, everybody assumes (rightly) that she's latina. But here, everybody assumes that she's gringa. So latinos converse quite openly in front of her, saying whatever racist thing might come to their minds, confident that she can't understand a word that they say.

She usually just listens quietly, and finds some excuse to say something in español as she gets off the bus, just in time to watch their jaws drop to the floor.

Now, in her country, there's no way that anybody would ever mistake me for anything but a gringo.




TRUE WORDS MY FRIEND.
I have to change my tone on this topic. I really hate what said before. I notice that Black Americans never welcome Africans to America at all. First thing Black Americans say to Africans is. Ewwwwwwwww why are you so dark and your hair so nappy. Now how do you expect Africans or other non American Blacks to react to that stupidness of Black Americans. Of course their kids born here understand. But I notice the kids go in the same path of pure ignorance as poor Black Americans. Wearing tacky hip hop clothing and listening to commercial rap and acting just pure dumb. I don't think that's called getting to know Black America.
quote:
Originally posted by StaryeYenightess:
I have to change my tone on this topic. I really hate what said before. I notice that Black Americans never welcome Africans to America at all. First thing Black Americans say to Africans is. Ewwwwwwwww why are you so dark and your hair so nappy. Now how do you expect Africans or other non American Blacks to react to that stupidness of Black Americans. Of course their kids born here understand. But I notice the kids go in the same path of pure ignorance as poor Black Americans. Wearing tacky hip hop clothing and listening to commercial rap and acting just pure dumb. I don't think that's called getting to know Black America.



Perhaps you should take a visit to other African web sites where African-Americans are described as sub-human spune. The Africans in my area don't talk to A.A. and avoid them with a vengeance.It appears that you Africans have added another thread to Black America and that is called Tribalism.
quote:
Originally posted by zodo:
quote:
Originally posted by StaryeYenightess:
I have to change my tone on this topic. I really hate what said before. I notice that Black Americans never welcome Africans to America at all. First thing Black Americans say to Africans is. Ewwwwwwwww why are you so dark and your hair so nappy. Now how do you expect Africans or other non American Blacks to react to that stupidness of Black Americans. Of course their kids born here understand. But I notice the kids go in the same path of pure ignorance as poor Black Americans. Wearing tacky hip hop clothing and listening to commercial rap and acting just pure dumb. I don't think that's called getting to know Black America.



Perhaps you should take a visit to other African web sites where African-Americans are described as sub-human spune. The Africans in my area don't talk to A.A. and avoid them with a vengeance.It appears that you Africans have added another thread to Black America and that is called Tribalism.


Tribalism! That's the word I've been looking for to describe how and why there is a [permanent] division among African Americans and Africans. Massa invented a way to tribalize us [even though many of us came from the same villages as our african brothers/sisters]...by making us a "tribe" would be one of the ways Africans would despise us regardless if we are distant relatives or not.

One time I saw an african fellow in a liquor store. I was a student at a local college learning the history of Africa [at the time African studies was my major] which were very new courses available in the educational curriculm [sp].

In the store, I overheard him speak. I was in heaven cuz I never met a REAL LIFE african...well the moment I opened my mouth to ask him a question, homeboy wore me out! He might as well called me the B word. Now I'm raised with a lot of brothers. So I ran home to get my posse of men cuz he disrespected me. Of course, he was long gone but this stayed with me a long while.

I never understood why he acted the way he did until one of my professors told me that some african countries do not allow women to speak in public. OMG! Christy Love where are you? I really wanted to go back and really kick some ass but I realized that was his culture. But something told me his reaction toward me was made by design. And maybe the way Africans feel about African Americans is made by design too....designed by massa and his boys [arabs]. They called us "Black" cuz black (describing the color of our skin) meant slave. And this word "black" destroyed our identity. We were no longer considered Africans-we were slaves with the description of being black. The word Black was adopted by African Americans during the late 60s, early 70s... along with Afro-American and later African americans. However, there is no place in the world called blackland. And this man-made identity set the stage and was the beginning to our denial of being from Africa and Africans rejection toward being a part of us. No culture wants to be associated with being a slave (even though it's a fact). And for many Africans, slavery meant weakness and shame. So they would rather die African, than live "black." And in today's world many Africans [especially those in war torn areas in Sudan] given the choice, would rather live muslim, than die African. fro
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Could the apparent tension between Africans and African-Americans have anything to do with the fact that we Africans sold our brothers & sisters in the American diaspora to White slave dealers...several centuries ago ?

The recently concluded Liberian civil war partly originated from similar tension between native Liberians and Americo-Liberians who were descendants of freed, returnee American slaves.
Relations between A.A. and A.'s are extremely difficult especially when one reads crap like this from an "intellectual" African:



African Americans as I see them


Tuesday, 31 January 2006


Ozodi Osuji's weekly psychological essays #7 AFRICAN-AMERICANS, AS I SEE THEM PREAMBLE



Like all people, African Americans are individually unique and no two of them are the same. It, therefore, seems a mistake to talk about them as if they are all the same. Be that as it may, the fact is that there is such a thing as group character. For example, I am an Igbo African. There is such a thing as an Igbo character type, within which are individual Igbos who are unique in their personality types.

I understand why folks are leery of talking about national character types; it tends to lead to treating people as members of groups but not as individuals hence stereotyping them. This is a noble intention. All human beings ought to be treated as individuals, not as members of any given groups. Nevertheless, it is silly denying the obvious, that there are national character types.

There is the generalized English, French, Italian, German and American personality type. If you do not accept this fact then randomly select a German and a Russian and give them work to do and see how they do it. The German is more likely to be methodical, thorough and efficient and produce high quality product, whereas the Russian is more likely to be lackadaisical, carefree and inefficient and produce a shoddy product. All said there is such a thing as group personality type, within which there are individual differences.

African Americans have a group based personality type, within which is individuation. Making stereotypical statements about them may be unfair to those who do not fit the group stereotype; nevertheless, we must attempt to understand the generalized picture of the African American. We must do so with the understanding that every general rule has exceptions to it.

I have lived in North America from the time that I left secondary school in Africa. During that time, I have had occasion to interact with most of the ethnic groups that constitute the great mosaic called North America: whites, Asians and African Americans. As a result of my relationships with these various people I come to certain conclusions about them. This essay is not going to dwell on the other ethnic groups that constitute North America but on African Americans.

The individual is seldom objective in his perception of other people, and perception of anything for that matter. He looks at whatever he sees with his past learning, and his internalized presuppositions and preconceptions of what is good or bad. We all seem to wear lenses through which we look at the external world. These myopic lenses probably mean that none of us ever sees anything as it is. In that light, I probably do not see African Americans as they are? My past colors how I see the present.

Having admitted the probable prejudiced nature of my perception, yet my perception is my perception. I am entitled to sharing that perception with those who care to know about it. They can do with it, though admittedly biased, whatever they want to do with it. My obligation to myself is to be honest and describe things as I see them. If my perception is not correct, which is probably the case, I stand to be corrected. You, the reader, please feel free to correct my misperceptions; and while you are at it, please do remember to do so, on rational grounds, not by begging the issue, or merely telling me to share your perception just because it is yours.



There is a common adage that admiration is the highest form of compliment. You want to be like those you admire.

I do not want to be like African Americans. That just about says it all, does it not?

If I were an idealist, I would set about trying to change African Americans. But I am a social realist and know how difficult it is to change people.

My goal in this essay is merely to describe African Americans, as I see them, and leave it to them to ponder how this African sees them. If they think that there is some merit in my perception, they could decide to change what is changeable in them and live with what is not changeable in them. My function as a social observer is to describe phenomena, as I see it, and, hopefully, that description enables individuals to better understand it than they did before.

I should say that the sword cuts both ways. Just as I have my perception of African Americans, they have their perception of me and other Africans. Their perception of us may not be positive? That is their prerogative; they are entitled to their perception.

Each of us behaves in light of his perception of phenomena; his only obligation is to ascertain what that perception is and strive to make it as synonymous with the truth as is possible.

(What is the truth, Pontus Pilate asked Jesus? I, a mere man, certainly do not know what the truth is. May be the alleged only son of God, a Jew, Jesus, knows what the truth is. Those of us who are not sons of God, are perhaps sons of an unknown God, do not know what the truth is. But please do not tell us what the truth is until our unknown God tells us.)



Every human being operates within a context; he operates with a frame of reference that his context gave him, a world view that he internalized while growing up. It is, therefore, necessary to know something about the individual's context and frame of reference before we can understand him and his perceptions.

I am an Igbo Diala. I was socialized into Igbo Omenala. I internalized Igbo culture and operate from its parameters.

Igbo culture is very republican and democratic. Igbo culture is individualistic, achievement oriented and realistic. Igbos are not a sentimental people, they accept life as it is without unnecessary adornments. Their language is overly realistic. Consider: Owu manu ji ara edebere otu? (I will not interpret it for you, you try to figure it our for yourself, after all, if I have taken the trouble to understand your language, English, the least that you could do is take the trouble to understand my own language, a language, we believe is the best in the world. The Igbos say: Speak Igbo and then die, indicating how proud they are of their language.)



My grandfather grew up in the early 1900s Alaigbo (Igboland), a world that the British had recently conquered. What did him and his contemporary Igbos do? They would tell their children: Look, children, the British defeated us, not because they are better men than we are but because they have advanced science and technology. We must acquire science and technology, if we ever want to compete with them. Therefore, we must all go to school and study science and technology. We must work hard. With science and technology and hard work, in a few generations, we shall be able to do what the British do. We might even surpass them. Thus, these hardy men and women resolved to send their children to school. Going to school and working hard became their mantra.

Today, many of these amazing people's children are university graduates and are found in the best universities of the world.

The Igbo does not countenance laziness. He does not listen to excuses as to why one is poor. He says: if you say yes, your Chi (personal God, your real self) will say yes. (See Chinua Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart.) He does not accept the thesis that he is a victim of circumstances. He sees himself as in charge of his life. He has internal locus of control and believes that no matter what the external environment is like that it is up to him to do what he could to extract a decent living for himself and his family. However, he is not na?ve as to the powerful effect of the external environment on the individual; he recognizes the reality of the external world but does not resign himself to it.

My grandfather's generation recognized that, for the time being, the British were in charge of their affairs. But that was a temporary situation. With hard work, they believed that sooner or later they would be able to compete with the British on their on terms.

The Igbo does not want you to pity him, see him as a victim and give him anything out of pity.

(When the Igbo comes to North America and beholds such policies as Affirmative Action, he is annoyed by it; he says: if you cannot get into the school you want to attend on merit, and then do not go to that school. When I was in secondary school, my father would say to me, Tom, I want you go to Oxford or Cambridge University. To do so, you must have excellent grades in your studies, including your GCE Advance Level. He could not tolerate mediocre grades. I had the requisite grades to attend those top colleges, not because I was particularly smart but because father could not let go of my case until I behaved realistically, studied hard.)

The Igbo context from which I came from is one where individuals are expected to compete and receive from their world whatever their abilities could give them in the competitive world they live in.

I am an Igbo and carry the Igbo culture in me to wherever I go. I brought that culture with me to North America. I view the social phenomenon of North America through the lenses of my Igbo worldview. My perception is biased by my individual personality and by my cultural upbringing. LACK OF INITIATVE

In my perception, African Americans, on the whole, seem to lack initiative; they seem to lack entrepreneurial and business skills. Generally, I see a people who do not start their own businesses; I see a people who wait for others, whites and Asians, to start business ventures and then come around and employ them.

(My parents were small business persons; my father started trading from age fifteen and by the time he was twenty, had gone to most West African countries, buying goods from them and reselling them at a small profit in Alaigbo; my mother ran a restaurant at an army barracks.)

The African American that I see does not seem to realize that he can start his own business and employ himself and employ his own people. He stays around waiting for other persons to employ him. And when they do not employ him, he complains, bitching about discrimination against him.

Of course, in North America, discrimination is real. What do you expect? Human beings seem self-centered. (See Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations; Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan.) Human beings seem motivated to first help themselves and later help those like them.

Whites start business to help themselves and help their brothers and sisters; Asians do the same.

Human beings seldom identify with those who do not look like them. White Americans generally feel comfortable among whites and generally will employ fellow whites before they employ those who do not look them, those they do not feel comfortable around.

In North America, African Americans are generally the last hired and first fired in the workplace.



As soon as he obtains the token jobs white Americas give him, he feels very important. As it were, he says: see, I am now somebody important because I work at a prestigious white outfit.

The African American seems to derive false social importance from his proximity to white folk, folks he, apparently, assumes are superior to him.

The few African Americans that attended Ivy League colleges, such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, even Stanford, tend to think that they are very special persons. They tend to carry themselves like they are godlike. Apparently, it never occurs to these folks that they attended schools that were started by individual white men and that they, themselves, can start their own schools and build them into top ranked schools.

(The so-called Negro colleges, such as Howard, Lincoln, Fisk etc were actually started by white men of good will, those invested in training Negroes during the era of Jim Crow and racial segregation.)

On their own, African Americans have not really started great universities and large business corporations and made them outstanding. African Americans, apparently, wait for whites to achieve excellence and they come to bask in reflected glory of white achievement.

Generally, African Americans work for governments (city, county, state and federal) and major American corporations. They seldom start their own business and work for themselves.

Those of them who mange to be in positions of authority in white started employment places seldom employ other blacks, certainly, not in positions that they believe that those fellow blacks would compete for their positions. When they see a talented black person, they become afraid of him and do everything in their power to get rid of him. They surround themselves with mediocre persons and or with white women who would not threaten their positions.

The African American manager is perhaps, the most insecure human being on earth; he feels so insecure and protective of his sinecure position that he spends most of his energy keeping other blacks out. At the various universities, if a token black man is hired, usually to satisfy affirmative action requirement and have one Negro around, he proceeds to do whatever he could to keep other blacks out, certainly to keep out those blacks he believes are more talented than him. But when his unproductive position is challenged, when he does not secure tenure on the basis of his scholastic work, he suddenly seeks other blacks help and starts talking about discrimination against him. But when he has used black support to secure tenure in his school, he could care less about other black folks. In fact, he seldom mentors and nurtures other blacks to become scholars.

The African American is very jealous and perceives any talented black competitor as his enemy, a person to be kept out of his work environment.

African-Americans do not encourage each other to become the best that they could be. EXPLOITATION OF AFRICANS

Africans who have had extensive contact with African Americans generally report that the brothers are generally intent on using them rather than helping them. They say that African Americans would like to use Africans' labor for free and not pay for it. A young unemployed African PhD told me that a head of a black studies department had asked him to come teach a couple of courses at his school and that he did so but found out that the man had no intention of paying him for his services. He wondered how the Negro expected him to pay his bills. He concluded that African Americans, no matter how educated they seem to be, are pimps and hustlers, and that if you do not protect your interest that they would use you for their own good and dump you, just as they use defenseless women as prostitutes to make a living for themselves.

(Actually, to make money to buy drugs, for a pimp could never respect himself; how could a person who exploits another human beings suffering respect himself? No, the pimp must be self a self loathing and destructive person and be addicted to cocaine, crack cocaine, amphetamine, heroine, and the other staple drugs these living dead persons are prone to.)

SELF DEVALUATION

African Americans seem to not value their lives. In their great ghettos, black on black crime is very high. For the slightest excuse, they kill each other. One would think that they would reserve their anger for the group that oppressed them, white folks. Instead, they seem to tolerate white abuse and seem to displace their repressed rage at whites towards fellow blacks. If their brothers, sisters and wives do anything to them that they consider disrespectful, what is left of their pride and vanity is pricked and they strive to rehabilitate their injured vanity by killing them.

These people seem to have no respect for each other's life. Apparently, their experience of slavery and discrimination so devalued their lives that they do not place much value on black person's lives.

Not valuing other blacks, not seeing them as important enough to be respected, they find it easy to kill other blacks.

Moreover, the white controlled environment made white life seem very important and blacks accept that feedback and seldom harm whites. At any rate, given the racist nature of American jurisprudence, if a black man committed a crime against a white person, he is most likely to be quickly apprehended and put away in prison than if his victim is another black person.

White judges seem to relish putting black Americans into jail; apparently, they define their role as protecting white society. In America, a minor crime would get a black person prison term and a slap on the wrist for a white person.

Institutional racism is a reality in American jurisprudence; we do not need to deny reality.

(As an Igbo, I am extremely realistic and accept things as they are without illusions that they could be ideal. I expect discrimination from whites, receive what I expect, and am not bothered by it, for, I assume that whites do not owe me anything in life. As I see it, by and by, we, Africans will come to our own and do unto whites as they have done to us. There seem a principle of cause and effect operative in the world; as we sow we reap; by discriminating against other people, whites have sown hatred for them and will so reap. For now, we, Africans, have to take it on the chin, and still keep our heads up and work hard. We must file away all grievances we may have, since you do not have the technological means to retaliate in kind for the injustices we currently experience in the world. We must work towards a future where Africa would have science and technology, nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and thereafter we must insist that we be respected. No body respects weak persons and since extant Africans are too weak, no one respects them. So be it. Such is life, cest la vie. I do not cry over reality, I accept it as it is, stoically. But make no mistake about it, every insult Africans have experienced is filed away in our memory banks and in time some one must pay a heavy price for our degradation. Mark that point in your memory bank. Africans are not a forgiving people. All though many Africans are learning the Christian theology that folks forgive those who abused them, however, forgiveness does mean condoning of abuse. Abuse must stop, period; if the imported Jewish God tolerates abuse, he must be given back to masochistic. Our African God, Chukwu, Olorun, Obasi, will do, thank you.) AFRICAN AMERICAN PERSONALITY

In the past, social scientists tried to describe what they called the Negro personality. See W.E.B. Dubois, Souls of Negro Folk; Kardinar and Oversay, the Mark of Oppression; Karon, Negro Personality; Franz Fanon, Black Skin-White Mask; Thomas Pettigrew, A Profile of the Black American; Franklin Frazier, The Negro Middle Class; Kenneth Clark's studies on Negro children choosing white dolls over black ones; Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy, Omanini, Prospero and Caliban, The Psychology of the Colonized persons; Albert Memmi, The Colonizer and the Colonized.

These largely psychoanalytically oriented observers essentially concluded that the Negro is infantile in personality structure and that he is terrified of harm from his white oppressor and does whatever he does to obtain approval and attention from his white master.

Apparently, the person who is oppressed internalizes his oppression and comes to see his oppressor as superior to him, fears him and tries to emulate him, albeit in a childish manner.

In the Negro Middle Class, Franklin Frazier describes that annoying behavior still seen in many so-called Negro Middle Class (such as the petty clerks who work at the post office, licensed nurse's aids, teacher's aids etc). These marginal middle class Negroes seem to devote their entire lives to efforts to seem like they are very important persons. A Negro who is merely a clerk at a post office would buy a Cadillac and other expensive cars and dress in expensive attire, doing every thing in his power to impress other Negroes into thinking that he is a very important person.

A person who in the larger white controlled world is a no-body, in the ghetto, pretends to be a very important person. In the meantime, he does not do what real middle class white folks?medical doctors, lawyers, engineers, college professors etc?. do, work hard and compete for promotion on the basis of merit and train their children.

You seldom see Negroes sacrificing for their children, saving most of their monies to train their children in colleges; no, they would rather drive a Mercedes Benz, or whatever car they associate with high status symbol than pay the school fees of their children. In fact, if elementary and secondary school education were not free in North America, Negroes probably would not even have that marginal education.

These people often seem pathetic in their infantile efforts to seem important. They ape appearances of importance when clearly they are not important. It is not ones appearance that makes one important, it is what one does that is useful to other people that make one important in their eyes.

Are you the best medical doctor, or lawyer, or engineer or professor in town? If you have demonstrable work that makes you stand out from the crowd, you are important, if not, you are not.

(Do what those of us who have failed in the world's rat race do: accept our failure; we do not attempt to seem what we are not, somebody important. What is important, high social position or peace of mind and happiness? Some of us accept our real self and leave it at that. What is the real self? Is it body or spirit? That is a topic for another essay.) RESIDUAL SLAVE BEHAVIOR

I believe that though the African American has been theoretically emancipated from slavery that he is still a slave, psychologically. He is not psychologically independent, yet. He lacks internal locus of authority. He sees himself as a victim whom whites control.

He may talk volubly about victim-hood and seem to give the impression that he resents it, but, in fact, he seems to relish his sense of victim-hood. He likes the complaining rights being a victim gives him.

In fact, the African American seems to like whites to tell him what to do. Though he complains when his white masters call him boy, he is still a boy, psychologically and seems to like to take marching orders from those he perceives as adults, white men. SELF CENTEREDNESS

My belief is that to be healthy a person must work for what Alfred Adler called social interest, that is, for the common good of the human community. Those who are pro-social in their behaviors tend to be healthy persons.

On the contrary, as I look at African Americans, in the main, they seem self-centered in the extreme. Those of them that seem to have attained so-called middle class status, generally run from their fellow brothers and sisters and disappear into the white world, where they are nonentity and are invisible men.

These people do not reach out to help their fellow black persons. Black children grow up in inner city ghettoes without black adults caring for them. Black men get black women pregnant and disappear. They do not seem to have a sense of responsibility for raising their children. (Of course, I am exaggerating the situation; I am employing the literary device of hyperbole to make a point that needs to be made.)

Over seventy percent of black children are raised by single teenage, and virtually illiterate black mothers. These children feel abandoned by the male folk. They grow up feeling angry with the men who did not care for them. They resort to taking drugs in an effort to salve their pain. They engage in petty crimes to obtain money for their drug habits and, of course, are picked up by white police officers and put through the kangaroo criminal court system that seems to exist with one thing in mind: jail young black males.

It is reported that one out of every four young male African Americans between ages 14-24 is either in jail or is being supervised by parole and probation officers. Society spends over $35, 000 a year to keep these folks in jail and spends less than $6,000 a year to train each child at school

I believe that the intolerable state of black children in North America is largely produced by the self-centeredness of adult African Americans. In my encounter with these people, I often wonder whether they are animals. To me, a human being is a person who struggles to transcend his own self-interests, which is admittedly difficult to accomplish, and helps other people. But here are African Americans and their fancy cars and fancy Super fly clothing not bothering to care for their own children who are starving and craving for adult attention.

I must confess that I tend to not have positive regard for those who abandon their children. If truth must be told, I see them as the dreg of humanity. How can a human being abandon his children? If my poor mother and father could send all their children to university level by working two jobs, I see no reason why African American adults should not help their own people. I resent their tendency to ignore their people's suffering and not intervene to help.

Consider Michael Jackson, the absurd one who turned his beautiful black skin into hideous looking pseudo white skin. The man has probably cut every bone on his face in his misguided effort to transform his face into Caucasian futures. This is clearly self-hatred at work. The man obviously hates and rejects his black self and thinks, erroneously, that white skin is better than black skin.

One assumes that there are some black psychologists and psychiatrists? How come they did not counsel this confused young man on the need to accept his real self, which includes his skin color?

Generally, a person is living dead and unproductive if he rejects his true self. See, when Michael Jackson lived comfortably in his skin color, he made beautiful music, but now that he is a pseudo white man, his creativity has gone to pot.

From where I stand, African American mental health professionals ought to have intervened and helped the confused soul called Michael Jackson. I think that these self centered folks should quit their annoying tendency of not caring for one another. There self-centered and social disinterested behavior reduces them to animal status.

As I see it, a human being should live to serve other human beings and not just exist for the sake of his own self.

Without other people, there is no such thing as the individual self; over emphasizing the separated self is a waste of time. For example, one cannot talk, for speech presupposes the existence of other people. We are social creatures and are fully alive when we are socially engaged, helping one another.

HOMOSEXUALITY

And here is the saddest part of it all. African American men and women are increasingly embracing the absurd life style of homosexuality. This phenomenon is seldom talked about but when you get to know these people well, you will be surprised at the large number of them that are gay and lesbian.

Actually, it is understandable why African Americans are turning to this absurd life style. The homosexual person is a person who society has thoroughly emasculated. All power has been taken from him. Civilization makes him feel like he or she is powerless. His government has so oppressed and reduced him to powerlessness that he feels lower than animals in worth. Now, he is below animals and does what no self-respecting animal would do, place his penis into other men's anuses and mouths and call such nonsense sexual activity.

As Alfred Adler pointed out, these people feel so powerless that they can only derive vicarious power by engaging in absurd acts. Defying the obvious natural sexual processes apparently makes these pathetic folks seem powerful, when, in fact, they are as powerless as powerless can be.

Consider the American lesbian feminist woman who raves and rants about power. This woman is so powerless that she cannot even get her oppressive government to give to her what governments in Western Europe have given women: paid for childcare centers and medical insurance. The raging campus dictator called lesbian feminist who gets cowardly liberal professors to teach that her insane behavior is a legitimate alternative life style lacks real power to get her abusive government to do the right thing: give all children day care centers and health insurance.

No, the American is controlled by his oppressive government, so much so, that the only way he seems to derive some sort of existential efficacy is to do the absurd, such as engage in the bestial behavior called homosexually. (Very soon they will be having sex with animals, why not? Who should tell them not to do anything? Tell them to not do something and they defy you, for the sake of being defiant. One expects these folks to soon embrace bestiality and pedophilia. When society begins to go down, it does so rapidly. Rome embraced homosexuality and declined and America is doing the same.)



African-Americans, the most emasculated and powerless group of Americans, are sadly embracing the absurdity of homosexuality. And since whites could care less whether they lived or died and since every homosexual act places the individual at risk of contracting diseases born by virus, bacteria, fungus etc these African American homosexuals will probably die out. Who cares if niggers die, and homosexual niggers at that? AFRICANS AVOIDANCE OF AFRICAN AMERICANS



I know many Africans who would not permit their children to play or befriend African American children. Apparently, they believe that their children would incorporate what seems to them the unacceptable culture of the African American. In fact, when I was in college and associated with African American students, other Igbos used to pull me aside and tell me to avoid those people, Ndi Akata, they called them. They saw them as hot headed and imprudent persons who are more likely to resort to violence at any time and might use a gun to settle a minor dispute rather than reason it out. An elderly Igbo man once told me: 'If those African American friends of yours ever have a dispute with you, you are dead meat; they would shoot you. They do not believe that black life has worth and upon killing you would not feel guilty or remorseful. If you value your life, avoid them."

It should also be noted that Africans tend to consider African Americans as not particularly intelligent. I do not know where they got this information from, from white stereotype that blacks are not intelligent?

If African Americans are not intelligent and since they are Africans, Africans, too, are not intelligent?

I do not believe that there is any truth to the belief that African Americans are not intelligent. The so-called fifteen points' difference between average African Americans and white-Americans score on IQ tests (85:100:115?.blacks, whites and Asian average scores) can be fully accounted for by cultural differences. There are African Americans who score at the superior range (IQ over 132). Logically speaking, if one black person scores very high on these tests, you cannot make a categorical statement to the effect that all African Americans are unintelligent.

Intelligence is a product of biology and social experience. The experience of being black in America, being an ex-slave and a second-class person can fully explain whatever differences exist in-group scores on intelligence tests. FEAR BASED PERSONALITY

African Americans were slaves. This means that they permitted other people to oppress them and use their labor for free, rather than fight and, if necessary, die fighting than tolerate others abuse. To tolerate others abuse, they must have been afraid of harm and death.

African Americans, of course, were not the first human beings to tolerate others abuse. Slavery existed in Africa and, indeed, still exists in Sudan and Mauritania where Arabs enslave Africans. In Alaigbo some dialas enslaved other Igbos, called Osus. The Osus still live as second class persons in Alaigbo.

Whites did enslave other whites. Indeed, until recently most whites were serfs. In Western Europe, the aristocratic element, who were equivalent to today's criminal gangs, prevailed on the masses to kowtow to their criminal will. It was only in 1862 that the criminal elements that ruled Russia, the so-called nobility, freed the Russian masses from serfdom.

The point is that all human groups had history of slavery and, as such, contain folks who so feared death that they permitted the sadistic psychopath called slave masters to oppress and abuse them.

Nevertheless, I believe that African-Americans developed fearful personality structures from their recent history of slavery and second class social status in America. They seem like cowards who are fearful of harm and death and will obey white men rather than fight for their freedom.

I believe that it will take a couple more generations, say two hundred years, before African Americans are fully emancipated from their slave psychology and begin to live like free men.



I do not think that we can readily change the personality of the African American. I certainly do not expect him to immediately change the character traits that I delineated above. What I hope is for him to become aware of how other people see him and, if that perception makes sense to him, for him to start working on changing himself.

It is not for me or other people to change African Americans. Only a people, in fact, only the individual, can change themselves. I do not have the delusion that I can change any other human being, both at the individual and group level. As it is, I have a difficult time changing my own negative traits. It is enough for me to struggle to improve me. My sole task, as I see it, is to improve me and in so far that all human beings help each other to become improved, to tell African Americans how I see them and in so doing, perhaps, motivate them to change themselves.





MASOCHISTIC PERSONALITY As I pointed out in another essay, African Americans seem to have developed a masochistic personality structure that allows sadistic white persons to oppress and abuse them. They formed a sadomasochistic relationship with whites, whereby whites act as sadists, abuser, and African Americans act as the masochists, the abused. Both parties in this pathological relationship tolerate their unnatural situation. (See Eric Fromm, Escape from Freedom for elaboration of sadomasochistic, symbiotic relationships.)

I believe that both whites and blacks in North America need to emancipate themselves from their pathological relationship.

A healthy human being does his best to help other human beings, not abuse them. It is obvious that abusive white Americans are psychologically sick creatures and if they have not learned this fact by now, the rest of the world will soon teach them that lesson. As they go to the rest of the world and try to relate to them as they relate to their Negroes, abusively, they will learn that to others they are no more than sick persons whose warped and stunted approaches to people would not be tolerated. Americans are about to be disabused of their neurotic sense of superiority by the rest of the world; they are about to learn the truth of all human beings equality and sameness.

I am not here to advise white Americans. I am here to focus on black Americans. I have done so and if African Americans see any credence in my obviously negative perception of them, they could work to change it. If they do not want to change, that is their choice. My existential function is to tell folks how I see them, and for them to tell me how they see me, even if all our perceptions are biased. CONCLUSION

In this essay, I chose not to wear the blinders of a particular profession, from whose parameters I see the African American. I did so for a purpose. I just wanted to describe the typical African American that is before me. I did not want to do a study of him or try to understand why he is the way he is.

The African American is probably the most studied human being on earth. White scholars have studied him to death. The conservative ones like Arthur Jensen see his faults as either in his genes or weaknesses of character; the liberal ones have offered every possible excuse for him that the human mind can come up with. Why is he not doing the right thing? Why does he abandon his children, why is he unable to do well at America's schools' and job places? Tons of liberal environmental explanations have been offered. These studies, by and large, see him as a victim of his external environment, as determined by the racist milieu he lives in. In effect, they make excuses for him. It is not his fault that he is the thing he has become, it is other folks faults, so, do not blame him, blame white Americans.

(In the real world, only a child is made excuses for; adults are blamed for their poor behaviors; thus, liberal scholars actually treat African Americans like children by making excuses for them. In my part of the world, we say: do not make understanding excuses for the individual, just provide him with equal opportunity to work his butt off and take the consequences of his performance, no rationalizations for his failure, please. White liberals have killed African Americans with their pseudo understanding of why they do what they do)



In the 1960s, a northern liberal, Daniel Moynihan, provided one of the first in dept study of the African American family. He alerted folks to the fact that over 25% of black children are raised by single parents, specifically female headed families. Psychoanalysts alerted us to the danger of raising boy children without the presence of men to exercise authority over them, the danger of their not internalizing law and order and behaving lawlessly and winding up in jails. Boy children are naturally aggressive and wild and it takes a lot to tame them, to make them obey the laws of society. Sigmund Freud and his disciples tell us that we are born with the instinct of Id and need the Superego (introjected and interiorized social norms) to tame it and a strong ego to balance our nature and society's needs for law and order.



Today, over 70% of African American children are raised in single parents home, not the 25% that alarmed Daniel Moynihan. Today, America's jails and prisons are practically the second home of African American young men. That is, despite all those social science studies, or, as I call them, rationalizations for the shiftlessness of African Americans, the problem has worsened.

I am not motivated to make excuses for any one. Of course, I do try to understand why people do what they do. I am a social scientist and if I choose to I can don the academic hat and provide us with a study of why African Americans are who they are.

In the light of social science, if I see African Americans not helping one another, I would approach the problem from a historical and sociological perspective: they were slaves and a salve's humanity was systematically destroyed by the slave master; they were transformed into things and made not to care for other people; they were socialized to not care for their children and fellow slaves; they were made not to care for the future but to live for present, for immediate gratification..

In this essay, I am not interested in providing external environmental excuses for African Americans seeming shiftlessness. I just wanted to describe them, as I see them. As to why they are the way they are, I leave it to you to use your methodological approach to phenomena to explain it to your heart's content.

I have honestly described the African American I see with my two eyes. I do not like the character of the African American that I see. I would like these people to change and become 'better" persons. (I do not want to engage in a philosophical discourse as to what are better persons.)

I really do not want to hear why African Americans are not doing well at ridiculously easy American schools; all I want to hear is that they are doing well. I want them to do as well as Asian students, to come to classes and make excellent grades. I want them to become diligent workers and responsible parents who stand by their children and do whatever it takes to provide for them. I want them to stop stealing so much so as to stop winding up in jail.

Of course, I understand the inherent institutional racism in America. I understand that many white racist judges seem to gratify their sadistic nature by looking for every opportunity to put blacks behind bars. Be that as it may, in this essay I am not interested in the behavior of white America.

I do read history and appreciate that whatever goes up must come down. America is an empire. We have had empires before. Just as soldiers come and go, empires come and go. The American empire is, in fact, rapidly burning itself out. China is already knocking on the door. Soon, a resurrected Europe would start making noises, asking to share power with America.

Within two hundred years, Africans would have gotten their structural issues settled and undertaken industrial revolution and begin to ask to be taken seriously. Africans will acquire nuclear weapons and there is nothing any one can do to prevent that from happening. The genii are out of the bottle.

America, for a while, out to protect its self interest and prevent its enemies from using such weapons on her, may retard the spread of weapons of mass destruction, but history shows that once a weapon is developed it is only a matter of time before most people have it.

Physics increasingly understands phenomena and soon what we consider today's advanced physics would become child's play. So, in time, all people will have advanced science and technology and will challenge their present oppressor, Americans. That is guaranteed. Therefore, I do not loose sleep thinking about white Americans' current hegemonic control of the world. The sole superpower has her rendezvous with destiny and when she has performed her historical tasks would wither away and be replaced by other equally temporary powers.

I am not motivated to offer excuses for why African Americans are who they are; I am interested in providing a gut level picture of how they come across to me. In this essay, not study, I described how I see them. I relate to them as I see them.

Generally, I do not take African Americans seriously; I tend to assume that they are irresponsible folks who cannot be counted on to stand up for commitment to issues outside their immediate self interests. I tend to see them as folks who when the going gets tough run and make excuses for their cowardice.

If I need things done and done well, I tend not to go to African Americans, I go to white folks. White folks understand the need for working hard, and for volunteering and doing something because it is worth doing.

I expect African Americans to be lazy and uncommitted workers and to exploit folks if they could get away with doing so. Simply stated, I do not have a positive perception of these people.

Of course, I would like African Americans to be different. What I would like and what is, however, are two different things. Ozodi@africainstituteseattle.org
January 31, 2006.
quote:
I have lived in North America from the time that I left secondary school in Africa. During that time, I have had occasion to interact with most of the ethnic groups that constitute the great mosaic called North America: whites, Asians and African Americans. As a result of my relationships with these various people I come to certain conclusions about them. This essay is not going to dwell on the other ethnic groups that constitute North America but on African Americans.


This article is...

Not for me...this article is about AFRICAN AMERICANS but not for AFRICAN AMERICAN.

This article is directed to those who CANT DISTINGUISH a African IGBO from a AFRICAN-AMERICAN.

CONFUSING the TWO. Now who is the IGNORANT ONE and possess the FEAR FACTOR? MINIONS who CANNOT DISTINGUISH an AFRICAN IGBO (they dont even know what ONE IS) from an AFRICAN-AMERICAN or an AFRICAN IGBO whose very EXISTENCE in the NATION is in DOUBT due to the AFRICAN AMERICAN.

Working on IGNORANCE won't win points with any GOD. In heaven and on EARTH. IGNORANCE is SIN. An ENSLAVED AFRICAN in this LAND said this and its TRUE for all PEOPLE in this LAND.

Lets keep this as a MYSTERY.

But let me add DO CARRY ON...

Oh well.
quote:
Originally posted by zodo:
Relations between A.A. and A.'s are extremely difficult especially when one reads crap like this from an "intellectual" African:...........


My question to you, zodo, is why are you surprised? Rhetoric like this is so commonplace within the Nigerian community, and in my experience, amongst Igbos (of which the author of your post is a member of) in everyday talk. To those who may deny hearing this, I'm willing to bet that if you understood one of the three major Nigerian languages, then you would here what I here and know what I know as a Nigerian-American. For instance, such bias exists amongst my own parents who gave me an earful for marrying an African-American female despite being christians which in turn I never could reconcile but I know better now.

Do I believe that African immigrants face bias from African-Americans? Yes, but I believe it is also reciprocated by Africans (some folks more so than others towards to African-Americans in form of an air of a superiority complex). The reasons to why this are many but I believe part of it is jealousy on the part of some Africans towards African-Americans in terms of the relative access to the opportunities here in the US. On the other hand, I believe the basis of the bias towards Africans stems largely from the already slanted media that constantly portrays Africans as being backward.

Of note, the relationship between African-Americans and Africans seem to be better with those born here or those who came here as a child.
Folobatuyi:

True there are some tensions between A's and A.A.'s but I didn't realize its magnitude as indicated by that writers vehemence. I agree with you in the fact that Africans either born or who immigrated here as young children look upon A.A's with a less discerning eye and A.A. children raised around African children share a similar perspective.
quote:
Originally posted by zodo:
Folobatuyi:

True there are some tensions between A's and A.A.'s but I didn't realize its magnitude as indicated by that writers vehemence. I agree with you in the fact that Africans either born or who immigrated here as young children look upon A.A's with a less discerning eye and A.A. children raised around African children share a similar view.


If you only knew......
quote:
Originally posted by ma'am:
I remember my family being knocked on a lot by Northern African-Americans when I was younger.


This was/is true, unfortunately. This is what happens when the oppressed has assimilated and or mimics the oppressor.

Where I'm going with this is that north/south cultural conflict hales from white folks of the north and south. Just as we've learned english from our oppressors (historically speaking) we've also learned how to treat each other with regard to being from the north and or south.

I new this chick form La.. When I called her, she said, "You sound like a white boy". I laughed then replied,"...You sound like a white boy too".

I explained to her that because see speaks english that she is in the same boat with me, regardless of what end of the boat we are standing on or in. (West Coast)Afrikans weren't speaking english prior to coming via trans-atlantic slave trade. North or south, if you speak english black woman/man -guess what...

Accent doesn't matter. Neither [accent] are indigenous to Afrika.

With regard to the relationship between A's and AD's, don't through the baby out with the bath water. Many of us live or come from tough hoods to tough cities, yet we still reside in these places or at least take these places with us in our hearts/minds. With all there issues, many of us will not forget where we've come from. We even embrace where we are from [with all its faults] no matter how folks feel about where we are from.

Some of us are aware that we A's and AD's are being played against each other for obvious reasons. Do not let Sun Tzu-like tactics work against us!!
im kinda giggling as im ready this. im classified as west indian (though i am aware that i am bantu). i dont deal with american born africans. i work with them but would never establish any relationship with them outside of that. my experience with them are as lazy, nasty, selfish, ignorant and glad of it, heathen. i know that this is not all. but it cant be denied of them. because thaey are aware of their own traits, its natural that they wouldn't like people who come here with damn near nothing and do better than them within a short period of time. i cant say that ive been harassed by them though. i was born in jamaica and i have the stereotypical jamaican temper, so i stuck to mine own and still do. im saying this to say that american africans really dont have the best rep. deserved or not it is so. we feel more kinship to africans than american africans. again i dont speak for all or about all b/c i only see some but this is my draw on what ive seen and heard through people who i know.
Oh snap that is so funny to me 1 of millions because while I was living in the UK, I saw West Indians who were lazy as all get out, living on assistance, 15 and 16 year olds walking around with baby carriages all over London not married to their baby's daddies.I also know of grown ass West Indian men in their 40's doing the same thing. Got 10 or 11 children with 6 or 7 women and the women go for this. Now there is a growing problem with West Indians getting access to guns and committing crimes. Be real, tell the truth and shame the Devil. There are plenty of West Indians living in the U.S. the same way they are living in the U.K. I think that you are so funny with this BullS#!t LOL
quote:
Originally posted by 1 of millions STOLEN:

im kinda giggling as im ready this. im classified as west indian (though i am aware that i am bantu). i dont deal with american born africans. i work with them but would never establish any relationship with them outside of that. my experience with them are as lazy, nasty, selfish, ignorant and glad of it, heathen. i know that this is not all. but it cant be denied of them. because thaey are aware of their own traits, its natural that they wouldn't like people who come here with damn near nothing and do better than them within a short period of time. i cant say that ive been harassed by them though. i was born in jamaica and i have the stereotypical jamaican temper, so i stuck to mine own and still do. im saying this to say that american africans really dont have the best rep. deserved or not it is so. we feel more kinship to africans than american africans. again i dont speak for all or about all b/c i only see some but this is my draw on what ive seen and heard through people who i know.


Wow, the mierda is really flying tonight!

Eek

Guess I'll just keep my head down low and hope that nobody's had any bad experiences with Colombianos that they want to generalize from.

td6

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