The African Tragedy: Dear Diaspora: we won’t ask, [if] you don’t tell

A debate has been circulating on the Internet last week about migration, in the wake of, yet again another tragedy: 700 African migrants dead at sea, on their way to Europe – lives that could have been saved… The title was: ‘Faut-il accueillir la misère du monde’. The translation of that is: (Should we welcome world’s misery). That theme, on French television, is quiet revealing; it speaks succinctly to how the west views us: The world’s misery.

Now, in times of economic growth, they are ready to allow us to take up demeaning jobs they wouldn’t do. In times of economic crisis though, like the one they are going through at the moment, we become a threat because they also need those jobs. And this is clearly evidenced by the spectacular rise of extreme right wing the west, whose slogans are: ‘Blacks and Arabs are stealing our jobs’. In France the National Front has reached up to 30% of the electorate, they have seats at the European parliament and threatening to take power.

I saw a response to my post on twitter. I am not going to respond to it, because I think it would be a depletion of my time and energy to address individual ego. But also because I think my friend has been unlucky with the timing of his reaction: The death of more than 700 African migrants in the Mediterranean, the treatment of foreigners in South Africa, the riots in Baltimore and in America in general – following a string of police murdering of innocent black people; the decision by Australia to close all its borders to foreigners; the expulsion of Eritrean refugees from Israel – whom Rwanda has welcomed – all play in his disfavor.

However, the biggest blow to his article really, is the advent of the Internet. Now we are able to see information that is not controlled by mainstream media: beyond anecdotal stories, we are able to see through the overall bullshit.

So, instead of responding to my friend, this post once again seeks to canvass a bigger issue, and address those I care about: My people: THERE IS NO LIFE IN THE WEST FOR PEOPLE OF YOUR SKIN COLOUR; DON’T GO THERE. YOUR DIASPORA HASN’T BEEN HONEST WITH YOU: IT IS NOT WORTH THE RISK YOU TAKE!

To be honest, I expected some critics when I wrote that piece. Because I was tackling one of the biggest fallacies of the last two centuries, which has shaped the current world order; a fallacy that has been deeply devastating to the African continent, and to us the black and Arab people in particular. The fallacy is: there is a better life for us in the west. Hollywood, NGOs and western media have invested massively in painting us a rosy picture of the west-to our demise. This series of ‘The African tragedy’ blogs aim to reveal that.

It is understandable why our Diaspora from the west is trying hard to feel special, once they return. Science tells us that those who experience humiliation the most, are in constant quest for recognition. It is quiet remarkable that those who study in China, India, Malaysia and Turkey, whom by the way are the majority of the children we are now sending abroad, do not comeback changed, claiming any ‘diaspora’ identity. While they also experience a certain degree of xenophobia, they are not conditioned to feel inferior.

I was once told by a racist South African: ‘You, you are not like these black South Africans, you are open, you are like me.’ The fact that he was a congenital idiot, and that I had no interest whatsoever of being like him, just added to my disgust. So I am really impressed with the work they have done on you guys; I mean, they treat you like shit, and still make you believe that you are better than us and closer to them?!

That said, I do not blame the young people who succumb to the brainwash of the west; even our leaders fall in the same trap. ‘You are like us’; they are told. They are sat into a Louis XIV chair, at the Champs-Élysées, their host spend time telling them the story behind that chair and the deeds of Louis XIV. Now they tell them how it all makes sense that they seat in it; ‘You are special’, they say to them; ‘you are a born great man! Go back and rule on your kind, you have our support; You have our blessing’ By the time our leaders walk out of there, they are no longer among us; they see themselves like Louis XIV, the fact that we live in misery is no longer a problem, because our existence serves to please them; or so they were told.

This charmer’s technique as a tool of mental control works all the time; why do you think churches are a booming business in Kigali? ‘you are born again; You are the chosen Everyone likes to be valued and comforted in their little existences.

Living in Rwanda! Here, we have a government whose main occupation is its people in general and its vulnerable people in particular. The Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS-II), the One cow per poor family, the ‘Ubudehe’ poverty graduation scheme, the Universal free and compulsory basic education, the Mutuelle de Sante – Universal free medical coverage; and my personal favorite: In rural area, the Government uses Rapid SMS tracking systems, to gather data on pregnant women and new-born and provide medical assistance in real time! [BTW – for those young people who honestly asked me what they should do to be Rwandan: please read about these programmes – alongside aggressive practicing of Kinyarwanda and you are set. I am happy to help with no charge.]

Anyway, all our country’s efforts are deployed to help its people. In the west however; you are not their people; you are no-body; you are the misery of the world! I can’t say this enough.

Curiously my [former] Diaspora friends, I have been the most magnanimous as I could, on this issue. See, I didn’t speak of the washing old people, or dead bodies’ jobs, which you now call nursing; the dishwashing, which you call diving; the gardening, which you call ‘ecologist’. I didn’t speak of the CPAS pittance that you live off in Belgium; the apple harvesting at the Flemish farmer near Louvain, the three shift jobs in chain factories in North America. I didn’t speak of the community colleges you go to, then come to brag that you received high quality education; I DIDN’T EVEN MENTION THE GMO JUNK FOOD THAT MAKES YOU SHAPELESS… yack! you know what guys, on a second thought, your experience in the west is too demeaning, that it is not something to talk about.

So let’s make a deal: we vow not to ask you about what you went through, if you stop telling us stories. You are home now that’s what matters, everything is going to be ok, we are just happy to have you back; we won’t ask, if you don’t tell…

Posted 30th April