We should, at all times be mindful of not becoming the very thing we condemn. The fact that we are condemning it means it is wrong, and two wrongs don’t make right. What is happening in Libya is despicable and should be strongly condemned the world over. Africa, here you are yet again left to fend for yourself. Fingers can be pointed in many directions, and understandably so. Some are more deserving of reprimand than others. Ultimately the fact remains that Africa needs to get her house in order, and by Africa it is you and I and all who claim some affinity from the Caribbean to South America and beyond.
When Ghadaffi was targeted for liquidation, the world seemed to have stood still as far as the western main stream media was concerned. 24 hour news reels fed the world with the moves that NATO was making in Libya, Benghazi became a household name everywhere. Fast forward to the stateless Libya we are witnessing today and the same western media and the war hawks they serve as mouthpieces for are oblivious to the atrocities being meted out against our fellow citizens. Ghadaffi’s tyranny and the denial of basic human rights to Libyans was highlighted to justify his removal, so we ask; what is worse than subjecting human beings to commodity status and systemic abuse as is obtaining in Libya today against black Africans. I am not sanctifying Ghadaffi or painting a rosy picture of the man, but a state he did preside over; and with the gift of hindsight we know such travesties will not happen under his watch. Bigoted Libyans, yes but slave markets I very much doubt will thrive under him. If those who screamed at the top of their lungs that Ghadaffi needed to go for the Libyan people to get the dignity they deserve are mute today, is it then farfetched to ask was human dignity really what motivated his ouster? Then why are Libya and Africans left to fend for themselves now with concern only over potential radicals crossing over to Europe? Wake up Africa!
Which points the next finger to the elephant in the room, the toothless, spineless African Union as far as the plight of the common African man and woman are concerned. Anyone can swoop in and remove any leader or engineer regime change anywhere in Africa with no consequence, not even a frown from the continental body. I think the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the AU is no news to Africans generally, but since we claim power belongs to the people, it is about time we exert people power on that body claiming to represent us. But the African himself as an individual is not blameless. Our total lack of faith in ourselves and what we are capable of is too demoralizing; add to that the penchant for wasting time on trivialities and naysaying.
In a redacted speech entitled The Black Revolution and Its Effect Upon the Negro of the Western Hemisphere, Malcom X stated; “No matter where the black man is, he will never be respected until Africa is a world power.” Tell an African this and he will laugh off the idea of an African world power as unrealistic, an impossibility not worth any effort as it will end in futility. Speak of an African union as was dreamed by the founders of the Organization of African Unity and the average African will start listing all the impediments that will make a unified continent an impossible venture.
The anger and emotions on display about the plight of Africans across the Arab world is very justified. That passion needs to be translated to action to put pressure of the leaders of the Arab world and by extension the UN and the international community to end the systemic racism in the countries within the Arab league. We can collectively take our individual national leaders to task to hold the leaders of these countries to account for whatever injustices are being meted out to Africans in the various Arab countries. Granted, Libya is a stateless society at this point in time but various regions are under the authority of various organized groups, some recognized around the world. At the very least pressure to facilitate the voluntary evacuation of victims should be mounted and further efforts to locate those that may be in some form of detention or bondage.
What we cannot and should not do is to target people for retribution because they are Arab or share kinship with the supposed oppressors. The anti-Islamic sentiments being displayed is a clear dividing line in those efforts to speak with a unified voice against the abhorrent practices in the Maghreb and across the Middle East. That is the kind of trivial issues referenced above that we have a penchant for escalating instead of focusing on the task at hand which is to galvanize and unite in efforts to bring attention to and seek redress for the plight of our brothers and sisters in bondage but instead we are focused on what Islam is or is not. That stance does one thing; engineer a debate around Islam with non-Muslims highlighting how Islam condones slavery and Muslims rejecting the false interpretation of their scripture; meanwhile the suffering masses endure torture, rape and forced enslavement when we could build consensus and hold our elected representatives to task in ending the plight of our brothers and sisters across the Arab world, the religious debate can wait.
“How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look…?”