The unprovoked cold-blooded murder of black American George Floyd is a painful and stark reminder of the minority rule of Namibia by an iron-fisted regime whose trademark was race-based laws excluding black Namibians from the mainstream economy.
It imposed Bantu education on blacks, reserved best jobs, apportioned fertile farms, quality education and best health facilities for whites. The effects of this systemic racism remain 30 years after we got our independence following a bitter, armed struggle in the bushes of Angola and Zambia.
Tens of thousands of Namibians were killed and brutalised – and their only crime was to resist apartheid and for simply being black – by forces led by a white, minority, racist regime.
Even after Namibia was liberated by the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) the then military wing of SWAPO as the primary liberator there have been many incidents of plain racism and even subtle racism by some unrepentant white Namibians. Even more sadly is the fact we have black Namibians with adverse opinions about other ethnic groups they treat with hatred and scorn.
The racial murder of George Floyd reminds all humanity that racism is alive in America that touts itself as the free world but where racism is entrenched and most unfortunately it remains virulent.
Structural racism is prevalent in Donald Trump’s America where blacks get paid a pittance compared to their white compatriots for performing a similar job because of occupational segregation.
Allied civil rights organisations and other organisations observed the National Day of Mourning to commemorate the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Dreasjon Reed, Tony McDade and others who lost their lives for simply being black at the hands of white, racist American police officers.
Social and economic indicators from that part of the world indicate black Americans are twice more likely to die from Covid-19 in comparison to white Americans. Black Americans still face uphill struggles to secure jobs and when they do they are mostly likely to get fewer benefits.
America’s labour market is segmented because people of colour, the same like before Namibia got independence, face outright racism at the workplace and are deprived of quality, higher-paying jobs.
The fact that America has exploded into violent protests in the aftermath of the senseless murder of an unarmed black man was an incident wanting to happen and it is not surprising. America needs to address the issue of structural racism. It should find a long-lasting remedy to social inequality and effectively address the underlying causes of this blatant racism that has seen blacks being on the lower rungs of economic and social prosperity, and acts of discrimination at the workplace. It also needs far-reaching reforms that would prevent sporadic acts of violence against its black citizens. American president Donald Trump has also not shown an iota of leadership at this hour of need.
Racism be it outright racism, structural racism, subtle racism has no place in this world.
2020-06-05 09:26:01 | 1 months ago