It is blood curdling.
The sight and sounds of young men (and women?) hating on some minority group to the point of setting a fellow human being ablaze.
How did we get here as humans?
Without feeling. Without natural affection. Without tolerance.
Differences abound as long as night and day exists. As a varied specie, human beings live on earth and are as different from each other based on color, race, religious beliefs, economic class, etc.
Xenophobia is the dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries. Dislike can be hidden. Prejudice is not. It is negative action taken again people from other countries/tribes.
Simply put, it is HATE. And hate is a learned behaviour.
No baby grows up and begins to hate one thing or love another. It is a learned behaviour that is first observed, admired then put into action. And it gets brazen each time until finally, the individual brings the existence of another person to end.
The recent happenings in South Africa have filled my heart with so much anguish for the family of the dead and fear for what we are becoming as human beings.
I can only pray and hope our generation does better.
An old proverb by Edmund Burke saysall that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
And this is what our reply to xenophobic actions should be. The CIA Reply – Correct, inform and advocate.
Silence should no longer be an option for those of us who think this behaviour is evil and uncalled for. Years ago in 2010, I was a young youth corper serving in Yobe state. It was far from my home state and a journey of 2 days via bus. The weather was harsh and cold in harmattan and we all were trying to adjust. I had a painful experience, the memories of which still leave my heart heavy.
I was walking home from a training for corp members when I noticed a couple of children following me and throwing stones. It was surreal.
What did I do? I wasn’t indecently dressed, not disturbing anyone, a young female walking and i was the recipient of such an act. I looked around and to my dismay, some adults were either looking on amusement or looking away as though it was not happening. That was when the tears came from nowhere. I quickly looked for a bike and made my way to the lodge.
I wasn’t physically hurt but I was crushed emotionally and maybe psychologically. At least in my town, Nobody got treated like that. My pain was not just that I was stoned or anything, it was that the adults did nothing.
So if we truly want to stop these actions, we must act. Correct those we know are involved. These people are not as nameless and faceless as we would like to believe. They have families and friends. So if you are a friend or wife, brother or sister to someone who harbors such hatred for other people, you will know. And you must do something good with that knowledge.
Ignorance is the mother of all foolishness. If people know better, they will do better. It is our collective responsibility to inform, educate children, young people and even the aged of the ideals that they should have. Encouraging them to value life and respect boundaries is something that should be taught in every home and what the media should amplify in the society.
When people know and understand that their next door neighbour is not their enemy, then they can take responsibility for their actions and the consequences that follow.
Teaching them the value of hardwork and how being a person of integrity leads to reward either via business growth or through recommendations.
This is talk-action. Making your voice heard wherever you are. So thankful for men like Travis Noah that have spoken up against this despicable action. This is especially true for people of influence and those in government.
Whatever platform you have should be used for the good of man.
Let silence not be consent.
Honestly, you cannot be best friends with everyone. Even the Bible (my favorite book) gives an admonition to love. Knowing that it might not come naturally for some.
But we can decide to live at peace with all men.
We can do better. And we will.