Black People : Are African Americans Seen As The Enemy?

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Sangofa, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. Sangofa

    Sangofa Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I have had plenty of bad experiences with numerous of Black Immigrants. They come to the U.S. with their negative stereotypes about African Americans. They call us lazy undesirable people, on welfare and they don't want to have anything to do with us. They get offended when they are mistaken as a African American. They give me the impression that they think that they are better and that we are beneath them. I get offended when they act that way because they come here & ride the coat tails of the ones who fought for us. They make me feel as if I'm their enemy and not their sister or friend. I feel that we are not appreciated at all. I find it to be quite insulting. I talked to a Professor about this and he told me not to worry about it because we don't owe them anything. I don't want that type of attitude. Are we seen as the enemy? Are we the enemy? What can be done to bring unity within the African Diaspora?
     
  2. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I don't believe I've had the pleasure of speaking with you before Sangofa, so welcome to Destee:

    You want to know if African Americans are seen as the enemy to Black Immigrants? The answer is no we are not, if anything African Americans are seen as the hope for many black peoples in the Diaspora. It is unfortunate that you have had so many bad experiences dealing with our Brothers & Sisters in the Diaspora. I am the opposite, as I have had nothing but good experiences dealing with Blacks from other countries. Truth be told the overwhelming majority of my friends come from other countries. That doesn't negate your feelings; however, because you aren't the first person I've heard say that they've been treated badly by other Blacks in the Diaspora. Negative media has a lot to do with this. The majority of news we hear about Africa, the Caribbean, and South America is negative (look at all the stories about Haiti that has recently been in the news). Just as we hear mostly negative things about other Blacks, they have also been "bathed" by negative press about us: We are all criminals, wards of the state, we hate Africans (Africans sold us into slavery, etc.). Probably the most prevailing stereotype is that African Americans have had opportunites which they didn't, but that we haven't taken advantage of them. The best way to counter these beliefs are with knowledge, which is what your "professor" SHOULD have told you.

    I have read about, and studied a lot about Black/African peoples from other countries. When ever I encounter a Black person with a slight accent or with a foreign look (I have dealt with so many foreigners, that I can tell by looking at them), I ask them where they are from. When I find out where they're from, I talk about their culture (history, food, music, etc.). I tell them what I know, and I ask them questions. This is something that most Africans in the Diaspora really appreciate. I was in Brooklyn visiting family a couple of weeks ago, when I went into an African grocery store. I asked the owner of the store where she was from, and she told me: Ghana. I immediately started talking about the "golden Stool", the "Asente Hene", and other aspects of Ghana's history.....you should have seen the astonishment on her face. She told me that I made her day, and that she was happy to have met me.

    So again Sister Sangofa the answer to your question of "how can Blacks in America & Blacks in the Diaspora get along?" is with knowledge and understanding. With friendship and fellowship. These qualities build bridges across cultures, countries, and continents.
     
  3. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hello Sangofa and welcome! You pose a very interesting question. As I read it, I asked myself....hmmm...the enemy of what and to whom? From what you described, I would say no, African Americans are not the "enemy" of Continental Africans or vice versa regardless of how we think about and treat each other. What I think we are exhibiting when some of us interact is a "victim's mentality". We've been brainwashed to not like each other, to not be supportive of each other and to be extremely suspicious of our motives or reasons behind wanting to come together in a unified fashion.

    How can we change this? Keep talking. Because we're talking now, one day there will be a major break through and we'll stop the madness.

    That's what I think, anyway.

    Peace :spinstar:
     
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Greetings,

    I've had some experiences like Sister Sangofa, but we can't be discouraged because we know. The typical everything is involved in these scenarios. I call it Afrikan arrogance because most of the emigres' are often "well-to-do" Afrikans and are used to being one step above anyway. However,.....

    A few years ago, I had the pleasure and opportunity to be an attendee at the Pan-Afrikan Student Leadership Conference held annually at Mankato State (I think the name has changed to Minnesota State University). At this conference, I saw, met, studied, shared and partied with Afrikan people the world over. The professors that came to speak were as representative as the students attending.

    I had a profound experience one night. My friends and I were sitting next to some sisters from Kenya. I didn't recognize they were from Afrika, as they looked like us (Black folk here in U.S.). I sparked up a conversation with one of the sisters and one comment she said shook me. I told her I wanted to go home, visit Africa, one day. She replied, "I'm from East Afrika and you, you are from West Afrika." From that moment on, I felt a home inside of me - West Afrika. If West Afrika is my home, then I must be West Afrikan. I already knew most captives came from West Afrika, but for an Afrikan to acknowledge and recognize me as coming from West Afrika - it pulsated a sense of pride and ownership. She said this with no hatred, but in a calm and cool way, she was just stating a FACT. I felt a kinship with West Afrikans and her, an East Afrikan, that moment. I begin to noticed the people from West Afrikan countries like Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and other places and in them, I saw myself. I saw my people - not Afrikans - continental and non-continental. No, I saw people who shared with me Afrikan features, Afrikan color and Afrikan home.

    Dialogue is the best beginning. We are all in need of HEALING because Family can not recognize each other and hold contempt/suspicion between one another. Big Mama would know what to do. Big Mama always kept the family together. We need Big Mama - we need Her characteristics. Ausar was dead and divided and Auset (the feminine principle) out of love for Ausar gathered the pieces and re-Membered Ausar. We must re-member, remember! When memory fails, out of trauma or old age, something must happen to re-store memory - association and mnemonic devices. I provided some simple keys to this in the Pan-Afrikanism section at the "Repatriation On The Mind" thread.

    Panafrica, ashe ashe ashe-O!!! I remember this sista from Ghana, who had an Afrikan food and product store. I followed this same protocol you outlined and received a good friendship. I would often go by and have peanut stew and rice balls, red palm oil stew and jollof rice. I showed interest in her culture and people and when she went back to Afrika, she would bring me back some goodies. It was cool, peaceful and respectful. (No, she's not my wife, she is Ewe and my wife is Fanti - both from Ghana). Oshun teaches us you win more battles with honey than with vinegar.

    Blackbird
     
  5. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Sangofa and Blackbird, I can't tell you enough what a pleasure it is to have both of you new members join our community. I am having a delightful time reading your opinions. Thank you so much for adding quality and value to our home.

    Peace! :spinstar:
     
  6. yaphet al-wynn

    yaphet al-wynn Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Part of the problem (and I could be wrong) is that Black immigrants along with other immigrants receive false information from who? White people!!! Who would most likely be seen as representative of America plus influence attitudes with communication and media in those countries thus influencing images of Black people. Some do not fall easily for the deceit, though.
     
  7. Sangofa

    Sangofa Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    NNQueen :thanks: and hello :wave: .


    Even though I have had bad experiences with Black Immigrants I don't hold no grudge. I just find it surprising for some of them to say things that they do. I can think one particular conversation that I had with a Ethiopian friend of mine. I asked him some questions about his country etc. Instead of talking about that he talked about relationships with certain type of women. He told me that he would never date or marry a black woman. He said that we are wild, lazy and gold diggers.The only type of relationship that he would have with a black woman is a friendship. I was the only exception. He said that he would only date white, asian and latin woman because there're not like that. That totally threw me for a loop. He had let me know that when he was younger his parents would tell him to keep away from black americans period. They feel that we have lots of power & that we don't use it to help our fellow African Brother's and Sisters.

    A few weeks ago at my job I worked with a Nigerean. By looking a her last name I knew that she was African but I didn't want to stereotype. I asked her any ways what her nationality was. She told me that she is Nigerean. She already came to the job with a bad attitude and the fact that I knew a little about the Yoruba shocked her. The moment I started talking about the Yoruba her whole attitude changed and we talked about that. Not only did we talk about the Yoruba but we talked about Nigerean Religions. She told me a little bit about her family and so on. It is a plus for you when you know something about another person culture.

    I think in order to have a United Diaspora I feel that we need new leaders.
     
  8. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    White...Asian...Latin...I don't see Ethiopian on this list. There are a lot of Ethiopian women in the states. If a man won't even consider his own women for dating & marriage, then he is really no use anyway! He is definately no loss to sistas.
     
  9. happy69

    happy69 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I don't see why We have to have a connection. What measure of a connection?
    I haven't had any bad experience with Black Immigrants. I love whomever is loving me; and that happens to be some Trinidadians and some Haitians.
    I don't expect nor think that my struggle in America is theirs or that they can help-because they won't. Why should I try to connect with them? Why is it that I have to reach out to them? Do "They" play that game with White People---the enamored?

    I love my friends, as stated above; but I have noticed that even when they face racist or descriminatory actions from Whites and others...they still seem shocked!
    I listen, I may say what I would do in the situation; but that is as far as I go...

    Why should We change Our Leadership for them? Well, if you think that We have any real Leadership anyway. I'm about sick and tired of watching African-Americans raise their voices in anger when something happens to them... they don't fight, for themselves, and sure as hell they won't fight for US.

    Amadou, that Haitian in Miami who got it up the ***, Lionel Tate, the Ethiopian guy who was killed in '86 or '87 by the skin heads, apartheid in South Africa, Shoshana Johnson.... why?

    I noticed too, that Whites have this way of coming to US and asking US why they are doing this, over there or that, over there --- Like I know. Ken, a white guy I do alot of project work with came in one morning last year, all upset and asked me why Mugabe was doing what he was doing. I asked him why the hell he was asking me!

    Who cares if they don't want to be called African-Americans... I don't want to be called Jamaican, Dominican, Ethiopian, Haitian, Trinidadian...etc...

    We relegate Ourselves to being Helpmates to everybody, but Ourselves...that is sad.

    I know that the Ethipian guy could have sad what was reiterated here; but then again, any Black--including African-American could have been used... There is a family from Trinidad who lives in my mother's n'hood. Their kids were stepping stones and I went to school with several of them. They were okay people. But, nobody went to their house because the father--skillet black--mind you, didn't like Black people. All of their kids eventually went through reg. public schools and I went to magnet schools(another joke); so I would only see them sometimes--yeah, they would come to Our house, eat and everything! So when we were in about the 8th grade the whole family, except the daddy and the oldest daughter were gone; later, like when the school year was almost over they came back and We were told the story of how the father had sent them all away, moved an African-American woman into the house; and he and the oldest sister and she had been living in the house! I had not even noticed who was there or not, but Our friends said that that was the truth and how **** ironic! Well, the biggest irony of that man and his type of Black; They have 5 daughters, all married to African-American men, (except their youngest who is in her mid 20's); one son, who is married to an African-American female and they have about 6 children themselves... the mother is a very good and very cheap seamstress... and she talks openly with anyone who would listen, about the trials and tribulations she has had with, "a dirty man,"- her racist big stomached husband...

    Why do so many African-Americans want to help Africa? There are 2.5 million other self-identified other Blacks in this country---why don' they? (Yeah, I know that there are many others but as black as they are, "They ain't Black," go figure...)

    How about We help all the poor Blacks in Our own communities?

    And We were sold into slavery. And We were cheap---trinkets, sugar, and bullets.

    p.s. I know too that many other Blacks, since 911 have been sent home, I know that the Haitians are treated badly as compared to other non-black (identified) immigrants, I have seen with my own eyes how some of them are treated by Our White counterparts... I also know that they feel no compunction about taking a job away from an African-American; or being the fuel of hatred towards African-Americans.

    What business of this is mine, I ask you? Why should I care?
     
  10. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    revisited

    I don't know of any African Americans who were not outraged when Amadou Diallo was shot at 41 times by the NYPD, nor do I know of any who did not become upset at hearing of the sodomization of Abner Louima. Most African Americans were also outraged at the murder of Patrice Dorismond, who was killed after a NYPD detective tried to entrap him into buying drugs (Dorismond said No, and tried to walk away). None of these gentlemen were African American. Diallo was African, both Louima & Dorismond were Haitan. Yet this is not why these men were victims of police oppression, they were victimized/murdered because they had black skin. This same skin belongs to African Americans, and it subjects us to the same treatment. This is our connection, and it is why we should reach out to each other. When Africans immigrate to this country, they become African Americans, with the same political concerns as we have. There is no difference between us, and there is little purpose in trying to create one.
     
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