Discussion in 'All Things Africa' started by panafrica, Sep 17, 2005.
Pan, this is unfortunate, but as long as the governments (western puppets) are repressive and living conditions are what they are in some of the countries, those Africans scientists who can get to America or Britain and other western locales will do so. The part that really saddens me most is that many of them are raising their children here and the children know next to nothing about their parent’s culture, despite the fact that some of the parents try hard to transmit the culture. It’s just not the same. I know a bunch of these Africans here: doctors of all specialties, scientists, mathematicians, computer professionals, etc. They complain about the racism in the USA, but they consider it better than being dead, which is what some of them think will happen if they return home and try to work for change.
Also, some of the children of these Africans have an especially hard time here because most of them have African “looks” or phenotypes and sad to say some AA children torture the African children for that. I know the AA kids do it because they see their own “hated” reflection in these children, and I always explain this to the parents, but the African parents just don’t buy that. I know it doesn’t make it any less painful to a parent or the child even if it is understood and I know if anybody messed with my own child, I’d be ready to kill somebody too. LOL!! Anyway, the result is that some of these parents don’t want their children to associate with AA children much for that reason and also because ALL of the African parents I know feel, to some degree, that AA children behave poorly, are disrespectful, and are not motivated to do well in school and in life. Also, I’ve noticed that some of the African children have internalized this negativity about Blackness and act out against each other with it.
On the other hand, ALL of the African children I know do well in school and of the 8 or so that I know who have graduated from high school here, all are in college or graduate school pursuing degrees in---biochemistry, electrical engineering, biomedical science, pre-med, or something very similar—which continues that brain-drain.
The primary goal of many of these western puppet government was to drive out the educated & professional class in their countries. This left them with an uneducated, ignorant population to manipulate and exploit. Thus while I understand the desire to flee genocide and oppression (my in-laws are African refugees). By leaving and never looking back, many African professionals gave those tyrants exactly what they wanted. The brain drain in Africa is a serious problem. If one explores the national background of Black doctors, engineers, scientist, and other professionals in America & Europe...a significant number (if not the majority) are of African origin. Think of what can be accomplished on the continent if these individuals had remained.
To address your comment about African children being tortured for their looks by African Americans. I don't think Africans are teased for their looks more than any other black children. We always have teased each other for being too dark or too light. Africans are not spared from this anymore than African Americans are. The reality is we pretty much look the same. I've seen extremely dark African American children with big noses & dark skin be teased just like an African. In addition not all Africans look the same anyway. Africans contrary to popular opinion came in different shades, have different facial shapes, and have different facial features. Thus there is no typical "African Look". Unfortunately children are cruel! Being teased is a part of growing up.
Pan, IMO, it is not a “normal” part of growing up to be constantly told that “your lips are as big as plates,” or that “you have Brillo hair” or “beady” hair or that you are as “Black as basalt,” or “Look, he got a nose like a gorilla,” or to be called “Miss Naps,” or “monkey-face,” etc. Or maybe you’re saying that this is a part of growing up for a Black child here. I would not raise my children around any group of children who feel this is normal, even if I had to keep my kids isolated. This is a form of Black self-hatred. This kind of “teasing?” sends a hateful, devaluing message about one’s “African associated” appearance because these are not characteristics of whites and Asians. Being Black or melanin-enriched is a typical African-descended trait. Having hair with a tight curl or kink is also and so is having fleshier lips and nose, though I realize that not all Black people have these characteristics. Now probably someone on here will say they saw 3,672 white people who look like this and 192 Asians who fit this description last week. Well, they just might be passing. LOL
I didn’t even know what basalt was until it was brought up in Sunday school week after week by a teenage African boy who said kids at high school called him that on his bus and at school. Yes, kids tease each other and kids are cruel, but IMO, this goes above and beyond the normal teasing. There are degrees of teasing. This stuff is NOT normal. It inflicts pain. It causes constant friction and an inability to be confident and comfortable with your own natural born looks or to feel good in your own skin. It causes these children, rather they are AAs or Africans to always be on guard for the next insult—from their own people. Even more damaging and divisive is it causes these children to dislike each other, not want to be around each other, and to want to attack each other verbally and sometimes physically. I don’t know any child (AA or African) who takes “this kind” of teasing in stride. It actually causes fights sometimes among AA children I work with at the center.
The African adults that I know do not expect this from their own people here. It causes them to feel that AAs reject their “African-ness” and reject Africa, and reject them. They may understand why, but it is still divisive and painful and people generally try to avoid pain.
IMO, this type of teasing should be wiped out--not tolerated, period. It scars people. There is no excuse for our children to do this to each other no matter where we come from.
Maybe this is where you grew up Riada. I've never seen an African or African American child subjected to such harsh words. Especially from African Americans children who's hair is just as beady...lips are just as big...and skin is just as dark. As I type this message, I have a house full of Africans (we are throwing a going away party for my mother in-law). We look alike! I guarantee that anyone visiting my house right now couldn't tell who is African, who is Caribbean, and who is African American. Before we begin to condemn African Americans for being abnormally cruel, it is important to recognize kids tease each other. That is a normal part of childhood. Now recognize I didn't say a "nice" part of childhood...but normal it most definately is. That being said, I still feel that Africans aren't the only ones subjected to this treatment (which is what you were implying). African American children tease each other for being too dark, too ugly, and a number of other reasons. Why would you realistically expect them to treat Africans any differently. Although I do agree that it shouldn't be tolerated, it is almost impossible to eliminate.
no, pan; it ain't normal!! it's part of that educational brainwashing "aa"s grow up with. it ain't normal; it's sick!! and todays "aa"s seriously reflect it! example? right here: "Africans" "vs" "aa" - american indoctrinated Africans just set my teeth on edge! and y'all are always on about everybody else and just can't see how silly the rest of our African Nation sees you!!
no, pan; that crap ain't normal or natural!! "aa"s (i trust you can hear the sneer!) have just gotten so caught up in this westernization-crap that y'all can't AND WON'T think!
As someone who both has children (children I might add who are half African), and who works with children on a daily basis I can most definately say that children teasing each other is normal. In addition like I stated, I think Riada is greatly overstating an adversarial relationship between African American and African children. I would be willing to bet that an African American child growing up in Africa would also be subjected to some form of teasing, for whatever reason. That is part of childhood, and it is how children deal with each other. Some of us get so far removed from childhood, we forget how children behave!
Pan, I don’t know why it was necessary to talk about where I grew up. But I’m proud to have grown up where I did. I grew up on a farm in a small community in the deep south where this kind of stuff was not tolerated by the proud-to-be-Black adults (for the most part) around me. But it did happen minimally. When it did happen (because some Black folks didn’t like themselves then, too), the adults "handled" it. These days, too many of our kids just let it all come out without any fear of consequences.
Yes, some of our AA children tear into each other and African and Caribbean children about their African-associated features and characteristics. Children sometimes get into fights because of this type of racial teasing coming from their own people. In my experience, white kids are too scared to racially tease Black kids to their face. Be glad that you haven’t been around this, but it happens between Black kids way too much. On a voluntary basis, I’ve run a childrens’ fiber art program in just about every community I’ve lived in for the past 10 years or so. I’ve heard these types of comments made by our AA children all during that time. I know what I’ve heard. They don’t just do it to Africans; they do it to each other too.
It’s not a secret that many Black folks, kids included, generally STILL don’t like nappy, short hair (on females), or nappy “uncool” hair on males, dark skin (on females) and African-associated features and characteristics. Also, I made a distinction between general teasing and teasing about racially-associated characteristics. I know that kids generally tease each other. I would like to say that yes, all AA kids like their complexions, hair, and facial features, but many of them STILL don’t and just like they sometimes say other rude things out of their mouths, they say nasty, painful things to each other about complexion, hair, facial and other African-associated features. They don’t hide how they think and feel, unfortunately.
Riada raises a good point about black children teasing about another child's 'black' features. When I was young I used to wear my hair in cornrolls/extensions a lot and when it grew out, boy would I have it. I went through most of my childhood and teenagehood hating my hair and being jealous of girls/teenagers who I thought had 'long and pretty hair.'
Whether or not African or AA children gets picked on more... I cannot say. I can say that the nonsense has got to stop. And to stop this, attitudes must change with the black community as a whole because this is where the children are picking these things up. Children only reflect the energy that has already been present among the adults around them.
I think it is important to specify where you are talking about because, I don't want the implication that this problem is more widespread than it actually is, to go unchallenged. To do so is reckless! As I said, I've never heard African children put down to the degree, severity, and viciousness that you've indicated. I'm not trying to discount your experiences; however, you can't say it is widespread. I've also lived in many different areas. I have grown up with Africans, and am married to an African. Yet I have never seen anything close to what you are describing. My ultimate point is what you finally admitted, that despite your attempt to single out AA children for teasing Africans...AA children do the same to themselves. In addition African children tease each other as well. Why would you think otherwise? That is what children do. You are welcome to correct the children when they tease each other. I have done so on many occasions, yet that does not stop it from happening again. No matter what you do, children will still tease each other (that is how children relate to one another). To think otherwise is not acknowledging reality!
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