Racism stings blacks hardest at home
Posted by Administrator on March 11, 2012
Africans have perfected the ability to be annoying and outrageous at the same time. Last November, social networks were abuzz with indignation after a club in Ghana advertised a new policy: indigenous Ghanaians — read Black people — were no longer welcome at their establishment.
The Atlantic Lobsters and Dolphins Restaurant operated a “whites only” policy, which the owner later claimed was an elaborate joke. The Government of Ghana failed to see the funny side and quickly closed the restaurant down.
Three months down and it is Kenya’s turn to make silly headlines. It has always been known that Africans — black Africans — weren’t exactly welcome at some Kenyan hotels. This is especially so at the Coast, where some of Kenya’s and Africa’s best hotels and restaurants are found. But even in relatively cosmopolitan and non-discriminatory Nairobi, there are some odd unspoken policies regarding the desired colour and gender of hotel patrons.
There are hotels in the City Centre that will not allow unaccompanied women to patronise their facilities — usually on the grounds that such women “might” be prostitutes. This label, of course, applies only to black women. Single European women are warmly welcome, indeed.
And it is not just hotels. A couple of years back, a school in Nairobi was in the news when its headmaster stopped African students from enjoying the school’s swimming pool, stating that the pool was for Asian students only.
A look at the classifieds sections of the newspapers reveals a culture rife with open discrimination. There are housing estates in this age that advertising for tenants who “must be vegetarians” — a euphemism for Asians-only, since Africans are known to love eating animals and plants in equal measure and with equal pleasure. But it is the coastal hotels that take the trophy in discrimination.
Ironically, it is Africans who enforce the discriminatory policies against their own people. The security guards who stop Africans from entering the hotels are African. The hotel managers who draw up the policies are Africans. And the hotel workers who refuse to serve Africans are bloody Africans.
Perhaps the most blatant cases of anti-African attitudes by Kenyan Africans are to be found at Kenya’s international airports. Officials at one International airport are especially notorious for mistreating Kenyans, and Africans, while bending over backwards to please foreigners.
The charade begins at ‘Departures’, where stern-looking cops peruse documents and ensure that only travellers access the departure lounge.
But that’s only if you’re Black. Whites will walk in without showing any documents and the cops might even salute them, silly grins plastered all over their black faces.
The ‘Arrivals’ process is even worse. Whereas in other countries local nationals get priority, at this airport, the “Kenyans Only” queue is the longest and worst-served with immigration clerks often missing.
And on it goes. It appears Africans just don’t like seeing other Africans and the worst place to be an African is in Africa itself.
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