#MyTruth Series: Immigration, Afrophobia and Blurred Borders
Europeans took no visas when they came to plunder Africa during the slave trade and later in colonial times. Those actions left false nations devastated, unable to break out of enforced poverty. Many African countries are still in debt to these colonial masters for the gift of “civilization”: an education system that doesn’t work in an African context, a religion that the West itself has thrown away and infrastructure that works better for connecting African resources to Western shores than it does for connecting those within these false borders to one another. But now, Africans are expected to line up like cattle and be granted or denied access to escape this enforced poverty.
Why would so many Africans leave their homes for Europe? Why would anyone choose that treacherous voyage? Why would anyone choose to live (still in poverty) in a strange land? Many reasons. Reasons that are caused by circumstances in the countries they flee as much as in the countries they flee to.
It’s everyone’s problem. Everyone needs to find a solution. And that starts with breaking down the world economic system that keeps Africa on the bottom.
Which might explain why she still loves us.
Despite that we kick our sister
and spit in the face of our father.
It hurts to grow.
You lash out at those who love you most.
But if we turn around now, there is still some hope
That we will be forgiven when we return home.
And over a shared meal, the family will laugh as they discuss
what a terrible teenager South Africa was.
The one is interacting over Twitter, wearing wax, and bumping Afrobeat.
The other is burning on the street.
Looking back at my childhood, I see a young girl trying to fit in. A young girl not really knowing who she was or where she was from.
My parents are Nigerian, but my birth certificate says born in Corning, NY. My Dad grew up in Benin city. My Mom in Lagos, yet my time was spent growing up between Ames, IA and Hattiesburg, MS. My parents Dad speaks Esan; My mom Yoruba, and I only speak English. Am I American? Am I Nigerian? The lines because of immigration are blurred, but this does not mean my life and identity has to be.
I am a Nigerian-American, and both countries are equally important to me.