Updated: Jun 8, 2020
I just couldn’t stand it when people repost, retweet and share different cliches on social media. My thought is always I wish everyone really believe and have the same conviction as what they share and most importantly are doing something about it. But if there’s ever a time we all need to be sharing, tweeting and saying the same thing is NOW!
In the broad subject of race you wonder what a naive Nigerian girl has to say about it. It’s so vast that I wonder if I should even start what I’m so sure I’m unable to capture in one blog post or even scratch the surface of how important this conversation is, which I deliberately stayed clear from. Why you ask? I will explain the best way I know how at this moment.
Made In Nigeria
Growing up in Nigeria, some conversations never came up because I lived in a country of all black people, I rarely see any white person growing up and even when i did , I’d be so excited to see “Oyinbo” that’s what we call white people. I love to see someone different from me and of course I thought then too that they were privileged because they came from “Ilu Oyinbo” ( the country of white people ) a place most Nigerians strive to go at the time and still now to seek a better life. That was all the context I had growing up, I never experienced racism of any kind. My struggle as a young Yoruba girl was always with people of the same race, a high level of corruption in our political system, education, and any aspect you can think of. Growing up in a poverty stricken economy where the rich are getting richer and there is absolutely no advantage as a citizen. Hence the reason for my mentality that I don’t see color I see people.
Coming To America
Nothing changed even when I moved here 9years ago. I live in a city close to Los Angeles California among a church community that is predominantly black. The most loving, accepting and generous people I’ve ever meet in my life. Our focus is on love and being better people through the word of God, that the topic of race barely came up. I must say I’m the most naive human you probably know. I didn’t have any exposure to racism. I am self employed, stay at home mom, that hardly ever come out of her ”world” working for myself and having everything I need around me, I remained clueless.
I always say I don’t want to be involved in the conversation because that’s not my story, that’s not my experience, it’s not my battle to fight. I wanted to hear from those that are justified to speak on the matter, I didn’t want to have an opinion on something I have no experience in. I stayed on my lane, focus on battles I had a shot at winning.
But something changed after I saw the video of the recent case of George Floyd. I must confess that it is the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen in my life, I was sobing like a child, it was hard to watch, I was screaming as I watched a heartless white man take a man’s life who happened to be another black man. Seeing this changed everything for me, it was like an awakening to the fact that I have a son that will grow up in this country, I have a husband that lives here, the thought of that was scary and all of a sudden it felt so close and for the first time I feel the need to say something, do something, to learn more, to be informed and be part of a necessary conversation.
I don’t know what impact this post will make or even if it will make any but I have to start somewhere, I have to try, the easiest thing to do is not to do anything because you can’t do much. My favorite quote by Edmund Burke says “ The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing“. From now I want to do what I can, however and whenever i can, for my husband, my son and all the black men and women I know.
Thanks for reading