Migrants: To end soiling Africa's image entails stopping migrations

04Mar 2018
Guardian On Sunday
Migrants: To end soiling Africa's image entails stopping migrations

WHILE Africa has been wondering how many of the migrants it is exporting, willingly or unwillingly to Europe would be accepted, and chances are that they aren't welcome save those who finish academic studies and opt to stay, new things are happening.

Instances where outright misbehaviour and bringing up a profoundly negative image of Africa have the tendency to soil the image of Africa across a generation of European and other spheres of public opinion elsewhere.

It is cultural exportation of the sort of things that happen in Africa - and occasionally in Europe - soiling the name of a person, or a place but there it is a race.

This impression comes out of a top news story in parts of Europe at the start of February, when an Italian man shot and wounded six African immigrants in what law enforcement authorities saw this as a racially motivated attack in a city in the southern part of Italy.

That attack came while a court hearing was going on concerning the pretrial detention of a Nigerian immigrant named Innocent Osheghale, accused of killing and dismembering an 18-year-old girl named Pamela Mastropietro.

While in psychological terms dismembering a person after killing is the height of sadism, spiritualism knows it is tied up with occult divinities, as satanism.

What we seek to underline here is that migrants are like ambassadors in a foreign country as to what is the character of those people from where he comes, so if he spits in public they say 'Africans always spit in public.'

And in this case the story goes viral, 'Africans are killers and murderers,' an impression that is easy to sustain as Africa (like the Middle East in part) is engulfed by senseless civil wars where people can't tell head and tail of what the contention is all about.

It all boils down to a genocidal temptation of killing off the other tribe and taking over their land; when such bestiality is done in Europe, Africans are durably soiled.

It is vital that African migrants or those who aspire to go to Europe realize that when one is with strangers the benefit of doubt that is accorded to a member of a family, or a fellow national, is not available.

There is a knee jerk reaction to instances of negative behaviour and it is seen in a collective prism, as a reflection of the culture of that person, where he comes from, and not an individual act of crime as such.

Whether or not that sentiment is right or false is another matter, as both sides of the view have a semblance of truism, since it is true that ritual killings occur in Europe as well but not comparable with the scale here, like in albino killings.

It is also undeniable that this singular act of occult, bestial violence shall harden spirits against migration in a way that was not the case earlier, and also bring to the fold of far right nationalist parties that are gaining currency all over Europe.

President Donald Trump is a fellow traveller with those groups, in his outright contempt of how Haiti, El Salvador and much of Africa run their its public affairs, as 'shithole' countries.

At the same time these incidents ought to remind Africans that more effort is needed to pick up contractual forms of social relations at all levels, to end spiritual backwardness.