When leaders of countries in the western hemisphere deal with others, they put their country and citizens first. Even in interacting with each other, they still make sure that their people determine their decisions irrespective of personal convictions. It is why Britain had to leave the European Union. Ordinary Britons wanted to leave even when their leaders didn’t.
Unfortunately, in this part of the world, country or opinions of citizens mean next to nothing, never mind their lives. Imagine for a moment those sold in the Libyan slavery auctions were Americans or Europeans or even Chinese. By now, military boots will be on the ground, those responsible would have been fished out, sanctions would have been piled on Libya, the country would have been kicked out of every international body it’s a member of, including the African Union.
But here we are, it’s “only” Africans who are affected, West Africans for that matter. The bottom of the bottom of the human food chain. The African Union finally found its voice and only to bark not to in any way bite. The Nigerian government can’t even decide what it wants to do. The President hasn’t deemed it fit to address Nigerians on the matter, never mind the Libyans. Meanwhile, Nigerians might be sold to slavery tonight.
I’m not one of those who believe the black race is in any way inferior to other races, but situations like this Libya Slave trade makes one wonder. How come we don’t place any sort of premium on the black skin? The desperate migrant couldn’t give a hoot if he licks the boot of every Libyan slave driver in his bid to cross to Europe and to “better life”. The Libyan, and by extension the rest of the Arab world, think the black man is worth less than dogs and treat him as such (they even have a special name they call us, “Abed” or something like that), the Whites don’t want us landing on their shores and are more than complicit in this reenactment of dark history.
Even Black Africans do not seem to have empathy for themselves. This particular issue has been making the rounds on social media since last week and only got into our consciousness this week. Recall, it took the intervention of an American owned news network, CNN, to bring this issue to light. Where are the African journalists? Where are the human rights activists?
The tragedy of the whole thing is that our leaders won’t be decisive or take any form of action that will forestall this kind of injury on humanity in future. Libya remains a firm member of the African Union, they still have their envoys all over Africa including in Nigeria. It took a former football player to get Cameroonians home from that hellish country called Libya. Their President is too busy inflicting his own brand of brutality on a section of that country to care.
When will the Black race rise from its slumber? When will Black lives start to matter?
Olumide Aduloju, a public affairs commentator, writes in from Lagos. He is a Sub Editor at The Sheet NG, where he writes on contemporary topics ranging from politics to sports. He can be found on twitter @Oluamyd.