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What speaking to my daughter about George Floyd taught me about my race privilege as an African

June 10, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

"Why didn't you tell me, mummy? I'm so upset!"

I explained that moving to Nigeria was partly because I wanted her to grow up in a world without racism and micro-aggressions, and the mental exhaustion that comes with them, just like I did when I was her age.

I was born in Nigeria in the late 1970s and lived there until my family moved to London when I was 12; I wanted her to experience the freedom from racism I remembered back then.

And here was my beautiful black daughter telling me that I can no more shield her from racism than I can stop her from breathing.

This unexpected but vital exchange with my daughter has made me realize that, as Africans, we too have race privilege -- because we simply do not have to contend with race at all.

Moving back to Nigeria has given me a respite from the burden of oppression that black people abroad have carried for centuries.

The burden of being black is no longer my reality -- although life is far from perfect in Nigeria and identity divisions, mostly along ethnic and religious lines, do exist.

Fellow Africans, it is time for us to check our own race privilege: The privilege that gives us the mental safety net to move to America and pick up opportunities that African Americans have fought and died for.

Greer refers to in her book Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream.

Black Lives Matter is a joke . . .

Africans face our own struggles too, but all too often we are dismissive of the black American struggle, and so fail to show empathy.

Far from "playing the victim," we need to recognise that black Americans ARE the real victims of sustained and continuous systemic oppression that has contributed to the chants of "we are exhausted" heard over and over again during the George Floyd protests.

In the same way that white folks are required to educate themselves about race issues, Africans too must take the time to find out about this struggle, and to understand why African Americans are so angry, hurt, and tired.

Black lives matter.

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