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Africa Says, "I Can't Breathe": An African Civil Society Perspective on Systemic Racism

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/10/africa-says-i-cant-breathe-african-civil-society-perspective-systemic-racism


This is a superb assessment by Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa coordinator Million Belay. Superb also to see it published at Common Dreams for USAn readers, thanks CD.

Belay ties together present-day struggles in Africa and the USA, using themes of colonization, white supremacy, and capitalism / neoliberalism, and prioritizing the voices, lives and communities of those who are subjected to these vast criminal forces of human and ecological destruction. He also notes the self-serving propaganda the looters use to “justify” their crimes of looting and subjugation. And he closes by recognizing that we have to face the truth about what we are up against [my bolding]:

“I think the only way to remove this knee and breathe is to recognize the knee, understand its ways of working, and organize to defend ourselves. Otherwise, we’ll find it difficult to even think of breathing.”

[Full disclosure, i work with a USAn NGO, Community Alliance for Global Justice, which is a supporting member of AFSA.]


A spokesperson for the EU suggested that African Countries lease out their Cities to the Corporations out of the Western Nations. In turn these Corporations would invest in those Cities by building infrastructure and creating jobs. In essence he suggested that Europe recolonize Africa, turning that Country into an extension of their own “empire” , there to provide more profits for the “investor class”.

France still collects tribute from its ex-colonies in Africa to the tune of tens of billions per year. None of them are there to help. They want a presence there so they can extract wealth pulling it out of Africa so as to line the pockets of some small few. In order to do that they will keep African Countries in debt and pursue policies that always make African nations reliant on “western investment”. If an African Country tries to break away from that servitude , a Coup is sponsored and a more obedient leadership supported.


I can’t overlook how the white man co-opted the heritage of Jesus of The Bible and turned what was clearly a man of color into a white man. Talk about white supremacy and myth making.

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