I don’t know about you folks but as anticipated I was not the least surprised with the brightly-scripted story from the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Gambia literally defending the Chinese government against allegations of the xenophobic behavior of their nationals against Gambians or Africans living in China. Beside being known for their ruthlessness, the most notable attribute of the Chinese government is their shamelessness on denying their guilt even where the evidence is obvious. Up to this day with all the empirical evidence of the origin of the coronavirus, they are still trying to find a way of denying Wuhan as its cradle. Be it at their wet markets or chemical labs, the scientists and epidemiologists, the world over, have agreed that it started from Wuhan, period.
After their pathetic failure to pass the blame to America, they descended to an aggressive but dumb campaign to see whether they can indict the Africans for the global pandemic and started instilling the false idea in the minds of their population that the plague was after all the fault of the black people from Africa. As usual the people believe it and the government doesn’t plan to change their minds for fear of the ultimate consequence. The awareness level of the 1.4 billion docile Chinese population could be awakened by the pandemic resulting in the overdue disintegration of the century-old communist regime. The world is indeed poised to sue them for the damages caused by their recklessness, and I can’t wrap my mind around how they will wriggle out of this quicksand.
I hope the National Assembly will not just swallow the response from the ministry of foreign affairs without thoroughly chewing and digesting the content of the document. Names of Gambians highlighted were removed from the publicly polished document, but I expect their inclusion in the original one submitted to the NA. A follow up on their cases should be the NA’s point-of duty.
However, after identifying few quarantined Gambians in different cities in China, the report stated that almost all of them were eventually tested, found negative and are okay now. Why arresting and testing all Gambians or Africans when all Chinese are not? Did the foreign minister ask the Chinese ambassador that question? He probably did not. Nonetheless, all of those mentioned seem to be still restricted from moving around while students are reported to be taking virtual classes in their dormitories. Are their Chinese counterparts doing the same? I am interested.
That said, a forwarded audio in circulation of a Gambian student in China being interviewed by a Gambian journalist in the Gambia paints a picture far less rosier than the one presented from the ministry. In the audio, the man grieved over the horrible treatment they are still encountering in China underscoring his expectation of the Chinese government to deny every allegation already exposed globally in the internet. He narrated how it was evident that the ongoing racism against Africans will be denied by the Chinese government despite the numerous videos shot and shared online until they started cracking down on those using their phones to capture the images. That the Chinese are no longer allowing them to take pictures or videos of the nasty images with violators instantly punished and their phones confiscated and destroyed.
Moreover he went on to disclose that in China, Africans are not treated as Gambians, Senegalese, Ghanians or South Africans but generally stereotyped as Africans and treated the same.
Whereas the Chinese are allowed to freely move around as long as they respect the preventive measures recommended by the nation’s health department, Africans are strictly forbidden to go out without a permit issued by the government after a cumbersome application procedure. And when issued, the certificate or permit to move out of one’s restricted area only allows one to go to the single destination applied for and specified in the paper.
Supermarkets, restaurants, public buses and trains are no longer offering their services to Africans. Bus drivers will not stop for Africans and if they get to one, and try to board it they either are denied entry or all passengers will disembark in a protest not to ride with them. So they are left with no other option but to take taxis; and not all taxi drivers are willing to take them anyway. Besides, it is rather expensive for a student to be using taxis.
The food sent to their houses by the state is most of the time not edible coupled with their fear of being attacked in the streets which is not only stressful but is affecting their ability to concentrate in their studies. In short, life in China as an African cannot be more miserable since they started accusing them of bringing the disease from Africa. To therefore say that they are okay is false.
The problem in China, he emphasized, is an African problem that is expected to be solved by African leaders in a common approach.
I want to take a moment to express my admiration to the GDC leader Mr. Mama Kandeh for his forthright in openly condemning the xenophobia against Africans in China. That is what is expected of contemporary African leaders who are still lackadaisical about the subject.
It was a big disappointment that in their virtual meeting on Thursday April 23, 2020 coinciding with the African outrage in China. the AU heads of state never brought the matter up as a cardinal subject in the fight against the pandemic. The pandemic is not only an economic problem but a political, social, cultural and of course a terrible racial one in China. But none of them wanted to offend China for fear of losing the next stimulus check from Beijing. It could also be very possible that they lack the fertile minds to come up with the right idea on what to tell the Chinese government to immediately stop the nonsense. The Chinese government deliberately misinformed and convinced their ignorant and brainwashed population that the Africans brought COVID-19 to their country. In order to change the misconception, African heads of state must collectively ensure that the Chinese government through their state-controlled media, devotedly believed by all Chinese are put to the task of explaining the absurdity of the theory. We may not expect them to admit the origin of the virus in China where it actually did, but they must tell the truth to their people that it had nothing to do with Africans to stop the foolishness. The African Union Ambassadors in China should be able to monitor and ensure that the Chinese government does that or the African governments resort to option “B” of reciprocating the maltreatment to the estimated 1 million Chinese living in Africa.
Even Africans married to Chinese partners are separated from their spouses and treated like garbage.
Anyway like I said in my last paper and will reiterate it once again, if Gambians or Africans were to be decapitated in the streets of Beijing in broad daylight, none of our leaders will say a word as long as the gagging checks are sent regularly.
The NA should not just stop at reading and filing the response from the foreign ministry but should be duty bound to contact the Gambians in China and abroad to verify the credibility of their report. If journalists in the Gambia can take the trouble and succeed in getting in touch with Gambian students in China, the NA should be able to do better. I have been around long enough to recognize the magnitude of the servitude of African governments towards superpower nations like rogue China.
Thanks reading. Sorry if anyone is offended. Till next time.
Samsudeen Sarr
New York City
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