Rev. Fr Offor Evaristus
Covid-19 is rampaging while racism is burning and spitting fire. Thousands of Americans have died from the disease, yet racism is taking its toll on daily basis. American supremacists have again bumped off snooze. The renaissance of animalism and portentous racial discrimination, injustice, and police brutality in America is furiously creepy. Recent killings of Black Americans has hit the roof by a two-week and above demonstrations by Americans against killings, brutality, and destructions. Looting and arson are on the rise.
These problems were engineered by the recent knee-on-neck murder of George Floyd a black American by a white racist police officer who, in spite, of the death cries of George ‘’I can’t breathe’, the white bigoted monster exterminated him, while three other cops were watching and enjoying the seemingly horror movie. Floyd was killed only because he was a Blackman in a white country that idiotically calls itself ‘Gods own country’. The situation was maddened by President Trump’s silence and awful statements that, ‘when looting starts, killings begin’’.
Historically, racism began many centuries ago, when white Americans invaded African continent, captured African youths and forcefully drove them to their plantations to work. They were sold and re-sold to rich merchants who later freed them after so many years of servitude. They were owned as goats and sheep were possessed by their masters.
Slave trade went on for a long time until people like William Wilberforce and Abraham Lincoln put extra efforts that saw blacks freed from shackles, but still suffered racial discrimination. Rosa Park, an Afro-American endured ethnic isolation in a bus where a white supremacist asked her to give up her seat for him. That singular event caused a lot of uproar in the U.S. and human rights consciousness sparked off. Rev Martin Luther king Jnr. came and preached non-violence end to racism, they killed him. This is America, the so-called ‘’Gods own country devoid of justice and equity. This is God’s own country where the color of a person’s skin determines his or her value. This is God’s own country where black people are loathed with passion for the mere fact, that they are black in color. These persecuted Afro-Americans never haggled to be where they are now, neither their great -great grand fathers. These white supremacists brought us the bible and taught us about a loving, kind and inspirational God, yet they are harbingers of segregation, hate, injustice, brutality, inequality and oppression. Are they not privy to Saint Paul in Galatians 3:26-28, that in Gods Kingdom there are‘’… no race, sex or color, because we are all one in Christ’’. They brought us a crucified Jesus who would free us from bondage, yet they butcher people of color.
America is agitating for reforms and a new world order of justice, love and conviviality. The protesters who are both blacks and whites have been on the streets for three weeks singing, ‘’no justice, no peace’’, libretto and they are maintaining it. They reproduce the dying George’s words, ‘’I can’t breathe’’. Citizens of the world are in solidarity protests despite the coronavirous pandemic and police brutality and killings. For them the cause of justice and equity ought to surpass the fear of covid-19 and its rampaging destructions of human life.
From all these, Nigerians should all rise and destroy oppression and injustice. People of good conscience can surmount all human and structural obstacles hindering good leadership in Nigeria, and achieve goals of our heroes’ past. New Americans have defied the President and American constitution to fight for a new American society of love and justice. They want to stamp justice and equality in America no matter the cause. They have a message that, ‘’black lives matter’’. Today, the 15th of June, 2020, nationwide protests against police brutality have entered its 21st day. Hence, using people-power, Nigerians can enshrine justice through restructuring. Let us in the light of, ‘’black Lives Matter’’, and ‘’I can’t breather’’ slogans, eradicate injustice and marginalization. Nigerians must fuse today in a fraternal conviviality for a restructured nation.
We can stoke our culture of agitations to drive home our points against political and economic exclusion, and Fulani herders’ grotesque destructions. ‘’Black lives matter’’, is an impel to exact for restructuring in this rambling country. It has energized us to demand for justice against the Apo six, the murder of Igbo youths by the police in Abuja. Where are the culprits? OHANEZE NDI IGBO, IPOB, and the clergy must ask questions now. What about the restitution of abandoned properties, issues of pogrom of 1966 and five million Biafran children and women massacred by Federal troops in the civil war? Can’t we protest against regional favoritism, social injustice, insecurity and sectionalism? Let us demand for restructuring for a real Nigerian nation.
Rev. Fr Offor Evaristus
Founder, Scholars Association for the Protection of Igbo History and Civilization,