African Americans are still trying to deal with injustice in America. While black-on-black crime is indeed an issue, institutionalized mistreatment happens as well. And for this, music icon Akon says that African Americans should “go back to Africa.”
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Akon states that African American‘s were never meant to be in America. He says that black people need to give Africa a chance instead of “shaking” whenever the continent is mentioned. While talking with Al Jazeera reporter Folly Bah Thibault, Akon explained as follows.
“I always felt like Africa was for Africans. So, when I see African Americans in America dealing with all these issues, my first question is: ‘Why don’t they just go back home?’ [Where?] Back to Africa, where they’ll be treated fair, where they’ll actually be praised for who they are because of the fact that they’re American. They’ll get way better treatment.”
He elaborates further that the American system, in his opinion, was never meant for black people. He mentions that the system has never been changed and the documents never altered. As in saying, the same Bill of Rights and so forth that were drafted during early settlements weren’t meant nor drawn up to include African Americans as the beneficiaries of those protections.
The reporter, who appears to be of African heritage as well, questions Akon, inquiring, “But come on, Akon. How do you tell people who have lived for generations and generations, centuries and centuries in one land to move back to a place that they don’t know?”
Akon says that’s the issue. African Americans don’t know about the truth of Africa — only of what American programming shows of it.
“That’s my point. They don’t know. It starts with a visit. How many African Americans do you know who actually consider Africa as a vacation spot? Not one. When you look at the overall population of African Americans, a very few percentage would decide to go to Africa for vacation. Even just for knowledge, just to know where they came from…to get an idea of what that is.”
“It’s so much fear instill into them, they wouldn’t even want to go there to visit. You mention ‘Africa,’ they start shaking.”
While there are beautiful countries within the continent of Africa, it has its “ghetto” regions as well, and Akon states that they’re far worse than anything over here in America.
He does mention that African Americans are blessed to be in the States, as it pertains to opportunistic resources and environments. Akon said that a “project” in New York City is equivalent to a five-star hotel, in comparison to how he grew up.
Akon mentioned that if these same poverty-stricken individuals would be taken to a similar environment in Africa, they’d be crying to come back home [to America]. He was talking about individuals also on governmental assistance, such as food stamps, WIC, HUD, etc. He notes that’s it’s not the same in the poverty-stricken areas of Africa.
As far as Africans entering the States, Akon also mentions that they tend to “alienate their origins and personalities,” and they end up conforming to “America.” He says that’s not-at-all the best way to integrate into the lifestyle. “There’s no way you can move forward when you’re not you.”
He mentioned that while he loves that Americans respect and admire other cultures, African Americans tend to shy away from their heritage of “the motherland.”
Yet, while Akon might say that African Americans would be treated fairly and welcomed, some Africans disagree. From the testimony of Anthony Eromosele Oigbokie, he states, “A shared complexion does not equal a shared culture, nor does it automatically lead to friendships…just because African-Americans wear kente cloth does not mean they embrace everything that is African.” This was a documented statement from Yale University, via the African student who thought the same thing about blacks in the States. However, after getting here, his mindset changed.
Or take a listen to this video. Can you blame them if Africans think this way about African Americans? While this man doesn’t represent all black men in America — or even a fraction — this is the type of negativity Africans see from American programming in their countries. Just as Americans mostly see African poverty-stricken areas on television in such Feed the Children type of programming. When, in fact, Africa is an insanely rich continent and is full of intelligence.
Disclaimer: This video contains explicit language. Viewer discretion is advised.
[Image via YouTube]