The Relationship between Arabs and Afrikans V

| November 24, 2014
Social and Cultural Anthropologist and contributor Scherin Barlow-Massay

Social and Cultural Anthropologist and contributor Scherin Barlow-Massay

Community news. The rest is history and the Darfur genocide in which more than 2.3 million people have been displaced and hundreds of thousands murdered, kidnapped and raped is a convincing example of Arab racism against Afrikans. Why do Arabs hate Blacks? That question was thrown at me when I asked for ideas about what to write. I thought that by looking into it I could come up with some concrete reasons to put forward and in so doing shed some understanding on the situation.

However, I was wrong. People seek to legitimise their “right” to elevate themselves over others by concocting various hierarchal symptoms. Some become part of that country’s constitution. Many more become part of an unwritten law on how to treat others. Prejudice and discrimination can be based on all manner of things. It can be based on language, age, height, the colour of a person’s hair, the area in which they live, the type of job they do, an individual’s social status, national pride etc. Universally, the shade of a man’s skin has been deemed the yardstick by which to dole out all sorts of oppressive treatment. And in order to legitimize their cruel and brutal actions they concoct all sorts of negative ideologies based on nationalistic pride.

Black servant walking rich Arab dogs. Photo courtesy

Black servant walking rich Arab dogs. Photo courtesy

However, there can be no justification for racism. There are no concrete reasons for injustice, murder and unspeakable violence towards women and children. Yet, people find the most trivial reasons to justify hatred and to carry out acts of inhumanity towards each other. Today it is very easy to invent a history of slavery for Afrikans and their descendants, claiming that they arrived in a country through bondage. This has been the case for the darker skinned population of Sudan, Yemen and other Arabic speaking countries, despite the fact that the original occupants of those lands have occupied those areas for millennia.

Not only does this deny their legitimacy to ownership of a land, but in so doing it also seeks to write them out of a glorious past and to justify the ill-treatment and marginalisation of darker skinned Afrikans and Arabs, by lighter skinned Arabs based on some pre-conceived notion that lighter skin tone is a birth right to ruler-ship and privileges.












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