I was in a bus in the evening of yesterday. Sitting close to me was an Hausa, Fulani or Niger guy that I suspected was in his early twenties. I can’t say for sure though. I just knew from his looks and the calls he made. He looked unkempt anyway, which might have been a result of the work he was doing or where he was coming from. He looked quite handsome only that he wasn’t properly or rather neatly dressed. There was a lady that sat next to him on the other side. From the moment I boarded that vehicle, I observed that the lady wouldn’t stop antagonizing the guy.
The lady would push him rudely and say “no let your body touch me“. As common with public vehicles, everybody has to manage the little space available. Any time he moved a bit the lady would abuse him. She even got physical and hit him on his shoulders. The lady was dressed in hijab and was speaking fluent Yoruba and English. I watched in silence while also listening to music on my phone. The guy brought out tangerines and was removing the peel. That same moment the lady began to grouch about the gas from the tangerine peel. She was acting like the gas was going to kill her. Another dude sitting behind us joined the lady to victimize the guy. I saw that the Fulani guy was confused and became scared of even making a move. He felt like someone who was a slave in a very hostile community. I was left with no option than to speak up.
I told the lady that it was totally wrong, the way she was antagonizing the guy. From my own understanding, it was a deep rooted prejudice that motivated her to act in that manner. It wasn’t because the guy was unkempt. It was because of his supposed ethnicity. The guy wasn’t smelling and there was nothing he did that was unnatural but hatred and prejudice is a terrible thing. It was when I spoke up that the lady finally shut her mouth. So I began to play a music video on my phone and I noticed that the guy was interested in it and drew close to me and was watching it with me. He felt safe with me especially when it seemed as if everybody there had a problem with him.
Some times we do things without thinking. We just act. I dislike people who don’t think and who also lack empathy.
None of us determined our race, ethnicity or tribe. There are so many things that we didn’t choose by ourselves. We were born that way. I am Igbo, but I didn’t choose to be Igbo. The same way an Indian didn’t choose to be Indian. Having an understanding that we didn’t choose where we originated from is one of the basis for the eradication of racial, ethnic and tribal discrimination. Not just that but every form of discrimination. You should never shame or discriminate against anybody base on things they have no control over. Just like those who discriminate against children born out of wedlock. No child is a bastard. Every child is a child, irrespective of the circumstances of their birth.
I have personally developed my mind to the extent where every human is a sibling to me. I don’t care where you are from. This is also why I tell people that I am from the Universe. Rarely do I tell you my place of birth. We all in the universe are all children of the universe. We are one. This doesn’t mean that there are no evil people, but it should be noted that there are evil people everywhere. It has nothing to do with your place of origin. As there as good Yoruba people so are there good Hausa people and Idoma, Ika, Ijaw, etc. Nothing is more foolish than the belief that you are better than other people because of your race, ethnicity or tribe. Of course you know I don’t ever believe in white supremacy. The mind a white man has is also what I have. As long as I can put my mind to work, you are no better than I am. It is mind over matter.
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