The fact that your prompt to write is a movement in a foreign land by foreigners who happen to…
Olukemi Lauretta Robinson
1

You’ve clearly come to this article with your own preconceived notions and are projecting them onto it (and me, by extension). But it’s a Sunday and I’ve got some time.

Quick read of the BS you’re trying to pin on me: I marched from the first day during the Occupy Nigeria protests, marched during the #BringBackOurGirls protests as well as writing articles, poetry and think-pieces about the situation (one of which is linked in this piece, btw), was in the women’s group that met with the Lagos state government about putting pressure on the Jonathan government to fact-check the military’s claims and recover the girls in early 2014, attended CSO town hall meetings to discuss community-led responses to terror, worked for the Testimonial Archive Project which covers stories of IDPs, survivors and on-the-ground workers in Borno state, donated to Adopt-a-Camp (I am listed on their website as one of their supporters), continue to promote and donate to AThousand1000 (also listed on the website if you want to fact check), donated to the thousand blankets project by Ndi Kato… Ergo, I’ve been thinking and writing and working on this for years.

Having addressed that; this article is about more than Borno or Boko Haram. It is about the clear disregard for Nigerian life that has become normal in Nigeria and how similarities can be drawn in that regard to the American state’s disregard for African American lives, and my argument is that Nigerians have something to learn from the Movement for Black Lives in the concerted, organised and relentless battle to assert the value of their lives. You want to disagree, disagree with that.

BTW: A quick google search will show you that only 46% of Nigerians have internet access. You sound exactly like the ex-President Jonathan who, in trying to assert that Nigeria is not a majorly poor country, claimed that we have the highest number of private planes in the world. Great job on pointing out the income inequality that allows Nigerians to populate universities abroad while local literacy rates hover around 63% and tertiary education is at less than 25%.

No police man is killing people in Nigeria? Google is your friend, for crying out loud. The ‘colour of their skin’ argument is moot: ICYMI, Nigeria is the most populous black country on earth, so police brutality has little to do with race and everything to do with the issues that allow Nigerians to die without accountability; impunity, class inequality, corruption, the failure of the state to uphold the rule of law…

If you think that Nigeria and/or black Africa has little to learn from the diaspora, then I have to ask you to do some more history reading. Pan-Africanism and the Negritude movement are just two of the politico-cultural ideologies that benefited greatly from trans-continental cooperation. If you think African-Americans ‘hate’ Africans, that’s on you and your inability to properly investigate the processes of white supremacy and neo-colonialism.

All this to say, you missed the point completely and there’s nothing I can do about that. But if you have a response to make that is rooted more in what I actually wrote than in your personal misconceptions and/or misplaced grievances, I will be happy to address that.

TL;DR: Girl, please.

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