July 15, 2017
When White people travel abroad, we sometimes suffer from illnesses like sickness or diarrhea. Though unpleasant at the time, these illnesses are temporary, and we fully recover from them within days.
When Black people travel abroad, however, they suffer from a far more unpleasant problem: racist abuse. And unlike sickness and diarrhea, racist abuse stays with them forever.
When I was a college student the late 1990s, I spent a semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina. One night, while walking to a local internet café to call my family back home in Colorado, a group of doormen standing outside a luxury high-rise building called out to me and began to grunt like monkeys. When I looked in their direction, they also began a stereotypical mime of arm flailing and rib scratching.
The author of the article, Tamara Walker.
Imagine being compared to a monkey just because you have a wide nose, dark skin and ridged brow.
How would that make you feel? Almost certainly embarrassed, ashamed and angry.
The most shocking part about this anecdote is that this color-shaming occurred in Argentina, where over 75 percent of the population is as black as night.
The internet is filled with these kinds of stories. Most recently, a black South African woman named Sibahle Nkumbi described being pushed down the stairs by her Airbnb host in Amsterdam, simply for failing to check out by the appointed time. The host can be seen in the video Nkumbi posted shouting “this is not Africa,” which laid bare the degree to which race played a role in the altercation.
Though my personal interactions with Blacks are limited, I know they have a reputation for honesty.
So, it’s not hard to imagine that a seven-foot Dutchman, eager to abuse someone for having the “wrong” skin color, did indeed kick a little African woman down the stairs because she refused to call him “master” while checking out.
You’d assume that such attitudes ended after the abolition of slavery, but no, they still exist in the modern world – even in Amsterdam, Europe’s most liberal and progressive city.
The menu of a typical Amsterdam coffee shop, where you can still purchase weed, magic mushrooms and thoroughbred Negroes.
The episode highlights Airbnb’s failure to curb the discrimination that has notoriously been part of its community. Despite the company’s new efforts to limit hosts’ refusals to rent to black (and Asian and Latino) users, the company has a long way to go before all users can expect equal treatment.
I agree, Ms. Walker.
Though it’s great that Airbnb is forcing us to bring colored guests into our homes, our irrational suspicion of them cannot be overcome through mere coercion. It requires years of meticulous deprogramming – something that our White Supremacist media intends to prevent at all costs.
The Trump administration, whose engine is fueled by the oil of skin-hatred, is also an obstacle on the highway to racial harmony.
Nonetheless, I remain positive that Whites will transcend our hateful genetics and, in time, allow colored people like Ms. Walker to travel through our countries without fear of discrimination.
All it takes is the will to say NO to racism once and for all!