Content warning: Assault and Racial Abuse.
In a guest article for Periscope Nottingham, Temi Odugbesan explains the suffering being inflicted on the African population in China and what action you can take to help.
It breaks my heart to see that there has been a violation of human rights in China, Guangzhou against non-Chinese citizens such as the African citizens living in the south.
I saw this viral video of a group of people in China beating one helpless black man with metal rods leaving him to suffer from severe wounds. The video caused such upset and discontent in me that I immediately felt driven to do more research on the matter and make a petition on ‘change.org’.
The petition (at the bottom of the page) seeks to ‘Call upon the United Nations to protect ALL citizens human rights in China’. Often when reading or hearing of awful situations around the world, we as individuals may feel powerless. Although, this may sound cheesy, we can make a difference if we refuse to accept injustice.
The aim of my petition is to raise awareness and hopefully squash the violence and bring back not only safety but also health, to many Africans now being evicted from their homes and being unable to eat due to refusal of entrance into shops and restaurants.
No one should be subject to harm, physical abuse or in some cases death because of the pigmentation and amount of melanin in their skin. Propaganda has been spread accusing African citizens of starting the virus. This is a sweeping statement and cases of COVID19 are in fact incredibly low amongst the African population.
I think on a personal level, as someone who is West African and having experienced racism on a verbal level, it really hurts. You begin to even question yourself and ask did I do something wrong? Therefore, I can only begin to imagine how the victims must feel.
You more than anyone know your appearance; skin tone is out of your control. Unapologetically beautiful we must all be encouraged to stand tall and smile, not taught to hate ourselves nor die because of it. Many of us in the United Kingdom treat each other with respect and dignity and the outcome results in many beautiful relationships.
The speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives released a video in which he asks the Chinese ambassador to watch a viral clip of Nigerians being mistreated, and then presses him to raise the issue with officials in Beijing.
A group of African ambassadors in Beijing wrote to the state councillor, Wang Yi, the Chinese government’s top diplomat, “immediately demanding the cessation of forceful testing, quarantine and other inhumane treatments meted out to Africans”- The Guardian
Disclaimer: This petition is not intended to cause offence to China, but the reality is that this so happens to be the country where the violation of human rights is taking place. It is evident that there have been several acts of racial abuse and this has been surging through social media. Hence do not take away from the urgency required to solve and rescue ethnic minorities who are endangered due to the politics and or history. This petition seeks to promote health and safety along with unity so that ALL citizens and visitors to China can live in peace.
Here is the link to sign the petition. http://chng.it/ZnpGNYVJ