Why I won’t celebrate the first anniversary of the Arab spring
Many do not know this but black people are scattered all around the Arab world - product notably of fourteen centuries of Afro-Arab slavery.
Black people are scattered across the world because of European slavery. The Arab slave trade is a completely different matter and functioned as a completely different thing. It did not exist under the guise of racial domination. This has been debunked time and time again and is often an argument that white folks use to say that they have not gained anything from slavery— after all Arab folks had slaves too! If you are going to use the pretense that Arab Africans sold slaves to white people, you also have to consider that some of these people were what you’d call today Black African.
This post has absolutely NOTHING to do with European slavery. So please do no try to derail my post with your Eurocentric perspective. Can we talk about Black and Arab relations in Africa without having Europeans as a point of reference??
This is why I would like to know why their voices were totally shut down during the Arab spring feted all around the world as the uprising of the people and it even led to a systematical worsening of the situation for black people in Libya and in Egypt.
Not sure about Egypt but in Libya you had people fighting for their rights- Libya was also a part of the Arab Spring.
I have no clue what you are trying to state by this comment. Fighting for your rights doesn’t necessarily mean bombing a town of 30,000 civilians, just saying.
I am asking myself these questions right now as I am pondering about PoC solidarity. Does it really exist?? Can it be a plinthe solid enough to tackle down white supremacy? Considering the total lack of empathy and concern from non-Afro Arab bloggers and activists for the plight of black/dark-skinned Arabs in their countries, I would have to oppose a firm NO. Yet I can attest that black bloggers and activists have supported and are still supporting not only the Arab resistance against white supremacy in the middle-East but also Arab revolutions. So, once again, we black people are in this situation where we are expected to and we do provide support for other PoC groups, yet said groups NEVER hesitate to engage into (or complicitly ignore) anti-blackness.
For many Africans, Arab anti-blackness and racism represent a higher threat than white supremacy. Most of us still have in memory the horrors of Sudan, where for more than 20 years the Arab government committed a genocide against its black population, yet most ignore that since August 2011 Libyan liberation forces have engaged in the ethnic cleansing of black tribes, such as the Tawerghas and now the Tuaregs. Most also ignore the day to day racism, black people faced in societies that still view them as “Abd” meaning “slaves” in Arab.
For me, Arab revolutions in the Maghreb, especially in Libya will always represent the exhalation of sanguinary anti-black violence. For this reason, as a black person, I refuse to celebrate or support it.
If you are from the Arab world, please do not hesitate to give me your opinion on the matter.
I completely agree that Arab bloggers and activists have failed to represent the voices of black Africans and that intra racism is a huge problem in that part of the world. I completely understand why you feel the way you do.
However, it is inaccurate to suggest that Egyptians and etc gained their independence on the backs of Black Africans. I have a problem with representing Arab liberation as ‘exhalation of sanguinary antiblack violence’.
I see why the world “exhalation” may be problematic but never did I say that any of these countries gained their independence on the backs of anyone. If some did perceive it that way, I sincerely apologize. What I thought was clear is that, the revolution, especially in Libya, was an opportunity to UNLEASH violent anti-black sentiments that had been buried especially under Gadaffi who was seen as “pro-black”.
You are acting as if being Arab is contingent on anti-blackness, or that the under-representation of intra-racial issues = an Arab identity and experience that is anti-black.
You are totally reaching here and I can’t be made responsible for this. Your use of the term “intra-racial” illustrates your total misunderstanding of the complexity of the subject. The “racial” question in this region has a lot to do with tribalism, colorism and the historical process of arabisation. You can’t just try and transpose the eurocentric model once again! Arab is NOT a race, so “Arab identity” and “black identity” can NOT be separated so easily in the Maghreb!! One can be a black Arab, I don’t even know if you understand something as primary as this. I would also like to say that when the voice of a minority group are totally shut down or absent, their reality is erased and this is a sign of oppression. Also you are TOTALLY disregarding the historical context of the region, so please read that first of all. The Arab spring took place in a part of the world where slavery against black people has been abolished quite recently, where blacks are still seen as slaves or second class citizen, where for more than 20 long years Sudan killed its black population and so on!!
Solidarity is not actually a two way street insofar as you cannot make false claims about other people’s identities and experiences because there is a history of ‘them’ not supporting ‘us’. I will always maintain solidarity with all people of color, just because I might be cautious or rightfully critical (as you are in this case) doesn’t mean I get to withdraw support for others.
Personally I find extremely upsetting and disgusting that not enough Arab intellectuals, bloggers and activists seem to care about the massacres of black people that have taken place and are still taking place to this day in the southern part of Libya. If this is not a sufficient reason to question that solidarity for you, well good for you. Do you! It is enough for me, that silence is a complicit agreement! And is once again taking place in a context where black lives do not matter!
I have encountered many domestic Black communities who are not interested in the plight of immigrants and who want all undocumented people to be jailed and deported; I am working in a local campaign RIGHT NOW where the city’s Black sheriff is vehemently anti-immigrant and the NAACP president has endorsed his racist views. There is a history of black nativism against immigrant struggles, but that doesn’t mean that I am going to- for one second- stop supporting black liberation. Because I know that while the popular representation of black communities is anti-immigrant, there are still important histories there that we forget or dont know about.
Once again, can you stop derailing the conversation with Eurocentrism and US-centrism?? I am talking here as an African born and raised on the continent!! Was all of this really necessary?? There is a black experience out of America and without African American involved !!
These are just my views and not me saying you have to do this or that. I really respect and understand where you are coming from. You should keep on blogging about the erasure of Black Africans and their struggles- but be aware that some of the information you present is empirically wrong.