Mixing It Up

Observations and ideas about race, ethnicity and mixing.

Author: umutonik

Who is a diaspora?

In class this past week we read about the Diaspora, to me it has always been something I have been interested in learning about. Back home in Rwanda when the word diaspora is used it means something totally different, there diaspora means any Rwandan living abroad. Hence, when I thought of the diaspora I usually thought of populations of people who live away from their countries of origin usually this being a choice they made. So one of the things I had to relearn when I got to the US was the meaning of what it means to be an African diaspora in the states. For example. now I know I would never be able to call my aunt who has lived here for 30 years  an African diaspora. I must admit that I am still confused on who gets that title in America and who doesn’t. For example, are you among the African diaspora if you are an immigrant from a country in Africa or if your parents immigrated here from Africa. And does that mean in Rwanda when we use the term diaspora is it wrong or is it just a matter of the social context in which it is used.

Race Politics Everywhere!

So when I was 5 my family moved to South Africa, that was the first I had ever seen white people in real life. I remember being amazed by their skin color and hair texture, but then I learnt about apartheid in SA. I mention my time in SA because as I was reading about race politics in the Caribbean I could not help but be amazed at some of the similarities between these two places. White minority in parts of Southern Africa (Zimbabwe and South Africa) and the Caribbean is what first stood out to me as the most striking similarity. Whenever I learn about all these racial inequalities it is hard for me to separate my emotions because I always think to myself that these are my people who have been so unfairly treated. So back to white minority rule, it baffles how foreigners can come take over a people’s land and then end up governing them for centuries.  Not only governing them but setting up policies that are meant to strip them of their humanity (SA and Zimbabwe). I find it interesting how this is something that is so common to all the places that white people decided to “settle in”. I remember last semester I was taking an international relations class and one of the  presentation in class was on Robert Mugabe the former president of Zimbabwe. He is credited with ending white minority rule in Zimbabwe however he was also a dictator that had been in power for more than 30 years(let’s not go into that). However, my point is that the whole class presentation was on how he was such a horrible president and I sat there thinking well darn is no one  going to recognize what this man did for black Africans in Zimbabwe in 1980? My question after the readings on race in parts of the Caribbean that are still under the rule of white elites, who is going to be their Mugabe and will there ever be end to white minority rule in some of these places?

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