seems that many Somalis, particularly the Waryaa
component of the population lost their tongues
to openly denounce the heinous crimes committed
against the Somali Bantus and other minorities
is the Waryaa, not the Bantus, who produced
warlords and Mooryaans. It is the not the Jareer
who massacred innocent civilians and destroyed
the country beyond recognition but the Waryaa
from other provinces. They expropriated farms
owned by the Bantus and forced them to work
in their own farms as salves.
blame for violence, disease, man-made famine,
poverty, corruption and nepotism since independence
in 1960 can be dumped squarely on the back of
the long parade of corrupt politicians, military
despot and ruthless warlords.
killed, maimed and terrorized the citizens, rigged
or rejected free and fair elections and systematically
looted the country's treasury and heritage. The National
Museum, the Government Archives, monuments, the banks
and other vital national institutions have gone up
in smoke, and it would take centuries to replace them,
or at least some of them.
SOMALI BANTUS ARE NOT ALONE
day I pumped into a former neighbour from Sri Lanka,
who is an outspoken critic of both the Sri Lanka government
and the Tamil Tigers for mistreating minorities in
his native country. He showed me the number of hate
emails and death threats he receives daily from people
who said they were disgusted about his crusade on
behalf of three minority groups in Sri Lanka.
said he would be dragged behind a car (just like the
Hollywood movie). Another one told him to watch his
back when he left his apartment building. He told
me one of these minority groups are peace loving Muslims
and the other two are hunters and fishermen, who carefully
avoided the conflict between government forces and
the Tamil Tigers. He said the language and cultural
gulf between the majority Sinhalese and these minority
groups is simply too great. But they minded their
own businesses and refused to join the political intrigue
and mayhem in Sri Lanka.
were not expected to survive the war between government
forces and the Tamil Tigers. They're still there,
but countless of them have died in a war they were
not involved. Even more will die as long as the conflict
continues in Sri Lanka, my former neighbour said.
to dismantle barriers to equity become "an overdose
of political correctness." Groups involved in
advocacy are called "special interest groups,"
and "bleeding heart liberals," he said.
Somalia the real problem was never religion, since
of the Somali Bantus embraced Islam, just like everyone
else in the country. They were discriminated against
all because they were simple, unassuming, unwarlike,
well-disciplined dedicated to bettering the lives
of fellow countrymen by relentlessly working in the
field to produce food for millions of arrogant urban
dwellers, who took everything for granted.
of recognizing their assiduousness and hard work,
they have suffered right from the beginning. They
have been suppressed and oppressed, robbed, raped
and killed. They are called Addoon (slave) and have
been deprived of their civil rights as Somali citizens
by successive regimes since independence in 1960 and
later by the merciless warlords who stole their arable
farms in the Gosha and turned them into drug growing
farms. And as if that's not enough, the militia and
their godfathers forced the Jareer people to work
in their own stolen farms as slaves under the barrel
of the gun.
vow to remember the heroes of the Somali Bantus/Jareer.
Men like Nasiib Bundo, who defended his people against
the Italian fascists. We must vow to remember the
Great Abdulqadir Sheikh Sakhawadiin who was a prominent
member of the independent movement, the Somali Youth
Club, later the Somali Youth League (SYL). We must
remember Mohamed Ramadhan Arbow, a Somali Bantu politician
who died of natural cause in 2001.
Bantus who are being resettled in the United States
should build a museum against amnesia to let their
children know that the memory of the Somali Bantus
shames the Waryaa people. In fact, the name Somali
Bantu will always mean human rights for all the races
of the world.
We are aware that the whites, particularly those in
the Deep South (the so-called Cotton Belt), with their
track record of Jim Crow and Ku Klux Klan (KKK), still
have mixed emotions about the Black people, or people
of non-European origin, even in this 21st Century.
Perhaps racists anywhere in the World need to be reminded
that their own ancestors too came from Africa tens
of thousands of years ago and that Africa is the cradle
the racists need to be reminded that every human
being, Black or White, poor or rich, has the right
to flee to safety, including seeking refugee status
anywhere in the World if the individual feared
for his or her life.
Somali Bantus should have confidence in the basic
American devotion of fair play and equal opportunity.
the moment, they will be sleeping without hearing
gunshots. Instead they will be hearing words like
Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Super Bowl, and World
Series, a misnomer, because only Americans compete
in this game. They will also hear words like same
sex marriage, lesbians, gay bishops, pedophiles,
transvestite and child abuse.
M. M. Afrah©2004