I wish to respond to the article, “Who said there is no more racism?” written by Doreen Umutesi in The New Times’ Society Magazine magazine of September 20.
Visas and restriction of movement is not racism. Nationals of such “European” countries as Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey must have a visa for entry into EU or Schengen (Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland – the countries that haven’t joined the EU yet). They go through the same challenges as Africans to enter EU member states.
Muzungu, New York, United States
It looks like Mr. Muzungu did not get the point. What Doreen Umutesi complained about is not visas or restriction of movement. It is the ‘special treatment’ reserved for non-whites at border crossings. You have to first notice that she was leaving, not entering the country.
Do you really think they wanted to keep her? Do you really think that it takes two officers to verify that she looks like her picture? Did the same scrutiny apply to other travelers? This is usually called racial profiling and is a well-known fact everywhere.
Remember a recent incident where Oprah Winfrey was told by a store clerk that she could not afford anything at Hermes in Paris?
Did you know that under South Africa’s apartheid regime Japanese were officially white while Chinese were not? The difference was just cash. Of course if apartheid was still around Chinese would now be white in South Africa.
If you do not like the way you are treated there, just bypass them. Do not spend your money there, do not buy their products. If they feel the pain they will change their tune.
Remember the story of the cartoon of Prophet Muhammad in Denmark? As far as it was just talk and demonstration, they said it was a question of free speech. But once the Saudis boycotted Denmark dairy products, there was an immediate change.
If we stay poor, we shall have no respect. If we make enough cash to matter, the situation will change.
Rashid Swaleh, New York, United States