The alleged utterance referring to African nations and Haiti, by the President of the United States, has caused quite a stir. To my mind it is irrelevant whether or not Donald Trump used derogatory words to describe anyone or any place.
What is of greater importance is how Brown and Black people of the world react to this phase of global leadership.
To be constantly expressing shock at comments or to be appalled by actions affecting us, is akin to complaining that the butcher short changes our weight of meat but keep going back every week.
There is a proverbial table from which the world, its people and resources are controlled.
For a long time, seats at the table were all occupied by Caucasians and Jews. The Chinese have now claimed a seat at this “table”. What about us Black people, us Negroes on whose backs much global wealth has been created?
We do not have a seat at the table and, if we are to be honest, we have not yet earned our seat. Many may disagree but I fundamentally disagree with the idea that because we suffered slavery, ongoing bigotry, underhanded hatred and bias then a seat should be offered to us. ABSOLUTELY NOT!
The day we take our seat, it must not be another handout, another thing which is given to us out of pity, another mechanism to control us and our resources or because it seems fair. The day we take our seat must be the day we become independent.
The day when the budgets of our countries are funded through our own mechanisms. The day when we treat our own people with the same regard and respect than we treat someone of a lighter skin colour.
The day when the natural resources of the African continent and the Caribbean are not only mined in our regions but also leveled up to final products for the marketplace within our own borders.
The day must come when Blacks are not the poorest in terms of income, wealth creation and attitude. As a people we must take our rightful place and not allow ourselves to be scoffed at, demeaned or pitied.
We must hold our heads high and never feel less or be seen as less.
We have had a hard life. It is hard being a Black person in this globalised world but by the power vested in us by a Supreme Being we must not allow another generation to be born and raised to live and feel the pain we endure on this planet.
We should never forget what has been done to us but neither must we continue to allow it to define our success or failure.
Rwanda has been elected to lead the African Union for 2018 and that is a step in the right direction. But, what about each of us as individual Blacks living on and off the continent? President Paul Kagame and the other leaders within the African Union cannot do it alone.
What about me and you? What are we committing to do other than being angry at comments thrown our way? We do not need street protests or bans on purchasing certain goods; we need wealth creation strategies and a commitment to self-love and to cooperation.
In Jamaica, the supporters of Michael Manley, one of our former Prime Ministers, often say, “The word is love”. In Rwanda, I feel the word is dignity. Let us be guided by dignity; that which must define how we treat ourselves and how we expect to be treated.
Let us ignore utterances by the weak and those who fear the loss of their power. Instead let us do what we must to make the lives of Blacks better.
The writer is owner and operator of Forrest Jackson Properties, a real estate company based in Kigali.
The views expressed in this article are of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The New Times.