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Opinions of Sunday, 11 July 2010

Columnist: Augustrian

Racism: A Ghanaian Perspective

Early on in my teens, I became fascinated with women outside my race, especially Caucasian women. But then, this is what happens, when one resides in an European country like England. You see, I couldn’t get enough of them. I saw something in them--which our Black sisters were lacking. To me, Caucasian women seemed confident in comparison to our Black sisters. Also, they were less demanding of you and very supportive. I first dated a Caucasian girl, when I was about eighteen years of age. This Caucasian girl had blond hair and light green eyes. She wasn’t all that special, but I couldn’t care less. She loved me, I loved her--this was all that mattered. One day, she invited me to meet her parents. To tell the truth, I was very nervous. I wasn’t quite sure how I would be received by her parents. Needless to say, I did honor this invitation.I accompanied her to her house after the movies.Upon arrival, her mother opened the front door to let us in. I greeted her nervously and made my way to their living room.

Her father was already seated on one of the couches--he remained seated. I introduced myself to him politely. In return, he pretended as if I wasn’t talking to him--as if I wasn’t in the room. I didn’t say nothing--I kept my cool. Minutes later, my girlfriend’s mother walked in with some refreshments. This time, her husband was holding a book in his hands reading. I asked him if the book was an interesting read. He didn’t reply--I was totally ignored. By now, I was feeling a bit awkward--I was feeling out of place. I felt like an intruder. The whole atmosphere in the living was uncomfortable. I didn’t know what else to say or ask. So, I didn’t say anything at all. I just sat there completely mute. Tension began to mount--nobody was talking. All of a sudden, a miracle happened--my girlfriend’s mother spoke. “So, how was the movie?” she asked. “It was alright,” I replied. “Do you go to the movies a lot?” she queried. “No, no that much,” I said. “I see,” she said. Luckily, she kept the conversation going. She asked me about my education, my future plans, and things of that nature. Still, her husband was still not talking--he sat there reading.

Hours later, I excused myself and left. It would be my last and only visit there. My girlfriend told me that her father doesn’t want me in his house. No particular reason was given, but I suspected one. Obviously, her father had something against people of color. Shortly after that, my relationship with her daughter soured. We went our separate ways after I discovered that she was cheating. My heart was broken big time. You see, she was my first love--the first girl that I gave to. After that, I became a different person. I didn’t know who or what else to believe anymore. It was around this time that my mother told me to look for a Ghanaian lady. ”Try to get yourself a Ghanaian lady,” my mother told me. “We have plenty of them here in London.” “These White girls would lead you to nowhere,” she said. “A Ghanaian girl would suit you better.” ”Remember, consider your baby a lost property if you do make one with a White lady.” “Look around you to see if I am lying,” she added. My mother advised me like only she could do, but I didn’t take her advise. A couple of years later, I impregnated a white lady. Sadly for us, we lost the baby.

During the world cup, I saw Prince Kevin Boateng-- a young man of mixed-heritage. His father is one of our own--his mother is of German descent. Now, I saw something whilst watching Kevin play for Ghana. I saw love--the kind of love which most of us seem to have lost for our country. Mind you, he could’ve played for Germany. But, what did he do instead? He gave up his German citizenship in order to play for his father’s country. How many Ghanaians in diaspora, I ask, would give up their foreign citizenship to serve Ghana? Indeed, Kevin made us all proud during the tournament. To me, Kevin is a slap in the face of racism. Also, he is a perfect reminder that mixed-children, contrary to what some of us might believe, are not lost. There are so many Ghanaian young ladies and men in diaspora, who are often told by their family members to stick to their own. Partially because; dating outside their own would mean a let down. As a result, some of them end up lonely and miserable in their own company. Others end up marrying a Ghanaian lady or a guy just because he/she is from Ghana with no love in sight.

For the latter, sometimes their marriages end up in abuse in spite of both being of Ghanaian descent. Therefore, my advise to these Ghanaian young men and women is; don’t stick to your own, when you’re living in a foreign country--mingle. Don’t be afraid of what some might say. Remember, love comes in all races, personalities, colors, and shapes. Go out there, I would say, and have lots of fun. Don’t let racism keep you away from anything or anybody. Mind you, you wont grow as a person if you stick to your own.

Source: Augustrian