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Nigerians have many negative stereotypes we do not need Kevin for new ones.

By:Ehidaimen Ebhomielen

In writing this article I like to simply post a rebuttal to Kevin Myer’s recent article in the Irish Independent titled, “I can say Americans are lazy and boorish morons. That’s fine. If I say the same about Nigerians, I’m jailed”. It came out on the 5thof February; unfortunately it does not live up to the hype of being written by a saint or scholar. Unlike my counterpart I would not subject an entire nation to a screwed up perception of a people. I would go further to say I would not subject this bad perception to Mr Myers himself, only when he writes. As he noted, and we reply “he is at it again”, it seems Mr Myers is either a lazy writer with a myopically stupid view point.(That the very least of study could disprove, we have Wikipedia and you tube for goodness sake, you do not have an excuse to be that ignorant).Or a marketing genius, simply pacing and interjecting racist rhetoric to cause response to his articles. (The newspaper industry can be a hard business but remember sensationalism sells ask the tabloids.) After all I am responding to him via this article.
Your initial assertion of stating Haitians to be responsible to building their own country and being accused as a racist for suggesting so is amusing. Haiti does need help from the west after suffering such a disaster. However one must add that prior to the incident Haiti had never been left alone so why should they be suddenly left now when they are in dire need. In case Mr Myers did not get the history lessons, I suggest he read up on French debt owed by the Haitians after the secured their freedom. Also look at the support of dictators by the west in looting the country and just the past 10 years on what happened to the democratic elected leader in the person of Aristide. To compare the Haitian crisis to that of the Chinese is a joke. While the disaster in China is far greater obviously due to the much larger numbers the impact in Haiti is by far greater as a whole. Common comparisms would put this matter at ease, on one hand we have a much larger country that just happens to be a super power, with over a billion people and the other a small island with just 10 million that happens to be the “poorest in the western hemisphere”. China does not need your pity, she can take care of herself. Haiti does not need your pity but help in the truest form free from exploitive measures. To further bring western countries like Germany, Poland, Italy and the like suggesting that they built their countries from the aftermath of the Second World War alone is ludicrous. That would mean a “little known program” called the Marshall Plan that offered 13 billion dollars in European Economic aid from 1948-1952 did not exist. Even Japan was helped by the United States so where exactly is Mr Myers coming from. I wonder what 13 billion dollars from that time would translate to now and compare with the foreign aid received by Africa and also compare time lines. Note that the 13 billion was given within a five year period. This would be in regard to another shallow article Mr Myers had done on foreign aid to Africa.
At this point allow me to go off tangent as Mr Myers often takes the liberty of doing. To use such an unfortunate event and come up with such baseless opinions ignorant of facts and context is irresponsible for a national paper as the Irish Independent. I support free speech, but surely the paper has a responsibility to a paying public for informed opinions and not ideologue rants.
I will not touch the global hierarchal structure as expounded by Mr Myers. I must say I could understand if this was brought up by an American or English man for that matter but an Irish man in light of Irish history, I must say is quite amusing. In light of WASP and Ulster-Scots making the USA, I say they contributed to the building of that country along with other races like the blacks that you put on the bottom of your theory. However you say they opened the door to the peoples of the world you should elaborate on how that was achieved. In opening the doors they first had to come in since they were originally in England, Scotland, they had to conveniently displace the peoples namely Native-Americans who lived there prior to them settling in. I recommend Mr Myers read the plight of the Native Americans and the charity the suffered from the initial pilgrims. Also in building this great nation the blacks of that day were not exactly issued working permits with promises of life liberty and pursuit of happiness. So one could understand how the other races like the Italians or Irish for that matter could lampoon the WASP in the first place. The immigrants of that day were not just given the red carpet treatment saying welcome. In fact they were actively discriminated against; articles and cartoons in the newspapers of that day were actively anti Irish and Italian amongst others. Like blacks there were jobs that the Irish in America could not even go for. Sadly Mr Myers is following the old script of negative perceptions against immigrants. However I draw solace and comfort from history, history in blacks in America who from slavery have risen from leaps and bounds attest to their creativity, intellect and spirit. The Irish who were initially marginalised in America where able to weave their culture into the very fabric of the nation. This assent was seen at its zenith with the Irish having John F Kennedy among others and blacks Barack Obama as President of the United States.
I leave the sex offender issues to Kevin, I will not spar with him on that issue, just to say look at your own backyard before you talk on others that you have not seen or know nothing about. Lay of the TV or whatever you are watching for that matter.
There are a lot of Nigerians here in Ireland. With Nigerian kids being born here and growing up Irish. I write this article for the little Nigerian girl who’s the minority in an Irish school. Also for the Irish lady who married a Nigerian man and vice –versa. The Nigerian man who frankly does not care about your writing and the Irish man who sees it for what it is. It’s usually tough for the first generation of immigrants. So yes we may be nervous but we will not leave we are here to stay. You might as well get use to the idea.

28 November 2010   


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