“It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home.” -- Carl T. Rowan
Can fear of a people result in peace? I for one, doubt this very much. Collective fear of a people builds walls that further separate people, deepens suspicions and fuels hatred. For the width of a rabbit's hair, I hesitated to write this moment's blog, but I know that understanding and perspective taking help people know each other better and breed mutual respect.
Here I am
I am a Nigerian born American citizen who is very proud of my heritage and my life journey. I also hold myself to pretty high standards both as a professional and a human being. I attended college and earned degrees in the United States and have served as an educator. I am the founder and executive director of , Eduwatch, an education nonprofit organization whose vision is to ensure the meaningful education of Nigerian children in order to promote peaceful co-existence, global understanding and a world citizenry that is both responsible and productive
The Trigger Word of the Day
Today, as I attempted to send a message to invite my friends on iPeace to join my group, I found myself staring at a prompt that pointed out that my message had a trigger word that might result in my message ending up in spam. I could not imagine what this word could possibly be. The word to my amazement was NIGERIAN.
My shock gave way to disappointment because just a few months ago I felt that I had joined a group of peace lovers and was ecstatic to have found a group into which I could settle down and enjoy for a good while. I would never have imagined that the word which describes part of who I am would be a trigger word for spam! I was faced with a difficult decision; 1. to cancel my account and never to look back or 2. to shed light on this situation with the hopes that it might foster better understanding. My decision is obvious.
Choosing understanding over Fear
As in several talks that I have been forced to give over the years because people who should know better claim to be surprised that I am "Nigerian", I shall once more seek to bring logic to a sometimes illogical situation. Some Americans speak English does not mean that all Americans speak English. Some Arabs are moslem does not make all Arabs moslems. Some religious people are extremists does not make all religious people extremists. Some Nigerians are fraudulent does not mean that all Nigerians are fraudulent. Some Caucasians commit crimes does not mean that all Caucasians are criminals. Some Europeans were slave traders does not mean that all Europeans were slave traders. I'm sure the reader gets the point and I do not need to drag this out much further.
Choosing Knowledge and Understanding over Fear
Segregating, isolating and/ or promoting attitudes that separate a group of people speaks louder about those of us who choose to separate others than the targeted group of the day. I do not support and will not support evil in any form neither will I choose in unfairness as a tool for false security. I hope that those who manage this web site will take the time to think things over.
Building Trust in An Uncertain World
We are adults and can make some pretty good decisions about friends we choose to make. Chosing online friends like every other activity we engage in is about trust and sensible choices. I chose my friends in good faith and believe that they also have chosen to be my friend in good faith. I wish to know my friends better as I hope they in turn wish to know me better. I hope that this blog entry is taken in the same spirit with which I've written it. Someone once said, "It is never to late to do the right thing". After all is said and done I will still be a Nigerian-American who wishes for peace in a world that will forever include Nigerians.
"I do not want peace that passeth understanding. I want understanding that bringeth peace." --- Helen Keller (Deaf blind American author, activist)