Exactly two years ago almost to this day, the Spanish Prime Minister sent a text message to his Finance Minister with the phrase ‘Spain is not Uganda’.
I kicked it off quite deliberately because even as I tuned in to the game my hackles were up.
Spain has done that to me for a while, and my feelings for the country as a whole dipped even more when the Spanish Prime Minister (also called President of Government), Mariano Rajoy, sent that ’Spain is not Uganda’ text.
The translation of what he actually wrote continued as follows: “We’re a major power, not some random IMF-case Banana Republic”.
I laughed today to note that the El Mundo newspaper covering this story on its front page carried a photo of Spain’s national soccer manager, Vicente del Bosque 🙂
Sure, there are some people in Spain who are not racists, just as there are some people in Uganda who are not corrupt, poor, thieving, homosexuals, pro- or anti-homosexuals, and so on and so forth. But considering that the world seems to bundle us up with national adjectives, I must have the right to do the same to countries like Spain.
And later on I will be confirming that because of Donald Sterling the United States is racist, but that’s another story.
In January, http://atlantablackstar.com/2014/01/08/8-worst-countries-black-people-travel/2/ listed the eight (8) worst countries for black people to travel to, and Spain (of course) featured for its “long-standing reputation for virulent racism…The nation was singled out by United Nations Special Rapporteur on racism, Mutuma Ruteere, who called on Spanish leaders to take greater steps toward eliminating racist and discriminatory practices against Africans and other immigrants…”
Ruteere was calling on leaders like the Prime Minister who believes that countries like ours are basket cases expected to accept less than theirs – which is fundamental to the definition of racism.
Incidentally, Rajoy referring to Uganda as a banana republic was this year echoed physically at a soccer pitch when a soccer fan threw a banana onto the pitch during a Barcelona-Villarreal game.
This act only brought to public attention a reality that has existed for years in Spain: during all those La Liga games people have been shouting racist chants for YEARS! And the chants have especially revolved around calling the black or African players monkeys (macaco, in Spanish).
While many of us on the continent cheered on the Spanish teams and even adopted versions of these chants in languages we don’t speak, we have probably been repeating racist comments!
And right up to Friday night, there were Africans supporting Spain’s World Cup campaign. Africans oblivious to the reality of Spain and how much support Spain would give them in return. Africans who don’t realise that their ongoing support, love and admiration of these Spaniards fuels and funds our ongoing enslavement. Africans who wear clothes made in Spain, drink Spanish wines and sing Spanish songs.
WE make those mental cages that Rajoy and his compadres keep us in as monkeys.
To quote the great Marcus Garvey
“WE are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind. Mind is your only ruler, sovereign. The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the other man who uses his mind.”
Our neo-enslavement is managed by the media, and we must resist it using our minds. We must fight this war using all the tools at our disposal, including social media platforms – which is why we said #SpainIsNotUganda even when the issue at hand was a sporting matter.
Sports, more so soccer/football, is supposed to help flatten the world, build relationships, create mutual understanding, wipe out prejudice, and so on and so forth.
In the run-up to the World Cup, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced that her government would use the World Cup as “a global marker against racism”.
But the official reaction to and management of racism by the footballing world is pathetic. The fines for overtly racism behaviour such as the banana throwing are low (€12,000 for that one in particular), while those for financial impropriety in clubs are often much higher.
The unofficial reaction to and management of racism should be more serious and will include reminders such as #SpainIsNotUganda.
Racism is not a joke, and while we are laughing at Spain for losing in such a pathetic manner Friday night, the underlying issue is much more serious – Italy is just as bad, if not worse. The Netherlands itself, in spite of having so many black people within the fabric of its society, is not whistle clean either, and we were not celebrating their 5:1 victory over Spain when we exhumed #SpainIsNotUganda.
Yes, we should use soccer to do all the right things as I said above but Spain has not yet done that. That’s why Rajoy is still Prime Minister/President of Spain even though his comment was clearly rude, undiplomatic, and most of all, based on prejudice rather than fact as many commentators and analysts explained!
That’s why you can’t recall any official apology from the Government of Spain to the Government of Uganda over that #SpainIsNotUganda comment.
Can you find that apology anywhere? Please share it?
It didn’t happen. This was not an issue for them at all.
In fact, the one Spanish apology you will find is the apology of Spain’s King Juan Carlos after going on a hunting trip to Botswana in 2012…while Rajoy was negotiating for an economic bailout.
And the apology was NOT for killing African animals, or for generally living the life of someone in the 1800s. He was apologising to HIS PEOPLE for spending tax payers money so frivolously at a time when Spain was doing so badly that they needed to borrow money from their fellow Europeans, but still felt that they were better than Uganda which has to go to the IMF when we are broke…<—eh? Yeah – THAT’S how racism is demonstrated.
(In an aside, this same elephant hunting King of Spain was at time the honorary president of the Spanish branch of the World Wildlife Fund responsible for wildlife conservation! The Spaniards are corrupt, walahi.)
So #SpainIsNotUganda and we are a banana republic that deserves no apology.
Yet somehow we are expected to apologise. When Uganda passes a law such as the Anti-Homosexuality Act, we get attacked by the likes of even people in Spain!
#nnnnntlkkkk! <— if you are Spanish, you won’t know how to make that sound. Bana-Uganda, you can go ahead and even do it again.
And even #msssschewww!
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. It’s even easier now to stop supporting Spain because they put up a pathetic performance last night and deserve your love and admiration even less than they did before!
And let’s be clear about this: their bursts of brilliance (mbu) over one and a half hours of soccer play every so often should not absolve them from living lives that hate, denigrate, and disrespect us – YOU.
Again I say, #SpainIsNotUganda!
(Below are a few quips and if you’re not Ugandan you might not understand them fully and if you’re Spanish, come visit Uganda, learn the language and share in the joke enough to say #NsesseNnyo.)
Here they are:
#SpainIsNotUganda because they don’t know the word “okumanyira”.
#SpainIsNotUganda because they don’t know the kiboko concept of “Lie down! If you touch, I don’t count!”
#SpainIsNotUganda because they didn’t have the good sense to stay at home.
#SpainIsNotUganda otherwise they would be singing ‘Mama afumby’ekitobeero…’
#SpainIsNotUganda because if that President of theirs paid for the World Cup to be Live on TV he is LOSING the next election! Walahi!
#SpainIsNotUganda We have N mosquitoes outside our nets, they have N goals inside their nets…
#SpainIsNotUganda because for us we know how to play it safe…
#SpainIsNotUganda otherwise their keeper’s name would be spelt G-a-s-i-y-a… (sorry)
#SpainIsNotUganda it’s as if the goals were sponsored by Kazinda and Obey?!
#SpainIsNotUganda so they didn’t shout out “Mama Nyabo! Nfudde nze!”
#SpainIsNotUganda otherwise they would have realised that Xabi’s goal was allowed as only konkonyo!
#SpainIsNotUganda See, our anti-Pornography Act prohibits such obscene displays of penetration
#SpainIsNotUganda they don’t know The song ‘Ba-Ba-Bamusakatta’
#SpainIsNotUganda but someone should help play them any song to the tune of “O-kello, talina mpale…” ANY song!
#SpainIsNotUganda – our national budget did NOT allow for such high levels of inflation/goal deficits/surplus attacks!
#SpainIsNotUganda …try and find ANYONE in Spain at a kafunda right now and compare. Bana-Uganda, have another drink!
#SpainIsNotUganda but there was that ka-goal where Casillas was rolling about like a Rolex guy whose eggs had fallen down.
#SpainIsNotUganda because really they would have identified the Netherlands team as the real KIBOKO SQUAD!