MUST READ: ‘The Irony of the Oppressed Also Being the Oppressor’ | Black People Must RE-THINK!

6 min


Rethink
Rethink

At Primary School and College, I came across the biological phenomenon of ‘Food Chain’ where one animal’s survival in terms of food is the other, and the former is somehow the food for another—this chain can go on for fairly long.

With extensive knowledge on Human Rights and as a growing Human Rights activist, I recently pulled myself together to consider the intolerance nature of some Black people, especially Africans and how we seek not to regard the human rights of certain minorities—because we find the actions of these people religiously or morally corrupt. And that was when this hit my nerve, “the irony in the oppressed, somewhat being the oppressor”.

Throughout history, Black people have been subjected to different layers and eras of abuse, with their human rights being disregarded in most instances, some for as long as 245 years—and I am talking about slavery.

Even today, Black people including Africans are at the end of discrimination, racism and all sort of unfavourable treatments. Women in general continue to be oppressed in many societies. A woman I respect a lot once told me “Chris, being Black may be hard but being a Black African woman is harder”.

From the day the Second World War ended and even before that, various Human Right Laws have been put in place to protect human beings from other human beings—-very absurd but necessary.

I am a strong sceptic of the “State of Nature” theory of Thomas Hobbes and the many other legal philosophers who tow Hobbes’ line that, human beings are naturally brutish and left to our own without any form of “Social Contract”; we will probably kill each other. But the intolerance nature of some people, especially Black Africans somewhat confirms Hobbes may have a point.

Under the current UN Human Rights jurisdiction, Black people fall under “protected characteristics”. It is a violation of our Human Rights and Human Dignity to be subjected to slavery, to be discriminated against by virtue of our race, to be oppressed or treated in any lesser way as a result of our origin, ethnicity, religion or disability.

We shout and scream-Human Rights anytime we feel our rights are being infringed on—-but we forget that, with a right comes a corresponding duty.

As Black People (Ghanaians) protected by Human Rights Law, we are also under a duty to respect the rights of other people protected by the same Human Rights Law, without citing religious and moral justifications. The tension between Law and Morality is a whole discipline on its own and I do not want to go into that—at least not for today.

In my little corner, as much as I have a strong revulsion for religion and its position on the human calendar, I advocate for and will forever defend people’s right to religion—but then, same people I fight for their right to having religion or manifestation of their religion, will never accept or defend my right to criticize religion.

Black people in many cases fall within “a protected group” whose Human Rights must be respected by all, but we continue to disrespect the Human Rights of others, on the grounds that, these Human Rights conflict with our moral or religious stances. Forgetting that, some people may actually be able to disregard our Human Rights on their own moral or religious grounds too. Where will this leave us then?

In the same protected group of people that Black People fall within and so much cherish the rights accorded to us in there, we have homosexuals and disable persons. But when you look around Black People today, we treat the rights of these people (homosexuals and disable persons) disgustingly and many of us do not even recognise their rights.

I have heard many people under many instances say, Homosexuality is evil, it is against God, it is a sin and they will never respect the rights of people who engage in such acts. Such people take my mind to the little community in East Africa or even just in Northern Ghana, where being a disable is not from God, having a disable child is a sin or curse and as such all disable persons are treated with contempt—if not killed at infancy.

So the chain is pretty simple, Black People are protected and given human rights so that “white people” cannot discriminate or abuse us. We are potentially oppressed group in this regard. But then the same Black people (oppressed group) abuse or discriminate against other protected groups (disable persons and homosexuals). Women are protected from discrimination, and some women discriminate against other women, Black people, and homosexuals and disable persons. This is ridiculous but very true…

Why do we need laws to protect ourselves from each other, I once asked. And the answer is and remains, because we are evil and selfish people who only want things for ourselves—and not for others.

The next time you talk about Human Rights or seek to enforce the Rights you enjoy by virtue of being a human being at work, school or when on a frolic of your own, remember these rights are given to you and enforced by the law, not by religion or by morals.

Therefore, when the law has given another person a right too, it is a duty, in fact as someone who wants your rights to be respected, it is an unavoidable duty to recognise and respect the rights given to others by the same law.

The moment you start looking for justifications out of the legal perimeter (being moral, personal or religious justification), then remember you are opening the door for others to also disregard your rights by finding whatever justifications they can come out with—including the absurd justifications the KKK clan and the slave traders had for what they did to black people.

As an oppressed person that the law has been set forth to protect, you owe yourself a duty to uphold the law by not being an oppressor yourself; else you may find yourself becoming the food of another animal—a vicious food chain where there will always be someone on your head, ready to eat away your rights.

This is where the golden rule “Do unto others as you would want them do unto you” by Confucius, found in the Analects (500 BCE) comes to play. Of course, well plagiarised and stolen by religion (specifically Jesus Christ and the Bible- Matthew 7:12, the Hindu sacred literature- Mahabharata, bk. 5, ch. 49, v. 57, and the Buddhist sacred literature- Udanavargu, 5:18).


Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri, Founding Editor
Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri is the Founding Editor of GhanaCelebrities.Com , a Film Critic and a Human Rights Advocate; he holds 2 masters degrees in Law; International Human Rights Law (LL.M) and Legal Practice Course (LL.M) from University of Leicester and Nottingham Law School--and also a degree in Law (LL.B) from University of East London. He's a Professional Truth Sayer and he is the author of the popular eBook “Success is a Right, Not A Privilege.” He currently works at Adukus Solicitors in London--where he uses his legal brains to kick real ass, for the good of clients and humanity. Contact: [email protected]

13 Comments

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  1. Nice read. I love your article Chris. This blog always give us unique contents unlike the copy and paste bloggers around.

    1. Chris has a style and I love it too. It is the copy and paste that makes me not respect the others who call themselves bloggers

  2. Chris, you are the best BLOGGER I have come across from Africa. Your knowledge is deep and your articles are always refreshing. Another thought provoking piece by an intelligent young man. I have never looked at things this way. You have given me something to think about especially in reference to homosexuals right.

    Hmmmmm

  3. Thanks for this article Chris. The hypocrisy of Africans/ Blacks when it comes to this gay issue is shocking. They want to put gays in jail because of their Bible & yet this same Bible condemns fornication. Shall we also pass laws to put all unmarried people who have sex in jail? How many of us can live in such a society? Look at the number of people who asked me to send them hanna tetteh’s son sex video. Pornography is a big sin & yet those people who watched the video are the same people who regularly condemn gays on this website. Would they also like to be thrown in jail? Hmmm

    1. Say that again sister. I just can’t thank Chris enough. I think this has silent all the haters who wants their own rights to be protected but not that of others.

      1. Yes o, I pray they all give birth to gay & lesbian children so that they’ll know how it feels to ask for someone’s child to be lynched or thrown into jail just for whom they love. The day someone condemns their child for being gay, they”ll see how it is

  4. This is a thought provoking article. I have read a lot excellent articles from you. I always think that is the best until you come with something that passes what I thought was the best.

    I love this piece and the boldness with which you articulate your thoughts is one of a kind. Your writing is superb.

  5. Voices of anti-Christ is rising everywhere. The Kingdom of God is near. Christ Jesus the Only Lover of All Souls!

    1. Dear @ ChristJesus: Please go & preach to the commenters on the story of hannah tetteh’s son who are begging to watch the porno clip. Or else go preach to all those commenters on stories here about relationships who talk about sleeping with their boy & girlfriends. It’s interesting how people like you seem to forget your bible when fornication, adultery, masturbation, corruption & hatred is mentioned but suddenly remember it whenever gay issues come up

  6. Great article Chris. You have just put a big smile on my face. It feels great to know you. Where are all those who has been talking slack about the rights of others like me? Have they all suddenly evaporated after reading this article? Beautiful piece. I am sending it to my friends to read.

  7. Lovely article. It all sums up to do to others what you want them to do to you. What religion has turn afriicans into is too sad.