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Saturday, June 13, 2020

PRIVILEGE IN INJUSTICE


PRIVILEGE IN INJUSTICE
By Okenyi Sunday Chinweike

Throughout history people love and want to sustain injustice when it highly benefit them. They cherish injustice to the least for reviled beliefs they hold against group of people, ethnic group, race or a person for the power and advantages found in it. Historically, for instance, in 19s, those who can't afford to buy slaves were seen as poor people, those who can as fortunate, people bragged about  number of slaves in their possession. While some people treated their slaves with cruelty, some treated theirs humanly and were heavily critized for it.

Lately,a westerner will disdainfully look at an African and disparage him with pauperish names without asking about the role the western government played and still playing in impoverishing the continent or the continuous struggle of African leaders to be freely independent indeed from the hands of their leaders. Even at that, the heavy criticism of slavery and imperialism in its entirety do not rule out the privilege enjoyed by the people, the advantage and power in having slaves and controlling African economy.


It is notable that human enjoy injustice in one way or the other and it is those whose act of injustice cries foul, stinks, that are called for shaming. With no benefit of doubt, a truthful scenario, a Nigerian police officer in the SARS department who has robbed a young man three days ago and bodily speak how he intimidated the victim to part away with his money, sitting on the comfort of his beer to venerate the BLM group and denigrate all police officers in United State. How about those who reverence caste system, finding a way to justify it, but cry hell against a particular injustice meted against them.

The worst case scenario, is the strict resistance cum justification of tragedy of Nigeria civil war that swept the world with some sort of iconic frame mounted for admiration with no resentment and no pity whatsoever since  the benefit of the war was worth pursuing. 50 years later, people who protested against the US killing of Iranian Military General, Solemani, people whose hands gripped placards and fliers questioning the state of US fundamental claim to freedom, liberty and justice still think 2 million children starved to death during the war have attributions to make for the sins of their tribesmen.

Regrettably, in Nigeria society crimes are justified by ethnic affiliation. For every crime committed, people would look up to the name of the perpetrator and the victim of the crime, if both names of the parties varies, for instance, one, Yoruba and the other, Igbo, they venture to give the crime a new designation and find a way to protect their own, probably, try to silence any dissenting opinions. At least no one will like to give out his own for slaughter to serve as a deterrent while others protect their own. At the end, they finally rejoice for a different kind of injustice, for victory, for injustice, when they have finally won protecting their own.

Some certain injustice seems to be outdated, also it seems the world is changing to more stable daunted free world where black and white see themselves as people without any recourse to privilege more or less that comes with the colour of their skin owing to the protest against the killing of George Floyd.


It may be a facade, a helpless pretence that comes with forceful change of the status quo. However, people evolve with new injustice in every stage of history. We are fighting the war of racism today, Abraham Lincoln and his northern brethren fought slave trade yesterday, we are fighting the war of imperialism today, the earlier African western scholars  fought colonialism yesterday. Only if there are, but few of injustices mentioned here.

The fight for privilege in injustice may never end, but enlightened mind with knowledge to his advantage can pursue a just course any time in the history. Thus, The more we educate ourselves, the more our empathy is attached to the string of our choices, of evaluation and of rightness in every choice we make. It may not be perfect in the future, but it may be better within this dispensation or even the best.







Okenyi Sunday Chinweike is a poet, an essayist, social critic, a researcher and an avid reader. His interests however, cuts across history, politics, culture, international and human rights law. His poems have been published in some reputable websites and journals.

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