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US embassies in Africa speak up on racism in USA

Protesters gather at the scene where George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was pinned down by a police officer kneeling on his neck before later dying in hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Protesters gather at the scene where George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was pinned down by a police officer kneeling on his neck before later dying in hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota

As Minneapolis burns over the police killing of George Floyd and shock and disappointment in Africa grow, some US embassies on the continent have taken the unusual step of issuing critical statements, saying no one is above the law.

The statements came as the head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, condemned the “murder” of Floyd and said Friday the continental body rejects the “continuing discriminatory practices against black citizens of the USA.”

Africa has not seen the kind of protests over Floyd's killing that have erupted across the United States, but many Africans have expressed disgust and dismay, openly wondering when the US will ever get it right.

“WTF? `When the looting starts the shooting starts'?” tweeted political cartoonist Patrick Gathara in Kenya, which has its own troubles with police brutality.

He, like many, was aghast at the tweet by President Donald Trump, flagged by Twitter as violating rules against “glorifying violence,” that the president later said had been misconstrued.

Mindful of America's image on a continent where China's influence has grown and where many have felt a distinct lack of interest from the Trump administration in Africa, some US diplomats have tried to control the damage.

The ambassador to Congo, Mike Hammer, highlighted a tweet from a local media entrepreneur who addressed him saying, “Dear ambassador, your country is shameful. Proud America, which went through everything from segregation to the election of Barack Obama, still hasn't conquered the demons of racism. How many black people must be killed by white police officers before authorities react seriously?”

The ambassador's response, in French: “I am profoundly troubled by the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The Justice Department is conducting a full criminal investigation as a top priority. Security forces around the world should be held accountable. No one is above the law.”

Similar statements were tweeted by the US embassies in Kenya and Uganda, while the embassies in Tanzania and Kenya tweeted a joint statement from the Department of Justice office in Minnesota on the investigation.

"We are deeply troubled by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Authorities have fired the officers involved and are conducting a full investigation. Government officials should not operate with impunity in any country." tweeted the US Mission Uganda.

African officials also were publicly outspoken last month over racism in China, when Africans complained of being evicted and mistreated in the city of Guangzhou amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time, the US was quick to join in, with the embassy in Beijing issuing a critical security alert titled “Discrimination against African-Americans in Guangzhou” and noting actions against people thought to be African or have African contacts.

Now the Africa-facing version of the state-run China Daily newspaper is tweeting footage from Minneapolis with the hashtags #GeorgeFloydWasMurdered and #BlackLivesMatter.

Comments

0 #1 Amooti Mugi 2020-05-30 22:09
Africans are amusing!!!
If Africans cannot manage mega thieves in Africa, do they have any moral authority to lash /condemn racism in the US?

African leaders are attempting to remove a straw in the eye of the Americans, when Africans themselves have a log in their own eyes!!! Remember Jesus' proverb???!

It is better Africans clean their continent of corruption ,mega theft, low IQ of many politicians, etc ONLY THEN can they have moral right to point out to the Americans where they fall short!!!
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+1 #2 PKayanja 2020-05-31 08:06
Tragic as George Floyds murder is, the AU should just shut up!

They have continued to massage and keep silent about African dictators who have committed far worse atrocities.

As long as Africans continue treating fellow Africans like animals, don't expect whites to treat blacks any better!
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+2 #3 Lysol 2020-05-31 18:41
Why do those diplomats always keep quiet, when similar things happen in those corrupt African countries they represent/work in?

This is some kind of playing double standard.
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