It is not the first time that I meet people who know I campaign against racism who tell me “I don’t really mind them (referring to Sub-Saharan Africans), it’s the Arabs I don’t like.

This is completely understandable. While in our minds eyes black Africans are seen as “victims” and needing help (something which I completely disagree with, but that’s another issue), Arabs are many times seen as lazy, egoistic and apathetic.

I must admit that sometimes I felt tempted to think the same way on these people. What kept me from falling into this racist thinking is my strong belief that who (groups of) people are is never the result of their race or religion but their political situation. What is happenning in Egypt and Tunisia right now proves exactly that. For decades, Arab people felt helpless under their dictators. Many fell into apathy about their own fate as well as racism towards “the other”, the latter being many times black Africans and Jews.

Right now, these ‘apathetic’ people are defying not only tear gas and rubber bullets, but decades old stigma.

I’ve been glued to the monitor for the last couple of days watching history being made in the Arab world. Nothing touched me as much as the video in this link:

What I see here is people that after decades of repression by various dictators have woken up, empowered and above all, united.

I really hope the Arab people will not be betrayed again. I hope they get the democracy they want because above all – they deserve it!

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