Do you have these 3 “P” in your unconscious bias cocktail?
Each time I go to the bar, I have the same discussion with the bartender.
Bartender: What can I serve you?
Me: I don’t drink alcohol. What kind of cocktails “sin” alcohol do you have?
Bartender: We have virgin Mojito, virgin Piña Colada or virgin Cuba libre!
Me: Virgin Cuba libre? Never heard of it! What’s that?
Bartender: Just a Coke!
Me: Hahah, well tried. I don’t drink Coke, I just sniff it!, Just kidding!
Bartender: This is not funny!
Me: I will have a virgin Mojito!
I love cocktails, alcohol free. For just a mix of some juice, it is damn expensive. Yet I am, like many of us, a sugar addict.
In life also, there are a lot of different cocktails that we are addicted to. Some are visible, and others are more insidious.
Take for instance the Molotov cocktail. It is the prefered tool for some violent protests all around the world. What makes its success is the easy steps to prepare it.
Another more, hidden cocktail, is the racism cocktail. As all cocktails, there are many recipes.
In this article, we will explore the 3P cocktail recipe that the Black and Brown people are forced to swallow for so many centuries.
Here are the 3 ingredients of the 3P recipe:
- P as Power
- P as Privilege
- P as Prejudice
And let the cooking start.
P as Power
Power can have many definitions. The one below is the content of our main ingredient:
Soure: Cambridge Dictionary
When it comes to power today, those who have it are not Black and Brown and they are not keen to share even an atom of it.
We can take all the big institutions ruling the world today, either at economic or social level. Take the United Nations for example. The 5 permanent members of the security council are China, France, Russia, The USA and the UK. This is the best we came with after World War II.
My grandfather on my mother side fought to liberate France as thousands of Senegalese Tirailleurs.
He was lucky enough to not be part of people killed in the Thiaroye massacre:
The Tirailluers, all the Black and Brown soldiers were deprived of their victory and most importantly their share of the power in this new world.
In the USA, similar tactics with Jim Crow laws, that are depriving Americans from African heritage their part in the American dream.
When it comes to economic power, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) is squeezing African countries from the rise to their economic power.
As of today, the grand grandchildren of those who have fought the Civil War in the US or the 1st/2nd World Wars in former wetern colonies are denied their heritage and their seat in the table.
Have you been taking advantage of such power on behalf of your ancestry?
P as Privilege
Our second ingredient can be defined as follows:
Soure: Cambridge Dictionary
I have noticed that we have 50 shades of “White” when it comes to describing Caucasians all over the world.
When we think of Europe, we think in terms of countries, sometimes even cities. Paris, Venise, Berlin, Amsterdam. “La France”, Italia, Espanña, etc.
Me: Hi, I am Ahmadou.
Them: Where are you from?
Me: From Toulouse, France.
Them: Yeah, but what is your country of origin? Where did your parents come from?
Me (Thinking in my mind): What the hell?
Them (over the phone): You have a little accent. This is so cute.
Me: I was born and raised in Dakar, Senegal, etc.
Them: Yes? Cool I have also been in Africa for holidays. You guys are so grounded and smiling.
When you are “Black”, you are just “Black”. As a “Black” person, you are defined with one monolithic big bold color: BLACK!
Barack Obama was as Black as he was White. Yet he has been categorised as the first “Black” president.
As a “Black” person, I always have to justify or explain my “color”. I am always the usual suspect. I am both the most visible and most invisible person at the same time.
At work, I am the visible “Black” guy, always smiling and with a positive attitude. I am the “muscle” doing the hard work. Yet when it comes to retribution, I am not worthy of the position, the promotion and the paycheck.
I am already lucky enough to have been accepted within the palace. THis should be enough for my kind. I have no mind, I am not worthy of light, just to fight for them.
Have you been promoted, granted a loan without a heavy background check?
P as Prejudice
Finally here is our last ingredient:
Soure: Cambridge Dictionary
When “Black” babies are born today in this world, they cry louder than the other babies because of those chains of prejudice entangled in the umbilical cord connecting them to their Mama.
The presumption of innocence is in dissonance with me.
The presumption of guilt is the guillotine intended for me.
I am Black, I am just good at entertaining the “White King”.
I am Black, I am not worthy of the mighty knight ring.
My dreams are limited within the line of the Colonists.
My screams are muted within the ads of the Supremacists.
I have no brain, after all, as I dance in the rain, always seeking help.
I have no reign, after all, as I influence in vain, always being held.
The “Black” person voice is a song to be tuned out because it is too loud, too raw. We are entering the world with some stones weighing us done into the ocean of helplessness. We cannot breathe. And when we got rid of one stone, a brand new one emerged within the rope tied to our neck.
You might be a “Black” eagle, in our ocean, you have no power.
You built a diving suit, we cut the oxygen supply hose forever.
As long as the “Black” person is mediocre or not trying to rise to their potential, they are tolerated. By the minute they take the stairs to greatness, they are reminded of their “Blackness”, inherent to the color of their skin.
Do you want me to strip my “Black” skin so that you can put it in your head?
Do you want me to get rid of my “Black” blood so that you can pump it to your heart?
Do you want me to cut my “Black” tongue so that you can taste it with your lips?
Do you want me to burn my “Black” hair so that you can use it as your light?
Have you been feeling the burden of your skin color lately?
There you have it, the cocktail that we are served with, whether we like it or not.
The power, the privilege, the prejudice are the 3 companions of the “Black” person. They are stones that will carve the word “Black” in their soul to remind them how small they are.
What does the color of your skin mean to you?
Are you that visible or invisible being in your private or professional life?
Do you feel that your voice is muted because of your skin?
Leave a comment below.
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You can read my previous article on Why is it so hard to find funding for fighting Covid-19 in Africa?