Tuesday, November 8, 2011

People only clubs - Racism in Accra!

A lot of you would not have seen the recent news regarding racism in Ghana. To cut a long story short a restaurant (a stones throw from my house) had a no black policy when it came to a member club. (Italian owned) A policy that seems to scarily hark back to another age when it was seen as legitimate to discriminate against those with another skin colour.

Here is the link if you would like to read further http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15552093.

This has got massive coverage here and across the world. Ghanaians of course came out very strongly against this and a lot of anti foreign rhetoric was banded about. As soon as I heard the story I thought bugger this could potentially have a big affect on the majority of ex-pats living here who would not even consider such a policy, and the backlash could make things a little uncomfortable. Certainly many of us as critical of certain things we come across in Ghana but to think about race in such a manner would not even cross out minds. My good friend Aunty Melanie mentioned to me yesterday that the only time she notices she hangs out with black friends is when she sees her white face in a photograph. I totally agree with this. To take it to another extreme, when I first moved in to this house (which is full of white people) I could not even remember how to socialise with them! (Incidentally, Melanie cooked me some incredible Roulade yesterday! The first home cooking I have had in a very long time, and damn good food! Thanks Melanie!)

Anyway, this is not going to be a controversial blog to try and push the buttons and cause a huge heated debate. I think the subject of race is one I should probably not say too much about. I was even asked to come on Metro Tv to discuss it and I quietly ignored the invite!

Last night one thing happened which is not as uncommon as it should be. I was out checking out a bash to celebrate Eid in New Town. As I strolled through the crowd of people I heard someone shout, "Go back to your country!" Of course I looked around and wanted to call the guy to come down and explain his sentiments. (politely....) Whilst searching around I was dragged off by one of the guys that were accompanying me. (probably for my own safety, as I'd had a couple of glasses of wine by this stage!) I am not going to analyse this right now because I will probably get carried away.  What I will say is that this is not the first time I have heard this and other similar comments shouted at me as I stroll around Accra. 

I should make it clear that I am in no way in support of the 'white club' and was appalled to hear about it I just want to point out that it is a very small minority of ex pats that think that way here in Ghana and that there are also some anti foreign sentiments amongst some groups also. 

See...very uncontroversial! 

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