Governments all over the world talk a good game about ending racism in all its ramifications. Yet, what has been found to be lacking, is the sincerity or political will needed to wrestle it brutally to the ground. Earlier this week, two young African-American men, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, and Philando Castile in St. Paul, were cold-bloodedly shot to death by White police officers in what is widely believed to be racially-motivated murders. The incidents sparked mass protests across vast swathes of American cities and towns, and in the process, five innocent White police officers were cold-bloodedly murdered in Dallas by Micah Xavier Johnson, a 25-year-old African-American man with a king-size beef against White people and White police officers in particular. Johnson had to be truly demented.
The shooting of the two Black men were captured on video in real time. In particular, the slow and agonizing death of Castile was live-streamed by Ravish Reynolds, his girlfriend, as his little daughter sat in the rear seat of the car taking in all that unfolding tragedy. It could haunt her for a long time. But just as revolting, is the despicable murder of the five officers whose collective duty was not to harm the protesters, but to protect them from harm in the first place. And that was precisely what they were doing. By his action, Johnson has earned himself a place in the hall of infamy like Lee Harvey Oswald did with his alleged murder of President John F. Kennedy almost fifty-three years ago today around the same area in Dallas.
Yet, as all of America and the rest of the world stay riveted to the aftermaths of the racism-inspired tragedies of the last couple of days, as America itself begins to sift through the rubble left behind by the chaos in a bid to find lasting solutions, it is also worthwhile to pause and remember the equally sad story of Emmanuel Chidi Namdi, a 36-year-old Nigerian who was brutally murdered last Tuesday by one Amedeo Mancini, a racist, in the Italian town of Fermo. According to the story, Mancini had allegedly called Chimiary, Namdi’s 24 years old wife, “monkey”, and then went on to seize her. As the man tried to rescue his wife, he got in a fight with the 38 years old attacker, who “bludgeoned” him “with a road sign and continued to beat him as he lay unconscious on the ground”, the Huffington Post reports.
Although he’s dead, Namdi’s act of heroism, just like the actions of those five brave police officers, will live on. May his story, like that of those officers, continue to receive roaring acclaim wherever it is told.
That said, there is something about Namdi’s jeremiad that would have earned the earnest attention of no less a historian than Edward Gibbon, had this happened in his day, and that is the sense of irony you’re about to get in the rest of the paragraph. According to the story, Namdi and his wife had fled Nigeria for Italy because of the deaths and destruction which Boko Haram had wrought for many while they were there. Their church was attacked and several of their family members were killed by the extremist group. What to do? Namdi and Chimiary, who was pregnant at the time, fled. They headed for Europe where Namdi would meet his end at the hands of an evil-minded person not much different from the beasts he thought they’d escaped from.
Almost as sad, the couple had suffered a great deal before they reached their destination. Reports the Huffington Post: “Two weeks before their original wedding date, the couple set off on the perilous path to Europe through the deserts of Niger and Libya and over the Mediterranean Sea. They were harassed and beaten by smugglers, and Chimiary miscarried the baby along the way…” Please read the rest of the story by clicking here