I started writing a response to the comments on the previous post and quickly realized that i was writing a novel so i decided to make it its own post. And add some more stories to it. If you don't know whats going on, reference this post first.I think sometimes, we as "Africans" are part of the problem. For example, i went to an African Braiding Salon to get my hair done. The lady doing my hair had an accent that sounded familiar to me so i asked where she was from. She said Africa. In my mind i said no shit sherlock (my inside voice is rude as hell btw), but to her i said where in Africa. She said west africa. I rolled my eyes and said look, im Nigerian, im hearing your accent and i just wanna know what country you're from. She said oh, you're from Nigeria, i'm from Togo. I said, thats what i thought. I have some good friends from Togo and my bf is Togolese and you and they have a similar accent. I didn't feel like speaking to her after that lol
That whole conversation could've been a three sentence exchange but instead she took for granted that i was some ignorant fool that couldn't possibly know anything about Africa so why even take the time entertaining me.
I know a lot of people who think they know what the US and african-americans are like and as much as it irritates the hell outta me to hear people say the dumb ish they say, i know its not gonna get any better if i don't take the time out to at least attempt to correct the people i come across that have these misconceptions. No one is going to seek out the truth if they don't want to know or think they already know it (and that's on both sides of the coin.)
Im not using this to excuse ignorance, but i think that in life there are a lot of teachable moments that we choose to ignore because either we're fed up with hearing the same nonsense over and over, or we just don't feel like taking the time/opportunity, and sometimes because we're tired of trying teaching people. All of which are natural responses but they don't necessarily help the situation either.
Two more "gems" from my past:
Funny/Sad Exchange #1I was talking to someone about a friend i know. This is a loose transcription as the actual convo took place several years ago:
Me: Yeah, its funny how i've always talked about wanting to meet someone from Swaziland and then outta nowhere here comes John
Other Person: Oh, really. You've never met anyone from Switzerland? I've got a whole bunch of friends from Switzerland.
Me: Giggle, I said Swaziland.
Other Person: Why are your pronouncing it like that. Its pronounced Switzerland!
Me: *rolls eyes* Im not an idiot. I know how to pronounce Switzerland but thats not where im talking about. I said, Swaziland.
Other Person: what the heck is that? I think you're just making it up.
Me: (o_0) Why the hell would i make it up? Swaziland is a land-locked country in southern Africa. Google it!
Other Person: Well i've never heard of it
Me: So i guess it, and the hundreds of thousands of people living there must not exist because you haven't heard of it then, huh?
Funny/Sad Exchange #2:This one didn't actually happen to me, it happened to my friend.
*Girls goes into a bodega*
Girl: Hey i need a calling card
Teller: Where do you need to call
*Teller hands Girl a Caribbean calling card*
Girl: No, no i need to call Togo
Teller: Honey, its pronounced Tobago
Girl: Wait, what? No, not Tobago... Togo
*Chaos ensues and Girl leaves bodega empty-handed and frustrated*