A few months ago while on Facebook I came across a post by a friend who posted an article which stated that Nigerian Immigrants and their children were being praised for their achievements where black Americans were not receiving the same praises. I automatically became defensive, why? Not because I am a child of a Nigerian Immigrant but because I knew the article was divisive and meant to separate the black community. As I read through his comments I continued to see this #ADOS thing and I kept asking what it meant. Finally some one answered and told me that it meant American Descendants of Slavery. Initially I didn't understand why they would want that to be a way to identify ones self. Yet I continued to think on it and i came to a some what understanding or at least it thought I did.
Now I understand wanting to Identify yourself based on your lineage and history and I can never judge anyone for that. African Americans have created a culture and identity for themselves despite; slavery, black codes, Jim crow, segregation, reaganomics, "War on drugs", and many other things that were designed to oppress and destroy the descendants of Africans kidapped into slavery. Anyone that says that they don't is a fool and problematic to the fixing of the divide. I also understand that the great influx of people from Africa and the Caribbean into America since 1965 has seemed to challenge what it means to be African-American. This Influx may have created a bit of a drift for those whose lineage was intertwined with the building of the America we see today. The disconnect from the African Continet may now have become more noticiable, so yes I undersand the desire for your own identity and recogonition of the success of your ancestors. Yet my issue with this #ADOS movement on social media is their continuous anti African (specifically Anti-Nigerian) Rhetoric.
Why the ADOS twitter cult is Problematic to the Global Black Community
Weeks after initially learning what #ADOS meant I came across this screen shot on yet again social media. I am a proud Nigerian-American as well as a proud HBCU graduate #AGGIEPRIDE. This screenshot was very offensive and I couldn't understand how people could be vexed at Immigrants being successful. How are you so pissed that other black people are utilizing resources that are for them as well. Oh and are successful and choose to give back to the black community that helped them.
In my opinion these statements remind me of things that one would hear from racists and sexist who made the assumptions that incompetent women and black people were given jobs, or entrance into the University simply because of Affirmative Action.Which which could not have been any further from the truth.
I asked her and her ranting mate do they feel like the Nigerians who filled these positions were under qualified? I got no response. I asked where the anger stemmed from? Yet still they gave me no response. Instead I received comments from their followers about how "we" (being my parents since I was born in America), come here and take what is meant for black Americans. I didn't know hard work and dedication equated to taking something.
The release of Marvel's Black Panther opened the ground for dialogue about this disonnect between Africans and African Americans. It brought to the forefront the miseducation of both sides but the underlying belief that many African Americans have that Africans were chilling in Africa while slavery was going on. This was far from the truth. WAKANDA isn't real and the continent wasn't cloaked away from the invasions from europeans coming to loot, destroy, rape all under the guise of Colonialism. It seemed that we were on a better track and building that bridge to connect all for the culture. Yet that dialogue died down, the seats became unoccupied again and boom we get this twitter cult as I call them with the hashtag of #ADOS spitting hatred. My issue with them continues to be that they want Africans and the immigrants to America to be held accountable for the issues but refuse to take up their share of accountability.
The last few days have been filled with and uproar and constant battle. Recently a new show on CBS called Bob hearts Abishola aired this show was created by Comedian Gina Yashere . The show is about the experience of a Nigerian Immigrant to America who happens to start semi dating a white man. The show follows a Nurse named Abishola, and her family and their adjustments to the states. Again as many of you know my parents are immigrants and like Abishola's son I had to watch my mother adjust to having her career change.
As excited as I was for the show (review and more coming soon to my youtube channel) I knew someone would try and find an issue as soon as I saw the first episode. Sure enough the #ADOS twitter cult were the first to begin. The episode speaks about a young African American boy picking on Abishola's son. The #ADOS cult negates the fact that the young boy called Dele (Abishola's son) a jungle B**ch. Instead they harp on the fact that Abishola brings up that curtis (the bully who so happens to be AA) doesn't get good grades. No, they don't care that he is a bully, and they decide to create another narrative stating that Abishola stated that ALL African American kids are dumb. That is not what was said, but when you have a group of people that refuse to fact check and already have a preconceived bias of course they were off to the races. Angry and ill informed and spewing Anti-African Rhetoric all over Twitter.
Two days ago in fact i received a text from a friend of mine, joking asking if I would be signing the petition to boycott the show. This came after episode three aired. Where Abishola shared a very ignorant but common (for older africans living on the continent) viewpoint about a dating hierarchy. Now if you only watch that scene of course you would be enraged. Yet if you watch every thing with an unbiased view you would catch the satire. You would catch that the writers were in fact calling us (Nigerians) out on this. They also called out Fox but no one caught that either I see.
So I took to twitter. Annoyed and in defense mode I let it be known that no way would I be boycotting this show. I went to Gina's twitter page and the insults were just flying. She was called out of her name, referred to as a slave seller and many other vulgar names. So I made my post (In picture above) and immediately i was told I was mad because of rhetoric that has intact come from people the seem to flock to #ADOS community. Yet Africans are told to get over bullying and told that we are making it all up. We accused of hatting African Americans but no one on the other end wants to accept the part they play in it as well.
I literally spent hours arguing with this self proclaimed grandmother claiming that African Americans don't bully Africans and that I was making it all up. She and several others told me if i didn't like it I could go back to Africa yet as she put it we come here and are accepted with open arms. OK SIS , keep lying to someone that doesn't know better because I do.
Now I am not ignorant to try and say that Africans don't play a role in the issues, because we do. We too at times have preconceived notions whether its based on experiences we have heard from our friends and family or it be from the things we see on the media. Yet when such conversations happen I continue to see that only Africans are blamed for the disconnect. I see that many from the African American side down play our issue and our hurt as if it doesn't matter. How do you think that will fix anything? I literally had someone who served with me tell me that well she has never seen Africans bullied and she is from Alabama. When another Nigerian American woman told her that she too was from Alabama she then tried to downplay what we were saying. This has got to stop people!! We are our own biggest enemy and until we stop nothing is going to change and the hate will continue.
Now I know the #ADOS doesn't speak for all African Americans. I am currently with an Awesome African American man that doesn't think like any of these #ADOS people. He understands the need for proper communication because things can get lost in translation. Most importantly he knows that its on both sides, not just a bias on one side. There is nothing wrong with holding on to an Identity that you feel properly represents you. i understand and respect that, but you don't have to spew hatred and in their case incorrect facts.
I love being black, I love being Nigerian, I love every part of what makes me who I am but I will never stand for hating my fellow black man.