TheWays United States different from Nigeria: Race Class and Caste
KimFoote describes her feeling of estrangement after leaving Ghana as anexchange student and as a black American returning to the US. I am anative of Nigeria, and I find the United States different from nativecountry. I think in interacting with people from the US especiallythe Whites, there is a feeling of inferiority. In the US, manypeople’s skins are lighter than in Nigeria. Also, there arecultural differences between the two nations. For instance, US havedistinct traditions and cultures which are well adapted fromdifferent countries of the world (Barak,Leighton and Cotton 107).
ANigerian would be considered dark skinned while in the US. There isno diversity of color spectrum in the Nigeria as it exists in the US.Nigerians have a different perception of what light and dark skinnedare (Barak,Leighton and Cotton 108).For instance, while in Nigeria, I would be considered light skinnedbut while in the US, I would be regarded as dark skinned. Theexperience in the US is a hostile one that`s why most of the blackAmericans have diverse reasons for traveling to Africa. For a largerpart, I think an individual may go to Africa to search for belonging.
InAmerica, there is a racist power structure that constantly remindsthe black to go where they belong and therefore the US is not ourplace. Some of the whites even tell the blacks to go back to Africa(Barak,Leighton and Cotton 110).On the other hand, the whites are considered highly by the people ofNigeria. Some people even think that they are immortal, like gods whocan open doors of wealth. In our area, the whites are respected, andmany people consider them superior to us.
Whilethe Americans encourage individualism, Nigerians promotes cooperationamong people. Citizens in Nigeria value families while in the US itis a different case. In fact, some people marry on contract basiswhich is far much different from us. Most of the Nigerians are poorcompared to Nigerians (Okpehand Ochayi 39).The prejudice is defined as thinking ill of others without enoughwarrant. Nevertheless, bias is not peculiar to Nigeria rather it isa global phenomenon. The caste system in Nigeria occurs between theindividuals in a nationality.
TheOsucastesystem in Nigeria is more severe than the racial segregation in theUS. Racial prejudice is apparent in the US since we have diversepeople of color. The American Society is not an entity rather itreflects the mood of a person contemplating it. The Incarnation ofsome tastes in America has neither measurement nor locality (Okpehand Ochayi 42).In both countries, people may possess immobility while others maypossess elasticity based on their tastes.
Nigeriansare known to uphold their traditions and customs. Our belief is ourstrength and weakness. The weakness is derived from ourtraditions/customs hinders us. Nevertheless, the strength is arequisite nexus with our past. Though there are benefits, some ofthem are obsolete and dehumanizing, and this reminds us of castesystem I Nigeria and its implication on civil rights andsociopolitics. In America, we have a diverse cultures derived fromdifferent cultures of the various people from various nations. Inessence, no Nigerian should be exposed to discrimination (Okpehand Ochayi 45).The caste system in Nigeria excludes the lower caste group from therest of the people, and this violates their civil rights
Okpeh,Okpeh Ochayi. HistoricalPerspectives on Nigeria`s Post-colonial Conflicts.Printed and Published by the Historical Society of Nigeria [by]Unimark Limited, 2007.
Barak,Gregg, Paul Leighton, and Allison Cotton. Class,race, gender, and crime: The social realities of justice in America.Rowman & Littlefield, 2014
Tumang,Patricia Justine, and Jenesha de Rivera eds. Homelands:Women`s Journeys Across Race, Place, and Time.Seal Press (CA), 2006.