Africa: We Condemn All Police Brutality Except Our Own!


From the Wit-hole countries is African Arguments' satirical section. It's the news, but absurd. It's sometimes better than the real thing, sometimes not quite real, and sometimes much more real.

My Fellow Africans,

It is my greatest privilege to announce to you that against all odds, and even while a pandemic threatened to distract us, we, the African Union, have achieved a great milestone. We have successfully eradicated #PoliceBrutality on the African continent. In the spirit of solidarity, we are exporting this achievement to the rest of the world. It is why we released a statement condemning police brutality on peoples of African descent and the murder of #GeorgeFloyd in the USA. #PoliceBrutality somewhere is #PoliceBrutality everywhere.

We are deathly serious about our campaign. We, the African Union leadership, have tabled the matter before the United Nations Human Rights Council. We are insistent that the USA, allegedly the greatest country in the world, a statistic though unproven by academic examination, must live up to its title. When we are done with our North American campaign, we will extend our campaign to other contentious countries in Europe, South America, Oceania, Asia. We will not be including China because not only is it rude to criticise your benefactors, it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that there is no state-sanctioned brutality against Africans there.

Of course, for such a radical cause, we expected critics. They say we have not equally condemned police brutality and other examples of state approved violence meted out on African citizens. This is a smear counter-campaign. We have not been silent. We have been preoccupied! Sending electoral observers to oversee elections that eventually have dubious outcomes or maintaining the bug cables in the African Union building to ensure clear transmission back to China is really tedious work.

Yet the critics are relentless, attacking us on every side.

In Nigeria, they say the police there is being increasingly weaponised for violence on women or against victims of sexual assault. They cite a recent case when D'banj, a Nigerian celebrity, is alleged to have used the police to intimidate and silence the woman that accused him of rape. She was taken from her home, under false pretences, locked in a cell. In another instance, a CCTV camera captured a legislator assaulting a female shop attendant in full view of a policeman. But critics should understand: a man's reputation is a constitutionally protected, culturally and socially enforced, rights-holding phenomenon. We Africans have always had this understanding. Imagine the police arresting the men. It would incite riots, crises, breakdown of law and order. We cannot have that.

These are not cases of #PoliceBrutality.

In Ghana, critics tell us police officers violently dispersed a protest in support of #BlackLivesMatter and arrested the leader of the movement. It would seem at first that the protest actually is in line with the official government stance which, echoing our campaign, condemned the murder of #GeorgeFloyd and asked African-Americans in a not-so-veiled, expertly worked tourism-promoting move to "come home". But the protesters overstepped. Resistance should always be conducted in collaboration with the government. They should have, for instance, worn Kente like American Democrats, attended the President's address, nodding and clapping politely, instead of chanting and disturbing the peace.

This was not a case of #PoliceBrutality.

In South Africa, there have been reports of generous police presence in low-income areas ensuring COVID-19 lockdown protocol is observed. As of June 1, 230,000 people have been jailed and ten South Africans have unfortunately been killed. Critics are claiming police are targeting the poor and being excessive and abusive. This is an unfair characterisation. The loss of life is deeply regrettable but in the painstaking work of protecting the elite, white fragility, gated estates, golf courses, country clubs, no effort can be spared by the government.

This was not a case of #PoliceBrutality.

Upon deep reflection and investigation, it is clear to us that the critics are wrong and we are right. We have eradicated Police Brutality on the continent and we will continue in our mission to extinguish it elsewhere. For those who have sprung to our defence, saying the African Union has a right to condemn police violence elsewhere, even while police violence (allegedly) exists on the continent, we appreciate the effort, thanks but no thanks.

As we have said, there are no (longer) cases of police brutality.


The Africa Union

... and just to reiterate again, this is satire.

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