by Joseph Omoremi
A-year long action plan to reverse the hostilities against Blacks in the United States and around the world was advocated in Chicago yesterday as Bishop Tavis Grant 11 of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition wondered how the world would look like inadequate without the fortunes and resources of Africa.
“Each of you have a phone and a tablet but we cannot make it without Africa. We need investment and economic development in Africa,” said Bishop Grant 11 who doubles as the Acting Head of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition at a seminar on the state of Black Asylum Seekers in the country.
Stories of rape and lack of shelter for Blacks at the US-Mexico border and many lives lost by African immigrants in quest of education and better lives were shared at the event. A 27-year Medical Student of Congolese nationality Bilengo Dachi Florian left Ghana for Brazil with 50 Africans enroute to United States but said 40-out of the 50 that left died before reaching their destinations.
Some, including a woman and her child were drowned, others attacked and raped by bandits or police, he said adding “I was detained in Mexico for eight days and given 20-days to leave. The Mexican police took my $1,124.00 and a thousand Mexican pesos that I had left. I was stripped of everything,” he lamented.
Dr. Shaffdeen Amuwo, a distinguished scholar and administrator at UIC who retired as Assistant Dean in the school of public health said an action plan similar to the one done during the reign of late General Sanni Abacha of Nigeria.
“We demonstrated every last Saturday of the month in downtown Chicago and that was what killed” him he said.
The urgency of the action plan, he said, could be seen in the $25 million allocated for the relocation of recent immigrants ferried to Chicago when we have many homeless people in the city.
“There are no shelters for Blacks in the Mexico-US border. It used to be but they are no more” said Guerline Jozef, the Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) who spoke on zoom from New York and cited a Ghanian mother who had stroke in her sleep and left her daughter helpless.
“We are not safe at home, at the border or the transition routes of Brazil, Nicaragua or US-Mexico border” she said and urged community and elected leaders to push for a fair and comprehensive immigration laws in the country.
“We can no longer be divided with the notion that recent Black immigrants are coming to steal the jobs of those already here. We are in this together,” she said.
The Program Director of the United African Organization (UAO) Fascia Alem which organized the event said limited accommodation and other help are available for immigrants and urged them to reach out to the organization when necessary.
Dr. Ewa Ewa, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the state of Illinois attended the event along with former Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County.