“You Africans are hopeless, and so stupid.” The man accused, wagging a thick finger in my face. He’s of the European Stock, with the ragged appearance of some of those dirty tourists one encounter on the streets of Accra. His mouth was contorted into an angry snarl. The corners of his mouth foam with spittle. Bad breath emanate from his partially-opened; the odor was that of cheap alcohol. Most of his front teeth are missing. The lower lip showed some signs of laceration, perhaps from ulcer.
Unaccustomed to his type of brutal, unprovoked and direct aggression. I elected to ignore him. I continued to nurse my drink. He won’t, however, let go.
“Stupid, stupid.” He brayed, taking a mouthful swing from his large jug of beer. He shook his head as though he felt sorry for the world. He smells very badly and looks as though he hasn’t shaved in two weeks.
Since I believe that it is useless to argue with a man who, obviously, was under the direct influence of Lord Bacchus’ agent, I continue to ignore him.
The man rose unsteadily to his feet, raised the jug to his mouth and drained the content. He wiped the corners of his mouth with the back of his hand. Throwing a ferocious glare in my direction, he tottered to the bar and had a refill. He wobbled back to his seat and resumed his accusations.
“What do you find so stupid about the Africans. What are the reasons for your exasperation?” I finally managed to ask him.
He regarded me with hateful frown and declared, “I watch your African Football Championship matches,” he shouted, “It is so terrible, so stupid!”
“What do you find so terrible, so stupid about the African Championship matches. I thought it was a great tournament. It was so lively.”
“That, exactly, is the problem,” the man proclaimed, dispatching spittle in every direction. “You Africans are the same, stupid. You call that a great tournament?”
“What exactly are you objecting to? Why do you find everything so stupid, so terrible? What is bugging you?” I was getting a bit irritated by the incessant accusations. I came here to have a drink, not to defend the Black race.
“Who but a bunch of idiots go to stadium with drums?” He asked, throwing me a withering stare. I watched the whole tournament; it is incredible, unbelievable how stupid you people could be. In some of the matches, people actually dance the whole time, beating drums, horns and what do you call that long thing that make so much noise, ehm, Voodoozela or whatever! Imagine that! And your women, mama mia! God have mercy; they are beautiful. Some of those beautiful girls shake their well-endowed buttocks and breasts all the time and make man go crazy with desires. Fancy that! Imagine all those muscle-men beating drums the whole afternoon!” He bellowed contemptuously. He has managed to work himself into a sort of frenzy, the spittle flows freely.
I was taken aback by the silliness of his accusations. I find nothing objectionable in people going to stadium with drums. “What is wrong with having merriment in a stadium during a National or Continental Football fiesta? What is the whole purpose of sport if people cannot have fun?”
“That is the whole problem. When are you people going to learn, if ever?” He cried, “When are you people going to start to learn simple economics? When are you people going to start to understand the connection between violence and prosperity? When are you people ever going to learn that not everything in life can be reduced to dancing and the beatings of TOM-TOM drums? Take the case of our European Championship,” he paused to take a draft of his drink and then continue, “how many times have you seen drums in a European stadium? Now, be honest, how many times? None, if you’re honest with yourself. Why? Because Europeans are not as stupid as you people. We do not believe that drums belong in stadium.”
I had the feeling that I was talking to a raving loony. The accusations are becoming increasingly incoherent. I stirred the ice-cubes in my soda and lifted the glass to my mouth, but his next words stopped my action from been completed.
“Don’t you see the connection between violence and prosperity?” He asked, winking at me. His eyes were blood-shot.
“No, I don’t.”
“In Europe people go to stadium with knives, gudgels, bricks, baseball bats, tarers and lasers guns, pistols, grenades, rifles and occasionally some enterprising youth come with artillery pieces. Can’t you see how greatly that’s contributing to the economy of Europe?”
This, indeed, must be a certified lunatic. I checked the door to ensure that my path remain unobstructed, just in case he decided to become violent.”What is there to be celebrated about that?”
“Are you still blind, still stupid?” He cried, banging his fists on the table, rattling the glasses and ash-trays. He was like a child, whose cries are being mis-interpreted by its parents.
“I am neither blind nor stupid. I just cannot follow your lunatic train-of-thought. I don’t see what point you’re making. If you’re making any, that is.”
“Because we Europeans are such a clever people, see,” he cried, eye-balling me with his blood- shot eyes. “We clearly see the connection between violence and prosperity, and we took advantage of it. That is why people in Europe go to stadium with instruments of violence, unlike your wimpish people. The logic is clear and unmistakable, except to stupids like you guys: Whatever is destroyed must be rebuilt, simple, see. Is that not so? When we have our sport fiesta, especially football, everybody is happy. The whole thing is tied up to simple economics, a subject too complex for you Africans to master, ah! ah! ah! I shall explain it to you, since, it appears such simple logic is beyond your comprehension: See, before any major sport fiesta, the breweries and the distilleries worked overtime to produce enough drinks to lubricate the occasion. The suppliers are happy, so are the workers, who are paid decent overtime. The money trickle down to their bakers, grocers and rum-shop managers, see. On D-Day minus one, the fans start putting some money into the local economy by consuming inordinate amount of booze, drugs and things, you see. They are so inebriated that they could only stagger to the stadium, armed with every description of weapons. The authorities responded by deploying their own instruments of violence – police, armored cars, horses, dogs, helicopters and things, see. The dogs are well-fed so the dog- food factories’ owners and workers get their own share. Even the fuel suppliers are very happy, they get paid handsomely. Talk to any policeman, he’ll tell you that the police are also very happy since they get paid handsome overtime and hazard wages, follow me? So are the bus, trams and train drivers and conductors who also receive hazard pay, see, nobody is missing out. I tell you, the football match is just a side show to improve the economy. You can see that the real game is just a sideshow – it doesn’t matter who wins or loses, the reaction is predictably the same. At the end of the game the fans, further lubricated by drug and booze, are so plastered that when they troop out of the stadium, they could not help but started wrecking anything and everything in their path. They will overturn some cars, set alight some trams and trains. The police will respond by lobbing some canisters of tear-gas and charge at them with horses and dogs and truncheons. At the end, some few fans are hospitalized for fractured bones. The hospital staff are also happy. They are also well taken care of, with extra pays and things, see. Journalists, who also receive their own hazard pay, gleefully report the events. Don’t forget that the carnage also has to be cleaned-up. So the cleaning companies are also very happy. You should remember that they [cleaning companies] employ many Africans – think of what we happen if we dance in our stadia like you guys. We’ll have to deport all the African economic-refugees seeking political asylum in our countries in Europe. We manage our sports so well that everything trickles down – nobody misses out. Everyone is happy. When are you Africans ever going to learn, if ever? To think of all the charity appeals that have been launched in your behalf over the years, when you guys can do a lot to help yourself by becoming a little more violent in the proper ways. We keep sending you our expensive experts and our NGOs when you can do a lot of things for yourself. Check it out for yourself, which country in the world has developed economically without being sufficient violent? No, you tell me. The U.S. economy was built by unbridled violence. Europe’s economic prosperity was built on the violence Europe launched against the rest of the world. You only have to check your history books. Do you guys read anything aside from your lotto papers around here? Look at your own continent, South Africa is the most economically developed – it is also the most violent on your continent, see. Its economy was built on the state violence. Africa’s problem, I declare, could be solved overnight if you Africans will start to adopt the proper attitude to things, and stop treating everything as a cause for celebration. Do you know who my favorite people are?” He finally asked me.
“Wrong again” he cried, “it is the British.” He replied beaming with satisfaction.
“I am surprised. Why?”
“Because British fans are the only people left on earth who still knows how to vibrate with positive anger. No matter what you think of the British, you’ve got to admire the pugnacity of their football fans. It is sheer joy to watch British fans have a go at a city center. Destructions wrought by hurricanes pale in comparison to the havoc generated by those vibrant youth. Do you know why the British economy is going down?”
“I am sure that you’re going to tell me.”
“It is going down, precisely because of those so-called, stupid anti-hooliganism laws passed in the 80′s. Since the British government became stupid enough to restrain the ire of those dynamic youth with those stupid, liberal laws, things have fallen apart for the empire.”