Racism in Morocco

The always indispensable Lakome has reported that an underage girl from Cote d’Ivoire was raped by police in Tangiers. It was also reported that a 40-year old woman from Congo died after she was thrown from a police bus. 

Sadly, the piece I wrote last week on the pandemic state-sanctioned racism in Morocco couldn’t be more relevant:

 The history of racism and treatment towards black Africans stems back centuries ago to the slave trade, which Morocco was heavily involved in. Chouki El Hamel raises points about the history of what he describes as “Black Morocco.” While there are nuances with regard to the treatment black Moroccans versus black non-Moroccan Africans must face, the state’s complicity in perpetuating such deep-seeded racism is important to note. The state’s complicity spans from carrying out racist policies, such as the police forcibly evicting the tenants of an apartment, to racist depictions of black Moroccans and non-Moroccan Africans on state media. There is a perverse logic in the sign mentioned above simply using the term “African” to refer to black non-Moroccan Africans, despite the obvious fact that Moroccans are Africans by virtue of the country’s geographical location. In conversation, many Moroccans refer to Africa and Africans as if they themselves were removed from it, often using Africa and Africans to refer to sub-Saharan Africa and sub-Saharan Africans. Yet, when the prevalence of racism in Morocco is brought up as a point, the dominant narrative argues that it is not “widespread,” suggesting, for example, that because segregation is not institutionalized in public spaces, then racism does not exist. This liberal view of racial politics dismisses the placement of privilege and the pervasiveness of embedded misperceptions towards both black Moroccans and black non-Moroccan Africans. Such a view carries dangerous consequences for those who are on the receiving end of this treatment that has gone virtually unaddressed up until recently.

Continue reading here.

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