Tunisian president clearly has low regard for dark-skinned Africans

Kais Saied, President of Tunisia. He condemned sub-Saharan African immigration to his country on Tuesday. [AP photo]

There are layers of conceit in the way countries relate to each other. Manifested in a global hierarchy of power exercise, this implies the existence of geopolitical Darwinism in which the big powers believe that they are the most capable and have the right to dominate others.

For example, the United States leads the ideological West in looking down on other countries. In turn, the big players from Western Europe look down on other Europeans who similarly look down on those who are not of European descent. Collectively, the countries of the ideological West believe that they are the global ‘garden’ and that other countries form a large forest that is to be tamed.

Within the so-called ‘wilderness’, there are layers in which skin pigmentation, behavior and sense of self-importance Europeans have over those they consider to be of lesser state.

The Arab states, for example, look down upon those in tropical Africa. At the bottom of that hierarchy of geopolitical conceits, therefore, are African countries.

The reality of the geopolitical Darwinism mindset became apparent when Italy and Tunisia formed an alliance to prevent black Africans from moving to Europe. Tunisia’s President Kais Saied is closer in skin color to Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani than to the leaders of tropical African states. This probably made him, as an Arab, receptive to appeals to help protect Josep Borrell’s ‘garden’ in Europe.

Tajani, with a soft spot for Benito Mussolini and a desire to protect Europe and keep it European, found an ally in Said, who, in turn, wanted black people from Tunisia. Syed’s behavior exposed the fragility of the ideals of the African Union and the inherent anti-Africanism in global geopolitics.

A former constitutional law professor who became president in 2019, Saied’s dictatorial appetites had little regard for Tunisia’s constitutional institutions. In his ‘self-coup’ he dismissed the parliament and judicial organs and gave himself the right to rule by decree.

Virtually indisputable, he was also susceptible to Tajani’s racist well talk in January 2023. “Tunisia and Italy are both victims of the phenomenon of illegal migration,” Tajani said, calling African migrants “a plague for Tunisia as a plague for Italy.”

“We need to tackle this issue at the root and look at it through an African lens, not a European one,” he said. He wanted African youth to dream and “live in their own countries” instead of dreaming about Europe.

In exchange for keeping the Africans in their own countries, Tajani offered to open Italian doors to Tunisian “legal workers who are capable of integrating into Italian society”.

A month after Tajani went to Tunisia in January 2023 to beg for help to keep blacks out of Europe, Said blasted people from tropical Africa. “Throwning illegal immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa” ​​he declared, “Tunisia should be considered a purely African country that has no ties to Arab and Islamic nations.”

He claimed that the criminals conspired to “change the demographic structure of Tunisia”. There were two reasons for Syed’s anti-African anger. First, they needed a distraction from domestic economic and social upheavals and found a way out by blaming the African “mob”.

Second, he seemed anxious to prevent what Tajani called the “plague” from entering Borrell’s “garden” in Europe, while perhaps facilitating the ‘proper’ Tunisians who wanted to “unify” among Italians. are capable of”, to go to Italy.

Intense racism, with ‘white’ Tunisians turning against black people, became apparent. After criticizing the AU, Sayed showed little respect for the AU’s ideals by calling on ‘Arab’ states to support his stance. In doing so, he affirmed the existence of a geopolitical Darwinism in which ‘Arab’ Tunisia looked down on African states in the same way that it might have looked down on white Europe.


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