You're Wrong: There's No Ethnic Cleansing of Black Libyans

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[Response From Libya To Black Star Editorial]

I'm a Libyan who was born and raised in the states all his life until two years ago when I moved back to Libya to settle.

I read your article "Ethnic Cleansing of Black Libyans," through Google news and was really surprised at your comments about black racism in Libya. You talk of lynching and genocide when you haven't the slightest clue over what's going on here and on the battlefield.

I've lived through the conflict both in Tripoli and in Benghazi and personally know Libyan fighters going into the battlefield.  So I have first hand account of almost everything that's going on here.

1 - There is no such thing as racism against Black Libyans.  As a matter of fact, some of the fighter's leaders are from the Tabul tribe who reside in southern Libya near the Nigerian and Chad borders. They are as black as you can get and no one is bothering them.

2 - Reports, eyewitnesses, and even foreign governments have all concurred that a mass number of fighters brought in by Ghaddafi are from the African countries south of Libya (Chad, Niger, etc...).  Even with that report, even with that threat, even with those mercenaries who come in and kill, rape, ruin our people and cities, the Libyan fighters have been more merciful than you can expect from untrained merchants, students, and basically civilians.

3 - Most African (I'll use that to generalize the countries south of Libya) workers who lived in Libya fled at the beginning of war due to their fear that Ghaddafi will drag them into his mercenary army.  And for many that has already been done.  My house in particular we had to hide our house worker who is from Mali and our Nigerian maid and her son in our house in Tripoli because the secret police were in constant patrol looking for any African who is freely walking about to kidnap
and use him or her.

4 - To this day, Libyan fighters are still doing battle with African and even non-African mercenaries (and by non-African I mean European and even South American!). All receive the same exact treatment! You aim a gun at us you die. This is the law of the battlefield. You surrender, we take you in and you will be processed accordingly.  Some have already been deported to their countries. This treatment applies also to Ghaddafi forces as well, no one gets special treatment in the

5 - I won't tell you that every Libyan fighter in the battle field is an angel and trouble happens. But your article talks about us as though that is the norm and not an exception.  I'll tell you something, we can tell between Black Libyans and African people. When we see an African, we get nervous absolutely (can you honestly blame us?).  But we have another quality that most don't have. We have a close-knit community. Everyone knows everybody.  Any stranger (be he Libyan or not) is automatically a subject of interest and we will find out about that person no matter what.  If he is found to be a
troublemaker or is a criminal, he will be dealt with accordingly.

6 - Those who are found to have caused criminal activity, atrocities, etc, sometimes get prosecuted to the best of our available capabilities. Sometimes they are dealt with on the spot. Again, and I stress this very highly, that is the exception and not the norm. This applies to both Blacks and non-Black Libyans and non-Libyans.

That may be unfortunate, and the majority of the people know it, and the majority want fair and just trials, but sometimes you just can't control everyone.  Just like you can't control some racist criminal groups in the United States.

7 - As for the AU union you want to defend so badly, you're defending people who have been literally bought by Ghaddafi for the last 20 years. Billions (and I mean billions) of dollars were spent by Ghaddafi to buy off the African officials.  Were those money spent to build schools or houses or health centers or anything? No. They were just given to the African leaders so Ghaddafi can build his grand "United States of Africa". 

This is the money that he neglected the Libyan people of. Our own schools, hospital, infrastructure, etc. are in a horrid state and he didn't care.  He wanted to build his own USA and quite conveniently proclaimed himself as the "King of African Kings", and those African nations willingly agreed to it. So you really think their "peace plan" is anything other than him calling out on the debt they owe him?

Check yourself before you use strong language like genocide and ethnic cleansing. Say "problems," okay. Say "pockets of criminal activity," I'll agree with you. But "racism," "ethnic cleansing," and "genocide" are honestly irresponsible of you to say.

Below are just a couple of pictures I took during the July 6th, 2011 "Million Man March" in Benghazi. There were more than enough Black people there to satisfy your benchmark of "Acceptable black recognition".

Libyans don't hate each other Mr. Milton Allimadi. If anything was done during this war was actually bring us all together even closer (just ask the Amazigh themselves what hell they had to go through or didn't you care to ask about the discrimination they went through with Ghaddafi?). 

I really hate using the words, "My best friends are Black." But that sounds like a typical WASP trying to prove he's not racist
and I know Black people even back in the states who laugh at that statement, but I don't care right now.  Take it or leave it.  Our best friends, buddies, neighbors, etc.,  are Black.  We lived with them for centuries and we continue to live with them even after the war is over.

See the picture below: Black Libyans climb a pole to wave the Libyan freedom flag.

See the picture below: my best friends who come in all colors, shapes, and tones.

I honestly hope you take me and what I have said seriously. Your little article is a serious mistake and believe me when I say you are helping Ghaddafi more than anything else.

I would invite you to come and visit Libya, but I doubt you'll accept that invitation.  Nevertheless, it is there and it is open.  See the people how they are living for yourself.  Go even to the front line if you want and see the blacker-than-black Libyans fighting side-by-side with the whitest-of-white Libyans.  I guarantee you'll think twice about what you said.

Best Regards.

Editor's Response to Mahmoud Elgassier: All one needs to do is to conduct Google and Youtube research using the following terms "Libyan rebels lynching Black people," and "Atrocities by Libyan rebels," and "racism by Libyan rebels" to confirm Black Star News's reporting. Also, it's not credible to assert that "There is no such thing as racism against Black Libyans." The Wall Street Journal, which by no means is characterized as a "Black" or "Black-leaning" newspaper is the newspaper that first exposed the ethnic cleansing of Black Libyans in Misurata and the threats against Tawergha in the landmark article published on June 21. What's more, the AU plan remains the best proposal on the table, calling for a ceasefire, negotiations for a constitution, and internationally-monitored democratic elections; certainly far better than NATO's indiscriminate bombings. How do you introduce "democracy" or "protect Libyan civilians" through 24 x 7 bombings? The Libyan "freedom flag" is the flag of the King Idris Senussi era and perhaps Libyans through elections should decide on which flag they prefer. As for your "best friends" being Black, I have no comment. As for debating Benghazi's democratic credentials, the murder of Gen. Abdel Fattah Younes put that to rest. Even Senator John McCain, a big booster of Benghazi, recently wrote a letter to the Transitional Council in Benghazi warning against the human rights abuses. Exposing ethnic cleansing isn't about "defending" al-Quathafi; it's about repudiating NATO's hypocrisy. Libyans must decide their own destiny. The AU is no more compromised than NATO or the UN; both these agencies are substantially financed by the United States, which is not a neutral party in Libya but a belligerent.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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