What happened to University of Arizona student Bakari Henderson in the “party island” of Zakynthos is tragic.
He was a recent graduate in business administration and sports management with his whole life ahead of him — that was until he got too comfortable in a foreign, European country.
Reportedly, he was killed after taking a selfie at Bar Code club with a waitress, which upset the club’s bouncer.
Then Henderson was dead shortly after. In recently released CCTV footage, you can see Henderson run across the frame (obviously running away from a mob), before being grabbed mid-jumped and slammed into the back of a sedan. Then people continue stomping and punching his lifeless body. Paramedics arrive soon after, but Henderson was likely dead from the blunt trauma he sustained during his jumping.
The suspects in this fatal incident are eight Serbian tourists, a British national of Serbian origin and a Greek bartender, likely the bouncer that was not pleased to see Henderson fraternizing with the waitress, who was likely his girl, someone he was fucking or someone he wanted to.
Unfortuantely, this should serve as a reminder to blacks, especially men, that we are not as welcome to these European cultures as we think we are. Unfortunately, a lot of racism toward people of darker color came to head in Eastern Europe.
I felt like a foreigner in my own country when I stayed at a hostel in Los Angeles about four years ago.
To make a long story short (well not that short), I stopped by the hostel earlier in the day to sign in before I headed to LAX to pick up my black friend from Kansas City, Missouri.
I paid for both of our rooms and asked where our rooms were. I was told not to worry about it by a black manager. So I got my building key and headed to pick up my friend. After picking him up, we grabbed some drinks and headed back to the hostel. There, we were confronted by a white man of European origin who accosted us. I showed him our receipt and that we had a room there, but he became angrier (the crazy thing is, he wasn’t even the bouncer — just some self-appointed protector of the Asian women staying there). He got in my face and told me to “leave now!” Not wanting to start shit with this crazy person, we left and came back later.
Turns out, this guy changed the keypad code so that we couldn’t get back into the building. I took my complaints to the hostel manager and he looked at me like I was crazy. He told me none of this happened (a term called gaslighting) and that I shouldn’t have come back so late in the night. He was probably high on something too because the whole time he kept smiling at me with too calm of a demeanor.
Even though we had two nights left in the hostel, I decided to go back home to Palm Springs to sleep in my own bed — avoiding what would have probably turned into a violent confrontation).
It was my first overtly racial experience in Los Angeles, a city I had hoped valued diversity (it’s not fair of me to judge all of LA by how this hostel treated me, but it goes to show how far white privilege goes, even when it comes from a European in my own country).
Recently Airbnb has come under fire again for an incident in Amsterdam when a white man was seen pushing a South African filmmaker, Sibahle Steve Nkumbi, down a flight of stairs because she was late checking out of the property.
In an Instagram video showing the confrontation, Nkumbi can be seen extending her arm against a wall to brace herself from falling down a steep flight of stairs, all while the man is shoving her in her back. She eventually falls down the flight of stairs, audibly hitting her head on something metallic. This led to her suffering a concussion, and a bump on her head along with bruises.
Even while she lay on the ground, the host, with her belongings in his hands, continued to force the woman out of the property. The man was heard allegedly saying “this isn’t Africa.”
Dutch prosecutors are considering charging the man, 47, with attempted murder.
Airbnb has had issues in the past when it came to discriminatory practices from its hosts. They underwent some sort of racial sensitivity classes, but it doesn’t seem to have caught on. It’s really hard to stop people from being racist, especially when it comes to their property.
In the end, there really isn’t anywhere in the world where black American men are welcomed. No nation in Africa stands up for us when we’re brutalized and killed by US police. Rising terrorist attacks and xenophobia have gripped Europe by the balls and they’d rather see their whole country fail before accepting black men, no matter how well-mannered or educated we may be.
Until we start creating our own black communities where we look out for and take care of one another, stories like this will continue to be a part of our psyche.
As always, stay woke and stay safe out there, my friends.