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Enough of this racism: Foreign visitors must respect Kenyans

By The Standard | Published Sat, September 8th 2018 at 12:15, Updated September 8th 2018 at 12:18 GMT +3
Chinese national Liu Jiaqi was deported on Thursday for making racism remarks. [File, Standard]

The Thursday deportation of Chinese national Liu Jiaqi points to a troubling trend in what is becoming a complicated relationship between Kenya and her friends from China.

Mr Liu was secretly captured on video by a worker he had threatened to sack from his motorcycle shop. In the clip, Liu claimed that there was nothing that poor, black, smelly Kenyans could do to him before finishing up a long rant by calling Kenyans monkeys.

While we should remain steadfast in honouring and welcoming visitors to our country, the highest levels of vetting should be conducted on those wishing to travel to Kenya for business or pleasure.

It is inexcusable for anyone to come into our country to abuse and call us names. Racial slurs cannot and should never be tolerated by Kenyans.

We appeal to the government to ensure tighter border control are enforced by those responsible. The Immigration Department should carefully consider those applying for work or business permits. The net effect of allowing in thankless individuals with an undeserved feeling of self-importance can only lead down a path that could lead to the rise in xenophobia. The possibility of xenophobic attacks remains real in an economy rife with challenges such as ours.

It is our view that Liu’s deportation was the right move. But his bad behaviour should not be an excuse to victimise the many well-meaning Chinese nationals in the country legally doing genuine businesses.

In the current world, no country can isolate itself from the global dynamics of the movement of human capital.

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But anyone looking down on Kenyans should by all means face the full wrath of the law and know that Kenya is a country of law abiding citizens.

We have enough worries of our own. We do not need any more burdens on our shoulders. Kenya has opened her borders to the world for business and for pleasure. No one should misconstrue this inborn affinity to kindness for a weakness. A nation as great as ours deserves respect at all times.?

 

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