A Nigerian Academic based in the United State, Professor Moses Ebe Ochonu has berated Nigerians for celebrating controversial U.S Republican Party member, Candace Owen tweet that Nigerian-Americans are the most educated and successful immigrant group in America and are doing well when their African American cousins are failing.
Ochonu said this in a post he posted on his official Facebook page, stating that Nigerian-Americans are not a model minority.
Candace Owen had on the 3rd of July said that Nigerian-Americans are the most successful ethnic group in the U.S.
Nigerian-Americans are the most successful ethnic group in the U.S!
If you want to know how it’s possible that blacks who come from under-developed Africa, keep outperforming blacks from overprivileged America— it’s bc they weren’t exposed to the Democrat parasite of victimhood!
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) July 3, 2019
So, once in a while, racist and intellectually stupid claims by American right wing nutcases about how Nigerian-Americans are the most educated and successful immigrant group in America and are doing well when their African American cousins are failing make their way to social media to a great reception by many uninformed Nigerians.
The racist propagandists never say it directly but the big unsaid in these posts is the racist claim that African Americans are lazy and unfairly blame racism for their problems and purportedly bad choices. I have written extensively on this and have published an article that tackles it. It’s also in one essay in my book of essays.
Most smart people can see through the divide-and-conquer racism of this right-wing backhanded compliment to Nigerian Americans. Nigerian Americans generally see it for what it is.
But that cannot be said for their compatriots in Nigeria, who seem to lap it up enthusiastically as flattery and validation every time it reappears and is recycled by another rightwing activist.
Today, the Nigerian twitter universe and Facebook Nigeriana are promoting the latest incarnation of this well-worn rhetoric, which was tweeted out by rightwing troll, Candace Owens and amplified by another rightwing extremist. I see many Nigerians on Facebook sharing it and proclaiming that they are proud to be Nigerian.
The simple retort, which at least one diaspora Nigerian has interjected into the “positive testimony”–as one Facebook Nigerian post described it–is that Nigerian-American immigrants never dealt with 400 years of slavery, racism, and white terror like their African American cousins.
But as I pointed out in a published essay, the more powerful explanation for the success of Nigerian immigrants is simply that the immigrants are a self-selected group, already prepared for success by the fact that the overwhelming majority come to America with a first or second degree or having already qualified as professionals.
A minor factor is the family pressures from the home country.
Nigerian-Americans are not a model minority. There are no model minority groups. The model minority thesis is wrong and racist. Several published research projects have shown that, once we get to second and third generations, the success/failure rates for immigrants and native groups level out.
If you’re a Nigerian and you are proud to be Nigerian, that’s fine. Just don’t proclaim your pride as a Nigerian because of the recycled racist claptrap of some rightwing nut job. Find other reasons upon which to anchor your nationalist pride and patriotism.