The Kafala System: The Anti-Black Racism of Colonial Sellout Arabs

The Kafala System: The Anti-Black Racism of Colonial Sellout Arabs

Comrade Hash, Black Hammer Times Staff,

In Beirut, Lebanon, one of the most “liberal” countries in the Middle East, thousands of African women have been thrown out onto the streets.

In October 2019 economic issues began to surface. With the onset of Coronavirus, the currency suffered a 50% devaluation in the span of a year. Protesters have demonstrated for months, even going so far as to burn down several banks.

Throughout all this, thousands of bougie Arab homeowners have shown their vile racism by stranding the most oppressed people in their society, African women who work as migrant domestic workers.

“Their employers come here and throw them on the streets in broad daylight…nobody stops you,” says Farah Salka, part of the Anti-Racism Movement.

These women are dumped on the streets, often in front of their home country’s embassies. They lack shelter, housing, and a means to get home. Some of them have had their passports stolen.

Although economic collapse is a convenient excuse for this suffering, Mekdes Ylma, a labor activist with EgnaLegna, explains that “some of [the women] haven’t been given salaries in years.”

The crisis these women face isn’t due to economic collapse, and it’s not even due to the pandemic.

The issue is colonialism. It’s the mindset that racist Arabs have when they choose to live at the expense of these poor working-class African women. In other words, it’s a neocolonial mindset of these petty-bourgeois middle-class pieces of s**t who underpay their domestic laborers; and when doing poorly, throw these women on the street.

Under the Kafala System, 250,000 migrant workers live and work in Lebanon. In this system, which exists in several Middle Eastern countries, visa sponsorship (the ability to work in a foreign country) is controlled by the employers.

In practice, this results in labor exploitation and abuse because the “employers” are often just wealthy homeowners who want to underpay and exploit others.

History of Kafala

While the Kafala System has existed since the 1950s, this colonialist mindset is older.

After WWI, European colonizers split up the Middle East into numerous countries. France stole ownership of Lebanon and the borders they made up included both Muslims and Christians.

Despite eventually gaining legal independence, the colonial-era religious divisions have led to constant tension and conflict.

This culminated in a fifteen-year civil war ending in 1990, resulting in a bureaucratic and sectarian government structure. The result of this conflict led to nothing but a lack of unity in government, political corruption and economic stagnation.

Even though all of Lebanon is colonized, it was the poor and working-class Lebanese people who fought and died in the civil war; and it’s the same people who are currently protesting in the streets and burning banks.

It is not enough to rage against poverty by burning banks while Africans are homeless on the streets. It is not enough to aspire towards prosperity when the sellout Lebanese are the corrupt racists who exploit African migrant labour.

We must unite to abolish the racist Kafala system, a legacy of colonialism where people are oppressed based on their race. Some Ethiopian domestic workers have already created EgnaLegna, an organization dedicated to “fight against the injustices of kafala, gender-based violence and the exploitation of adolescent labour.”

Arabs must stamp out racism in our communities before anything else. We need anti-colonial unity against the common enemies who have colonized us and continue to do so. Only organization can bring victory.

The racist homeowners and the conservative-liberal Arab leaders are true neocolonialists. They side with the Zionists in Israel, the colonizers in France and the amerikkkan slave masters.

They all thrive from white power, so we must curate Black Power to defeat them.

Arabs who want an end to poverty and constant warfare must fight for Black Power.
Arabs who want to see a free Palestine must fight for Black Power.
Anyone who wants an end to colonialism and white power must fight for Black Power.

When the most oppressed among us are free, we will have equality among colonized people. When we have dictatorship over our lives, land and resources, there will be no more colonizers.

Black Hammer is fighting for a world where nobody lives at the expense of another, and we need you. Join today!

Black Power.

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