Adelma Tapia Ruiz, 37, died at Brussels airport while her husband and twin daughters played nearby.
“If a blind man says he going to throw a stone at you, don’t laugh at him. He has one under his foot.” That’s a Ghanaian proverb.
One of my priorities in Belgium sixteen years ago was to integrate properly, have a good communication skills, just to be productive and efficient in the society. But I realized that the biggest problem in Belgium is ‘Underestimation of foreigners, especially Africans.”
Underestimation and discrimination go together. It is a universal problem but I believe its heavier in Belgium than any country in the world, even though I haven’t been to the four corners of the globe.
If Belgium had put away underestimation, the recent terrorist attacks at Brussels’ Zaventem Airport and the Metro stations could have been prevented. I guessed that attacks shocked the entire nation and questioned their security strength.
During the days of terrorist Osama Bin Laden, Belgium received a threat of invasion and destruction. Instead of taking this treat serious, in one of Belgium’s newspapers was the response that: “Belgium is too small that Osama Bin Laden can’t find the country on the map.” Evidence of Belgium’s attitude of underestimation.
Before and after the Paris attacks, there were similar messages from various terrorist groups to infiltrate Belgium and cause destruction, yet the Belgian government ignored those warnings and waited till three bomb attacks killing thirty-two and injuring many people in the three bomb attacks at Brussels’ airport and Maelbeek Metro station.
Underestimation can be part of the words in the dictionary, but it shouldn’t be practical or attitude, because, in Ghana, there is another proverb which says: “The river you don’t respect is exactly what will carry you away.”