Black Americans Could Seek Asylum Abroad, Expert Says
Photo Credit: @crystalmariesing via Twenty20

Photo Credit: @crystalmariesing via Twenty20

Black Americans Could Seek Asylum Abroad, Expert Says

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Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Oct 2, 2020

In a highly anticipated debate between the Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden, the president of the United States refused to denounce White supremacy.

The world watched as President Donald Trump told the Proud Boys – a far-right group the Anti-Defamation League calls misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic, and anti-immigration – to “stand back and stand by.”

President could not say the words denouncing this extremist group, and yet, he said so much – especially to Black Americans who have simply had enough.  

It’s always been tough for Black Americans in the United States.

In fact, the words from the great James Baldwin still ring true when a radio host asked about being Black in America: “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a state of rage almost, almost all of the time — and in one’s work.”

But for some, 2020 has been the straw to break the camel’s back as Black Americans face two crises:  the coronavirus pandemic and law-enforcement killings of Black Americans.

The atmosphere is changing, and through Travel Noire’s own reporting, you may have noticed a trend: Black people are fed up with racism, packing their bags, and heading overseas.

After watching the video of George Floyd begging for his life, Demetria Brown knew she had enough.

Brown quit her job on June 1 as a detention officer for the Los Angeles County Probation Department, sold her house, stuffed her belongings into 13 duffel bags, and relocated to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico.

RELATED: After George Floyd’s Death, This Black Woman Packed Her Bags, Quit Her Job, And Moved To Mexico

And Brown isn’t alone.

In fact, there’s a whole movement known as Blaxit.  The term was coined by Dr. Ulysses Burley III in 2016 after Brexit to reference the number of Black people leaving the United States to avoid hate crimes and systemic racism – which for Amali Tower, founder and executive director of Climate Refugees, means that Black Americans could qualify for asylum.

In a recent Op-Ed, Tower explains that she has worked in the field for more than 15 years and that refugee protection is less about vulnerability and more about oppression. 

She goes on to say, “I can tell you what we all collectively witnessed in the murder of George Floyd, the subsequent numerous acts of police brutality in the ensuing protests and systematic state treatment of Black Americans could certainly qualify as a legitimate basis for most asylum claims.”

Tower told Travel Noire that since she posted her Op-Ed, she has received numerous inquiries from readers sharing their personal stories of racism experienced in the US and inquiring how they can seek asylum as Black Americans.

“I deeply empathize with how they feel, and sincerely wrote the article not to advocate for anyone to seek asylum, rather stress the severity of the human rights situation under an international legal framework,” she told Travel Noire.

In her article, Tower stated, “by no means do I advocate for Black Americans to leave the United States, but assuming a Black American [was] to seek asylum abroad, the social and political unrest that has rocked the country just these past few weeks alone would add to a trove of evidence to support any claims of ‘well-founded fear’ for this person’s safety and wellbeing at home.”

She told Travel Noire that she hoped by sharing her industry knowledge surrounding asylum, that “it would help end the ongoing debate as to whether systemic and structural racism is an issue in America.”