Sunday, September 4, 2011

419 Reasons to Like Nigeria and Nigerians - My Nigerian Journey

My main blogging effort is a tax blog on  The purpose of this blog is to have a place to write about things other than taxes.  My Nigerian journey went like this.  I posted a silly off-topic post.  Never mind what the original title was, I retitled it:

Switching From Fear to Greed

The title switch was because of comments that made me aware that I was thoughtlessly maligining an entire nation for the actions of a small group, many of whom might not even be connected to that nation.  I thought I needed to go further.  So I dredged up a 1952 tax court decision  that had Mexican scammers using snail mail to pull what is now called a Nigerian 419 scam.  The judge mentioned that even in 1952, when I had just been born and dinosaurs roamed the earth the fraud was ancient and had been referred to as the Spanish Prisoner. The post I wrote was titled

Fraud has No Nationality - Apology to Nigeria

This generated a reaction including a video response from Chika Uwazie who indicated that what Nigeria needs is positive branding.  You see this 419 thing is really bad.  It's bad enough that when somebody thinks "internet fraud" they think Nigeria.  What is much worse is that when they think Nigerian, they think internet fraud.  The best comparison I can come up with is the bigotry against Italians of American descent surrounding organized crime, which is almost as bad as what Jersey Shore is doing to them now.  That really pisses me off.  By the way, if you are around me and want to insult an ethnic group make it the Irish.  I can just attribute it to envy and laugh it off.  If you start in on Italians, Jews and now Nigerians, I'll get mad or as the ethnic slur goes get my Irish up. 

So I came up with another idea, which is not really original as it turned out.  The idea is to make lists of 419 Reasons to Like Nigeria and Nigerians.  That also got some reaction.  How much I'm not sure.  Sometimes blogging can be like being in an echo chamber.  I did another three posts to work up to my own list.

419 Reasons to Like Nigeria and Nigerians - Part 1

Snooki is Not the Way

Cherish Your Diaspora

Not to spoil the surprise but I came up with 150,000 reasons which is my low-ball estimate of the number of men of at least partial Nigerian descent who fought for the Union.  I want to expand on that and also learn more about Nigeria and share that.  Before I started this I didn't even know that such a thing as Nollywood existed.  Go ahead mock me, but please do it here or on forbes.

I have stretched the tax connection further than it really goes though so any further stuff on Nigeria will be on this site.

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