Millions butchered in Africa. Where's the outrage among Blacks?
When two million non-Muslim Africans were killed by a fundamentalist Islamic regime (well before the recent janjaweed/Darfur stuff), even the reliably far-left Black Commentator was forced to note the silence, perhaps explained by the Nation of Islam's unwillingness to criticize.
Then, re Congo, where the toll is 3 million dead and rising, I found this recent colloquy very troubling.
Me: Everybody's got a butcher's bill. You can condemn the dead or help the living. It's your choice.
My Correspondent: Long, dreadful legacy of Belgian Catholics in the Congo and Rwanda-Burundi, among other places.
Now, of course that's true. King Leopold's regime in Congo killed over four million Congolese at the turn of the past century. I continued:
The slaughter in Africa today is nothing but agenda. The African nations want no part of a "white" solution, and the Europeans don't want to be accused of neo-colonialism.
Meanwhile, both African and European nations are guarding their interests in plundering Congo's natural wealth. Make no mistake, there are no clean hands. Everybody's involved.
That said, there is no one to speak for the children of Africa. It's my opinion that the African diaspora, especially in the United States, is their best hope.
The good guys (if there are any) and the bad guys must be sorted out, and action must be taken, action that won't be easy or pretty or even purely Black.
But the body count grows every day and agendas and even legitimate historical grievances must take a back seat.
Black America has the unique power to lead both this country and the world concerning Africa, to stop the murder and save the children.
The reply: The suggestion of an outside group becoming instrumental to solving the issues in Africa, is the revival of the colonial mentality and legacy. Africans know their environment, their territory, their problems, far better than anyone else. The foreigners in Africa are mainly there for material reasons; the large caches of foreign weaponry compound the problem. There are also the partly Africanized Asians (mainly Indians) and Europeans who have been in Africa for some generations.
The average African is a humble person, much less materialistic than most people in the world, one who desires to see his/ her child grow up healthily in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. We have had foreign "peacekeepers" in the Congo, who have turned out to be purveyors of foreign perverted sexual practices and literature, and been tricksters, stalkers, and rapists of African children.
Now of course, the facts here are largely accurate, too, except for the notion that the ancestral culture of average Africans will exempt them from the failings of the rest of humanity. I do not think this is a minority Black view, either here in the USA or in Africa. "Black Consciousness" was perhaps seen in the West as a fad, but a look at Steve Biko's Black Consciousness manifesto from the 1970s shows a decidedly non-Western philosophy underlying it. It is very real and I think it holds even greater sway today.
Just as Ronald Reagan had his 11th Commandment, thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican, similarly goes the pan-African view. There will be no real condemnation of African genocide, and interventionist solutions are unacceptable. In fact, any such effort by "the outside world" will be opposed. Africa for Africans, goes the song.
The West has never offered anything except its own brand of tyranny and murder, and it is unrealistic to expect "average" Africans to believe anything has changed. And as Vietnam and dozens of other places have taught us, a people will prefer a tyranny of its own to the tyranny of outsiders, all of which is why President Clinton's (I believe) altruistic adventure in Somalia went so horribly awry.
I usually have some clever answer for everything, but not this time. I find it terribly difficult to accept that the slaughter will and apparently must continue. I suppose Africa will solve its problems in time, but not until millions more have died.
I so very much want to be wrong about this.