White man once again plucks discovery from black people’s commonplace. Didn’t colonialism end last century? What about slavery? There are many to blame, but once again, NatGeo’s at the forefront.
Two days ago the magazine reported in headline, “Black leopard confirmed in Africa for first time in 100 years.” (I expect they will be taking this down but I’ve got a screen capture.) They’re racistly wrong. A Kenyan photographer published photos of the same leopard five years ago and Kenyans today are livid.
Once the darling of Africa, South African Airways is on the verge of collapse. Unless the South African government bails it out to the tune of 21 billion rand ($1½ billion) it will cease to exist within the next year.
The picture above is from the lead article of the very popular Daily Maverick. South Africans of every political stripe remain furious with Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump’s patent lying about them yesterday.
Parts of this lead story now follow, written by one of South Africa’s most colorful authors and filmmakers, Richard Poplak.
(“Oomie” and “Suidlander” are explained in full after the article below.)
Yesterday’s much heralded peace accord between Ethiopia and Eritrea was seen as a glimmer of hope that people power and democratic ideas might be at last challenging some of Africa’s most autocratic regimes.
Not so fast, folks. Some of us don’t see it that way at all.
As the world fractures, the Chinese/African partnership of the last two decades is also coming apart, and the cleaver is racism. It’s a remarkable story and one that mirrors similar stories all around the world.
The best example is Kenya’s new railway, funded, built and now operated by the Chinese. As China contracts, as the world decays into smaller pieces, Chinese racism has become an explosive issue in Kenya.
Racism has been affirmed and strengthened by democracy. This morning Kenya is controlled by Kikuyus and their allied tribes, as it has been for 300 years. Fires still burn, several people have been shot, and Kenya’s non-Kikuyu cities are ghost towns. It could have been much worse.
I am supposed to guide in Kenya in a few months. Should I go? Yes. Why? Because it will be safe for my clients, because we will only travel into Kikuyu and allied lands. What about other places? Probably in a year. I’ve seen it before. The Kikuyus will be benevolent if not wholly fair, and the country will settle into an uncomfortable peace.
Democracy isn’t working, anywhere. South African Richard Pithouse predicted all of this in his summary of Trump’s election: “The Donalds are Everywhere.” Since that analysis nearly a year ago, Kenya, Spain, Italy, South Africa, the U.S., France, Britain and probably to some degree every democratic nation on earth has grown increasingly tumultuous.
Be prepared, folks. If you think the hurricane season is just about wind and rain, you’ve got another thing coming.
A video going viral was given leave to emerge into the public consciousness because of the news gap between Irma dissipating and Trump beginning to, again. It was of two stately white reticulated giraffe found in an unusual forest in Kenya.
The excitement provoked a massive use of smiley emoji not used so often, anymore. How ironic this isn’t really good news. So sorry, folks, white animals aren’t unusual. And it’s anything but good news.
Surrounded by security officials and police, two (later proved) innocent Kenyan immigrants to India are unfairly detained, then harassed by police in Greater Noida, India.
“India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s hypernationalistic “Hindutva” ideology has found common cause with Trumpism,” writes a Kenyan commentator today. “Ultranationalism and hatred of the ‘other’ are being associated with patriotism in both India and the US.”
Can a piece of art be hate speech? A year-long furor in South Africa blew up yesterday when a gang of white men calmly entered Cape Town’s prestigious National Art Museum and plastered a large sticker reading “Love Thy Neighbour” over a “F**k White People” pop-art canvas.
What’s illegal here? The vigilantes believed South Africa’s strict hate speech laws weren’t being enforced, but were they breaking laws protecting the artist’s freedom of speech?
Xenophobia infects, kills and spreads like any biological virus: “Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba … speaks loudly about illegal foreigners and tells them to leave his city … because of the right-wing frenzy whipped up by Trump.”
A pandemic spreads until it dies out: It’s not reversible. Trump may have softened his xenophobic rhetoric in the U.S., but it’s only growing in South Africa.
South Africa’s long, mystic relationship with Israel is severely tested today as Israel decides what to do with the all-women crew its Defense Forces captured yesterday off a private South African yacht headed to Gaza.
The South African/Israeli relationship is incredibly sensitive and complex, and I believe disturbing. It will be very interesting to see what Israel does, today.