Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I would've been gone

I know I'm posting a lot of news stories right now, but there's a lot of news that catches my fancy these days. This current one:


has a pretty sad picture attached. It is about a white Zimbabwean farmer who was attacked and brutally beaten, along with his mother and father-in-law, for filing a complaint against seizure of their land and writing a letter to some news outlet about the intimidation of his black MDC supporting farm workers by ZANU-PF thugs. His wife managed to escape with their young children, one of whom had a broken leg from a previous attack on their home but the mother and father-in-law are not well after being beaten for hours and threatened with death.

And he's going to go back.

Nothing will happen to Mugabe. He's happily sitting in Cairo right now attending an AU summit. Sure, other African leaders didn't come to his inauguration, but South Africa won't step in and nobody else will really get involved. And, anyway, what would they do? Occupy?

We are watching the disintegration of once extremely successful nation in slow motion and not able to stop it. And, honestly, I am not blaming anyone, I don't have a solution, short of having someone plant explosives in his cigar.

On a related but different note, I have a friend who is part Zimbabwean and she and I once had a very interesting conversation where she supported the taking of the farms from the whites. She felt that it was the only way to right the wrongs of Rhodesia. Now, I argued that yes, there did need to be land redistribution, but this was insanity and party politics and, anyway, didn't those white Zimbabweans have any rights?

To which she said no. Whites in Africa don't have rights, they are all interlopers and should leave. Even South African whites, who have been in South Africa as long as white Americans have been in America are not truly African and do nothing but keep black Africans down.

I was totally shocked, but I wonder how prevalent a sentiment that is on the continent. And I can't decide who's racist, me for thinking she's wrong or her for painting all whites with the same brush. Probably both.

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