Thursday, May 29, 2008

If Terminology could save Africa

It never ceases to amaze me how many words we have found to describe and categorize hate. If we just left the word as it is, hate, we might potentially force ourselves to take a good look at ourselves and perhaps, just perhaps; as the human race, make better decisions. And more than as the human race, as Africans be able to do the same.

What is going on in Africa, I ask? How did we get here? What really is going on? Forget all the explanations everyone is so quick to offer. What really is going on?

Xenophobia, racism, tribalism, bias (religios or otherwise) and all other words that we often use to describe situations. Say we expelled these from the english dictionary for a while. Say we couldn't use these words. If suddenly they had no meaning and were replaced by their more generic term. The term under which umbrella they all fall. Then the news headlines this year might read as follows.

"Kenya in turmoil as Hatred flares"

"No solution to Hatred in Sudan yet"

"South Africa burns as Hatred flares"

Passages within the stories covered by these headlines might include these words:
"Lessons not learnt from Rwanda when Hatred between its two tribes ended up in genocide" Or to be more effective, let's replace the word genocide with "the loss of numerous innocent lives"

It baffles me, completely, how people get here; how they get like this. How you get to believe so much that a group of people, whom you don't know by name save for maybe 0.02% of these group members, people one will never meet, and people who will most likely never cross your path. How you get to believe that eliminating them, 'these people' will make your life better. How you can be convinced that that would be the solution to your problems. How you can get here and cannot understand that you are your own worst enemy, I don't get it.

This is the sheer inability to look into the mirror and see one's own reflection.

It is completely unlikely that eliminating a certain kind of people, especially through death is the solution anyone has been looking for all their lives to get them to that happy place. That 'other people' have been the hindrance to your progress, especially when freedoms of access to the same things by and large have been established, save for social classes being the main division. To choose to kill, instead of to understand the path, the route needed to bridge one from poverty to wealth and then proceed to fight for the implementation and access of the tools needed to move from poverty to wealth;to draw an innocent person's blood and attempt to justify it under this guise; to be this selfish, this stupid, this worthless, is the epitome of human failure.

Poverty hurts more when one starts to believe they are entitled to other people's stuff. Poverty is difficult but it is no excuse for commiting crimes. Suffering is to be abhored, but cannot be escaped by inflicting the same upon others. And poverty requires patience and understanding to overcome. Some so much, that as parents, sometimes what the options are is to establish that the necessary changes have been put into place, are being put into place progressively, so that the next generation has hope. Poverty and suffering cannot be resolved by throwing entire communities and nations into a state of despair. Instead, hope must prevail. And this cannot be achieved through bloody means.

There isn't a single lesson Africa hasn't learned yet. Maybe, just maybe, if we start using core terms, such as hatred, and people and murder in place of the more decorated and somewhat redemptive terms such as xenophobia, and foreign persons and cleansings; maybe then we can really start to hear things. And maybe then we can take stork of what exactly it is that we are partcipating in.

All of it is murder. By coveting thy neighbor's wealth, btw. You get so mad that they are wealthy that you believe they must be stealing from you and even without any evidence of such crimes against yourself, you take a weapon and strike them their death blow. Murder. period.

No sugar coating. Just plain generic terms and meanings.

After all if it requires that much explanation, someone is probably trying to hide something. Perhaps guilt.

Get it together, Africa. Get it together. Your people need you.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Opportunistic feminist - Rant!

Every now and then someone says something to me that sends my head spinning. I know I've mentioned how badly Hillary Rodham Clinton (from here on referred to as HRC)has been getting on my nerves. But for someone, anyone, to call me an opportunistic feminist?! Bamboozled, yeah, that's me. Wth? I ask.

Let's get a few things right. I am not a feminist. never was. In fact even when I was much younger, I was opposed to the Beijing conference, simply because I believe that at some level, no one can give you freedom, you just rise up and take it, claim it or utilize its availability. I'm not one of those women feeling trapped or victimized or disadvantaged by my gender. Sincerely, I've never felt it. I'm one of those women, who recognize I might meet a few men who doubt my capabilities, but I'm confident enough to know that I'm as great as any other human being at what I fix my mind on, male or female, is not a detail that occurs to me. So just what the hell is an opportunistic feminist?

Well, apparently since I am one of those people, not women, people, who are very vocal, forthright and perhaps blunt, many think I am a feminist just because I am a woman wearing a man's personality (who gave out gender to personalities, if I may ask?)I'm aware my very unemotional analysis of things and events makes me unlike many or most women. That's all fine. I'm just inclined to reality, truth and facts more than feelings. And what does this mean? That I should shut up and take a submissive role unless I'm going to be a feminist? What the hell are women still fighting for? Women have led countries, companies and institutions. It's too late to play victims. We might have a steeper climb sometimes but by goodness, its all over. We can do whatever we want. we've been free and liberated since I've been born and I'm not going to sit here and pretend to have an issue I'm not suffering from. I'm female and very empowered, very capable and with access to everything and anything I set my mind to. Now, this does not negate the fact that I recognize attitudes within the society that disenfranchise and disadvantage women. Especially with unequal pay for equal work. However,women need to rise to the occasion and acknowledge that we need to sharpen our negotiation skills and research our worth before accepting proposed salaries. There are plenty of women out here making more than men just by perfecting these two things. The trick, is to leave the emotions out of it, and approach all this with facts and evidence.

let me put it this way folks, being female is not a disability!

That's why I don't get all the seats in parliament that need to be set aside for women? Kwani? What about all the women who've gotten there without freebies? They had what, 3 hands 4 legs? No no. they had what it takes to get in and become what they wanted. we want to get ahead women, we need to shed these outer coats of expected female ideals and instead cultivate the values we need to get to where we want.

That's why I cringe when HRC starts cooing at females with the notion that this is their time. Its been their time! Recall Margaret Thatcher? She is female despite not being American. This link should offer everyone a link as to just how old elected female leadership is and has been in this world. It's not a fight. It's been won. The war is over. Now we can just be. Hence, Thatcher is not alone. Less democratic nations have elected women as leaders and its old news. Lets move on.

What I don't need is being questioned about how women just sit and allow emotions to rule over common sense. such as when HRC starts to describe McCain as capable but Obama... err...; "well, ask him," despite being a democrat. Sure it could be tactical, so she can run in 2012 (because anyone who understands math knows this race has been over!) Still, she raises the question as to whether she ( representing women, dunno who said so) has the capability to separate her emotions from her realities. These are the situations I don't need to be put into by women who have appointed themselves as fighters for some cause that somehow liberates women further.

My preference would be that all women represent themselves and their affiliations, and not us, the gender. I for one do not need representation on that level. I feel that we're just fine. We just need to get in and get dirty so that we can achieve results.

Opportunistic feminist?! definitely not me. And women, get out and take your freedoms! Don't waste any more energy on fighting wars that have already been won. - please. My 2 cents to you my gender mates.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Democratic Primaries, Rev. Wright, Media failures

It's 11:30 EST. North Carolina is a definite win for Barack Obama with 14 point lead. And the wonderful part of this night is that Indiana cannot yet be called, despite 88% of the votes having been counted. if that's not nail biting for those of us who want to win both states, I don't know what is. However, it's already been a good night.

Fox News is bragging about the Rush Limbaugh effect. He has been sending republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton. they've been calling his station all day long bragging about how well they obeyed his instructions. Seeing that Indiana at best will have Hillary win with no more than a 4% margin, then we can argue fairly that she didn't win this either. But no need to raise it within Barack's camp. It doesn't matter anymore. Same argument fits perfectly into her Texas victory as well. Barack is strong! November is his to lose!

Rev. Wright... My opinion. A great man who has been diminished by the inability of this American media to discuss the realities facing America. I for one, never with a black pastor heard the God damned America sermon often immediately after 9/11. It simply fits into Christian teachings. that's why hagee says the same things about Louisiana. I don't understand why the Christian leadership did not defend wright on this. On his comment about the white man bringing Aids to kill the black man, well, a little crazy since you can't prove it. However, given the men of Tuskegee, and the fact that the white man intentionally infected them with syphilis. To understand that Wright was serving the military then, is to understand why he believes what he does. pretty much, this is an issue where the white man provided a pot and all Wright had to do was stir it. If the media was fair, they would acknowledge it instead of painting Wright as a crazy, no brains man. A definite non fact. Wright is not your average brain, he is a very intelligent man.

Which brings me to the point of the failed media discussions during this very interesting primary process. The failures to lift America from its ignorance has been so overwhelming. to listen to analysts on TV, debate the name Hussein, without injecting, once, on any channel that outside of America, best example being Sierra leone, many people have Muslim like names with no attachment to religion. Some edification. Despite the fact that the More important conversation is that being a muslim in itself is only pariah worthy in a few places and that many other places live in harmony with multiple religions because it is a non issue in most of the world. Amongst other missed opportunities, so many in fact I think I will cover that in a post all of its own somewhere down the road.

I've been waiting for the camel's back to break on this primary. It's definitely over for Clinton now. despite her mixed signal speech. Looking now I see Indiana at 51-49 Clinton lead with 9% to go. I will dare to declare victory for Obama because I know what precincts are yet to report. I'll declare my prediction right or wrong in an update later. Interestingly, Obama conceded this state to Clinton in his speech earlier, I guess we will be retracting that, an ideal scenario for many like myself who are just done with this primary process.

Next? Clinton would stay until after her victories in West Virginia and Kentucky. However, her campaign is so broke, this may not be a prudent decision. they have no chance of winning. it would just be nice for her to go out in victory. She may have to give that up though. Rumor has it she has lent her campaign funds again. No need to keep draining the bank. Including rumors of her conceding defeat if Obama can pay off her debt?! And that's from reliable sources!

well, it's been a good night. I have a whole lot of thanksgiving prayers to say. Update on this post as soon as Indiana is called.

Go Obama!

1:10EST - MSNBC and CNN just called Indiana for Hillary Clinton. Looks like a 2 point lead less than 25K votes. I along with many of Obama supporters have been up, ingesting calories ( I made a bowl of pasta and sauce at midnight!) waiting for this state to be called. disappointing not to have finally clinched it (which reminds me to point out my call for victory at 91% reporting was wrong) but still a much better outcome than was expected. There's a probable possibility this win is a little shaky, something to do with absentee votes. But it's called, so for now we accept Clinton's victory.

Superdelegates better help us end this tomorrow!