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.

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