Peace has Come to Zimbabwe
So, it has been a gloriously hot weekend here in Portland, with delicious baking heat that forces you to drink plenty of cold, cold water and to eat almost exclusively fruit. I love hot weather- it's an instant realization that the sun does exist!
What also exist is corruption. Your friend and mine, Robert Mugabe ( he is referenced in a number of songs, including Stevie Wonder's Master Blaster)is again President of Zimbabwe. He's like 80 years old. His followers makes the Clinton campaign look like sissies- reports of horrifying disfigurements, assassinations, intimidation and beatings has been leaking out of Zimbabwe. The opposition leader, Morgan Tsvirigai, had told his supporters to not resist and had to go run to the Dutch embassy for protection.
How lovely. Zimbabwe was once the shining example of the overthrow of British Colonialism and shadow Apartheid. Now, it is a sad farce- or it would be a face, if this thing was not written in blood.
Now Edie, you say as you sip your iced coffee, come now, you can't say such things after all- you are a :
1) A privileged Westerner
2) A badly educated, somewhat ignorant American
3) A spoilt American woman who knows nothing about African history
4) Your random thought here.
Except there is this: I am the daughter of Caribbean immigrants who have been in the New World for nearly 400 years. In that time before time, my ancestors were probably rather harmless rice and millet farmers in what is now Ghana, brought here ( Brazil)by the slave trade. Despite what "Roots" probably taught people, my ancestors were mostly raided on by a stronger, meaner, better equipped clan assembly or nation -state who needed slaves to trade for European- made guns or cannon or- get this- cloth.
Not that I am bitter. Look at the richness and diversity of the African Diaspora in the Americas. That's my ( and your ) patrimony; that people traded for mere objects were ( and do ) create art, poetry and policy that speaks to soul.
And so, the point being is that we in the Western nations are perfectly suited and have every right to criticise the corruption and foolishness of Zimbabwe's leader and the followers who prop him up. It is not racism nor is it colonialism to point out that your regime is maiming and killing innocent people and bankrupting the country. If nothing was wrong, would such an outcry be there?
And so, on a very hot day, the peace of Fascism came to Zimbabwe, instead of the liveliness of democracy and freedom. The Union of African Nations welcomed him with open arms, and Egypt, old, old as dust Egypt, paid for his stay at a luxury hotel.
This is our world,friends. But what now- how now?