A number of African bloggers have written on the Australian race riots. MentalAcrobatics from Kenya - (http://www.mentalacrobatics.com/think/archives/2005/Dec/race_riots_in_a.php) discusses the riots in the context of Australia’s “White Australia Policy” which itself is rooted class conflict between “convicts and exclusives”. Australia is well known for its disgustingly abhorrent treatment of indigen...read more
A number of African bloggers have written on the Australian race riots. MentalAcrobatics from Kenya - (http://www.mentalacrobatics.com/think/archives/2005/Dec/race_riots_in_a.php) discusses the riots in the context of Australia’s “White Australia Policy” which itself is rooted class conflict between “convicts and exclusives”. Australia is well known for its disgustingly abhorrent treatment of indigenous Australians which continues unabated today. It is therefore hardly surprising to hear that race riots have broken out and even less surprising to hear that once again it is Islam that is being blamed yet again. He concludes by pointing out that there is a lesson for Kenyans:
“Remember Mboya's quote on, ‘avoiding the pitfalls of those who run before us?’ Not only on a tribal level but on a racial level as well. For example when you ignore one part of the country while formulating a development agenda justifying it with statements like, ‘well they are not really Kenyan’ disaster will come, did come.”
Chippla’s Weblog - Chippla's Weblog (http://chippla.blogspot.com/2005/12/reforming-nigerian-aviation-sector.html) writes critically on the Nigerian aviation sector following yet another plane crash in which 110 people died, of whom 52 were children. Chippla has already written extensively on the previous two crashes and here he questions “the wisdom in allowing airliners older than 22 years to remain in service in Nigeria”. Apparently there is a law to this effect but it has not been implemented. The post goes on to provide a brief historical overview of the Nigerian airline industry from the early days of Nigerian Airways to the present liberalisation of the domestic airline industry.
“With the rush to liberalize the domestic airline market in Nigeria, common sense seemed to have been thrown to the dustbin. For instance, the airplane which crashed two days ago was not only 32 years old but was actually bought five years ago when it was 27 years old according to this report. Why should a carrier be allowed to buy an airliner this old? Furthermore, the airliner in question, a DC-9, was bought in 2000 at a time when its manufacturer McDonnell Douglas no longer existed (McDonnell Douglas was bought over by Boeing in 1997) which would have made it difficult to obtain spare parts.”
He concludes that temporary solutions should no longer be tolerated and there should be nothing less than an outright ban on aged airliners.
Freedom for Egyptians - Freedom for Egyptians (http://freedomforegyptians.blogspot.com/2005/12/social-freedoms-and-chas...) posts about the different responses in Egypt and the US to women being harassed by their partners. Using a female friend as an example, he writes that in Egypt harassment of a woman is not discussed or followed through in order to avoid spoiling her reputation:
“A family might advise their daughter never to mention a harassment issue no matter what because if a would-be groom learns that somebody tried to harass his future wife he might consider not marrying her. The reason is always that if a woman has good manners, she would not have been harassed in the first place. Having a harassed daughter in the family is a lasting stigma, because this means that she did not respect herself. Reporting violated rights is not an issue.”
On the other hand in the US when a woman reports sexual harassment either to her employers or her apartment owners, she is treated with respect and her concerns and fears are taken on board. He goes on to discuss “social freedoms” of women in Egypt and female circumcision both of which are used to control and subjugate women to “complete sexual obedience”.
Unashamedly pro American and libertarian, Rantings of a Sandmonkey - Rantings of a SandMonkey (http://egyptiansandmonkey.blogspot.com/2005/12/europeans-pissed-at-ahhno...) has a rant about the European media being “mad and disappointed at Arnold for rejecting clemency for Tookie's execution”. He is referring to the execution of convicted murderer and ex-gang leader, Stanley Tookie Williams at midnight on Monday in California. Clearly in favour of capital punishment, Sandmonkey writes in response to calls for clemency by the European media and human rights organisations:
“Let's see if you can follow this with me: Tookie killed people, and he founded a gang that killed people and ruined hundreds if not thousands of lives. The fact that after his arrest, conviction and being put on death row he finally saw the light and wrote a couple of children books against joining gangs, well, it's pretty goddamn convenient and doesn't change what he did. Will executing him bring back those he killed? No. Will it bring some sense of justice to the families of his victims? Sure. Is it an appropriate way to make him pay for his crimes? Nope. He should be executed 4 times, one time for each life he took by his own hands. But since that's impossible, killing him once will have to do. The fact that you can only kill him once, well, that's the travesty of justice. Ok?”
South African blogger, Mzansi Afrika - Mzansi Afrika (http://mzansiafrika.typepad.com/mzansi_afrika/2005/12/fuel_shortages_.html) writes about the recent fuel shortages in South Africa which are causing planes to be delayed and petrol stations to run dry. Apparently the cause of the shortages is being blamed on the change to unleaded fuel as from 1st January 2006, though it is not clear why this should cause fuel shortages. Coming from an oil producing country - Nigeria - where fuel shortages have been an everyday part of life for as long as I can remember, I don’t hold much sympathy for this temporary blip in fuel consumption for South African motorists - unless of course it continues for the next three decades!
Black Star Journal - Black Star Journal (http://blackstarjournal.blogspot.com/2005/12/shame-on-you-george.html) comments on George Weah’s refusal to concede defeat in the Liberian elections:
“The political neophyte lost a runoff to veteran opposition leader and economist Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, despite the fact that most of the political class endorsed him. I'm not sure if Weah is sore about losing to a woman or if his influential entourage is upset about not having access to the spoils of power.”
Given Liberia’s recent violent history, Weah’s macho muscle flexing behaviour is distasteful and irresponsible and transforms his reputation as an “honest” man into a spoiled brat and one who if not careful could lead the country into further violence.
Nigerian blogger in London, Soul On Ice - Soul on Ice (http://obifromsouthlondon.blogspot.com/2005/12/smells-like-biafran-money...) raises the issue of Biafra which is once again in the news as the Movement for the Actualisation of a Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) calls for strikes in Eastern Nigeria in support of a new Biafra. Referring to the Nigeria civil war (1967-1970) in which a million plus people died including Soul’s own relatives, he concludes that 35 years on little has changed – the legacy of colonialism lives on.
“From Nigeria, Palestine all the way to Pakistan and India wars and tribal tensions flourish. You gotta love the British Colonist. First they enslave us and then leave our lands in ruins. Incapable of unifying because of marked differences. Differences ignored because of the hunger and greed for everything African. Divide and conquer. The art of war. The sun tzu doctrine. For how can you drive out the invader if you are fighting amongst yourselves? The British legacy lives on till this day. Amen.”
* Sokari Ekine produces the blog Black Looks, http://okrasoup.typepad.com/black_looks
* Please send comments to [email protected]