Cynthia Tucker recently wrote in her paper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, about the plight of the people in Zimbabwe. And she wanted to know why there was no outcry from black A-merry-cans.
Well Cynthia, here comes an outcry from yours truly.
Robert Mugabe as far as I am concerned has now joined the ranks of some of the more evil despots in Africa's history. And lord knows that poor continent has had its fair share. From Amin to Habre to Taylor to Umbanga, they have done as much harm to their respective countries as the colonialist they took power from. Consider King Msuati ,III of Swaziland, who bought a 44.6 million dollar private jet which is more than twice the amount of money that his country spends on health care every year. Mugabe is 82, which is amazing given the fact that the life expectancy for men in his country is 37 years old. Sorry ladies, it's 34 years old for you. In case you were wondering, life expectancy for the citizens of Zimbabwe is the shortest in the world. (Damn imagine that? Shorter than an Iraqi, or someone from North Philadelphia even) The European colonial masters planted the seeds, but how far should the seeds go? How far and long before we cut it off? But we should have seen this coming with Mugabe when he took in Ethiopian dictator, and butcher, Mangisu Marian, in the early nineties. What Mugabe has done to the poor people of Zimbabwe is no different than what the evil and unjust regime of Pieter Botha did to the poor black Africans in South Africa. And Tucker is right, there should be more outrage. But all you hear from us is crickets.
It's a shame too. Mugabe was a man of promise. He studied alongside men likes of Julius Nyerere and Robert Subukue so he should have known better. He could have been remembered alongside men like Nasser, Selassie, and Nkrumah, who were all revered African leaders. When he came to power in what was then Rhodesia, he brought much needed reforms in education and health care to the majority black population. B ut sadly, like so many before him, he got drunk with power, and refused to secede power to the will of the majority.
Now his ruling party has been committing one atrocious act after another. From burning alive political opponents,to kidnapping torture, rape, and starvation. "Amnesty International said yesterday that 12 bodies have been found across the the country and most have shown signs of torture." To her credit, our own Condoleeza Rice has called the violence "horrifying" and "intolerable", and is pushing to have the U.N. Security Council intervene in the upcoming elections. Good luck with that. Mugabe has been blaming the white folks in Zimbabwe for his countries troubles, but even his own people are now realizing that it's not the white folks in Zimbabwe that's causing their problems, it's Mugabe. And still the crickets from black A-merry-cans.
John Lewis (D.,Ga.) said it best: "Just because he is the black leader of an African nation doesn't mean that we can afford to be silent."
Thank you congressman Lewis. That's just one of the reasons why you are a field Negro in my book. And too bad for Robert Mugabe, because although he might have started out in the field, he is now firmly entrenched in the house.