Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The other war.

I have held off talking about this subject long enough. But now that the elections in these divided states are finally over, I just can't anymore.

Way over on the other side of the world, in a country on a continent many of us don't like to think about, there is a serious civil war going on. No, I am not talking about Iraq, this war is much worse than that. I am talking about the civil war taking place in The Democratic Republic of Congo, or the DRC. As a result of this sad and tragic war, 45,000 people lose their lives every month. That was not a misprint. I wrote 45,000. And, to date, close to 4.5 million people have lost their lives in the largest war in modern African history. Sadly, half of the people dying are children, in a place where only 20% of the children live to reach the ripe old age of five.

But I will excuse you if you have never heard of it. I will excuse you if you think that Laurent Desire-Kabila is a fashion designer, or Kinshasa is just a girl from around the way; because here in A-merry-ca we are programed to ignore such things. Unless, of course, it is taking place in the Middle East, or if we feel that our own interests are threatened.

Back in the early nineteen nineties when the Hutu's were slaughtering the Tutsi minorities in Rwanda, our first black president chose to ignore the planned genocide taking place on the continent that no one cares about (Sorry Sarah, it's a continent not a country). Now I am just hoping that the first real black president doesn't do the same thing. Oh come on field what can poor Obama do, this conflict is complicated, it involves at least four other countries, --including Rwanda--, it involves different ethnic groups(over 200 by last count) and fractured interests and coalitions. Not to mention years and years of tribalism and ethnic strife. The shit has been going on in The Congo ever since Belgium left those savages on their own, and ever since they murdered one of the greatest leaders they ever had, Patrice Lumumba. Yes kind of sounds like the Middle East doesn't it? But we are at least trying to broker the peace there, why not in Central Africa?

I wonder if Obama, a son of that continent, will order his secretary of state to take a serious look at the conflict and try to set up some sort of multi nation peace accord? If anyone can do it, I think he can. I think the leaders in countries like Rwanda, Uganda, and the DRC would listen to him, don't you? He has political capital here at home, why not spend some of it on Africa?

The irony is that it is a region with as much, if not more valuable natural resources than the Middle East. There is oil, uranium, gold, water, and incredible wildlife; yet we choose to ignore all of that, because it's on that dark continent, and we literally refuse to go there.

Maybe we can start blogging and talking about all the atrocities taking place over there a little more. I know that there are blogs dedicated to speaking out about women of color and their causes, I sure hope that they are speaking out about the rapes and mutilations taking place in the DRC, because that shit is seriously fucked up. If a sister is raped in Detroit by some thug, or in a village in Central Africa by some animal masquerading as a soldier, what's the difference? There isn't any.

Let's hope that we can try to put this issue on the front burner and start focusing our energy towards trying to help these poor people. I know it won't be easy, lord knows we have some issues of our own right here to deal with. But we have to start somewhere, and our keypads and our pocket books seems like a good place to start.

Here are a couple of great organizations doing their thing for the people of the DRC. Check them out to learn more about the crisis , and to see how you can get involved.


Anonymous said...

I am always horrified by reading of the rapes happening to Sudanese and Congolese women, they have been featured continuously in Essence. I feel, like I felt with Rwanda, hopeless, writing letters to my Congressman at the time didn't seem to illicit any response. What do you pledge brother Field?

So many have placed early demands on our President-elect, I recently saw Michael J. Fox urging for immediate action on stem cell research. Obama has the wars, the economy, and so many other Bushits to deal with what can we do to bear the load?

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

I'm glad you brought this up. While Darfur got all the focus because of the oil I was wondering about the Congo. There was a great documentary that aired on HBO and I forced myself to watch about the use of rape as a war tactic. I could watch it once and I won't do it again. We do need to be blogging about this. And I noticed there's another commenter with my name. Can the other Faith take a number cuz I was here 1st!!! Ha. This is why I used a nickname. I think I might go back to it.

Mrs. Chili said...

I am disgusted by how little we Americans are told about what's happening in other countries that our government feels don't have any strategic value to us. Even when we DO know about atrocities - hello? Darfur? - the best we can seem to do is manage a little lip service and maybe make a colored plastic bracelet about it.

I have hope that the compassionate rhetoric coming from our President Elect will spill over into Africa, as well. There's always money for war - how about taking some of that back and investing in peace?

Seda said...

Thanks, Field, for posting this. It's tough, because we feel so helpless. What can we do?

Well, maybe not much. But I'll write to my congressmen. Do you have any email for Obama prior to his move into the White House?

And I can send prayers.

Anonymous said...

Amnesty International is working on this. I got an email from them today with this link to their Online Action Center.

field negro said...

bean twn chica, I have to start stealing some of Ms. Field's Essence Mags. I didn't know they were doing stuff on the rapes in the DRC. Good for them! As for my donation;only my accountant knows for sure. But seriously, I try to put my $ where my mouth is.

faith, don't worry,I think I can tell you two apart.

"I have hope that the compassionate rhetoric coming from our President Elect will spill over into Africa, as well."

mrs. chili,you know what's ironic? The frat boy actually did some good things with Africa.

Honkeys and Blow said...

The DRC started having problems LONG before Darfur or Rwanda... it's been stage central for gross human rights violations committed by a regime put into power by... (drum roll, please) The United States of America.

I'm not discounting the suffering in Darfur or Rwanda; but the people of the DRC have a long, painful history...

I did a research paper on conflict diamonds WAY back in '96 when Rwanda's issues were at their peak and I was (like most ignorant Americans who hadn't yet discovered the useful parts of the internet) blown away by the lack of media coverage, not to mention how consumers are so blind to the costs of their vanity. So I would say consumers need to be educated... but we're all broke right now so I don't know what the point would be.

I don't have the answers... write your congressmen, rally and support those lobbying to get the UN to do something about it. There was an exhibit about Darfur at the Holocaust Museum in DC a few years ago... but it didn't get much coverage. I think the most important route for us to take is "holding the media accountable."

I mean... the DRC has been on the front page of every foreign news medium for months and that shit never makes any headlines here.

P.S. Obama's the new poster boy for the CFR... I'm curious to see what kind of action he's going to take.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we could get Kofi Annan to help out. Oh wait, he was in charge of Rawanda for the UN when that historic tragedy happened.

I like the idea of the UA (could be wrong on that acronym) but they haven't had any successful conclusions to a conflict yet. I think I've read about them for maybe five years or so, it's fairly new. I think international funding for the UA with accountability is appropriate and I'm certain it's already happening.

There is no way Obama will send troops into Africa if he has any sense.


Honkeys and Blow said...

thought I'd leave this link as a post-note... it summarizes Obama's positions re: Africa. It's from the CFR website.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Brother Field for highlighting this issue. I too have been following this with disdain and frustration especially considering that this kind of thing can still go on in the 21st century. It is a sure sign that we are not as civilized as we think. I am not referring to just the perpetrators of the crimes but those of us who would ignore and/or trivialize this travesty. It brings to mind Ghandi's response to the reporter, who asked him,"what he thought of Western Civilization?" Ghandi paused for a second and said, "It would be a good idea."

It is long overdue that something be seriously done by the international community. But unfortunately too many of the developed countries have a stake in maintaining the status quo.

The Congo's resources are being exploited by multi-nationals as well as its neighbors, which again mitigate against real change. In other words there is money to be made.

Money is also being made by gun runners and manufacturers and the middle men. And of course the guns are not produced in the Congo.

Its a sorry mess that, yes has its roots in the Congo's sordid colonial past, most of which is to Belgium's everlasting shame. Please if you get a chance read "King Leopold's soliloquy" by Mark Twain, which describes the brutal treatment of the Congolese by their Belgian overlords. And of course when finally granted independence the US and Belgium and France conspired to make sure that their best hope Patrice Lummumba was extinguished. Why? Because it was good for the interests of the West, in other words it was good for business. And so the new rulers learned well from their colonial masters from Mobutu to the present.

So if one was looking for another reason to stop singing the praises of capitalism and the free market one need look no further than the Congo, where the needs of the free market mitigate against real change in that country. The leading imperialist nation (the US) will not interfere unless there is something to be gained, because contrary to many of our fellow citizens naive assumptions, the US is not the Great Humanitarian Nation that rushes to the aide of nations in trouble. As Naomi Klein describes so well in her book "Disaster Capitalism" there is always a "catch."

But you are right Brother Field we have to see ourselves as tied to all of humanity and not just American humanity. I think MLK said that, "an injustice to one is an injustice to all." And I think he pointed out that we share a common humanity. We have to find a way to respond to this and actually get help to these folks. Those websites you suggested are a good start. You have at least begun to do something about it by bringing it to the light. Folks like us have to keep it up.

Thats right I'm back, now that the "Greatest Show on Earth" "The Great Distraction" The Great Delusion" (take your pick) is over we can get back down to real work that brings real change.

liberation then peace

Black Diaspora said...

@Seda: Do you have any email for Obama prior to his move into the White House?

Seda try here.

And here.

Anonymous said...

mellaneous said...

"The Congo's resources are being exploited by multi-nationals as well as its neighbors, which again mitigate against real change. In other words there is money to be made."

Dude, China is courting Africa right NOW. That's hardly a western culture and they treat the locals like shit. The leader of the Country makes out like a bandit and the population starves. They ship in their own work force. Enjoy your fantasy, Africa has a vision problem and the socialist dream only makes them stupid.


rainywalker said...

Got a blog up on it Field and gonna squeeze the rooster harder.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog and have been following for several weeks now. I want to bring your attention to an incredible organization who have been on this for ages. Their concern is the rape of women and girls in the region. I'm glad you've brought this up. Check this out:


Hello there,

Why is Obama a son of the ENTIRE CONTINENT?? His sperm donor was a Kenyan fella who he barely knew!!

Americans need to follow the river of blood to the point where it intersects with the green river (corporations who profit from massacres like this!) and you will see that EVERY massacre in Africa has an interesting trail back to the U.S. corporations.

Every time.

Just follow the river.


@ Faith

I use my blog name instead...there are a zillion Lisas online...

GrannyStandingforTruth said...


"Americans need to follow the river of blood to the point where it intersects with the green river (corporations who profit from massacres like this!) and you will see that EVERY massacre in Africa has an interesting trail back to the U.S. corporations."

Amen, that is the truth and one of America's dark secrets, because they're robbing the land of its wealthy resources, and the reason why American doesn't take any steps to help stop it. America was supposed to have had something to do with Patrice Lumumba's death too.

One of my cousins married an African who lived in Africa during Idi Amin's reign, he escaped through the underground, but not before he witnessed his whole family murdered. He shared his story with me, and it was interesting but very sad and heartbreaking.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

The Poison Wood Bible is another good book to read.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Field I'm so glad you posted about this.

What is going on in the Congo has been one of the top stories here on the Italian news and CNN/BBC international.

It's getting worse. I can barely watch the breaks my heart to see whole villages being leveled, boys being forced to join the army and the rape of women and girls.

The film company I used to work produced a documentary about Darfur. It was the first time I realized how involved China is in African affairs. They're very involved.

NSangoma said...

Cry me a punk-mofo'in river.

Obama needs to handle shit here first, and then let his concerns spread abroad.

Bob said...

We must become world citizens.

I was reading today on how we can end world starvation on $50 billion per year. We can end it NOW, starting today. 50 billion cost shared by every developed nation. That's just basic sustenance diet, but people concerned only with not starving cannot do much of anything else for themselves. We have the food - it's only nutritional porridge & biscuits, but we can produce enough of it. We have means to deliver it. \Yet all the wealthy nations of the world together cannot come up with 50 billion a year. Corporate bailouts of 50 billion? Get in line, the money store in open.

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

11 13 08

Hello FN:
Thanks for the shout out on your sidebar. You are quite kind. Yes, I agree with you here and am glad you have highlighted these atrocities. I hope that Obama changes our international policy towards Africa. If we really care about human rights abuses then we need to think about our cousins over there.

Shady_Grady said...

I don't think the Congo will be very high on President Obama's agenda. He's becoming President at a time when the US economy is in the toilet and the US in involved in two hot wars as well as increasing bombings in Syria, Somalia, Pakistan etc. He has more than enough to do over here.

About all he could do would be to try to reduce the flow of weapons to the region, place sanctions on those entities that could be hurt by sanctions or allow refugees to enter the US.

The tragic history of the Congo not withstanding, I would still like to find a good explanation of why there are so many brutal seemingly unending wars in Africa.
I understand that corporations have a part to play as does the history of colonialism

But China and India and Indonesia and other Asian countries were also colonized or put under the boot of imperialism and they seem to have reached some measure of stability and moved past the incredible levels of poverty and violence that are still too common in SOME, not all African countries.

What's going on differently in Africa?

Why have African countries been unable to create a cartel for their natural resources, e.g. OPEC, that would bring some stability, peaceful interaction and wealth creation to the continent?

field negro said...

Shady_grady, it's called decades of ethnic strife and tensions. Fighting over scarce resources. Some of the Asian countries you mentioned have more homogeneous populations.

granny, thanks for hipping me to that book.And anon.12:09AM, thanks for that link as well.

mallaneous, you nailed it. Way to drop knowledge.

mahndisa, you are welcome, it's the least I can do after mischaracterizing your political stripes. :)

nsangoma, you can't be serious.

bob, we are all world citizens, some of us just don't know it yet.

Jody said...

One of the reasons that Congo flys below the radar is quite deliberate...... and it has everything to do with the current push for nuclear power as an alternative..... DRC was and is a uranium mining country. In fact, the uranium used for the bomb that was used on Hiroshima came from Congo.

The push for Congo's uranium is international... European power plants use the uranium and then dump the waste in Congo and several other African nations.

The dirty (literally) little secret is that parts of Africa are being exploited for the worst polluting industries on the planet. This is environmental racism at its most ugly and extreme.

The nuclear proliferators work very hard to protect their interests, which include ignoring and sometimes perpetuating atrocities in what they see as their "resource areas." These proliferators make deals with corrupt leaders who are willing to sell their people and their resources for their own greed .

This is one of the reasons why whenever I hear anyone talk about nuclear power as an alternative to oil.... I want to scream!

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute now. You are actually insinuating that white AMERICANS are responsible for the problems of the BELGIAN Congo. How in the world of logic do you make that bizarre explanation???

King Leopold owned it as a colony. King Leopold botched it. King Leopold grabbed its resources and then abandoned it.

White Americans are not to blame for every problem of non-whites in the world.

Field, you are the most racist black person I have ever read. You are no better than a klansman who blames American blacks for every problem of the world.

La♥audiobooks said...

Field, thanks for writing this. The double standard amazes me when some scream "freedom" for middle east people. The blatant bigotry and hypocrisy within a lot of us A-merry-cans of all colors get to me when I think of how we ignore the North African turmoil. I also got into several debates with people about the savagery against black women in these North African countries. Of course, I get the "women all over the world are dealing with things" argument. Well, not by a long shot and it's hurtful when people try to dismiss these black women who are suffering beyond words. People either don't want to see these women as human, they don't want to have to deal with it, or they are not hearing the magnitude of what's really going on.

I must also say, I wish other countries within Africa would also care as much for these people and help more. And I didn't say that to give some bigot ammunition to say smack either. I have always had a dream for black people all over to look out for one another considering our African legacy and world wide vilification and treatment. I now realize I might be naive or delusional. I feel so helpless.

Christopher said...

Instead of watching local news or network news on ABC, CBS, or NBC, switch on BBC News on your PBS channel.

The BBC very nearly always covers news from some troubled spot on the African continent. I learned more about Darfur from watching the BBC than I ever did from the American, corporate news.

I've always theorized one of the reasons places like Darfur or Congo happen is, the bad guys know they are largely off the map of the world media. If CNN, ABC and the NYT's had reporters stationed there, reporting on the carnage, the bad guys would have to think twice about harming children.

Anonymous said...

The BBC also has a good website. And most of the major European papers do so much better covering the problems of the world. Here in the easily distracted US of A we are more interested in Britney and Linsay and what Sarah six pack is saying to be bothered with real news.

Totally agree with Field. Africa has major resources and cheap labor for exploiting by the multi-nationals. And yes, most of those multi-nationals are run by persons with pale skin.

But here's the really criminal part. Think about the obscene amount of money we are squandering every day in Iraq. A country that was ruled by a nasty dictator who was no better or no worse than most of the dictators the US supports around the world, and a country who did nothing to the US. And yet who benefits from the billions we spend on this insane war? If you said the multinationals (Bechtel, Halliburton, Kellog and Root, Blackwater) you are correct. Your point Gary? Sorry, I myself am easily distracted. Think of the money we waste on Iraq, and think of the money we are using to try to prop up failing US corporations (again many multinationals), and then think how none of that money will be available to do any amount of GOOD in the world.

We have pissed so much money down the proverbial rat hole that could have done wonders to the entire planet. That's criminal.

Anonymous said...

Christopher is right. Their web site,, is good for African coverage too. Be prepared for despair if you go there because they're shy with good news.


Lionel Todd III said...

This post is one of my favorites of yours in a long time. I'm delighted you decided to call a moratorium on the Obama coverage. Makes you realize that Africans across the globe must not lose sight of the goal: worldwide unity.

Anonymous said...

For all his faults, Bush did an excellent job on africa. I give him that. I will expect Obama to do no less. Of course, the right wing nutcases will watch closely and jump on anything he does to relieve africans--just so to play the racial fear of Obama "foreign-ness". This next four years is going to be fun.

Anonymous said...

Disturbing news of American school children chanting "assassinate Obama". I wanted to include this in my above post, somehow missed it. I guess this is part of the backlash you were talking about Field? These people are truly fucking crazy.


Hey FN!! {waves}

You are a racist??*LOL*

I am on the floor! *LOL*

Let's see... white corporations in the United States are financing one massacre AFTER ANOTHER AFTER ANOTHER in Africa and when someone mentions it, THE PERSON who points out the facts is the one who is taking racist actions? Not the corporations financing the massacres? Oh really now... I get it...

I remember the whole white media lynch mob that started the "Jeremiah Wright is a racist" campaign as an attempt to intimidate black clergy from talking about political issues and the history of America in the pulpit!


Dr. Wright is a racist for mentioning Nagasaki?! And for mentioning that Hillary has not experienced the subjugation of Jim Crow? And for mentioning that slavery existed in America and racial inequality STILL exists here? It seems that mentioning historical facts is classified as BEING RACIST now...ahhhhh, okay...right...

Add my name to the list then because America has committed terrorism on its own soil against blacks for centuries... and for any naive white people who are out there, PLEEEEASE do not think that the blood of millions of African ancestors shed on American soil is all forgotten by blacks just because a behind-kissing mulatto who makes great speeches now has the keys to the front door at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue....

Anonymous said...

On propostion 8. I just want to add this poem by Martin Niemoller(the guy is field negro). I think his poem(below) sums up what you, Field, wrote about black people who killed Prop 8 "....JUST REMEMBER; TODAY IT'S THE GAYS, TOMORROW IT'S YOUR BLACK ASSES...."

Here is martin Niemoller poem written during the time of the nazis:

When the Nazis came for the communists
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out


RED DEVIL : enough said!!

Honkeys and Blow said...

Red Devil... I love that quote.

I am so sick of people trying to distance our country from the atrocities being committed across the rest of the globe (but only when it's not in our interests to intervene)... yes, we have to take care of our own first. Our own being "HUMANITY"; and I don't make any apologies to those isolationists who feel we don't have any business worrying about the rest of the world until we fix shit at home...

and is that a serious argument about China? CHINA is raping the Congo and the United States isn't the NUMBER ONE consumer of CHINESE industry? You think they're feeding the starving Chinese with all those resources? The uranium, iron, coal, gold, silver, copper... diamonds... and MUCH more... those things don't make their way into your Wheaties?

American consumerism didn't create this problem... but it certainly exacerbated it. And need I point out that Wal-Mart's profits are at a record-high right now as a result of our economic situation? I'll try to stay off my Wal-Mart soapbox... but if we want to have an impact on global affairs, we can start by boycotting Wal-Mart until they get their priorities straight. Let's put our money where our mouths are.

Anonymous said...

As we've moved into a global economy, one thing is clear:

With most turmoil in the world, it's everybody's fault just about, and it's certainly everybody's problem.

How much America needs to bear of that responsibility, well, that's a matter of open debate.

For anyone to suggest we should play NO role at all is ignorant. We pour money into a misplaced war in Iraq, we can at least show some fucking diplomatic chops in Africa even if we can't roll out the dollars.

Anonymous said...

Americans could start by refusing to buy the oil, uranium, tin gold, copper etc etc.
It is the extreme demand for theses commodities by the West combined with the great poverty in many parts of Africa that cause these atrocities to happen. In many cases, the factions that are fighting each other are funded and suppoerted by different western powers because they want a government that would give them free access to the rich resources.

The root of the war and indeed most wars on our Continent is the desire to control the valuable natural resources on the Continent.
( somewhat like Iraq)

Congo and the rest of Africa don't need resources, they are the most resource rich continent. They need development, investment, FAIR terms of Trade, etc etc.
But first of all, they need a huge peace keeping force.

Anonymous said...

People aren't doing anything because that would mean you would be money to Africans. I think the plan is just to give each side enough weapons so they'll kill each other and a company can basically take over a country with no one in it. A little out there, I know, but look at Iraq and Afghanistan. We put money into building their country while their leaders get paid off of doing business with some corporation. If Africa could just get together as a whole, it could be the richest place on earth that would probably rival places like the UAE or Saudi Arabia, but the people who know it won't stop the fighting there.

Anonymous said...

This is where the UN goes into its Lame Duck session. They have the largest troops in the world stationed in the Congo with an annual budget of about 1 Billion but are still doing nothing.
America has very little influence in Africa because of the Colonial History. That place is still partitioned between Britain, France and Belgium. So the US can only go so far.
Even Africom (led by an African American General), the new US force for Africa could not get an African country to let them set their base there with the exception of Liberia which seemed to have been half hearted about it. There is this myth that US has so much control but in reality the Europeans have more influence in Africa than Americans. The US policies in the Middle East have turned off potential allies.
As for Obama, you have to look closely at African politics to see how they operate. Don't be surprised if he makes little head way with them.

The first time he visited Kenya and tried to give his opinion, he was shouted down and told to go back to the US and grow up. And these were his fellow Kenyans. The Rwandese will be much worse and this time they are in the middle of the Congo conflict with Kagame blaming the UN for the conflict while heavily supporting the rebels. This may be one of the toughest decisions he has to make because the only way to stop the Tutsi rebels is to engage them militarily. And so it may happen that Obama may unleash military force on his fellow Africans. With that prospect he may do exactly what Clinton did with the Rwanda Genocide and that is to ignore the situation or turn it to Europe. Either way this is a no win situation for him. Hopefully the American people won't hold him accountable even if the Africans do.
Come to think of it, Obama's toughest foreign policy may not be Iraq or Afghanistan, it is most likely Africa because any actions against those in the Congo will build more resentment towards the Luo group of people from which he comes. And boy, do Africans love to fight.

Anonymous said...

"mrs. chili,you know what's ironic? The frat boy actually did some good things with Africa".

There are many African who are not jumping up and down for Joy with the Obama pick. They know all that AIDS money could stop flowing. The frat boy will be missed greatly over there.

Anonymous said...

Any possibilty we can hold the Swiss accountable for allowing corrupt dictators to hold bank accounts in their banks? That neutral country (aka banker to dictators) is stinking rich and has a lot to answer for.
I agree the best way to deal wtih Africa is via Europe - they started the mess and they need to deal with it. Or better yet, redraw the boundaries, forcing tribes that alwaya hate each other to live together never works - hence the Eastern European wars of the 90's that were the leftovers of 1914.
Da Den (London)

Anonymous said...

"Any possibilty we can hold the Swiss accountable for allowing corrupt dictators to hold bank accounts in their banks? That neutral country (aka banker to dictators) is stinking rich and has a lot to answer for."

That is one hypocritical country. The backbone of the Swiss Economy is banking. These people can freeze these accounts at will. And where does that money go? All this money needed for AID in Africa could come from the Swiss.

Anonymous said...

yeah, let's see what ya'll boy will to help his "motherland" WTF i thought during the elections ya'll said he's american...hummm

oh, and if you guess it i'm white so all the black prob's are my fault no matter where on the planet they occurre...

let me take a shot in the dark here....none of the so called black prob's make any head way in the future.....not till you TAKE RESPONSIBLITY YOURSELF

i know everyone on this blog is going to jump my shit telling me what kind of racist MF i am...go ahead let me have it...i an't gonna solve yo prob's....which is what i am saying....

Anonymous said...


as in- what can I do?

This whole "let Obama fix it" is already old. Seriously, his whole message of change is predicated on the willingness of the people to get up and do something different.

God bless Obama & give him strength to endure our collective dullard ways.

People, WE are the change WE've been waiting for.

So don't just talk about it, be about it, right?

Well, I don't write congressmen anymore. I'm sick of the form letter responses.

So I don't know what someone like me can do from over HERE about the atrocities going on over THERE. If this were a US issue, there is a government local and/or federal to address. W/ S.African apartheid we divested. What is our leverage in this?

FN readers- What can we do?
(that's a sincere question not an excuse to ignore or a resignation)

Anonymous said...

we can start with slavery.....there i said it i'll start by promising to not ever under no circumstances ever purchase a slave. there hows that?

oh, wait i've got a mule i can give to someone just e-mail me and i'll bring it to you :)

Honkeys and Blow said...

again- I argue that our strength is found in our habits as consumers. That's the only real leverage we have.

Anonymous said...

that's what i'm saying promise to not purchase any slaves....duh

Honkeys and Blow said...

here's an example:

Najmah said...

Field good topic and Jennifer good suggestion; that article was an eye-opener.

Shady_Grady said...

I understand how ethnic tensions can rip stability apart. On the other hand India has over 2000 ethnic groups, 22 official languages, and as many as 1600 languages or dialects. Despite this diversity, with a few notable exceptions India's been relatively stable since independence. There's been nothing like what's going on in the Congo.

Also I don't think that ethnic homogeneity determines economic success. If that were the case the US would never have made it. Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Somalia are relatively homogeneous and are extremely impoverished countries.

Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole has actually regressed economically since independence.
I think the debt has had a lot to do with this along with the numerous wars.

Now the Chinese are starting to supplant Europeans, Americans and Arabs as the dominant foreign investor and neo-colonial power. Why is all of this happening? I don't know the answer. I know that Africans are just as capable and intelligent as anyone else.

President Obama can initiate things like debt relief, reducing the flow of arms, increased aid for transportation, medicine, education and infrastructure.

I don't think he can or should get involved in a war in the Congo. That's not what he was elected to do and there's a good chance American intervention would make things worse. He has more than enough to do for the US.

The Africans have to stop their wars.

Anonymous said...

Field,'ve unnerved me with this one...and I am still at work too.

As I read your piece, I began thinking of the beautiful, French-Speaking Congelese women (wearing majestic clothing and head wraps) who embrace my children at our church.

My daughter attended a summer program - twin girls in her class are from the DRC...wonderful girls.

Let it be known that each person who dies in this atrocity is an infintely valuable INDIVIDUAL who has a name, a voice, a hobby, and a favorite food.

field negro said...

Shady_grady, good come back. You are making me think. You make some excellent points about India etc.But,to be fair, India was under the rule of one colonialist power, Great Britain. In Africa they are numerous. From Belgium, to France, to Portugsl, to Holland, and yes, the Brits.

jennifer,thanks for the links.

adam, thanks for realizing that their ares actually real human beings behind this tragedy as well.

red devil, that quote is classic, and it is still relevant today.

"Field, you are the most racist black person I have ever read. You are no better than a klansman who blames American blacks for every problem of the world."

Name one other black person you ever read besides Jesse Lee Peterson....wait, he can't write. Well, besides Ward Connerly.

TrueBlue said...

The so-called lesson of the Vietnam War was supposed to be about the limits of American power. The U.S. has never been a successful colonial occupying power in the European tradition. We've succeeded only in short wars where we got in late, and in limited, expeditionary campaigns.

So, what did George W. do? He got us into an extended occupation of Mesopatamia, and another occupation of Afghanistan. That's quite a trick: Since WW2, the U.S. has picked four places on earth whose people have never been successfully conquered, and tried to conquer them: Korea, Vietnam, Mesopotamia, and Afghanistan.

No one has learned the lesson of the limits of American power. Now, we're going to conquer Cental Africa and civilize the Congolese and the Kenyans. We won't call it the White Man's burden, even though 75% of the army that does it would white. We'll call it a multi-ethnic humanitarian mission with guns.

I don't know if anyone has noticed, but the U.S. economy is collapsing, and the U.S. has never been a successful colonial occupying power. It's a heartbreaker about the torture and mutilation in Africa, but I don't think there's a hell of a lot we can do about it.

There are limits on American power. We cannot save everyone from themselves.

TrueBlue said...

Oh, and besides, isn't a war against Persia next on our list? Holy Alexander the Great, Batman! Those Americans must think they're gods!

Anonymous said...

help the people of africa are you kidding me......the blk men in this country can't even take responsiblity for the children they father!

what makes anyone here believe for one minute they can or will help someone on another continent?

angry black women

Minnie said...

Thank you for this post Field. We are world citizens. Many Americans are willing to have interventions in Darfur, why not the DRC? The situation is truly heartbreaking. I don't understand how anyone, upon seeing the situation in the DRC, would not want the US to become involved.

Honestly, I don't see a boycott of the resources coming out of the DRC happening, they are just too important. This dosen't mean there is nothing we can do individually. We can send donations to organizations providing aid to the people of the DRC and create awarness campaigns. Diplomacy is also needed in the region. I will be watching to see how Obama handles this situation.

field negro said...

"the blk men in this country can't even take responsiblity for the children they father!"

angry black women, I sense a story here. Let me guess: you have come across an irresponsible black man or two in your life.

Anonymous said...

i was taught better than to trust a "gangsta".....but i see it at school and beautiful black sisters being taken advantage of by these so called "brothers" that will lie to your face to get want they want, then when it's time to stand up and be a man they run like their life depends on it.

our race will never amount to nothing until our young men pull up their pants, stay out of jail and take care of their responsiblities.

angry black woman

Honkeys and Blow said...

ouch, angry black woman.

I understand your point... but your feeling that your "race will never amount to nothing until..." saddens me. I think those black men I know who have amounted to so much... they are professionals, educated, good husbands, good fathers... and the ones who keep their pants up... I think they'd be angered by that sentiment (although I won't speak for them and I'll have to forward these posts and ask).

and as a feminist, I think ALL women (the beautiful black sisters you speak of and all the other sisters) need to accept some personal responsibility, work on staying away from the men that are scumbags and worry about how we're going to raise our sons to "stand up and be a man" when the time comes.

and in regard to the blog at hand... I want my son to think he's as responsible to humanity on the other side of the world as he is to his neighbor next door. Nobody thinks Obama is going to pave the streets with gold or "abra cadabra" the various global crises away. But I'd like to see his administration move towards signing on with the rest of the world in initiatives which address human rights (the ones refused by the current AND last administrations).

Sharon from WI said...

Seda, everyone,

Messages can be submitted to to weigh in with your concerns to the incoming Obama administration. I know I will be doing so.

Sharon from WI

GrannyStandingforTruth said...


Amen! Granny been trying to tell folks life is a two-way street.

Anonymous said...

Angry black woman I understand your anger but until black woman or any women keep their legs close for such men then no good men will continue to deposit and flee - its takes two to tango. Its time we stopped making babies before marriage in our community as if its a 'divine right' and bring back the stigma of shame for out of wedlock births like the asians and arabs do.
Ok back to the African problem, perhaps we need to let them solve their own problems, the west became the west through two world wars and religious reformation it took us hundreds and hundreds of years to get to where we are yet we expect the continent of Africa to get there 'just like that'.
We need to let these people know we are no longer going to help you or buy your resources until you sort yourself out... it might mean a decline in our standard of living but westerners consume too much of the worlds resources as it is. America needs to stop being the world police force all it does is reinforce the hate.

Anonymous said...

"I don't think he can or should get involved in a war in the Congo. That's not what he was elected to do and there's a good chance American intervention would make things worse. He has more than enough to do for the US."

I think Obama's number one priority should be the Us. The most he can do for Africa is assign an Africa sensitive Ambassador to the UN and a little funding for Civic Education in Democratic ideals through institutions like USAID which does this already but on a small scale. In short fund education in democracy and getting pushing the UN on Africa.

"America needs to stop being the world police force all it does is reinforce the hate".

America being the world police is a huge myth. America only gets involved in conflicts where it has real tangible interests. Then it is spun as policing and the AMerican public buys is. And then in crisis like the Congo that argument comes up, "We can't be the world's police". Never happened.

Lola Gets said...

I am so glad you brought this up!Field, this post right here is Field Negro behavior.

Ive seen mention of this new "war" in several areas, but havent heard of any government reaction to it yet. I truly hope that this new adminstration makes some serious headway into the state of African affairs. Its inhumane not to.


Anonymous said...

I guess I need to look up my google ID so I can stop posting anonymously and blending in with the ass offering up his mule.


I'm really frustrated by the lack of suggested actions. (and when did saggy pants become the cause of all our social ills?)

Jennifer, I went to the link and now feel "bad" about my new cell phone being the source of violence. That does nothing useful to change the situation.

I'm not trying to be glib but I am someone who is already working hard to support effective causes for change in my community.

To be painfully candid, I'm at the point where unless you can tell me what I can do to help you with this situation, I almost feel like saying don't tell me about any more problems in the world.

We get busy talking about things but nothing changes. 60-something comments and no actions to take. Sometimes we busy ourselves with a walk or run for a cause but where is the connection to making a real impact?

It's overwhelming to try to figure out the world's problems with no real analysis of the issue or suggestions for action. So again I ask:

what I can do from HERE to positively impact what is going on over THERE.

Anonymous said...

anon 12:09

the point about the pants is that if we can't get Black men (no not all but quite a few and even some so called grown men) to pull up their pants and speak english then we as a race will never gain the respect we desevre.

Now is the time! We have a Black man in the White House, not only taking care of his beautiful family but now has the resposiblity of running this country. The eyes of not only the nation but the world are on him and us as a race we have to show them that we are ready for the task at hand. Instead we have more young men in prision than in school and we CAN NOT keep blaming others for our short comings. We have to take responsiblity.

All I continuie to read is that is the white man's fault that it's women's fault for not keeping their legs together, it's the government's fault how long can we continuie this blame game?

I applaud those Black men that take care of their business. I’m certainly not saying that everyone has to be college educated, college is not the answer for everyone.
The simple fact of the matter is that we have a serious problem and until we first admit we have a problem there’s no way we can move forward.
I am so scared we will squander this historical opportunity.

Angry Black Woman

Anonymous said...

"ever since they murdered one of the greatest leaders they ever had, Patrice Lumumba."

The CIA murdered Patrice Lumumba...

We don't mind getting involved in Central Africa if it fits our "interests" (resources, fighting "communism" and now Chinese influence)

But just because the people could use our help? Nah, we got better things to do...

Julia said...

Thanks for this, field. and thanks too for your comment on my blog the other day--it made my day.

? said...

There are so many problems in Africa, the last thing we want to do is get caught up there as we have in the middle east. Remember Somalia? Brokering peace accords is not going to stop the bloodshed there, just as it has not in the middle east. We need to start minding our own business and own house.

TrueBlue said...

Its time we stopped making babies before marriage in our community as if its a 'divine right' and bring back the stigma of shame for out of wedlock births like the asians and arabs do.

I don't know about stigma and shame, but I can say this much: When two-thirds of the births to black women are out of wedlock that is a disaster.

A long time ago -- about 25 years, I think -- I was visiting an old college friend (white) at his mother's house in Prince George's County, which is a suburban area of the Maryland side of Washington, D.C.

I was also friendly with his younger brother, but while I was there I saw that the younger brother had knocked up his girlfriend, and that they had offloaded the kid onto his mother. So, it's not always just black grandmas raising the babies.

I took all this in, and went to the younger brother and calmly told him that he was dead to me. Much, much later, I learned that he decided to marry the girlfriend and take responsibility for the kid. I'd like to think that I helped, but who knows.

field negro said...

No prob. julia, I hope all is going well with James.