Friday, April 9, 2010

Postcard from Zimbawe: Meet the new boss, much worse than the old boss

The werewolf has been amused by the New York Times’s rather stark descent from grace, massive loss of credibility, and reliable display of liberal hypocrisy. Occasionally, he find himself glimpsing through the digital pages to see what’s up, but abandoned the New York Times long-ago for the more thorough and journalistically rigid pages found at the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and The Times of London. The print version of The New York Times could conceivably be useful should toilet paper run out.

That being said, the werewolf has a love-hate relationship with Nick Kristof, one of the liberal bloviators who regularly scribbles for the NY Times. The werewolf and Kristoff share a deep love and passion for Zimbabwe. That’s the only overlap on the Venn diagram of similar interests and beliefs on the world. Kristof has penned a honest and penetrating assessment of modern day Zimbabwe tilted “Postcard from Zimbabwe.” Here are some potent highlights that speak for themselves

"In a week of surreptitious reporting here (committing journalism can be a criminal offense in Zimbabwe), ordinary people said time and again that life had been better under the old, racist, white regime of what was then called Rhodesia.

“When the country changed from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe, we were very excited,” one man, Kizita, told me in a village of mud-walled huts near this town in western Zimbabwe. “But we didn’t realize the ones we chased away were better and the ones we put in power would oppress us.

“It would have been better if whites had continued to rule because the money would have continued to come,” added a neighbor, a 58-year-old farmer named Isaac. “It was better under Rhodesia. Then we could get jobs. Things were cheaper in stores. Now we have no money, no food.”

Over and over, I cringed as I heard Africans wax nostalgic about a nasty, oppressive regime run by a tiny white elite. Black Zimbabweans responded that at least that regime was more competent than today’s nasty, oppressive regime run by the tiny black elite that surrounds Mr. Mugabe."
Western liberals have focused substantial energy on decrying and challenging the moral legitimacy of white minority rule. There was nothing wrong with per say. Challenging racism is noble, except that these liberals usually turned a blind-eye to the far greater cruelty and abuse that became the norm for so many post-colonial and majority-run African nations. Institutional race-based supremacy and legal segregation are ugly and unjust things that offend the werewolf to his very core. The werewolf is not endorsing the restoration of white minority regimes (although as noted by Kristof, those suffering would welcome their restoration). However, they pale in comparison to the genocide, ethnic cleansing, violent tribalism, and economic crimes committed throughout large swaths of post-colonial Africa. Kristof, is taking an important first step in acknowledging that dichotomy and one of the awful legacies of liberal racism and double-standards when it came to advocating for Africa. Good for him.

1 comment:

  1. Democracy 'one man/one vote/one time'-style is obviously not the answer. Will Africans and the transnational progressive elites currently occupying Western governments heed the lesson? I doubt it.