Tag Archives: Genocide

Al Bashir continuing Arab slavery of blacks in South Sudan

Shame on the African Union for not stopping this cruel attack on black people of South Sudan for the sake and love of money. During apartheid all African countries were united against the evil system that was affecting black people but today Benin’s Foreign Minister Nassirou Arifari Bako reiterated his support for this evil man who has destroyed many black lives.

  • Arabs enslaved between 17-30 million black people during the Arab-African slave trade
  •  Black women were used as prostitutes
  •  Black men were castrated
What is interesting is the deafening silence of the African American community which is very vociferous when describing Atlantic slave trade but turns their head at what is happening in Darfur more recently at the Sudan-south Sudan border.  Al Bashir is the butcher of Khartoum and the Hitler of our time by the bigger question is why Africa is silent about these crimes against humanity? The African Union still wants Al Bashir to go about business as usual as if nothing is going on in South Sudan. Where are the men in Africa who will stand up for justice and what is right? Joyce Banda was right to stand up against Al Bashir and let him know that Malawi and a whole lot of Africans denounce his actions by forbidding him to set foot in Malawi. This bold and decisive move by Banda shows that finally we have an African leader who stands up for the rights of Black Africans.
When it came to apartheid Africans as well as African Americans were very adamant about its evil but when it comes to South Sudan there isn’t a concerted effort. One may ask why? Why is Africa sitting idly by as this Hitler Al Bashir massacres millions of Black people? What happened to Black power and united we stand?
Martin Luther King an American icon for civil rights once eloquently stated to the blacks and the whites who wanted to stand on the sidelines and not challenge the status quo
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”

 South Sudan has a right to exist and Sudan in the north has to realize that. Al Bashir continuing the slavery of blacks in the Arab tradition. The Arabs were the first to enslave black people and continue to massacre blacks while the world watches but we will not the silent against these atrocities.

Media Criticism Against Invisible Children: The Answer

After the successful media campaign by Invisible Children, the media has been quick to point out the different perceptions people are drawing from it. CNN, NPR etc have devoted a lot of time to criticism of the media campaign that Invisible Children launched. To be perfectly clear, the campaign has been very successful and I find that this is the source of discontent which has made it uncomfortable for traditional journalists. Their YouTube video has generated more than 70 million views to date and they managed to successfully educate the public about the monster warlord Joseph Kony.

To be fair a lot of criticism does not center around the fact that anything they said is necessarily false but most of the criticism is about perception. It seems the popular media knows all too well about perception because that’s how they craft their news. At the heart of Invisible Children is a desire to change the circumstances of children in Uganda who had been terrorized by the warlord Joseph Kony.

Even with all the criticism of the perceptions that people are drawing from the video, one thing is true. The campaign to inform the world about this little known warlord has worked. More people know more about Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. More people are helping to spread the word about Invisible Children and many millions of people are willing to assist the children who were previous victims. In the end this means more children like Jacob who is highlighted in the video now have more access to resources to rehabilitate them and help them build something for the future.

Whether you donate your time and money to Invisible Children or not. Whether you spread the word or not, one cannot deny that there is a need for Joseph Kony to be brought to justice. There is no time like the present.
If you haven’t watched the video, this is your chance.

Article by Lillian Mhosva, 2012

In Support of Invisible Children & the Campaign Against Kony

In support of Invisible Children we want to help spread the word. “Kony 2012″ is a film campaign by Invisible Children to spread the word about the atrocities committed by Joseph Kony and The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

Donate to Invisible Children:
Purchase KONY 2012 products: http://invisiblechildrenstore.myshopify.com/
Sign the Pledge: http://www.causes.com/konypledge

Forgotten History: King Leopold and The Congo

King Leopold II of Belgium propagated the least talked about mass murder in history. King Leopold’s African colony in the Congo gave him access to 1 million square miles and 20 million people he could use for labor. This colony alone made him one of the wealthiest people on earth as the need for rubber increased with the increase in bicycle and car usage.

For a long time the image of the King in Europe was largely that of humanitarian and a man bringing civilization to the citizens of the Congo. White conquests in Africa were often mythologized as acts of benevolence. King Leopold believed that the ends always justified the means and therefore did not believe in rights for the African people. The reign of Leopold lasted for 25 years before he handed over power to the Belgian state but not before he had committed atrocities that would in this day be called genocide.

King Leopold’s ambition had been to always make Belgium great because he had always felt like his country had been left behind and the colony in the Congo was going to help him build the greatness he desired. He even claimed that he would use his position in the Congo to spread Christianity. Leopold commissioned Henry Morton Stanley to get signatures from local chiefs to legitimize his conquest. July 1, 1885 through decree Leopold declared that all lands belonged to the state and in this case Belgium. Thereafter he quickly formed an army that grew to 16,000.

Initially the colony almost bankrupted Leopold until Dunlop developed the first tire and the demand for rubber grew. In order to satisfy the demand for rubber Leopold decided to unleash a reign of terror in order to get as much rubber as possible at little or no cost. Missionaries who were on the front line witnessed human atrocities beyond measure. Villagers were flogged publicly, burnt to death and their hands were cut off if they didn’t produce enough rubber. Soldiers were ordered to cut off the hands of all those they killed as proof that they did not waste the ammunition they had been given. In fact every soldier was supposed to produce a right hand for every shot fired.

King Leopold was angered by any revelations that he was abusing Africans to harvest rubber because he believed there was a price to be paid for profit. All rubber arrived in Antwerp first even though Belgians are quick to forget the history of rubber trade. Some of the worst abuses happened in the Equator province where they lost about 60%, 70% and at times 90% of the population. Leopold begun to pay bonuses to agents so that they would produce more rubber. African lives were of no value to the Belgians.

A turning point came when Charles Stokes a British trader was arrested for trading in the Congo and was sentenced to death. The hanging was a major political mistake and the King had to pay compensation. Leopold made concessions to open up trade. Concession holders started holding the wives of rubber tappers until they produced enough rubber. Each agent was even issued a hostage license. Collections were done every 15 days and the King took 50% of the profits from the concession company. At the same time rubber plantations in Asia and South America began producing rubber which gave King Leopold more competition.

A man named Edmund Dene Morel began publishing stories from missionaries about the atrocities in the Congo. He became a leading journalist on West and Central Africa. He published 3700 letters and 15 000 brochures before he published a newspaper. Missionaries like Charles Banks began to tell their stories. In an effort to repair his image, Leopold also began publishing books in Europe and America to tell his side of the story. Stories of Africans shot for not producing enough rubber at a time.
Another colony hidden from the rest of the world known as Crown Domain had been kept a secret till 1902. However, some missionaries published stories about the man in charge known as Malu Malu who committed some of the worst atrocities ever. The stories were too many and too consistent to the false so they helped Morel spread his findings in Europe. King Leopold made about 231 million Euros in profit from the Crown Domain alone. In 1904, Morel founded the Congo Reform Association then published his book Red Rubber in 1906 all in an effort to bring to light issues in the Congo.
The Casement report which also detailed horror stories from the Congo unnerved the King who set up a commission to investigate the issues against him. He hoped that the commission would come back with a favorable report to counter any negative publicity from Morel and Casement. However, there was a missionary named John Harris who organized for the commission to hear directly from the Africans. One of them was a local chief who gave the most damaging testimony of all. He appeared at the hearing with 110 sticks each representing the victims from his village murdered in pursuit of profit. This testimony was so damaging that the Governor had him tortured to death only a few weeks later then committed suicide himself thereafter. Conclusions drawn by the commission suggested that perpetrators of genocide in the Congo should be sent to the gallows themselves.
Belgian intellectuals and religious leaders in Brussels also criticized the King and annexation of the colony was almost inevitable thereafter. in 1908 Congo became a Belgian colony and Leopold received 50 million francs for as compensation for it. He died the year after having become the most hated man in Europe. However, not long after images created in his honor helped to reshape his public image and he was celebrated as a civilizer of the African people. The message of civilizing the Africans was used to make the Belgians feel better about colonization. Eventually Morel and Casement were forgotten during World War I because they passive attitude was associated with support of the Germans which was hugely unpopular. To this day there had never been an admission of guilt or remorse for the atrocities in the Congo, the least talked about genocide.