I write about things I know nothing about
I don't know quite where yesterday's post fits into those categories. I have never been to Africa. I have no plans to visit any African nation. While it is in the sort of turmoil we see every day on the news (and have seen for years), that is not a continent I want to go to.
There is a conscious choice one makes when one writes. You choose whether to write something. And I chose to write something that I felt could come across as me being a bit fascist or a bit uncaring. But I want to reiterate that I am neither of those things. I am not anti-Africans (not that anyone said I am); but I am astonished at the terrible state of government over there. And the brutality of what should be normal citizens.
I enjoyed reading everyone's comments yesterday. Some I agreed with, some I didn't so much. I'm not convinced female genial mutilation (FGM) has anything to do with Christianity; I've never heard this before. I'm not saying it's incorrect; I've just never heard anyone make a direct relationship between the two, and I've happened to read quite a few articles on FGM for work reasons.
Also, I fear Four Dinners is right. Or maybe it's just that many of us (in the UK, at least) are fed up of "the Africa thing". We've had it rammed down our throats for a good few decades now. Maybe in the US it's not daily news; I believe the US is far less international in its news coverage. When you see these images and hear these stories, day in day out, for so long, you become immune to their message.
This is partly why the film The Devil Came on Horseback was so successful, I think, to me as a British viewer. It showed me the sort of things that I kind of knew but had never seen. It re-opened my eyes. And not just to the horrors of the situation, but also to the futility of trying to help. As much as the people in the villages need our intervention, and as much as it's probably the socially correct thing to intervene, we kowtow to African leaders who say they don't want us there.
When you were in the playground and your friend was being bullied, did you ask the bully, "Excuse me, do you mind if I fuck you up, for that is my friend you are hitting?" And then he would say, "Yes, I do mind," and you'd go, "Okay," and walk away?
No. Instead you would charge in there, fists and feet a-flyin', and Bruce Lee that motherfucker to the ground. That is what we should do in Africa, if we feel we should do anything. You can't fucking ask permission.
We went into Iraq for reasons far less worthy than this. Saddam Hussein, dictator though he was, had his country running peacefully. It's an odd thing to say, perhaps. Yes, he had committed and sanctioned atrocities, but he was not currently doing so. That doesn't make him a stand-up guy, granted. But if you're going to take a stand against human-rights abuses, you surely have to do it while those abuses are in progress. It's absurd to go in after the fact... after millions have been slaughtered...
Like I say, sometimes I write about things I know nothing about.