Thursday, September 22, 2005

And who was racist again?

Marauded FarmerThis is unpardonable.

It sickens me to the gut that a human being would go out and unleash violence on another man just because of his skin color.

Look at the that picture.

What you're seeing is the image of a man attacked and marauded not by another violent species but by his fellow men. It didn't matter to his attackers that this man is a man just like they are. He breaths the same air that they do and endures the heat from the same African sun they labor under. Like his attackers, he is a family man, a father to some, brother to others, a friend and relative to many others too . He has name just like they do, it is Allan Warner. And like many of them he has a boss to answer too just like they do.

But all that didn't matter last night. Last night he was an enemy, a vulnerable willing, albeit cornered victim. Last night he became an unwelcome foreigner. An effigy of tragedies long endured, and long past. For that the attackers visited a fate on him akin to what they think his kin did to their kin decades ago. All this because he is white.

You can't own a farm in Zimbabwe if you're white. It doesn't matter that you're producing coffee which generates foreign currency. The little of it that the government so desperately needs. It doesn't matter that that the nation--once known as the "breadbasket of Africa"--is facing another famine and all signs point to the fact that it is man-made. Forget that this is a country whose unemployment rate is hovering at above 80% and that farms offer accessible jobs to the poor rural peasants.

You can't own a farm if you're white. That's the bottom line.

Here's what gets me. The reason behind this vapid hatred of the white farming community is that, "their ancestors wouldn't let us own farms either," and "they took the land from us." But like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once asked, "are we any better than they are if we treat them like they've treated us?" If we think they've mistreated us (and they have), don't we face the challenge and responsibility of modeling to them how we are supposed to treat each other? Sinking to the same malevolent attitudes and committing the same heinous deeds doesn't improve the situation. It only recreates the tragedy, and with that human progress is stunted.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

Don't worry about me being racist and not wanting blacks to retain what is rightfully theirs. I AM A BLACK ZIMBABWEAN, mwana wevhu chaiye (a real son of the soil). I know this isn't right.

The perpetrators, whoever the hell they are, wanted to prove something and they did. Now the world knows that they can and will be violent. Yes the world sees that the African can not only match cruelty and brutality that imperialists visited on our ancestors, but we can surpass that and get away with it in the 21st century. And dog on it, the world sees that Africans can be powerful.

But perhaps the world has also realized some things that the attackers probably didn't count on too. People are looking at that picture and seeing the humaneness of the victims.

They see that Mr. Warner is a man, just like they are. They realize that he has family, friends and obligations just like they do. Above all, the world knows that Allan Warner and the victims of last night's Chipinge massacres are human. That is something the attackers cannot take away from them whatever power, whatever military might they wield. We are all human, that's the reality hatred can't tamper. And it is that which the world will remember.

Shame on you debased, vile and heartless brood!

  • << Home