Letters Readers’ views
Mustafa Abdel Jalil has become the new leader of Libya, thanks to the UN and NATO
African identity crisis Awula Serwah (“African Identity Crisis”, NA, Aug-Sept) and Akua Djanie (“Move Over Naomi”, Aug-Sept) raise very similar issues: the absolute necessity for Africans at home and in the diaspora to rid themselves of the myths of European superiority, in all their many forms.
So may I suggest that all should learn about the history of Africa prior to the devastations of the slave trade and colonialism? That in Africa, even if it is necessary for English/French to be the language used in schools, it is the “native” language that should be spoken at home.
That the histories of all the many peoples who were forced into those Europeancreated countries should be collected and taught.
That in Africa male politicians and those in “middle-class jobs” should stop wearing European suits and ties!
That those living in England should demand that when the schools teach the “slave trade” (now on the national curriculum), the course must begin with the history of Africa prior to the arrival of the Europeans. As for Malcolm X being bisexual (Leslie Goffe: “Was Malcolm X Really Bisexual?”, Aug-Sept), when you are on the streets you do what seems necessary to make enough money to survive.
As for Manning Marable’s ridiculous concept of Malcolm “reinventing” himself, don’t we all reinvent ourselves? Aren’t our analyses of the world, our concerns, our politics, influenced by what we read and the ever-changing world we inhabit? Please read my book, Malcolm X: Visits Abroad, published earlier this year.
Even in the coffin… Identity crisis in the UK? What about in America? Which is the most grave? The most tragic? We have so much work to do. For example, a long acquaintance of mine died five years ago. His final request? “I do not wish to be buried by [a special funeral service company] because they made my oldest sister look ‘too dark’ in the coffin.” His request was granted even though that rejected company had serviced his family for generations.
Another example: an old West Indian grandmother, whose skin was the darkest colour you have ever seen, was granted her final request to have a blonde wig on her head in her coffin at her funeral so that she would “look her best”. This is very, very sad. It shows how much we Africans have been brainwashed and have suffered great psychological trauma in the white man’s enslavement and continued oppression.
I think of my African grandmother and grandfather and have such heartbreaking pain and tears. I am so thankful they could not have imagined such rejection by their own flesh and blood. How can we change such abominations?
heresa Warner Orlando, Florida, USA
Can we trust the UN? Your August/September cover story, “Can We Trust the UN?”, is very interesting and it comes at a time when conscious Africans are questioning the UN’s integrity in Côte d’Ivoire and its Resolution 1973, which gave NATO the mandate to “protect the people of Libya”.
The UN role in Libya is an example of double standards at best and at worst it is a new mode of Western imperialism against resource-rich African states.
Big powers, as they are fondly called, simply hide behind international organisations like the UN, where Africa does not have a strong voice, especially in the Security Council, to lay hands on desired resources by any means necessary – even militarily!
Resolution 1973 and the mandate it gave to Nato to “protect the Libyan people” makes me wonder why such a step has not been taken to protect “the people of Somalia and Congo”, who have suffered enough lawlessness and tyranny respectively.
Yet the UN remains mute or has done very little to restore authority in Somalia, or DRCongo, a country whose mineral resources are frequently looted by multinational companies. The contradiction of the UN position in solving Africa’s problems is a stark warning clearly written on the wall for our leaders and conscious Africans to start demanding the reformation of the Security Council now, before it’s too late and more damage is done.
How on earth can Africa, with 54 sovereign states and a population of one billion or so, not have a permanent seat on the Security Council? It should be right now or never!
If we fail to take this radical stand, our states will continue to face targeted regime change, which will put our resources even more at the mercy of the regime change sponsors. The ball is in our court!
amboujang Touray Serre Kunda, The Gambia
Wake up Africa! Reflecting on the question, “Can We Trust the UN?”, I am puzzled at the intensity of the Western manipulations in Africa. Was the UN set up to back the West or to be neutral? Sanctions could not shake Libya, but as the saying goes: “If persuasion fails, force must be applied.” So now force has won! It was Bob Marley who asked: “How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?” Africa has been in a slumber for far too long. We need to wake up!
arima Asare-Bediako Johannesburg, South Africa
4 | October 2011 | New African