Friday, January 18, 2013

Mali...France...What Do I Care?

If there is anything I know for certain, it is that things are not as simple as they appear.

I was listening to the news yesterday, NPR to be exact, while driving to yet another thing I had to do, and it was reporting about the French army moving into Mali to fight against the "rebels" who were coming in from the North.

Mali is a former French colony.

My immediate thought was something is not right in the croissant.

Why is France, a European country, concerned about what is happening in Mali, an African country?

Could it be because of Mali's rich natural resources? Could that be the reason a lot of European countries are in an all-out-effort to recolonize parts of Africa under the auspices of providing aid, opportunity, or protection from Al Qaeda?

Are we still fighting the previous administration's world-wide demonization of all things Islam and their false "war on terror" that includes almost literally everything everywhere.

The media is corporate owned, that is just the bottom line, there are only a few reporting arms in this country and overseas and all of them sometimes spill out the same message. We, the public, are not all informed and of the things we are informed about, only partly so.

A facebook group was posting about the things happening in Africa for some time now.  Like a lot of people, we may feel overwhelmed by the amount of hunger, poverty, and essentially caste system that exists for poorer people of color.


Does the color of our collective skin determine that we are the prey for the paler brethren of the world?  Is it more of commodities for other people's consumption as my history professor taught us? Is it because of these smart phones, tablets, and mobile devices that the rape of the motherland is happening literally and figuratively?

Does it even matter? This thing happening on the other side of the world, on a continent I have never visited, in a country that I do not have direct ties?

Yes, it matters because this has happened before.  1791 in Saint-Domingue, now Haiti, a few black slaves dared to stand up against their French planter slave owners, and frankly, Creole ruling class, to demand their freedom.  Through the years of devastation and French "loss of wealth" the fledgling nation began with a yoke bondage greater than slavery itself.  Haiti, while independent, never had the chance to be her full self because the world punished her for daring to say that she is whole, for daring to take up arms against their oppressors.  This has happened before.

I kept driving to my destination wondering what could I, a simple wife and mother, a writer, do here in the states.  I do not have money nor power and can certainly not stop an army bent on taking over the land from the people.

But there is something I can do, I am doing it now, I am speaking about it.  I am not an expert on African-European-American affairs, but I do know when something is not fair, and I do know when history is repeating itself, and I do know when something doesn't smell right.

Stay aware.

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