Another One Bites the Dust

Shocking news…Zambian president Levy Mwanawasa passed away at age 59 in a hospital in France. From the little I know about him, Mwanawasa was a pan-Africanist, who even by the social limitations placed against him, attempted to stand up to various western powers, as well as other African corrupt minds. This is not to say he was not corrupt himself. However, there were attempts by him to be more unifying of Africans as he headed/chaired the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

What is most shocking and more relevant to this blog is that Mwanawasa was one of the few presidents who stood firm in favor of refugees from the Great Lakes region, and refused to comply with the forced repatriation attempted by the countries in the Great Lakes region through the UNHCR. He allowed refugees to remain in his country, despite various obstacles that were placed against them, but they could remain and attempt to rehabilitate their lives nonetheless.

Readers and refugees beware! With Mwanawasa’s passing, dark days may rest ahead for the refugees. It’s possible the immigration situation within the country will get progressively worse as in more aggressive and hostile for the refugees, and forced repatriation may be enforced. Rather, refugees may be simply forced out of the country, due to the already existing xenophobia within Zambia. Aslo, unrealistic living conditions may be imposed on refugees forcing them to flee once again, in search of better lives.

It is a very unfortunate occurrence, and a great loss for many. May he rest in peace.

China, Racism and the Olympics

I’m baaaackk!!!

And it’s been forever good peoples!

Yep. sure has.

And I’ve been MIA. So many things happened, too many to keep up, and not enough time to catch up on it all. But there will be some catching up, especially on the African Union Heads of State Summit’s stand in solidarity with Kagame against the European Indictments, and how Belgium decided to execute the said indictments. Two steps back and one step forward? Maybe…

I’m not talking about any of that right now though. What is most interesting to me, as many people have discussed ad nauseam is the poor Chinese little girl who was deemed “uncute” therefore unworthy enough to be the representative that sang upfront during the Olympic opening ceremonies. Aside from the fact that the “Olympic Games” glitter are a bunch of corporate propaganda (advertisers dreams come true), which are meant to distract people from the large problems at large, I find this particular issue very troubling and fascinating.

It is such a loaded issue. The racism and gender issues present in the whole scenario are overwhelming. I’ve heard/read various discussions where the issue of gender were brought up, but not so much the race issue. The two women are obviously being groomed for their roles in society, where one is understood to be more acceptable, and more deserving of admiration. On the same token, the other should understand her role as that of a supporter, undeserving of public acceptance and admiration. Both these messages are transmitted to the girls through the use of their looks/physical beauty. So it’s not hard to understand that their looks will be very important not only to them and those around them, but in determining their life chances in the future (I mean who gets the glory? The face or the voice?). And each seems to have accepted her role, and what social position her looks have prescribed for her.

Anyway, there seems to be some uproar about China’s role in the whole matter. Sentiments are such that: How could they condone such a thing? That’s outrageous!! It’s sooo wrong! They are both cute, it’s not even necessary!!! Etc, Etc…

And that’s where the race issues comes in. The race issue that I have not seen addressed (maybe it’s out there, but I haven’t seen it). What I find most surprising, is most people’s disregard (intentionally or unintentionally) for the permeation of white supremacy, where a country that’s hosting the prestigious Olympic games has to comply with white supremacist attitudes. They do this by choosing a more pleasant representative, who does not “live up to” or fit into a negative stereotype attributed to Asian people, specifically Chinese people (yeah the buck teeth thing).

It’s not just a matter of women and their inevitable self esteem struggles (looks fade my dears), but more so on what is determined as acceptable by western worlds, and how it effects people across the globe. I mean a sovereign independent nation suffers from this complex of trying to fit into the “white(r) (looking) is right” mold that so many people of color have been subjected to. The basic belief is that people of color are not beautiful unless they fit into the western notion of beauty (and not just small children or women) but whole countries are not immune to this type of mentality and treatment. True the girl chosen was still more phenotypically Asian, but the permeation of white supremacy and people of color’s (and specifically China’s) complicity in the continued perpetuation of racism and white supremacy is undeniable in this situation.

And no one is talking about it. Heh.