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VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Feb 23rd, 2003, 11:51 PM
I just read an extremely interesting article in my recent issue of TENNIS Magazine.

The Black trio - Wayne and Byron (ATP) and Cara (WTA) are having difficulty finding solace in their homeland of Zimbabwe.

As it goes:

The president of Zimbabwe, Mugabe, is black. And for a while, I assume whites were the political leaders in this country, despite being a minority. Generally, they were more affluent than the blacks.

So this new president is enforcing new legislation where land is being taken away and given back to black people on the basis of race. This has caused a lot of civil unrest and uncertainity amongst the country.

Wayne has retired and loves Zimbabwe but is moving to Australia because of security for his wife and child. Byron and Cara said they never plan to live their ever again and will only go to visit their mother who still lives on the Black farm.

Their farm is only 22 acres - small by current standards in Zimbabwe - so their property is safe for now.

Anyways, I just couldn't believe what I was reading -- it was like I was in 1950's Southern USA, except the races were different.

I feel sorry for the Blacks and all other Zimabweans and hope they can find some hope and unity in their country.

Cybelle Darkholme
Feb 24th, 2003, 12:30 AM
I agree with the idea of land redistribution. Zimbabwe was a colony and the white colonialists oppressed the black native people stripping away the fertile land for their own use. Now I feel the land should be slowly redistributed back to the original people. However the manner in which mugabe is doing this is atrocious and he is a despot.

starr
Feb 24th, 2003, 12:50 AM
I think the farms owned by the white citizens of Zimbawe are not being "redistributed back to the original people" (whatever that might mean) but rather are being given to cronies of Mugabe and to wealthy people. Mugabe is attempting to shore up his corrupt regime.

You know, it has been 40 years since white colonists ruled Zimbawe. There is some concern that this taking of farmland will cause food shortages and perhaps famine in Zimbawe.

I hope South Africa can remain stable. I credit Mandela for instilling a proper spirt among both white and black South Africans. And, I admire the restraint of the black South Africans. Surely, it must have been difficult to rein in a desire for revenge. But, perhaps in 40 years, things will be different there too.

Famine, AIDS, and the dreadful internecene wars over gold are the biggest destabilizers in Africa right now. Bush's support for money to fight AIDS in Africa was laudable, however, it isn't enough. Spending not enough money to do any good is just like throwing money away. Africa has so many riches, but it's history for the last 400 years has been a sad one.

Cybelle Darkholme
Feb 24th, 2003, 01:00 AM
Don't forget the mess in sudan with the squabbling over oil and land and independence for the south. I think the north of sudan is just as dispicable as mugabe. Of course Im sad to say that the freedom fighters in the south have been guilty of heinous crimes themselves. Its all a big mess.

starr
Feb 24th, 2003, 01:06 AM
Add "and oil" to "gold" please.

National Geographic had a good story on Sudan recently.

I get so sad when I think of all this killing. Ethiopia is a country I would really like to visit. I want to see the great rift valley and some of the coptic churches and the highlands.... but, it seems so very chaotic. But, I've always felt a strong pull toward that country.

starr
Feb 24th, 2003, 01:14 AM
btw, SI had a good story on the Black family in Zimbawe. Apparently, the senior Black was a much respected teacher. He wasn't a farmer.

Some of the Blacks' cousins are farmers though.

starr
Feb 24th, 2003, 01:14 AM
And it must be hard to grow up in such a beautiful country and have to leave it.

DutchieGirl
Feb 24th, 2003, 01:48 AM
I must say I can't blame any of them for not living in Zimbabwe any more.

Two of their cricketers (Andy Flower and Henry(?) Olonga) have been wearing black armbands in their matches at the World Cup to signify Zimbabwe's death. I can only imagine how Mugabe and his cronies are gonna reeact to that. They already complained about it to the ICC (ruling body of cricket). I think once the World Cup is over, they and their families will be in great danger! Olonga already got dropped from his cricket club for wearing the armband too!

It's so sad. I mean sure, I agree with the re-distribution of land to an extent. But you can't nowadays go in and take away someone's WHOLE land. Take some of it, fine, and give it to the people who REALLY need it, not just the govt cronies. There was a big article in a paper here about how Mugabe just does stuff for his cronies and if anyone speaks out about it, they get tortured - beaten up, electirc shocks, that sort of stuff! It's like apartheid, but backwards!

BombsAway
Feb 24th, 2003, 02:58 AM
Africa is such a mess........and I suspect it'll get worse. I personally, object to [wealthy] white people thriving on that continent.

Volcana
Feb 24th, 2003, 03:39 AM
Rhodesia, Zimbabwe's antecendent, was a totally corrupt society. A lot of the people who benefitted from that corruption kept the wealth thus generated when white-rule was ended. That had to be fixed. You don't just arrest thieves, you try to get stolen property back to people.

Now its time for a reality check. The 'thieves' were also the ones who knew how to run agribusinesses, and factories. You could throw out the white owner of a car company and give it to me, but that doesn't mean I could get the company to produce cars.
A white-owned agri-business that produces 200,000 tons of food a year, given to a crony of Mugabe who was formerly a pilot, isn't going to produce much food. Pilots aren't farmers.

Mugabe isn't a saviour. He's another corrupt thief. The skin color may change, but it's still the few exploiting the many.

All that said, I can't work up too much sympathy for the Black family. That MAY be totally unfair. The salient question to me is, how hard did THEY work to end white rule when the country was still Rhodesia? They reaped the benefits of white rule. THey now suffer the penalties of black rule. If they didn't oppose the one, what's their complaint about the other?

Rocketta
Feb 24th, 2003, 04:26 AM
I agree with Volcana. I have a hard time feeling sympathy. I would hope that the country can be stabilized and the anarchy put under control. However, I fear this is just going to end in a horrid civil war with waring factions or Mugabe will turn his terror within. However, we know no matter how many black Africans he kills the world will do nothing but maybe if he messes with enough caucasions the world will step in and try to bring some peace to the region.

Rocketta
Feb 24th, 2003, 04:28 AM
Oh and Starr, Bush cut the financial support for fighting AIDS in Africa by an unbelievable amount as soon as he got in office. My friend sent me an email about it. I'll have to ask her if she still has it.

Rtael
Feb 24th, 2003, 04:34 AM
Originally posted by BombsAway
Africa is such a mess........and I suspect it'll get worse. I personally, object to [wealthy] white people thriving on that continent.


Well I personally object to [wealthy] white people thriving in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Australia, and yes even Antarctica!


Yes, now I too sound as stupid as you.

DutchieGirl
Feb 24th, 2003, 09:19 AM
Question... when did white rule end in Zimbabwe? I'd like to know the date of that...anyone know?

Hulet
Feb 24th, 2003, 11:22 AM
Do you guys ever wonder why the "zimbabwe situation" gets so much media time? In sub-sahara Africa, several similar activities usually takes place which affects more people than in Zimbabwe. So, why does the Zimbabwe issue is the one that obsesses BBC, CNN, and even our own CBC? I wonder.

Volcana
Feb 24th, 2003, 12:20 PM
eta psi - Zimbabwe gets the little air time (and it is a little) because white people are losing homes and businesses.

Imagine a world in which re-dress for decades and/or centuries of white racism was exacted overnight. Sounds like heaven, right?

That's Zimbabwe.

starr
Feb 24th, 2003, 12:21 PM
Ian Smith's rogue goverment declared independence from Britian in 1965. It was not until 1980 that a combination of sanctions and guerilla warfare brought that government down.

I just looked that up. I didn't remember that Smith's government held on for so long.

I don't know about the Black family except for Cara's father who I have read was a beloved figure.

starr
Feb 24th, 2003, 12:23 PM
Rocketta! Yes. I know. That's why I said that in my post. What is the point in giving money if it is not going to actually help the situation.

I was so happy and surprised when I heard that he mentioned it in his State of the Union address, but then I heard that the it was going to be only a token contribution to the problem.

doloresc
Feb 24th, 2003, 12:27 PM
Originally posted by Rocketta
I agree with Volcana. I have a hard time feeling sympathy. I would hope that the country can be stabilized and the anarchy put under control. However, I fear this is just going to end in a horrid civil war with waring factions or Mugabe will turn his terror within. However, we know no matter how many black Africans he kills the world will do nothing but maybe if he messes with enough caucasions the world will step in and try to bring some peace to the region.

well said rocketta and volcana! i couldn't agree more. it's nothing personal against cara and her brothers but that is the reality: they prospered as a result of white rule.

Volcana
Feb 24th, 2003, 12:28 PM
In South Africa, there was a man who had bought land form the governement. He knew, at some remove, that the government was taking land from Blacks and selling it to whites at cut rates. But he didn't know this PARTICULAR piece of land was acquired that way. The man builds quite a successful dairy business, and passes it on to his son.

Then gradually, as the end of apartheid nears, Black people show up with proof that they have legitemate claims on this land. Claims that the son knows damn well will be honored when majority rule is established. He could, and no doubt will, be charged with accepting stolen property. He won't go to jail, but he'll lose his farm.

The words of that farmer still stick with me.

"I know they have a right to be here. But what about all the work I've done, and my father did, building up this business?"

On top of that, because Blacks were shut out of education and business, there isn't a Black dairy farmer in posistion to take over the place. What good does it do to give the dairy farm to someone Black who can't run it? All that happens is soon there is no business.

What happened in that particular case is the farmer gave half the business to people with old claims on the land, and kept running it. The farmer loses half his farm. Blacks with old land claims don't get back all their land. But there's still a business. There are jobs, there are Black minority owners of the farm, and the farmer still has the business his family sacrificed to create.

There are solutions.

Mugabe simply isn't one of them.

starr
Feb 24th, 2003, 12:28 PM
Maybe I'm odd or something, but I read about South Africa the most in the media. There is also coverage of the terrible wars in the Congo... I guess the country went back to that name and Nambia, but these are so difficult to cover.

It sort of depends on what is going on. Uganda used to get a long of coverage, but now I don't see much about it. Nigera is also in the news. I mention that long National Geographic article about the conflict in Sudan. Ethiopia used to get a lot of coverage too.

It is ironic that Kenya had the most protracted and viscious of the wars for independence, but made the transition to at least a form of democracy more smoothly than many of its neighbors.

starr
Feb 24th, 2003, 12:31 PM
Ok. I'll say it again. Cara Black's father was NOT a farmer. He was a teacher.

Volcana
Feb 24th, 2003, 12:32 PM
starr - Jomo Kenyatta (a personal childhood hero) and the Mau Mau were a unifying influence, much as George Washington and the Continental Army were in the United States. Also, the war was very much outsiders vs insiders.

In Zimbabwe, its insiders vs insiders. A fourth generation white farmer in Zimbabwe does NOT consider himself a 'colonial'.

Experimentee
Feb 24th, 2003, 12:38 PM
I dont know how anyone can go to that country and play cricket while all that is happening there. The world cup is earning enough money to keep Mugabe going for a few more years but all anyone cares about is winning some cricket matches :sad:

starr
Feb 24th, 2003, 12:41 PM
No need to take a lecturing tone with me, Volcana. I'm quite aware of Kenyatta and the Mau Mau.

I think it is interesting because at the time, people were worried that Kenya would disolve into a blood bath when Kenyatta took over. There have been bad times for Kenya, but all in all it has come through fairly well, and the dire predictions of the time did not come true. I mentioned it because of the irony involved.

Perhaps, had Ian Smith and his supporters not attempted their doomed (and how could they think it was anything other than doomed?) government things would have been different for Zimbawe.

But in Kenya there were also many white people born and raised in that country, but I agree that Zimbawe was more akin to South Africa with respect to its white citizens.

Volcana
Feb 24th, 2003, 12:43 PM
starr - what lecturing tone?

starr
Feb 24th, 2003, 12:46 PM
Perhaps it was simply the way I read it. It appeared to me that you were lecturing me about Kenyatta, etc.

WtaTour4Ever
Feb 24th, 2003, 01:37 PM
lol starr.......back away from the computer :-)

King Lindsay
Feb 24th, 2003, 01:47 PM
Joshua, one slight correction. robert Mugabe is not the new president. he has been ruling zimbabwe for over 20 years now.

Volcana, I find that ZImbabwe has been in the news a lot lately, first over the election rigging, then over the arrests of the opposition leader Morgan tsavanrai (I can't remember his last name right now, but it's something like that). Now it's the land redistribution. It's almost sure to cause famine, but obviously Mugabe doesn't care about that. Hopefully he will be removed soon, as there are rumblings that his rule is crumbling.

Volcana
Feb 24th, 2003, 02:11 PM
The only way Mugabe's leaving is if he's looking down the barrel of a gun. He MAY care about starvation, but figure that if land re-distribution waits til its painless, it'll never happen. Maybe.

South Africa had the 'Truth and Reconciliation Commision'. Good idea? Imagine if the way the Nazis had been handled after WWII was to give pardons to anyone who admitted he'd tortured and killed people.

In South African, genocidal murderers went free, but the new (Black) goverment tried not to punish the innoncent. In Zimbabwe they made sure to get all the (white) bad by getting the good along with it.

I vastly oversimplify, but neither of these solutions is perfection.

Neither of the situations offered the possibility of a perfect solution.

King Lindsay
Feb 24th, 2003, 02:18 PM
'there are rumblings that his rule is crumbling."

I love my writing. :)

Volcana, I read in the news that support for Robert is withering in his own government and that there were some ministers plotting against him. Or maybe it was just propaganda press hoping to incite divisions within the government.

Izzy
Feb 24th, 2003, 02:54 PM
Yes, Starr, you should visit Ethiopia. I recently came back from Ethiopia. Great place!

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Feb 24th, 2003, 02:54 PM
Not so sure I agree with redistribution. It would be like returning land in the USA back to the native Americans who once lived here.

There has to be a better solution to the problem. And whose to say the black people in Zimbabwe are even from there? They may have come from another country. Sure, if the person is still alive I could absolutely 100% understand giving the land back to that person.....but just because of race? That doesn't make sense. I'm not aware of the entire situation so my opinion is still invalidated somewhat, but first impression is that this is not a good thing for ANYONE in Afrika - which I adore.

BombsAway
Feb 24th, 2003, 03:25 PM
I get it. Because they are taking back what's theirs....from white people we have this debate. If it was black on black, as it is in other African nations we wouldn't have this consern

Mugabe should take that land back. I'm sure the new owners will retain the employed help to keep those business afloat.

Scorch
Feb 24th, 2003, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by BombsAway
I get it. Because they are taking back what's theirs....from white people we have this debate. If it was black on black, as it is in other African nations we wouldn't have this consern

Mugabe should take that land back. I'm sure the new owners will retain the employed help to keep those business afloat.

The new owners are doing no such thing. Hence the very real threat of famine.

Any te violence and destruction involved in 'taking that land back' is intolerable.

sartrista7
Feb 24th, 2003, 04:12 PM
Originally posted by BombsAway
I get it. Because they are taking back what's theirs....from white people we have this debate. If it was black on black, as it is in other African nations we wouldn't have this consern

Mugabe should take that land back. I'm sure the new owners will retain the employed help to keep those business afloat.

Assuming you are American... would you like to give whatever property you currently own back to the nearest Native American? Thought not.

The problem with any injustice is that it perpetuates itself to such an extent that there is no just solution. It was unjust for the colonisers to take the land in the first place. Three or four generations on, it would be very much unjust to take that land away from their descendants who have worked it - but it's equally unjust to let the status quo continue. It's far from perfect, but some sort of compromise - along the lines Volcana has outlined has to be the solution.

PhoenixStorm
Feb 24th, 2003, 04:30 PM
Its as simple as this: If your father or grandfather stole a pice of artwork, say from jewish germans, and kept it would you not be obligated to return said artwork after the war to the family who owned it? Well the answer is yes because as we speak jewish people are seeking and getting restitution for what was stolen from them. Why do you think a majority of art museums never display what they have in storage? Because its stolen merchandise.

I feel the native americans should get their land back. First of all they never settled the complete united states so its not like they would have the whole country. Give the tribes back the land they had settled which really does not amount to a lot of space. Prime land it is though.

Those descendants of the colonialists benefited from the havok and evil their forefathers created. If you reap the benefits you can reap the consequences. Of course as volcana stated people who are uneducated cannot run the businesses and land they are due so the answer in my mind is to divert a majority of the profits to the schooling of these people. SEND THEM TO SCHOOL!!! GIVE THEM PROPER LIVING CONDITIONS!!!

I cannot believe that south africa is still wallowing in misery! Where are the education programs? I know you cannot simply put the uneducated in positions of power, but the state should wipe out the shanty towns and build decent housing and schools and get those children as well as parents in a position to move into the power positions.

sartrista7
Feb 24th, 2003, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by PhoenixStorm
Those descendants of the colonialists benefited from the havok and evil their forefathers created. If you reap the benefits you can reap the consequences.

That's the point! It wasn't THEIR havoc and evil, it was their forefathers'. You have to be extraordinarily dense to seriously believe that punishment should be meted out three generations on from the ones who committed the crime.

The artwork example is not very helpful. You need land to have a certain standard of living; you don't need a painting.

Yes, I agree with your point about education.

Hulet
Feb 24th, 2003, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by sartrista7
That's the point! It wasn't THEIR havoc and evil, it was their forefathers'. You have to be extraordinarily dense to seriously believe that punishment should be meted out three generations on from the ones who committed the crime.

The artwork example is not very helpful. You need land to have a certain standard of living; you don't need a painting.

Yes, I agree with your point about education.
Don't you think it is also pretty dense to believe that the crime (or its effects)of the colonialists are not still present in todays zimbabwe? The children of the Zimbabweans, whom the colonialists confresticated lands from, live in poverity(a condition which might not have occured if their forefathers weren't dispossed of their lands). They need the land too "to have a certain standard of living". Therefore, you can't think of the crime as an instance that occured 3 or 4 generations ago and has no victims now. It's a continuous injustice which has victims at every generations.

With regards to Mugabe, wasn't he a democratically elected (on an election monitored by EU observers) president? So, why does the media refer him as a dictator?

sartrista7
Feb 24th, 2003, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by eta psi
It's a continuous injustice which has victims at every generations.

Which is what my original post said. Quite clearly the children of the dispossessed have suffered from the original colonisation, but the solution is not to blame the descendants of the colonisers, because that is also unjust.

I have no idea about the EU observers.. I distinctly remember a lot of EU criticism, so it's unlikely. If they were there, they certainly weren't doing the job properly - Mugabe's henchmen freely deployed intimidation tactics and violence against Morgan Tsvangirai's supporters and potential voters.

Volcana
Feb 24th, 2003, 06:25 PM
sartrista7 - We HAVE been through this in the USA. Various native American tribes HAVE been given back their land. Couple of decent sized hunks of Connecticut, par example. And the painting is a good example, because it's property law in both cases.

If I demonstrate that that was my grandfather's land, and your grandfather stole it, and it passed by inheritance to you, then legally, in the USA, its MINE, not yours. And if that land had a diamond mine on it and you developed it, that's mine too. (I'm not even going to bother arguing the legal situation in Zimbabwe, since legality is, to a grat extent, whatever Mugabe says it is.)

As for, there being a better way, that better way can't include dispossessed Black people continuing to suffer. What good is removing an imnmoral system of governement if you leave in place the results of that immoral system?

gweeny
Feb 24th, 2003, 06:31 PM
Wow, you guys are smart. I would like to contribute but I don't much about the history of Africa. (even though I was born there). Frankly, I agree with Volcana and phoenix storm.

many of the suffering that Africans endure today are due to slavery (they took our best people, strongest people and the slave owners used them to build all the historical buildings, etc that are now in america).

Colonialism also divided Africa in ways that have caused so much strife in that continent. (again all our resources were used up and then when the colonialist were done, they just left )

It's a sad reality. What I detest the most is that some Americans can argue that black-Americans are now better off due to slavery;saying that compare the life of a black-american to a life of an African is so much better and that they should be glad that their forefathers were taken from Africa.

victory1
Feb 24th, 2003, 06:34 PM
Let's not forget about how this generation and other generations used their economic clot gain by colonizing to keep dehumanizing black people in Africa i.e. South Africa.