The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

No Subject

"How do you measure the horror in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
Add up all of the American deaths in every single war we've fought in
since 1776, including World War II and the Civil War (1,540,665). Now
add to that the estimated deaths from the recent tsunami (169,752
confirmed dead, 127,294 missing). Next, add to that the estimated
death toll in the conflict in Darfur (400,000). Then, add to that the
victims of genocide in Rwanda, one of the most horrific slaughters of
the 20th century (937,000).

"Add all of the deaths together–and you still have a smaller number
than the 3.5 million people who have died in the conflict in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 1998."
After reading "King Leopold's Ghost" I chalk this up to teh kind of horror that happens following a brutal colonialization experience, where tribal boundaries laid down for thousands of years are scrambled by outsiders.  I remember reading many accounts of Africa pre-colonialization.  Some were more positive, some more negative--but NONE decribed slaughter, starvation, and general disaster like what followed.

I remember the one positive note to the ethnic cleansing and violence following the fall of the Soviet Union--white people at parties stopped asking me "so what's wrong with Africa?"
I would really, really love to read a quantitative and qualitative study of the results of colonial rule on indiginous populations.  I'm quite certain there would be some positive results...but also genuine social horror.

1 comment:

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