A Time for Change in France and Africa and the US, too. Je ne suis pas Charlie.

Afrique being impaled...art by Phil Dynan

This week saw an horrific murder of thousands in Nigeria and also the despicable murder of a magazine staff in France. One event generated millions of responses and tons of money being thrown at the French magazine. I think millions got it wrong. And I think it is time for a big change in thinking on this planet.

Afrique (as the French say) is a continent battered and raped for centuries by colonialist powers including France. They left a legacy of poverty and desperation. Even today, Africans are generally looked down and marginalised in French society (this I know from living in Paris) and in other parts of the world, including the US.

A magazine that specialized in depraved “humour” and easy targets was on the edge of bankruptcy and with good cause. Picking on the marginalized and “religion” is a “soft” target for the lazy and insensitive. That magazine deserved, not the event that took place, but to go into bankruptcy. It deserved to be forgotten and was on its way out.

The Africans murdered in Nigeria were mostly women, children and the aged – people that could not outrun the “religious” lunatic fanatics of Boco Haram. They did not deserve this death either.

But why does the French magazine get the attention and money? It seems to me that it is an extension of the disregard and oppression of the people of Afrique – the almost endless attempt to marginalise the “black man” (and here I use the term “black man” to symbolize the people of Africa, not as a “literal” definition).

I say it is time for a change in attitude and values. I think it is time to re-build Africa, not stand by and watch the results of Western colonization and abandonment of this precious people.

Give that village in Nigeria the money and attention it deserves. Build them a secure and safe town, with running water and electricity. Take the money from the racist magazine in Paris and give it to people who deserve it. Take the “solidarity” behind the not-so-funny cartoon rag and give it to the people of Africa. End the racism and the taking advantage of the African people. Stand with Africa.


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