Monday, May 26, 2008

Norwegians debate the word Neger

Apparently Norway sees nothing wrong with the N word since in their language a black person is refered to as Neger. It has been in use since around the 17th Century and they don't see why they should take it out of their vocabulary. The origin of the word is still sketchy. And they claim that its not meant as an offense and see no reason to take it out.

I have however heard that it is derived from Nigeria and Niger. Both countries in Africa. The Norwegian situation poses a real dilema. Do we the offended, have a right to to go to Norway and tell them what they should take out of their language?

Do you like Japan? Japan doesn't like you!

I have often heard that Xenophobia is rife in Japan and no one is spared. But still the black person is still considered the lowest of them all. Seeing this video however makes you wonder if there is a difference between xenophobia and racism.

We can only hope that no catastrophe takes place in Japan, because I wouldn't put the Nazi abilities beyond them. Historically there is evidence that after a major earthquake in the 1920s, foreigners were massively murdered and instantly buried by gangs. Remains to this day are still being unearthed by construction workers.



And here comes the humor. The Nigger family Breakfast




Hehe! I think I should dedicate the next few posts to offensive commercials. This one is a rare find.

SONY apparently has a pattern going on.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

BIRO by Frank Mwine

Wow. Its amazing the stuff one can find on You Tube and Netflix. This is a one man play by an African Hollywood actor, Frank Mwine. He has been in major TV shows like ER, CSI etc but mostly in supporting roles. His talent is well dispayed in his one man show BIRO which I happened to watch when it first came out. A Very powerful piece that tells the story of an African immigrant illegally in America.
What I found striking was his abiltity to perfect his American and African accents.
Incredibly talented, I hope he starts getting more main roles.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Why you are paying $4 for gas



This is where I get totally lost with Africans. Culturally, Africans tend to be communal and work together for survival. But in the western system, they seem incapable of sustaining that sense of community and intrerest in one another as when they are living minimally in a traditional setting.
With all the riches that are constantly discovered very few Black African countries have used them to benefit their communities. Maybe one day they will get it.
However, why do I get a sneaky suspiscion that these militants are well connected, globally?

Monday, May 19, 2008

WAY TO GO SOUTH AFRICA

In the news at the moment is the wave of violence directed towards other Africans by black South Africans. I would like to say I am surprised but unfortunately I am not.

During apartheid, Black South Africans were severely marginalized by Whites and the other races. Majority were denied formal education, a condition that Nelson Mandela predicted would eventually explode even with the end of apartheid. So at the end of apartheid while Africans in the rest of the continent had gotten a head start due to early independence, majority black South Africans were not formally educated and had developed a negative attitude towards "white man's" education. Due to the shortage of an educated work black force the vacuum was consequently filled by African professionals from other parts of the continent. In a very short while resentment began to grow towards the foreigners that were "taking" the jobs of the natives.
I personally know several professionals that saw the writing on the wall and left the country. Some of whom where viciously attacked for that very reason. It was a matter of time before an outbreak of this type violence would be realised. And it could easily get much worse. Where in the world is an African safe?



South Africa, The New Apartheid





Sunday, May 18, 2008

WAR DANCE

For three years I have been on a personal boycott of television and Hollywood products. In the process I have missed out on some good stuff that I should be aware of. One of which is War Dance, a documentary that was in the running for this year's Oscars Best documentary film category.
Its basically about children from the war torn Northern Uganda who prepare to go to an annual music festival in the Capital Kampala. The music festival in question is extremely competitive and I am yet to watch the documentary and see how they performed. If you have Netflix, you can watch it instantly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alright I have watched the documentary and I would like to see the documentary that got the Oscar. This is one of the best pieces I have seen. I have a background in documentary film making so I have a clue on what makes a good documentary.
I tend to steer away from gutt wrenching stories especially if they are from my region. The makers of this documentaty manage to tell the story without resorting to gory details and graphical images. They tell the remarkable story of these children that leaves you inspired and in a strange way restoring your faith in humanity.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Stories you will never see from Africa. The Mzungu effect

Forty baby pythons hatched in Entebbe.



This has to be the Muzungu effect on some Africans that have way too much time. Since when did Africans care about snakes? This stupid thing has lived for 30 years. I am still wondering why one of these idle people hasn't finished crushing its head. Seriously, this story was front page in one of the daily newspapers.

By Gerald Tenywa

LUTEMBE, a 30-year-old giant python that was rescued from Lutembe Beach Hotel last year, has become the proud mother of 40 babies.

For Julius Abigaba, a reptile keeper at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, formerly known as Entebbe Zoo, the last two weeks were the most exciting of his life.

“It is the first time snakes are breeding at this centre,” he said. “This is an achievement that gives us pride.”

Abigaba has been watching over the python as it was incubating a cluster of eggs slightly bigger than the size of chicken. After they lay their eggs, females will typically incubate them until they hatch.

This is achieved by causing the muscles to “shiver”, which raises the temperature of the body. During the incubation period, females will not eat and only leave to bask in order to raise their body temperature.

Lutembe spent the early hours of yesterday in the sun in her reptile house, which she shares with two other pythons, occasionally checking on her young ones. Her skin has started peeling off, exposing a new beautiful one.

“She coils around the baby pythons most of the time,” said Abigaba. “She is so protective. When caregivers go in to clean the reptile house, she hisses to scare them away.”

Previously, Lutembe was living a miserable life inside a metallic cage at Lutembe Beach Hotel. Tourists used to pay sh500 to her captors. They would poke her with a metallic rod for her to turn, as part of the entertainment. “We intervened and rescued her, but she had broken some bones in the head,” Abigaba explained.

“This was discovered after an X-ray. She was treated and has now healed.”

The centre keeps snakes and other wild animals for conservation purposes. The young ones will be relocated to a national park, according to Abigaba.

“The number is too big for us to handle and wild animals belong to the wilderness.”


Thursday, May 15, 2008

You have 7 years to learn Mandarin



Okay, we keep hearing it everywhere that China is the next economic power. China already owns a substantial amount of America's debt, has a vibrant space program, in short there is no stopping China. Now what? Well the following article is from Fortune Magazine and one suggestion is one should learn Chinese ASAP.

Is the world ready for China or like the world food crisis are we going to wake up one morning and China is in control of our purses ? This is something to give serious consideration but casual observation tells me that many people are not aware of the future economic changes that are coming much sooner than anticipated.


Forget cheap imports. China's rise will soon be a force on Wall Street and Main Street and in Silicon Valley.
By Geoff Colvin, senior editor at large




(Fortune Magazine) -- Back in 2001 when the International Olympic Committee chose Beijing as the site of this summer's games, the event was meant to mark China's debut as a player on the global economic stage. But a recent study by the economist Angus Maddison projects that China will become the world's dominant economic superpower much sooner than expected - not in 2050, but in 2015.

While short-term investors are already cashing in on China's growth by playing the global commodities boom, smart long-term thinkers are contemplating what happens when China matures from an exporter of cheap goods to a competitor in sectors where the U.S. is dominant - technology, brand building, finance. China has almost wiped U.S. makers of low-value items like toys and socks, but by 2015 it may threaten Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500), J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500), and Procter & Gamble (PG, Fortune 500). It will increasingly influence the S&P 500 and the mutual funds in our 401(k)s. So it's worth looking at how that will happen, what it means, and what anyone can do in the seven years before the baton is passed.

Just using the exchange rate to convert China's GDP into dollars isn't helpful in comparing the two economies, because China controls its exchange rate; by that method, China's economy might not pass America's for decades. Exchange rates apply only to tradable products and services; they aren't very useful in valuing nontradable goods in a country like China that is much poorer than the United States. So we need some way to compare the real value of China's economic output with America's, and economists have developed one. It is called purchasing power parity.

For example, Chinese construction workers earn a whole lot less than Americans do, yet they can still build top-quality buildings. If we used the exchange rate, the value of a new skyscraper in Shanghai would count much less toward China's GDP than an identical building in Chicago would count toward America's, which makes no sense. Purchasing power parity corrects the problem.

Will China take the crown?
Angus Maddison's forecast (which uses purchasing power parity) isn't built on outlandish assumptions. He assumes China's growth will slow way down year by year, and America's will average about 2.6% annually, which seems reasonable. But because China has grown so stupendously during the past decade, it should still be able to take the crown in just seven more years.

If that happens, America will close out a 125-year run as the No. 1 economy. We assumed the title in 1890 from - guess who. Britain? France? No. The world's largest economy until 1890 was China's. That's why Maddison says he expects China to "resume its natural role as the world's largest economy by 2015." That scenario makes sense.

China was the largest economy for centuries because everyone had the same type of economy - subsistence - and so the country with the most people would be economically biggest. Then the Industrial Revolution sent the West on a more prosperous path. Now the world is returning to a common economy, this time technology- and information-based, so once again population triumphs.

So how should we make the most of our seven-year grace period? For companies: Focus on getting better at your highest-value activities. Just because the Chinese will be fighting you in the same industries doesn't mean you'll lose. (Investors, remember that China bought $3 billion of Blackstone (BX) at the IPO price of $31 last summer, and the firm is now trading at $19.) It only means you'll have to work harder to win.

For individuals: You can avoid competition with Chinese workers by doing place-based work, which ranges in value from highly skilled (emergency-room surgery) to menial (pouring concrete). But the many people who do information-based work, which is most subject to competition, will have to get dramatically better to be worth what they cost. For government leaders: Improve U.S. education above all.

Those are the issues in China's becoming No. 1 that we most need to focus on. And as with so much else in China's recent history, we'll need to worry about them much sooner than we expected.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Italian Vogue and the all Black Models Issue


Time for a new post. Its that time of the semester when time starts getting tight but will still keep rolling over here.

Thanks to Nana for the lead, Italian vogue is going to have an all black models issue come July 08.

I guess as a black female I should be celebrating but obviously you can guess I am not. Why should I? Because a magazine has taken on the duty of doing what the fashion industry won't do, utilize black models and looking more moral/accepting in the process? Looks like Italian vogue is having a tendency to charity.
Italian Vogue story

That this should be happening at all should be a shame to humanity but obviously there are multitudes of reasons people will give. In the recent London Fashion week only one black model was used and yes as ususal there were voices of discontent about the blatant racism. The organisers were told by designers that they did not want any ethnics. This is 2008, and we are still going by such criteria.

Obviously I am not a fan of such designers but even more irritating to me is hearing the black voices protesting the racist moves. I understand that blacks that consider the western world their home have to strive for equality, but when is enough, enough? For how long will your difference be used against you and for how long will you fight to be accepted?

As an African, I would not wish to see African models in such environments where their dignity is assaulted. Besides, don't we have better things to worry about like fight disease, increase literacy and fight poverty than worry about the white world finding us aesthetically accepteable?
I think if Blacks looked critically at themselves and fully accepted themselves, the rejection by the White world would not matter much because they would develop their own industries that would take them as they are. And who says there is no market for a black fashion industry ? Like black music, black fashion could easily become mainstream.

Blacks should simply stop expecting approval and acceptance from the White world. Personally I think we have reached the limits with that. Its time to turn inwards.
So Italian Vogue, sorry your little gesture is just a mini band aid on a deep wound.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

World food crisis, how did this happen?



My head is still spinning over the current World food crisis. How did this happen and how come no one saw this coming? There are many factors that have caused the crisis, from low havests to the diversion of corn to the production of ethanol. Somehow all these factors got in sync and voila, many governments across the world are now threatend because of food shortages.

President Bush has asked congress for 700 million USD for food aid to Africa. This time his administration is asking that the money be given to the World Food Program which in turn will purchase from food producing African Countries for redistribution to those in need. Guess what, many oppose the idea because, tradionally US food AID has been in the form of food purchased from US farmers and then shipped over by specific US ships.

But given the current food crisis these opposers have no choice really since there is a global shortage.
But this makes one wonder what the purpose of US food Aid to Africa was meant to be. Wouldn't it make more sense to buy the food from Africans thus stimulating their economies and help them become self sufficient and in the process save on transportation and other costs ?

At the moment it looks like the people most likely to gain from the current global crisis are those African peasants that have long been shut out of the global economy.
East Africa has not been spared, prices have shot up and Boarding schools have now increased their fees to cover the cost of food. So far there seems to be no end in sight.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Mother of Interracial Relationships Mildred Loving has Passed



I have personally felt that Mildred and Richard Loving have not been as honored as they deserved. I am not sure who is to blame, the Civil Rights Movement itself for not giving them as much proiminence or Societal dynamics. I feel their contribution was in the same league as all the Civil Rights greats but don't feel like they are adequately recognized for their fight and achievements for all of us.

In her last moments on earth, which will be at her funeral, we will shall see if indeed this recognition is adequate or lacking.

MAY HER SOUL REST IN ETERNAL PEACE WITH HER HUSBAND'S


This week marks the 40th anniversary of a seminal moment in the civil rights movement: the legalization of interracial marriage. But the couple at the heart of the landmark Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia never intended to be in the spotlight.

On June 12, 1967, the nation's highest court voted unanimously to overturn the conviction of Richard and Mildred Loving, a young interracial couple from rural Caroline County, Va.
Full NPR Story

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Giving White Women a break and what's with Barbara Walters

Ok. We have been giving white women too much of a hard time lately but this story just leaves one wondering. If you are a BW, should you be mad that Gary Coleman ended up with this White woman? Personally I think she is a saint. She wants to save the marriage and Gary wants a divorce. Un believeable!
Sometimes we just need to give white women A BREAK. There are so many BM that cannot find BW they are compartible with. This is not to say that these two deserved each other but you know, sometimes people are better matched with people completely of a different race or background.







Well this is going to be quite a week for IRs and the Nation with Barbara Walters' confession to Oprah that she had an affair with African American Senator Ed Brooke in the 70s.
Unfortunately going through the various message boards and You Tube videos, you would think she is the devil's incarnate. The excuse some a giving is that the Senator was still married to his Italian war bride, yet it appears they were separated, but you know how that will go down anyway. And that is probably not the reason for the outrage.
I think this is going to start a trend of bringing prominent people out of the IR closet.