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July 25, 2003

Welcome to the Africa Blog

Africa Blog is taking shape, and I have a wonderful group of writers prepared to bring you news and analysis of Africa. The goal is to create a site that focuses on the challenges faced by the West in developing policies that help lift the continent of Africa out of the political and economic strife that has plagued the continent.

Out of the discussion, we hope to create a different kind of blog. Instead of simply picking apart policies and pointing to problems, we hope to offer new views that lead to solutions to these problems.

Thanks for coming and taking part in what I hope will be a successful experiment. Look, soon, for introductions from the great writers who will be taking part in this site.

Posted by zombyboy at July 25, 2003 08:00 AM
Comments

I digs it. Let's roll!

Posted by: Velociman at July 26, 2003 06:28 AM

Tomorrow, I'll be sending out the little care package...

Posted by: zombyboy at July 27, 2003 02:02 AM

Now...
Could someone please explain why I should care if Africa is *ever* lifted out of 'political and economic strife'?

I mean...I can see a lot of 'political and economic strife' right here in the US of A that could use a little attention. I'd sure wish that we'd prioritize that.

I guess I don't get it...surely if you guys took the time to start a whole 'blog over the thing, there must be some large, underlying reason for the concern. It *must* be larger than simple compassion.

Anyone?

Posted by: john corry at July 29, 2003 08:48 AM

You may be right, John. Maybe you don't get it.

The "political and economic strife" in the USofA is getting plenty of attention worldwide. It's getting it from Progressives, Conservatives and Libertarians alike. And it's getting action…much of it wrong-headed, much that will need reversal (guess you can tell I'm a Progressive). But it's visible, and a major concern for the entire population of the world.

Who speaks for Africa? Who knows the troubles caused by the deliberate creation of political boundaries that split nations and group traditional enemies? Who speaks to the economic squalor created by treating a continent as a goody-bag of natural resources, planetary Jim Crow?

Do you know?

And more importantly, if no one knows, who will act? How can they act?

The fact is, simple compassion is more than enough reason to present this information, more than enough reason to brainstorm solutions.

But you have no reason to care. This being the case, I strongly hope you choose not to be disruptive and simply stay away.

But there actually is a reason you'd likely respect. Western economies are running out of markets.

Zombyboy, et. al.:
I wish you much success. I'll be watching for when you get rolling, or would you prefer I announce and blogroll you right away?

Posted by: Prometheus 6 at July 29, 2003 11:44 AM

Prometheus, please feel free to blogroll us now--in fact, thanks for noticing.

John, I'll go ahead and post something later in the day that addresses this question head on.

Posted by: zombyboy at July 29, 2003 02:56 PM

Sorry Prometheus...
I was sincerely asking a question...I legitimately don't understand why America ought to take responsibility for 'solving the Africa problem'.

I've always thought that Africa was responsible for many of it's own problems.

I am ignorant of African history and have been left to draw my own conclusions from the media.

I don't mean to be disruptive, just wondering.

thanks Zombyboy for being more patient.

Posted by: john corry at July 29, 2003 09:01 PM

Hey, John,

I think that most of America is pretty lost when it comes to African history--I know that, in many ways, I still am. That's one of the things I wanted to start this for--so that we can have a good understanding of our practical and ethical obligations.

Keep dropping by--I'm betting you'll find a lot of useful information.

Posted by: zombyboy at July 29, 2003 09:11 PM

John,

Do you honestly think that Europe and America have no responsibility for the current situation in Africa after all the damage they've done there? Oh, but you don't know the history of Africa. Have you ever heard of colonialism? (stolen land & resources) Slavery?(aka the theft and murder of millions of people) I don't even know why I'm asking... I'm sensing the same attitude that so many people have about reparations and affirmative action here in the States.

Posted by: Michael Seneadza at July 30, 2003 01:35 AM

Michael,

While I have a feeling we agree on a lot of subjects here, I don't believe that reparations are a way to solve any problems. Neither do I believe that affirmative action solves anything until there's a solid plan to make AA obsolete. In other words, I don't think anyone wants to see AA as a necessity in twenty years.

Posted by: zombyboy at July 30, 2003 02:19 AM

That said, this is as good a time as any to talk about what I hope to see from readers:

1- Keep conversations above the belt. This site will be written by (at least) seven people who have strong opinions, and (hopefully) read by many more with their own strong opinions. I love the idea of open conversation--honest conversation--but I want to be sure that people treat each other with respect.

2- It's usually easier to gain respect by treating each other politely than it is by insulting people.

3- Really nasty personal attacks will be removed and IPs will be banned. Of course, I don't expect that kind of behavior, but I reserve the right to take the actions that I consider necessary. I will consult the other contributors before I take such steps, but I reserve the final decision for myself.

4- If you disagree with what we're saying and you really want to prove a point, write up an entry of your own. Intelligent, well-supported decisions will be posted and credit will be given. Submission guidelines will be up by the end of the week.

Posted by: zombyboy at July 30, 2003 02:26 AM

John:

Let me retract any implied personal reference. You say it was a sincere question, and I accept that.

zombieboy:

You're on the blogroll and I'll be watching for your submission guidelines. At minimum I can share my links for people who have no background in African history…which sadly will be most of us. And right now on my site is a great hoard of link on African current events.

My own knowledge is more general than specific, but I'm changing that and am more than willing to share the sources.

Posted by: Prometheus 6 at July 30, 2003 05:07 AM

I'm hoping you'll find it worth your time to send in some of your own work. The more voices--as long as they are intelligent and well-considered--the better the dialog will be.

Posted by: zombyboy at July 30, 2003 05:14 AM

Zombyboy,

I have very mixed emotions about the way that AA is implemented, but I do think that it's neccesary.

As for reparations, it seems to be that many of the proposed solutions for helping Africa fit the definition of reparations. It's nothing more than:

1. The act or process of repairing or the condition of being repaired.
2. The act or process of making amends; expiation.
3. Something done or paid to compensate or make amends.
4. reparations Compensation or remuneration required from a defeated nation as indemnity for damage or injury during a war.

Posted by: Michael Seneadza at July 30, 2003 02:04 PM

Michael,

Fair enough. In considering reparations, I have a tendency to think of one-time monetary payments that generally solve no problems. As for AA, I think what's really needed is a plan that gets us from point A to point B--A being a place where we've recognized inequities and want to make up for them, B being a place where that effort is no longer necessary.

AA in the US seems to simply be a plan for never getting to point B.

Posted by: zombyboy at July 30, 2003 10:35 PM

If here's going to be a discussion of reparations…and I'm not sure there should be here because Africa's issues are sufficiently different from African American issues that conflating them based on their substantial similarities will confuse things terribly… I offer a link to a reparations discussion on P6. Think of it as a temporary gateway until I get my "Best Of" pages posted.

Posted by: Prometheus 6 at July 31, 2003 06:40 PM

I agree--it really isn't the intent of this blog to deal with those issues. Thanks for the link.

Posted by: zombyboy at July 31, 2003 08:00 PM
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