Freedom of the Diaspora

This post was first published on connectedafrica.com

“Freedom is an endless horizon, and there are many roads that lead to it.” Shirley Chisholm understood that freedom was not a destination, but an infinite journey. The 1960’s came with the end of colonialism for most African countries, but decades later, are we really free? We are still beholden to Eurocentric standards of acceptability; the hegemonic idea of First World versus Third World Countries still persists; the International Criminal Court is used as a cudgel against African leaders while the war crimes of the West go ignored.
I would be remiss to not acknowledge that totalitarian and oppressive regimes cannot be ignored. However, there is a double standard. The ICC were prepared to arrest a sitting Head of State, Sudan president Omar al-Bashir when he was in the Republic of South Africa, yet the amorphously fought Iraqi War’s progenitors have never been indicted.

The Prosecutor of the ICC reported as early as February 2006 that he had received 240 communications in connection with the 2003 Iraqi invasion, which alleged that a plethora of war crimes had been committed. The overwhelming majority of these communications came from individuals and groups within the United States and the United Kingdom. Many of these complaints concerned the British participation in the invasion, as well as the alleged responsibility for “torture” or enhanced interrogation deaths while in detention in British-controlled areas. Granted, the United States is not a member of the ICC but the United Kingdom is.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair could very well be indicted given the invasion was against the United Nations. Surely this would give the ICC legitimacy and credence in the eyes of the rest of the world. As per Article 127 of the Rome Statute, South Africa and Burundi left the ICC this October. 90% of the states that the ICC has investigated are African countries. In 2009, there was en masse departure from the ICC by Senegal, Djibouti and Comoros; Kenya followed suit in 2013. Gambia has expressed intent to withdraw from the court.

Freedom cannot be attained in this commodity-driven world without financial emancipation. We need to abrogate the prevalent poverty on our beautiful continent.

Men are trash

 

This post was first published on connectedafrica.com

 

Men are trash. Before people come at me with pitchforks I would like to preempt any of your arguments to that truism. Primarily, before you say “not all men” please recognize that that is blatant gas-lighting – a means to derail conversation about the systematic abuse of women at the hands of men by trying to preclude yourself from it. It may not be all men who are abusers, but it is too many men. Way too many men. Too many men that enable the cycle of abuse to continue unfettered. Too few men who repudiate their peers.

Men are trash. Women are labeled as having “daddy issues” without the absent fathers being addressed. Family is society’s building block of the world in microcosm. Patriarchal systems indoctrinated us into viewing the men of our society as the paragons of leadership. No wonder the world is in such turmoil. Men are trash. I have an excellent relationship with my father, but that doesn’t negate the fact that men are trash. Before I was even pubescent, my dad taught me to always watch my drink, never accept an opened beverage, never drink directly from the can… all these lessons because he knew how trash men were. The reality is that upstanding fathers need to teach their daughters to avoid being raped because men are trash who cannot respect bodily autonomy.

Also read: Freedom is an endless horizon

Men are trash. Kenyan women, who have had to live life on a rape clock, have decided to take back their lives by learning martial arts to thwart would-be assailants. The lengths women must go to avoid being raped are flabbergasting. In 2016, we are lauding women for taking extraordinary measures to avoid being raped. The tragedy is that these women protect themselves, but it doesn’t solve the greater issue. It may deter the rapist from them, but what happens when he tries to rape the next women? Men are such trash that an initiative to curb rapes will just lead to rapists finding more innovative means to disregard a woman’s no.

Men are trash. A video has gone viral recently of a man on a bus beating another after he inappropriately touched a girl. While many may laud this turn of events, it is just a soupçon in combatting the sexual assault that women experience in public spaces. For no reason other than having the audacity to be born female, women are subjected to sexually inappropriate comments, unauthorized physical contact, sexual assault, rape and even murder, because men are trash. Men in suits, men in overalls; our parents’ friends, our friends’ parents; too many men who cling to being libertines because patriarchy protects them.