Africa's Katrina Moment In Libya

-A +A
0

Many others have reportedly been killed by Libyans opposed to Col. Muammar Gaddaffi's government, some of whom are targeting dark-skinned Africans. These victims are perceived to by sympathetic to Gaddafi or aligned with mercenary fighters Gaddafi is reported to have recruited to shore up his government.

[Black Star News Editorial]

The African continent is faced with a Katrina moment in Libya and the world is watching. It's a test the continent can't afford to fail.

Thousands of Black African migrant workers, mostly poor and undocumented according to media accounts, are stranded outside the airport in Tripoli, enduring wretched living conditions outside the airport in Tripoli, with many already reported dead from starvation and dehydration.

Many others have reportedly been killed by Libyans opposed to Col. Muammar Gaddaffi's government, some of whom are targeting dark-skinned Africans. These victims are perceived to by sympathetic to Gaddafi or aligned with mercenary fighters Gaddafi is reported to have recruited to shore up his government.

Al Jazeera has reported on the killings of dark-skinned Africans by the Gaddafi opponents. Corporate media outlets such as The New York Times have been present the image that the people opposed to Gaddafi represent nothing but good. So these "news" outlets downplay or ignore reports that the rebels are targeting dark-skinned people. These newspapers are loath to brand the rebels as possibly racists.

Racism plays a larger role.

Why else hasn't the United Nations Security Council taken up the plight of these Africans? Why hasn't the United States or British government, who profess to care so much for the innocent victims of the war not speak strongly and loudly about the plight of these trapped Africans? It's hard to believe it's not Western salivation over Libya's oil wealth, as opposed to the alleged compassion for innocent victims of the war, that's the driving engine behind the high stakes Western interest in the Libyan conflict.

Otherwise where is this compassion for the trapped Africans? Unless, as we suspect, these Western leaders and custodians of global morality, the trapped Africans as lesser humanbeings.

In addition to the threat of hunger, dehydration and diseases, the stranded Black Africans face the prospects of massacres at the hands of rebels.

Many of the workers are reportedly from Nigeria and Ghana; some are from other West African countries and a handful of East African countries. But in reality the plight of the stranded migrant workers is now the responsibility and obligation of the entire African continent.


African countries are watching--helplessly and hopelessly.

Many of these African countries have spent billions of dollars for their armed forces, rather than building hospitals, roads and schools. So their militaries own transport planes; several presidents also own multi-million dollar presidential jets. These leaders, under the auspices of the African Union, must come together and rescue the stranded Africans.

A Katrina moment is when a people are abandoned to their inevitable deaths. Recall that here in the United States, in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck and devastated New Orleans, the entire world witnessed the plight of some of the City's vulnerable Black and low income residents. They did not have the means to escape the calamity.

Some people died as their homes were submerged by the flood waters. Others died of starvation or dehydration when they were stranded in the New Orleans Superdome. They waited for a rescue that would arrive too late for some. People who could have been rescued ended up dead. That was a damning display of racism and callous disregard for Black lives by people in positions of authority and responsibility in the George W. Bush Administration.

Today the African continent faces a similar test as the world watches.

True, many African presidents preside over illegitimate regimes and therefore have remained mute over the Libyan crisis. Many have also shown a callous disregard for the lives and livelihoods of their own citizens.

They no have an opportunity to earn a modicum of respectability if they swiftly respond to the plight of the stranded migrant workers.

Still, people shouldn't hold their breath.


"Speaking Truth To Empower."

Also Check Out...

NYC Tests Mali Traveler For Ebola
It Never Gets Old
BRITS HONOR FIRST BLACK ARMY
A Tale of Two Cities
NEARLY HALF A MILLION JOIN ROUSING
Ntozake Shange speaks to