Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Let Africa Die?

Hi all,

In the recent months I have read some of the most shocking information ever. I am still reeling from it, but I thought I'd blog about to get some other input and also to clearly think it through for myself.

Everyone has heard by now about the epidemic of AIDS in Africa. If I am correct, AIDS is an immunal deficiency disease in which the body sorta has a problem fighting off bacterial infections, etc.

I stumbled across Bernie's blog in which he suggested that we "let Africa die" I couldn't believe my eyes. Someone should write this? With all due seriousness? What happened to compassion? Morals?

Then I began to wonder -really wonder as in not just a passing thought in my mind but to seriously wonder -why is AIDS spreading SO FAST in Africa? Either there are just a whole load of homosexuals very active and very happy going about their business or there are too many heterosexuals that are shady with their marital responsibilities, or too many 'trigger' happy singles involved in drug use and sex.

Often I didn't want to think this through because all options looked bad on Africa. In my mind, Africa the continent has had enough bad raps. I didn't WANT to believe this.

Also I had a hard time believing it because the more I learned about modesty as a Jewess, I have also learned that many tribes in Africa keep somewhat similar laws: separation from the husband during menstruation, a whole ritual cleaning process. Attempts are made, albeit gruesome in my eyes, to curb promiscuity. Meaning, purity has some value to the Africans.

So how do I account for the news of AIDS I'm hearing left, right and center.

Well, recently I stumbled across another piece of interesting information. What caught my attention was the question mark. The piece was called "AIDS in Africa? " I'm thinking, what's the question?

So I read the article. Y'all are welcome to read it too: here.

Basically, its saying NO REAL TEST HAS BEEN DONE TO PROVE THAT AFRICANS HAVE AIDS! That they do a simple obervation or minimal testing of symptoms and even though those same symptoms could be attributed to TB, malaria, and other disease that Africans have been dying from routinely, because of the great scare about AIDS -these DISEASES HAVE NOW BECOME MARKERS INDICATING THAT THE PERSON HAS AIDS.

In other words, It used to be that if you had high fever, were coughing up shtuff, etc they'd test you and see you had TB. End of story, pass on to see if you can get treated or pass away. Now, if someone has say TB symptoms, that in itself is used as an indication that the person has AIDS. Thus lumping all the malaria, TB, and actual AIDS patients together making a whoopingly overwhelming picture of AIDS in Africa.

Some sick stuff. Somebody tell me things have changed! Or maybe I should hope that this is correct? Well, I am going to do some more reading on this but, I just get angrier and angrier that people come into other cultures with their own prejudices in tow and just decide that this is how its gonna be.

And so, what is the solution? Proper testing and letting the deaths be called for what it really is instead of lumping it all as one cause?

All the more reason why blacks (Africans, African Americans, Caribbeans, etc etc etc Lord knows there are many many different blacks in the world) MUST have their own doctors, their own scientists, their own to look after their own interests.

ADDENDUM: I don't want to be misled. And I don't want to mislead others. If the info stated here is wrong (I am not a doctor nor an expert in bacteriology or virus by any stretch of the imagination) please CORRECT ME. Thank you.

More on this topic 


21 comments:

Halima said...

Miriam the Aid epidemic in Africa is real!

It’s obvious the ‘pathways’ into aids are wide open in Africa even if not confirmed by tests. Aids and other similar illnesses follow a lack of education, not to mention sex education, lack of condoms, disenfranchisement of women etc etc. Even if they have TB and viral illnesses etc does this not point to the abysmal state of health care and health promotion in Africa?

Are you zealous on behalf of Africa’s image? Isn’t that the least of their worries? If Africa could respond to a ‘trashed’ image in a useful way then maybe they would start to climb out of this hole instead of persisting in foolish pride!

My take is that Africa actually has way too much morality for its own good.

What will halt the spread of aids is not ‘don’t have sex’ because sex is ‘gasp’a natural human activity !

This fa├žade of morality is killing Africa moreso because there is no ‘support’ for the morality-as-solution that folks are pushing. Women are raped at will and there is no recourse to law and penalties which would deter perpetrators. Women are dependent on men in a way that means they have very little say/leverage to enforce safe sex practices. The best thing for Africa to do would be to abandon this pretence of being godly/religious and what have you, and adopt a more humanistic approach. I would preach the same to AA who overpopulate churches yet have the highest aids and oow rates, very inconsistent don’t you think?

And what most of us don’t see is that what is called morality is actually control of women, which is another issue, but which is really the main reason why Africa remains on its knees. Indeed because the whole resource which is ‘African women’ and the clarity, focus and dedication to the future of their children which they will bring to the table is all sidelined for pompous grandstanding, empire building, twisted priorities, deadweight traditions and testosterone run wild that now pertains!

Miriam another thing Africa doesn’t need is the ‘excuse making machinery’ churning on their behalf. For real!

Now i've gotten that off my chest, how are you today M? lol!

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Randi523 said...

You know, sometimes I wonder if we would have stayed in Africa (meaning no trans-Atlantic slave trade), would we have been able to make it a "super continent." Honestly, I think so. Look at ALL of the natural resources that are in sheer abundance over there. One of my professors in college that was from Africa (I forgot what country) said that oranges and other fruits are so plentiful that they just rot b/c there's too much to gather and sell.
This is the reason we should not let Africa "die."

Omodudu said...

I only wished Africa was left to die...Then we would have seen the beauty of the continent come alive. The interference and the unlevle trade relations have killed us. Its killing us...we are begging for them to let us die..please. The idea that the West can save Africa is old it stems from the AID and support mentality of foreign governements. do you know how much fracture and disjoint this programs have caused in African institutions. (Check out the AID or Trade debate on google)

Tania said...

Man, this is too much for me, I can't even comment rationally, but to Let Africa Die? wth is that all about? people make me ill..uggh!

Shoesie said...

t is amazingly irresponsible to post a 12-year-old article from a site called virusmyth.net. Did you visit the home page of this site? Millions of Africans have died in numbers heretofore unknown, on a continent where poverty, malnutrition, malaria, cholera and other diseases and have always existed.

Don’t advance the ignorance of the myth of AIDS in Africa, which has devastated the continent leaving millions dead and even more children orphaned. Even a cursory search on the web provides current information.

Do you also think it’s a myth that AIDS is the leading cause of death in America for black women, aged 25 to 24? AIDS is real in the US and in Africa. Don’t share stupid, false and dangerous information.

http://www.savethechildren.org/programs/health/hiv-aids/myths-and-realities.html
http://www.tac.org.za/myths.html

Miriam said...

lol Halima. I"m doing good. Thanks for your input.

I guess I just feel that the information i'm getting about Africa is from the very same Americans who would trash AAs. That just makes me nervous about what's really up.

What will halt the spread of aids is not ‘don’t have sex’ because sex is ‘gasp’a natural human activity !

But I never heard that this is how Africans think. I hope not. Can't be, it just doesn't make sense.

I would preach the same to AA who overpopulate churches yet have the highest aids and oow rates, very inconsistent don’t you think?

I see your point. Like its all talk.

And what most of us don’t see is that what is called morality is actually control of women

Now this is a topic I would REALLY be interested in exploring. You and also PVW mentioned this on your blog, but it never got expounded on.

Great to see you, Halima. Thanks again!

Miriam said...

Omodudu,

The idea that the West can save Africa is old it stems from the AID and support mentality of foreign governements.

Okay, my question is, didn't Africa have lots of problems even before the whole AIDS became its thing

Anxious Black Woman said...

Miriam, these issues are so complicated. First, I concur with hailima. The AIDS epidemic is REAL, as it is among African American WOMEN here.

Second, this is not about "morality" and multiple sex partners. A recent world statistic actually showed that it is Europeans, NOT Africans, who are having the most sex with the most sex partners. The difference is that in developing countries there is more awareness and more safe-sex practices occurring.

The problem with the AIDS epidemic, as one Ghanaian chemist that I know said, is the problem of oppressed women. If you are not in control of your own body, if you are not empowered to say "NO," or "Use a condom," then you will be a victim of many things, including contracting HIV/AIDS.

During the Rwanda genocide, the Hutus deliberately let loose a bunch of HIV+ patients on Tutsi women, who were mass-raped and deliberately targeted for the HIV virus. That's what genocide looks like.

When you question the sex practices and "morality" issues surrounding HIV/AIDs, consider this: it is now MARRIED African women (more so than sex workers) who are now the most at risk for contracting HIV. In Nigeria, there was a move for more women, influenced by the fundamental Christian relgions flourishing on the continent, to take on virginity pledges to fight the spread of HIV. Of course, these same women are not strategizing on how to keep their "sanctified" marriages safe from HIV because of a tacit acceptance that men will not be monogamous.

As for the "let Africa Die" arguments. Does that really surprise you? Really? There are millions of Congo women raped every day. Do you see anybody doing anything about it? Africans suffer unspeakable horrors everyday, and a genocide is happening in Darfur. What are we doing about it?

So, those who are saying, "let Africa die," are speaking for numerous people who practice the same sentiment in their very actions or non-actions, as we continue to exploit Africa's resources.

But, Africans are still here, as WE are still here; we survived the Middle Passage. We'll survive these present-day onslaught as well.

Anonymous said...

A recent world statistic actually showed that it is Europeans, NOT Africans, who are having the most sex with the most sex partners.

Can we have a link to your evidence, please?

The difference is that in developing countries there is more awareness and more safe-sex practices occurring.

That would be contrary to everything that I have ever read. The last that I heard, third-world countries--such as those in Africa--denigrated abstinence and rubbers as acceptable substitutes for screwing anything that moves.

During the Rwanda genocide, the Hutus deliberately let loose a bunch of HIV+ patients on Tutsi women, who were mass-raped and deliberately targeted for the HIV virus.

Are you just making stuff up? Do you have a link that supports this claim?

it is now MARRIED African women (more so than sex workers) who are now the most at risk for contracting HIV.

That's because MARRIED African men will screw anything that moves. Just like the single African men. Is that so difficult to fathom? It's not even racist to say it, but the culture of African men includes visiting prostitutes...you will most likely think otherwise and excoriate me. Sorry, but it is true. Look to yourself and your spouse (or potential spouse) for the answer to this enigma.

Of course, these same women are not strategizing on how to keep their "sanctified" marriages safe from HIV because of a tacit acceptance that men will not be monogamous.

Nevermind...you just admitted that African men screw everything that moves. My bad.

There are millions of Congo women raped every day.

Really? Millions? Are you positing that 6%-7% of females are being raped every day? Should the USA come to their rescue, and if they did, would you scream some version of "IMPERIALISTIC INVADERS!!1!"? Probably. You seem like that sort of shrill, facts don't matter, kind of girl.

But, Africans are still here, as WE are still here; we survived the Middle Passage.

That tells me that you have no "dog in the fight" (to adopt a Michael Vick phrase). You aren't there, have never been there, but wish to cast aspersions on the US, who won't go murder the people who are responsible for the outrage that motivates you. For shame. What is it, exactly, that you are an advocate for?

skh.pcola

Miriam said...

Shoesie,

I hear you. And quite honestly, I don't know what to believe. The only concern about those links is that they are by agencies. Committees with a goal.

I know in Israel, when people finally began to take an interest in the Ethiopian Jews and mass trasit them over to Israel -many agencies joined in the help. They surely made the Ethiopians seem so sad and in need of so much help.

I am not denying that they needed help, but its to their advantage (not to mention their feel of we-are superior and lets help these poor POOR black people) that the Ethiopians remain with lowly status.

As a matter of fact, when the majority of the Ethiopian Jews were transfered to Israel, there was almost nothing for those agencies to do with themselves.

So then they took on the cause of Christians who's ancestors were Jewish and "helped" them to reclaim their roots -thus, a new sad Poor black group to help.

I don't know. Maybe that group needed help. Maybe they wanted to return to their Jewish roots.

See what I mean? Was a need created? Maybe they had a deep longing to return? Maybe Israel's economic opportunities were just better than Ethiopia's?

Who is after the right agenda?

Anxious Black Woman said...

I read the world statistics on BBC. I don't have a ready link but I encourage you to search their site.

I also read about the HIV as a tool of Rwanda genocide in a journal called JENDA, a journal for African Women's Studies.

Why, anonymous, are you so quick to dismiss these claims? Do your own Google or library database search!

And, no, I'm not on the African continent, but I can be concerned for other women of African descent, can't I?

I'm not sure what YOUR agenda is, but just as you are suspicious of me, I'm very suspicious of you.

sol said...

I like this conversation, a lot. Up until the back biting. The Congo has already been declared as one of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, because of those rapes. Rwandan genocide wouldn't have been the first to use the tactic of infection.

"Look at ALL of the natural resources that are in sheer abundance over there."

That's the reason behind all of this. Look at any continent that has resources available. Exiting colonial powers never really leave because they take the most heinous ignorant people within that population and give them power over the masses. The CIA has accomplished this by supporting uprisings. The leaders who are willing to betray the interests of ordinary citizens have extreme interests in the first place i.e. hate women and use religion or dogma to assure power. The consequence of that (Saudi Arabia, India, Brazil, Iraq- back when the Bush's instigated the dominion of Saddam, yes, there is evidence that this has happened, it's widely known among Iraqi experts)..the consequence of that corruption is that the statement below begins to make a lot of sense.

"do you know how much fracture and disjoint this programs have caused in African institutions. (Check out the AID or Trade debate on google)"

A few years ago, I was irate with the Bush administration. Why? Because they attempted to block a comprehensive program in Africa and other places (which was already saving many lives). The program was a kit saving lives by providing simple tools that women could use to cleanly give birth no matter what their circumstances. The Bush patrol suggested that it was not worth US support unless birth control was removed from the packaging. The underline problem is that one nation had the power to threaten the international community. We literally bully others with threats of sanctions etc.

Our hands are dirty, point blank. What happens when the need for a particular pharmaceutical is increased? The profit shares increase, the value increases, and nobody connected to that money is willing to discount that drug. We are connected to the money. On a government level, it is in our best interest for people to be sick.

I want to know why transparent independent operations (that show all their book keeping and work with little or no profit to themselves) are being interrupted- by the international "aid givers." There are regular people who have the work ethic and the ideas and the mobility that are being attacked on all levels because they interrupt the flow of profitable benevolence.

My personal agenda is the advocation of the raw vegan lifestyle (heavy on raw greens, all organic, with plenty of water to balance out increases in fiber) and or herbal remedies which both have been used to reverse aids, cancer, diabetes. This is also FREE, a ridiculously easy solution for poor people in vegetative healthy lands.

That is not something that is being said on the news for our own interests, why? Because even Americans will be sacrificed to the dollar. The only way to help, even with pharmaceuticals and hospitals, would be through a peoples movement and not expecting people connected to profit to get the job done. There's a purpose in evil, it makes us evolve. The first step is connecting, and sharing information. SO, how about a little more of challenging someones assertions instead of their character? Sometimes it's necessary, but I don't think that was one of those occasions.

JeffG said...

What will halt the spread of aids is not ‘don’t have sex’ because sex is ‘gasp’a natural human activity !

But I never heard that this is how Africans think. I hope not. Can't be, it just doesn't make sense.


Miriam, I can only hope that's sarcasm, because

1. You're generalizing
and
2. It's naive.

Sex is a natural human activity, and anyplace where living conditions are poor and people lack general amenities, they often turn to sex to fulfill their basic desires, including entertainment, companionship, or in the case of misogynists, power.

I'm sure you realize that there are a great many men out there who cheat on their spouses and girlfriends. Out of the many of those men who are already lacking in morals and not practicing monogamy, how many would you put it past not to rape a woman if they could get away with it? How many men if given the chance would force a woman they found attractive to sleep with them if there were there no laws, no societal backlash to punish them for it?

People will always look after their own self interests before those of others, that's just common sense, but when there is a general disregard of your fellow (wo)man, only chaos, hatred, and pain can ensue. For many, the line between selfishness and the abuse of others around them is a very thin one.

Also, you should be careful with statements like "I never heard that this is how Africans think." You can't presume to speak for every African, and assuming they all think alike or making assumptions without details and facts is no better than the old, racist expression of "ya'll all look alike to me." You can't lump all of Africa, or all people of any group into a single hive-mind. No matter matter how similar people are, no two people will have the same opinion on all things. It's a double edged blade, and will cut both ways.

Miriam said...

The only way to help, even with pharmaceuticals and hospitals, would be through a peoples movement and not expecting people connected to profit to get the job done.

Hi Sol!

I wonder if blogs is the beginning of something here. I don't know how it can expand more but,its a start at least.

Miriam said...

Hi Jeff,

unless I'm misunderstanding, I thought Halima's phrase:

What will halt the spread of aids is not ‘don’t have sex’ because sex is ‘gasp’a natural human activity

meant: Some are SO moral or trying to appear so moral that they just decide to completely STOP having sex.

So, I thought it was incredible (that a group- supposedly Africans- can think such an impossibility). I don't think it was a question of me being naive.

Halima said...

Miriam

i was rephrasing the 'let all women be virgins' principle that seems to be some folks solution to aids and the spread of STIs.

I think its unrealistic to pin your whole aids prevention strategy on this principle, given that human being are and were created with sexual needs.

I have my own thoughts about 'saving sex' etc but i am fed up with churches and moralists alike trying to make this a public policy. By all means encourage it if you so desire but have a more realisitc approach to the health of your general population.
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Miriam said...

OMG! I certainly don't encourage NOT having sex. That doesn't even make sense. Is that how it came across?

I was just wondering if all deaths were being lumped into one cause to make the AIDs problem 'appear' bigger. And I was also wondering the cause- which you did clarify.

Halima said...

miriam it seems we are lost in translation lol! My irritation is with the leaders not with you at all!

Miriam said...

oh okay! lol. *whew* I can wipe the sweat off my brows now LOLOL.

Hugs. take care!

Anonymous said...

What people really need to understand is that black Africans (that is, sub-Saharan Africans) are an evolutionary relic. DNA analysis has proven that the rest of humanity (5.5 billion people) are descended from a population of only 150 - the original modern human population who were forced to leave Africa in search of resources elsewhere. The entirely new environmental dangers and deprivations that this population experienced - forced a cognitive evolution that never happened amongst Africans. Instead they remained locked in time as primitive, warring, hunter/gatherers, until they eventually came into contact with their cognitively superior counterparts from the north - from whom they borrowed what little civilisation they ever achieved. Unfortunately, Africans today are artificially sustained by the charity and efforts of the outside world - when they should really be left to die out on their own, just as other evolutionary inferior dead-end populations have done before. When all they do is complain about their lowly position and attempt to excuse their lack of achievement with reference to history - there is no moral or ethical reason why we, the non-African population of the world, should continue supporting them. Let Africa die!

bernie said...

Just to be clear, I said, "let the Africans die," not "let Africa die."

By keeping Africans artificially alive 28 years ago without changing their ability to feed themselves we have allowed a continent that could barely support 300 million poor souls in 1950 to explode into over 900 million even more desperate souls today.

We have more humanity and concern for the deer population in New Jersey by making sure they do not overpopulate themselves than for humans in Africa.

You missed the point of my post: good intentions have only caused more misery in Africa.

From For Gods Sake - Stop Helping Africa