Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Massai Celebrate a Hero in Tanzania

Young women in bright costumes sang in joyous voices about a new scholarship program that gives them "the power to choose in stead of being forced to marry," according to an AP report today. Traditional Massai warriors danced to celebrate the arrival of their hero, an American who had arrived to tour the region, which is currently benefiting from a 1.2 million dollar program to fight malaria and create scholarships for young women in a part of the world most ignore: Africa. Over a million children die every year from malaria. Children. Since the program began in 2005 the number of deaths has been cut in half.

And so they celebrate a hero. An American who has come to give girls a new hope. An American who has come to wipe out a disease that is slaughtering children, who die in agony on dirt floors or in clinics with no means to help them... until now.

No. It's not Oprah. Oprah uses her own money, not tax payer's money. Plus, if it were Oprah those girls would have been hand picked from the masses, for she only helps those she deems worthy. They would have been isolated from their families, taken to a strict, closed environment, and possibly beaten or touched inappropriately. So these girls were lucky NOT to be chosen by Her Grace, Lady Oprah.

These girls, and the millions of children saved from the devastating death suffered by those who contract malaria, were singing for President Bush. Our commander in chief was greeted with shouts of joy, songs, and dancing in Africa. Thousands lined the streets to praise him. He was hugged, kissed, and lauded by oceans of grateful Africans.

The AP press piece got very little traction. It made a few newspapers, buried under election nonsense and local fodder. One wonders what kind of coverage it might have gotten had the celebrations been for Clinton in his day-- but Bill Clinton never saved millions of children from malaria, nor did he send thousands of girls to school in hopes of changing a misogynist culture from the bottom up through education. Which is shocking, when you consider that he was our first black president and even Oprah liked him back then, for crying out loud.

And man, didn't they love shouting with full voices about Oprah's mission to educate young women. Odd that nobody realized how creepy her isolation policy was-- no contact with family except under tightly controlled and incredibly infrequent limits-- or that the girls were even severely limited in the use of electronics that would allow them access to the outside world... until a youngster was hurt, and another "touched inappropriately." Now those hand-picked, lucky girls have her personal cell phone number. Huh. Strange.

Funny, that. Nobody seems to know-- or care-- how much W cares. I wonder why? It certainly can't be bias in the press, right?



3 comments ]:[ Add your comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. Nine trillion dollars in debt and we could only save half a million African kids. The other half continue to die.

Yup, go Bush.

Chrissy said...

I used to hate it when people signed things "anonymous," but then I realized only a total moron would actually put their name on things as stupid as the crap people sign with "anonymous."

Anonymous said...

Actually Clinton does a lot of work for African and third world development, but I digress.

To me Africa has been Bush's biggest success. His policy there is close to perfect (more condoms please!) and Africans tend to be very grateful for the help they get (I know I have spent a lot of time there and hope to spend more).

The coverage issue? Let's be honest, Americans really don't care much about Africa, it's too depressing for them. We are much more concerned with Britney and Dr. Phil than the disasters going on in Zimb., etc.

It is very rare for Africa to make it onto our radar screens and that is a pity. It is a great continent, with great people and great potential.


PS- I am told however Bush was not amused by all the Obama 08 signs he saw while he was there. I was in Kenya when Obama visited, I don't recall it gettin much coverage stateside either.

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