Sunday, August 7, 2011
Tonight I began watching a French film (to practice the language) about a white woman in Africa who is trying to maintain her life there as the country is torn apart by civil unrest. The director Claire Denis has a simple shot of a middle aged man as he scratches his head after they are hassled at a military traffic stop. In that moment my heart burst open. I could feel his life in his beloved country being held hostage first by his leadership than by colonialists and now by militant rebels…I could feel his confusion and helplessness just by the way he stroked his skull. Which immediately thrust me into trying to imagine life today in Somalia, their day to day life which is beyond our western too fat perceptions? Imagine that each human being has a simple desire for shelter, food, safety and enough warmth or cool or safety for his partner and children and a place to define him or herself where he is part of a culture? Now strip that human being of all of this and subject them to unbearable starvation and mental if not physical torture and remove anything close to normalcy and you have a fragment a small piece of life now, today in Somalia and Darfur only it is much worse. We have no idea what bad is as we struggle here in our own mounting stresses life over there is inhumane. We have allowed it to get that bad and worse. You see it will reach us here…my beloved sister in law Julie mentioned that all the American people and our leaders care about is the pirate problem (big business) but you see it is so much more than just that; in fact if people have the basics they tend to avoid groups that hurt others. Imagine that if some other country like say Italy and Spain and France stepped into Mogadishu and offered infrastructure it could help save the world ultimately. China is helping because it can and soon other countries like Germany need to step up. America has done enough and can do more but only if THEY step up as well or in fact Germany could save Somalia…it has the resources. There is a man who steps into his one uniform everyday and directs traffic without pay in Mogadishu he does it because he has nowhere else to go…my husband thinks he is dead or that he isn’t real it is a BS journalists idea of a good tale. I find it revealing that we cannot fathom, imagine how bad, bad is…unless we investigate over there. If we keep ignoring them they will impact us. In ways we will not like. This alone is why we need to admire Angelina Jolie I know she is on her way there…or wants to be because it must be one if not the worst place on planet Earth. If I won the lottery I would immediately create a foundation to help Somalia get back to being civilized. I think it deserves that…and more. My heart is in pain for them and us.
Posted by Rae Dawn Chong at 4:16 PM