Friday, January 23, 2009

white like me

The current issue of The Economist has a very disturbing article of another horror that some men commit on their fellows.

It is not a story about Mexico. But it carries one of those messages that should haunt all of us.

Tanzania's albinos are being slaughtered. Not albino rhinoceroses. Not albino crocodiles. Albino people.

The Tanzanian government recently distributed free telephones to albinos in the country to call for help -- because gangsters are tracking them to harvest body parts. Their body parts.

The article recounts the separate tales of an 8-year old boy and a 6 year-old girl who were brutally killed and dismembered. The details are not necessary. Suffice it to say, no child -- no person -- should die like that.

But for what purpose?

Political differences?

Religious strife?

The answer is perhaps the most chilling part of the story. The body parts can fetch up to $1,000 when sold to witch doctors. They are ground into powder as a potion for material riches.

I have taken out the lurid details, but that last line simply sickened me. Children hacked to death to provide desperate people the promise of wealth that they will never see.

Terrible things happen every day in this world. None of us can change that. But we can certainly take the opportunity whenever a person in need crosses our path that we do what we can to alleviate their need.


Islagringo said...

It never fails to amaze and sicken me what mankind will do to its' fellow mankind. They are still hanging children as young as 15 who are even just perceived as homosexual in Iraq. This and what is going on in Tanzania are nothing more than genocide.

Theresa in Mèrida said...

Words fail me, I want to vomit.

American Mommy in Mexico said...

I will never ever understand.

Steve Cotton said...

The three of you have responded exactly as I did. It sounds like something out of a horror story. But this is just an extreme example of inhumanity. There are far too many other examples in this sad world.

aighmeigh said...

This is one of the most frightening and profoundly disturbing things I've heard of in a long time. It is utterly amazing and horrifying what people do because of greed and power lust.

Steve Cotton said...

Aighmeigh -- I agree. When I read the story, I had trouble believing it was not some terrible parody. But it is far too real. The details are one of the most frightening things I have ever heard.

American Mommy in Mexico said...

I am very angry with the Buyers. The selfish sickos buying need to prosecuted just like the people doing the killing. Same Penalties. Same Punishments.

Same for Child Pornography. You buy it, you get the same penalty as those who did it.

Steve Cotton said...

AMM -- When I was in high school, I purchased a packet of replica documents written by Thomas Jefferson. One of them was a list of proposed punishments for various crimes. I recall being shocked that the patron saint of libertarianism would propose what seemed to be barbaric punishments -- e.g., castration for rape. As I have grown older, I better understand that some punishments really need to fit the crime. Gandhi's response would be that the murderer should adopt an albino child and raise the child as his own -- offering protection from the same harm.

This news article will continue to haunt me for some time.

Anonymous said...

We are very fortunate to live in a prosperous, civilized society that has a high regard for human rights.

I once saw a photo, which will stick in my mind forevermore. It was of a dusty highway in Africa. On that highway was a human who had been run over. Not once, nor twice, but repeatedly so that the body was completely flattened and dried out, like you sometimes will see a squirrel which has been hit by an 18-wheeler.

But the story of the albino children is even worse. Disgusting and disturbing beyond belief.

Evil really exists in this world. We can't deny it; all we can do is try to stop it where we can.

Kim G
Boston, MA

Steve Cotton said...

Kim -- I wish I had been as clear as you were in that one sentence. Evil really exists in this world. It is our role to confront it. Thanks, pal.