Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Magic of Africa

Sphere.Com: Deadly Skin Trade Preys on African Albinos.

LONDON (Nov. 23) -- East Africa's albinos have long suffered because of the color of their skin. Some are abandoned as babies by parents who regard their lack of pigment as a curse. Many more are subjected to taunts of "zeru" (Swahili for ghost) in school and on the street. But now Tanzania and Burundi's 8,000 albinos face a more horrible threat, fueled by a macabre combination of superstition and economics.

Over the past two years -- according to a new report from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies -- at least 56 albinos in the two countries have been murdered, and their body parts used by witch doctors to make charms and potions. The last known killing took place on Oct. 21, when albino hunters attacked 10-year-old Gasper Elikana in northern Tanzania. A gang of men hacked the boy to death in front of his family and neighbors -- who were wounded trying to protect the child -- before fleeing with his severed leg.


Arie Sheyn said...

"Red Crescent" = an organization which sometimes aids and assiststs, or consists of Jihadis.

Hmmm. Evil rights evil?

"However, it's likely that the region's albinos will only feel truly safe when their black-skinned neighbors regard them as ordinary people and not supernatural beings. "What's needed is education," says Engstrand-Neacsu. "We need to make people understand what albinism really is. Ignorance is the origin of discrimination. And ignorance has ultimately led to these crimes.""
That is the most heart breaking thing I have learned in a long time.

Arie Sheyn said...

I meant to say "Evil fights evil"... although what I typed sort of works in a weird way.

Jeffery Keown said...

Let's hear it for superstition and ignorance.

This is one of those things that makes me think that God either doesn't exist, or if he does, he does not care about us.

These things happen because ignorance and superstition are rampant in our history and cultures.

I do not hold to any belief in magic. To me, magic is something to be derided, or something that happens in a D&D game.

This sort of thing makes me sick.