"Egypt is in Africa. We should not fool about with the attempts of the North to segregate the countries of North Africa from the rest of the continent," says Firoze Manji, the editor of Pambazuka Online, an advocacy website for social justice in Africa. "Their histories have been intertwined for millennia. Some Egyptians may not feel they are Africans, but that is neither here nor there. They are part of the heritage of the continent."Read the rest of Azzad Essa's article entitled "In search of an African Revolution" here.
Comment: I spent about an hour in a called for 'brainstorming session' at salary hell today where the prescribed discussion was on Egypts "social revolution" and its influence on Africa south of the Sahara.
In between bouts of checking for a sharp object in my pockets to mercifully slit my wrists it occurred to me (again) that South Africa is becoming (become) a lot like the United States.
I recalled how American academics are mostly not comfortable to step out of the US fixation of relating everything to their reality. A question like "what does this mean for US interests over there ...?" is usual fare.
I absolutely hate the ubiquitous over there erasure. After a while I found myself asking them where exactly and pressed on until at least one or two pretenders figured out that the middle east was in fact Philadelphia and not the so called Muslim/Arab world.
Anyway, those kind of questions are, of course, contextual and have a place in a balanced discourse.
But my thinking, and what I see in Essa's article above, is that drawing inferences from points of imperial fixation is a manner of downplaying (erasing) the relevance/importance of a situation over there and in effect a means of bluffing (false confidence).
One of the reasons that Egypt is on the minds of so many connected to social media folk is that they are all connected to social media. We should not, however, confuse being connected to social media with being connected to what is going on over there.
What happened in Tunisia and Egypt is not a social media revolution if even a revolution at all. What is happening in the region is the fallout of longstanding contradictions. In the case of Egypt the contradictions accelerated right after King Farouk (the British stooge) was kicked out and General Naguib took office in 1952 (the start of the modern Egyptian state and military-directed nationalism).
Thousands of people have lost their lives and others have dedicated their lives and more to get to this point. The military just won't walk away from controlling Egypt. In the wings are US friendly co-despots like Omar Suleiman who are eager to pick up where Sadat left off and Sadat's lapdog, Mubarak.
Sh*t is far from over and it is going to get a lot deeper because the political stakes are steep. Wait till Tom starts sending troops to help with the democratic transition in Egypt/Tunisia (soon Libya/Yemen/Morocco/Algeria and more) that is being planned by KHillary and the rest of the beltway murderers.
Anyway, in the US I learned very quickly that most Americans will pontificate on just about anything and not give a f*ck that they know sh*t about what they draw close via their well rehearsed imperial gaze (daze more likely).
Obama has mastered the imperial gaze. Tom can look and sound convincing even while his duplicitous ass is being shown to the crowd.
Just a year or so ago he was pontificating (his Cairo speech) about the goodwill/friendship in the region and lauding Mubarak and the other despots that the US considers friends in the region. Soon as Tom was done every fool and his liberal brother who needed to praise his sell-out ass got on the social media bandwagon along with the usual empire supporting mainstream media in the US to describe his drivel as groundbreaking.
Now he looks like the fool he looked like to a lot of folk who know the intimate details of the region and the imperial sins of the US too well. Those folk did not buy his sh*t then and won't be buying his sh*t now or later when he attempts to manage (for US interests of course) the fallout in the region.
That ship has sailed. The US has no credibility in world affairs and is incapable of learning or standing by democratic principles (take the veto in favour of Israel stealing more from the Palestinians this week).
At salary hell South Africa's mini-me imperial gaze (mimicry gleaned in large part from being uncritically attached to the ass of America's propaganda machines in their living rooms) was settling in with long stuttering dissertations about North Africa not being in Africa.
A lot of time was spent on explaining that Egypt and the other North African social media revolutionaries are primarily Muslim and that is why it is happening there and not here.
No mind was paid to the fact that none of these protests have invoked Islam. In fact, the people on the street are mostly Muslim but this is a secular struggle against despots who also happen to be Muslim.
It's like about human rights and stuff over there dude ... for real yo.
Drawing the conclusion that South Africa is immune to the Egypt-type fallout the thinkers pointed out that we are after all a democracy and different (exceptionalism we learned from the previous white government).
As it all went down to the wire of escape for me I closed my eyes and was transported back to my days at PSU when white academics pontificated on what it meant to be black and African.
I realized that the same sh*t was happening at salary hell. Gathered around the table were a lot of degrees with a lot of personal clout and the dubious distinction of knowing f*ck all.
What they do know they are gathering from CNN and Twitter and Facebook ... new 'revolutionary tools' that highlight those struggles deemed media worthy.
What is hidden is the usual. The fallout in Khartoum where as many as 20 000 people have taken to the streets and not one fat American with a laptop or blackberry has ventured there ... well of course if Ben Afleck would start Tweeting then maybe Joe Know Sh*t will take notice and Tweet someone.
Add to Khartoum the impending fallout in Gabon and Cameroon (not to mention the Ivory Coast) and it is likely that blank stares will come back at ya.
It did at salary hell where we are paid to know Africa.
And so we are all Americans now ... we all know sh*t and think that mimicking/fronting is enough to get by. After all it worked well for Bush(s) and is working (inside the US mostly) for Tom.
And folks wonder why the African Union has been so aloof about the fallout over there ... those fools are just fronting to pick up a big paycheck while stuffing their asses at the trough (buffet) of redeployed privilege.