Wednesday, October 17, 2007

To Turn a Leaf.

The concept of self-improvement has undergone dramatic change since 1911, when Ambrose Bierce mockingly defined self-esteem as "an erroneous appraisement." Good and bad character are now known as "personality differences". Rights have replaced responsibilities. The research on egocentrism and ethnocentrism that informed discussion of human growth and development in the mid-20th century is ignored; indeed, the terms themselves are considered politically incorrect. A revolution has taken place in the vocabulary of self. Words that imply responsibility or accountability — self-criticism, self-denial, self-discipline, self-control, self-effacement, self-mastery, self-reproach, and self-sacrifice — are no longer in fashion. The language most in favor is that which exalts the self — self-expression, self-assertion, self-indulgence, self-realization, self-approval, self-acceptance, self-love, and the ubiquitous self-esteem.
Ruggiero, 2000

when I came to the US a couple of years ago, I was struck by how consistently structured the social order is laid out, in major city after city, coast to coast. I observed that while, mainstream Americans embraces and espouse a diverse and multi ethnic existence –there is always in America’s major cities that large concentration of people of African descent, almost always in the western and southern parts of the city.
The differences between mainstream and Westside/Southside residential areas are stark and glaring. The phenomenon of general decadence, scorched lawns, dilapidated building with wood instead of glass as windows, paint peeling off and uncollected garbage is a common sight in the Westside and Southside residential areas. And ironically, Kashikulu observed also that our people in Westside/Southside, Chicago USA as our people in Mutendere, Lusaka Zambia do not get into the house when the sun sets but linger on the dark streets for hours , children playing until all strength is guzzled up then and only then do they into the house to sleep.
You see over the years, Kashikulu’s job takes him from the sub-urban of Chicago land to the inner city on many nights and days. That is how seeing that much disparity, Kashikulu still high on some of old Bashikulu’s mantra
Five areas of human endeavor …..Human dignity, social justice, fair play….”
Began wrecking his mind with puzzling questions as he drives from the green lawns, Starbucks on every block and quiet streets in the suburban; to the parched lawns, liquor store on every block and buzzing streets on the Southside.

How can the minority sector of the population account for the majority population of beggars in downtown Chicago?
The majority population of welfare recipients, of the uneducated, the unemployed, the incarcerated..... …..
Then I stopped and reflected, this is just a part of the big picture-
What is the general welfare of the descendants of Africa in the world?

From the desolate tribal lands of the Aborigines in Australia, awash with alcoholism and pornography causing Premier Howard to consider effecting a six month ban, to the multitudes on Continent whose daily lives are a bitter complex of underdevelopment and massive debt, the semi-isolated yet poverty smitten lean islands of the Caribbean and the slums of inner cities in both North and Latin Americas - the dignity of Africa‘s descendants yearns for restoration.

In the coming posts, I will bloviate possible causes of the general state of Africa’s descendants - from the early civilization at the banks of the Nile, dispersal of the African population through slavery and now immigration, the scramble and now exploitation of resources, the loss of culture and identity etc…

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