Category Archives: Africa

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS MEAN DUDES HOLDING ON

In Africa south of the Sahara, the despots know how to remain in power: arrest anyone who washes videos of the protests in Tunisia and Egypt; rig the elections: or if you lose, refuse to give up the office of “President for Life.”

In Zimbabwe, several people, students, trade unionists, and political activists gathered to watch videos of the protests going on in Africa north of the Sahara were arrested by President Mugabe’s police. The meeting was illegal because apparently the videos might have motivated the participants to overthrow the legal government of Zimbabwe (in other words, no body was gonna get rid of Mugabe like they got rid of the tyrants in Tunisia and Egypt). A law professor at the University of Zimbabwe who was arrested with his students alleged he was tortured.

In Uganda, the ruler for 25 years, President Museveni, won another five year term. How does he do it? Buy votes, establish personal patronage networks, and make sure you reward the military officers, cabinet members, and ministers in your government so that will not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. In other words, keep enough people happy and they won’t see you as a tyrant but as a benefactor.

If all else fails, do as the president of the Ivory Coast in West Africa is doing: if you loose the presidential election, simply refuse to give up the presidency.

The dudes in North Africa could take a few lessons from those south of the Sahara.

 

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Filed under Africa, arrest, Foreign Affairs, Government, military, politics

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS THIS IS AFRICA

Human beings all over the world do crazy things, sometimes even irrational things. Take Africa for instance__

In Nigeria, you had better be very careful about what you say about a government official on Facebook. Man, there ain’t really no freedom of speech. A man ranted about the governor in January on his Facebook page, which has since be removed. For speaking his mind, he was arrested for traumatizing the governor so badly, the gov had to be hospitalized. Read about here. The dude called for Allah to curse the governor and his friends. Hey, man in Africa, you don’t put no curse on nobody cause they take their curses serious.

The BBC website reported on it website that in Malawi the government has proposed a law against farting in public. Hey, man I want that law brought to the shores of the good old US of A. one person was quoted as saying the government criminalizing the “release of intestinal gases…is a joke of democracy.”

How in hell the question of democracy has anything to do with farting is beyond me.

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Filed under Africa, Foreign Affairs, God, Government, intolerance, politics, Religion, society

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS CALL ME NEGRO

Well, it’s Black History Month once more, and we Black folks have got a lot to be upset bout. For one thing, is Black History Month still relevant? And another thing, why are all the folks adopting Black Haitian children White?

But what’s bothering me right now is some Black folks all over the census bureau for including the word “Negro” as a descriptive category on the census form. It seems they think the word is demeaning, which puts it on a level with the word that is truly demeaning. Yes, I’m talking bout “nigger.”

When I was growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, in my family, we dared not use the word “black” to describe anybody, especially a light-skin person. You see, my family includes both dark and light-skin folks. If my grandmother heard me or one of my cousins call somebody “black,” bam, right up side the head she’d go with anything she had in her strong right hand. It was a long time in the 1960a before I could use “Black” to describe African Americans.

My aunt, my mother’s younger sister, didn’t like the word “Negro” because she said when White folks tried to say it, it sounded like “niggra,” which sounded like that other word. She preferred “colored,” the word polite White folks used.

For most of us, “Negro” was dignified and demanded respect. Notice that it is capitalized. I, too, prefer “African American” or “Black American” these days, but I do not consider “Negro” demeaning given the reason it was used in the past.

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Filed under Africa, American Government, American Politics, census, politics, race, Racism, society

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS WITCHES ARE REAL

I dont believe in witches. ‘Course here in these United States in the 21st century,  witches dont exist, or at least we aint burning none of ’em.

I can tell you, though, that in Africa, them witches are for real.

Back in June of this year, folks in a village in Kenya burned alive some old folks, a woman and  five men because they had been accused of using witchcraft on a small boy who walked about in the night and couldn’t speak the next morning except to one of the so-called witches.

This horror aint confined to Kenya. In Nigeria in October, a pastor of a church accused a boy of being a witch. The father tried to pour acid down the boy’s throat to drive out the witch. The boy died from the acid spilled on his face and body and poured down his throat.

Driving out witches is done in the name of Christianity, and we sometime wonder why Christianity gets such a bad reputation.

And I wonder if the folks who doing these things realize it gives mother Africa a bad name?

Lord, I hope somebody, some day, some where in Africa brings some sense to those crazy folks.

 

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Filed under Africa, children

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS WE AINT THE WORLD POLICE

How’s come some folks wants the U S of A to be the police of the world? Your philosopher of common sense dont have no common sense bout this problem.

Folks right here in the U S of A wants Obama to stop the violence in Sudan and Somali. Well, U S of A did send the Somali government some guns and stuff to help fight them militants but them militants gon do like they always do, out fight and out gun the government.

Take this here nuclear weapons business. I mean Iran gon get them some nuclear bombs no matter what, unless of course Israel blows up the bomb making factories. Imagine what gon happen if they do. Man, Iran aint gon take that crap lying down, no sir, they gon go after Israel. And how come Russia aint worried bout Iran gettin some nuclear stuff, or ifn they are, they show don’t act  like it. Sanctions, come on, when did sanctions work? And what bout them countries around Iran like Saudi Arabia?

Another thing, how come the Chinese dont make some real man noise bout them mad men in North Korea having missiles and bombs. Hell, ifn they start a war, China gon be in the middle of it.

I got to say somethin bout peace between them Palestinians and Israelis. The US of A can’t make no peace deal. The only folks can do that is them Palestinians and the Israelis.

Well, they say the US of A messed up the world economy and now we gots to fix it. Man, I’m damn tired of being blamed for everything that goes wrong in this crazy world.

Somebody please give the US of A some love.

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Filed under Africa, American Government, Foreign Affairs, politics

How the family connection came about is the quintessential story of America as a nation of immigrants and Ireland as a land that supplied them, including Obama’s greatgreatgreatgranddaddy on his mother’s side,

I know, I know, it is a stupid question cause nobody can claim no human being. But stay with me for a second here. What I’m askin is what state, what country wants a piece of the first African American to be President of the United States of America and the most powerful man on earth?

The man was born in Hawaii, so that state done laid down its claim as the birth place of this man who surely gon be in the history books standin taller than a whole lotta Black and White Americans, and it don’t matter whether he fails or succeeds as president.

But wait a minute, the man cut his political teeth in the Chicago school of politics, so those folks in Chicago and the state of Illinois got themselves a claim on him too.

And then there is Kenya, where some of his kinfolks still live. Hell, the whole of Africa wants a piece of the man. Shucks, the whole African diaspora wants some of him. Okay, okay, I looked up that word in the dictionary. But don’t get me started on this thing bout all peoples of color being united.

His grandparents ancestors were from Ireland. So now, some dude in Ireland done looked up the records and discovered that his great, great, great granddaddy on his mother’s side immigrated from Ireland. So now the Irish got a claim on the man.

Everybody wants a little piece of the man’s big toe. I tell you I sure in hell wouldn’t want to be president in his place.

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Filed under Africa, politics, race

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON ASKS IS GOD ON LEO MUGABE’S SIDE

“Boy, I’m telling ya, somebody has got to do somethin bout them Mugabes,” Alvin had just finished cutting a kids hair and was leaning back in his chair reading an old L. A. Times.

The three of us—Jabo, Leroy, and me—groaned: “Oh, Jesus Christ, Alvin, not Mugabe again.”

“Look here, turkeys, yo’ll got to pay attention to what’s happenin in the mother land. Especially now that our President is a child of one of the countries in the mother land.” He scolded us like we were schoolboys, which of course we resented, but since it was his place, and we liked being in out of the cold, we just listened.

“We got to keep up with what’s happenin over there…”

“But Alvin,” I broke in, “Sudan and Somali, what’s happening in those countries is worse than what’s happening in Zimbabwe. Man, they killing folks. How come you ain’t interested in them countries.”?

“Cause my people, my ancestry, come from Zimbabwe, that’s how come,” he said with a straight face.

Jabo took it this time. “Alvin, you didn’t know nothin bout Zimbabwe until the mess over there started. How you know your people come from there?”

“Well, they might have. Anyway, that is neither here nor there. What I’m trying to tell you turkeys is Robert Mugabe’s nephew, Leo Mugabe talks to God. How do I know? Cause he said so, right here in the paper. Now did any of them tyrants in them countries you named say anything about talkin to God? No, they have not.”

“Okay, Alvin,” I said, “I haven’t read anything yet about anybody in Sudan or Somalia talking to God, but I’m betting some leader has identified himself with God.”

Alvin ignored me. “Leo Mugabe says that the financial mess the world is in is an act of God. God punishin us for what we doin to Zimbabwe but He is on Zimbabwe’s side. I mean, man, the dude puts a smiley face on everythin goin on in the country.”

Leroy joined the conversation. “You know, my cousin twice removed on my father’s side talked to God. She spoke in tongues every Sunday in church.”

We all knew about his cousin because we attended the church when we were boys.

“Leroy,” Jabo addressed him, “did God every answer cousin Bertha?”

“Man, I don’t know,” Leroy answered, “she never said.”

“Okay, you turkeys,” Alvin addressed us again, “you don’t care nothin bout the Mugabes in Africa. But you better pay ‘tention to Kenya, cause they gon be askin President Obama for money, you just wait and see.”

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Filed under Africa