ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

Home   ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more) 

Google
 

France, United Kingdom, United States and Italy, "remained firm in totally ignoring

the catastrophe" as they fulfilled their mission of evacuating their expatriates

 

 

Memorial Conference on United Nations

Press Release AFR/868 HQ/630  

 

March 26, 2004 [Excerpts only:

The silence that had greeted genocides in the past must be replaced by a global clamour, and a willingness to call what was happening by its true name, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said this morning at the opening of a one-day conference in memory of the genocide in Rwanda 10 years ago.

The Memorial Conference on the Rwanda Genocide, which had started with a minute of silence for the victims, was co-chaired by the Foreign Ministers of Rwanda and Canada and moderated by Ruth Iyob, Director of the Africa Programme, International Peace Academy, and David M. Malone, President of the International Peace Academy.

During two panels that followed the opening of the Conference, participants in the event remembered the 1994 tragedy and considered means to ensure a more effective international response to genocide in the future. The Conference attracted representatives of governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, academics and members of the Rwandan Diaspora.

The international community had failed Rwanda, the Secretary-General stated. If it had acted promptly, it could have stopped most of the killing. But neither the political will nor the troops had been there. If the United Nations, government officials and the international media had paid more attention to the gathering signs of disaster, it might have been averted.

The Rwandan genocide raised questions that affected all humankind, including fundamental questions about the authority of the Security Council and the effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping, Mr. Annan continued. If confronted by a new Rwanda today, would the international community respond effectively? He had suggested a number of measures that would better equip the United Nations and its Member States to meet genocide with resolve, including a special rapporteur on the subject. More must be done, and he was currently analysing what further steps could be taken.

The Foreign Minister of Rwanda, Charles Murigande, stressed the need to learn from the tragic failures in Rwanda, saying that no other nation or people should be allowed to suffer what the people of Rwanda had suffered. . . .

The international community, while it had learned what needed to be done, still lacked political agreement to prevent a Rwanda from happening again, said the Foreign Minister of Canada, Bill Graham. . . .

Harsh words were said about the role of the international community in Rwanda during the first panel - entitled "In Memoriam: Bearing Witness", which was chaired by the Foreign Minister of Rwanda.

While the head of the Association of the Widows of the Genocide, Speciose Kanyabogoyi, and genocide survivor, Eric Nzabihimana, recounted the events of April-August 1994, when some 800,000 people were murdered, former Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), Romeo Dallaire, said that the Mission had been "a last priority" for the international community. It had no budget and no structure at the time the killing began. The Security Council had made it a point not to consider the threats and warnings about Rwanda, and as the months went by and the peace agreement was "falling to pieces", there was political stagnation and no real desire to put any resources into the Mission. 

He also recalled that some 2,000 personnel from several countries, including France, United Kingdom, United States and Italy, "remained firm in totally ignoring the catastrophe" as they fulfilled their mission of evacuating their expatriates, "though they were stumbling on corpses". On 22 April, when over 100,000 people had been killed, the bulk of the Force was ordered to withdraw, but 450 African and 13 Canadian troops were told to stay on the ground and observe. As millions were internally displaced, killed and injured, the Mission was able to save some 30,000, and on top of that, he had been ordered to abandon them. The order had come from the Security Council, and nobody objected.

"Never Again: Toward a More Effective International Response of Genocide" was the title of the second panel, which was chaired by Canada's Foreign Minister. Its keynote speakers included Ibrahim Gambari, United Nations Special Adviser for Africa, Ramesh Thakur, Vice-Rector of United Nations University and Danilo Turk, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs. . . .

Mr. Gambari said that the real key to preventing conflict and genocide was political will to act promptly and decisively. Without a doubt, it was the Council, especially its most powerful members that had failed the people of Rwanda in their gravest hour of need.

The controversy over the international community's culpability for its failure to prevent the genocide in Rwanda would not easily go away.

Source: United Nations

*   *   *   *   *

History of the Genocide in Rwanda

As the smallest country in Africa with the largest population, 7 million, Rwanda has had to overcome famine, overpopulation, and, most recently, a massive genocide which reduced their population by a huge amount. The country of Rwanda has had an interesting history due to their two supposed ethnic groups, the Hutus, the majority, and the Tutsis, who consist of about 15-18% of the population. The Tutsis were more prominent in the royalty and hierarchy of the country but most of them were still peasants. The Hutus were the farmers and the Tutsis ran the cattle. During the time of European Colonization, the Belgians came to Rwanda and decided to further the gap between the peaceful Hutus and Tutsis. The Belgians saw the Tutsis as more like themselves; therefore, they took them under their wing and educated them and brought them up to be the upper echelon of society. The Europeans created tribal cards to differentiate between the two groups. Believing that they were just furthering what the Tutsis had created, the Belgians created a class system. Due to their presence, the Belgians made the discrimination between the two groups greater and yet the Hutus and Tutsis were still living together peacefully. The Hutus, having no power, accepted the role of the oppressed.

In 1962, Rwanda gained their independence from Belgium. The Europeans, however, left the country in a state of discord due to the majority of Hutus who were able to gain back their power from the Tutsis, who were viewed as feudal overlords. Soon the Party of the Hutu Emancipation Movement (PARMEHUTU) came into power. The once oppressed Hutus decided to take revenge and many Tutsis were killed. 200,000 Tutsi refugees fled to neighboring country to escape the violence that was taking place in their country. . .  .—Trincol

*   *   *   *   *

A Brief History 1400 - 1994

Once, Hutus and Tutsis lived in harmony in Central Africa. About 600 years ago, Tutsis, a tall, warrior people, moved south from Ethiopia and invaded the homeland of the Hutus. Though much smaller in number, they conquered the Hutus, who agreed to raise crops for them in return for protection.

Even in the colonial era—when Belgium ruled the area, after taking it from Germany in 1916—the two groups lived as one, speaking the same language, intermarrying, and obeying a nearly godlike Tutsi king.

Independence changed everything. The monarchy was dissolved and Belgian troops withdrawn—a power vacuum both Tutsis and Hutus fought to fill. Two new countries emerged in 1962—Rwanda, dominated by the Hutus, and Burundi by the Tutsis—and the ethnic fighting flared on and off in the following decades.

It exploded in 1994 with the civil war in Rwanda in which hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed. Tutsi rebels won control, which sent a million Hutus, fearful of revenge, into Zaire and Tanzania.

In Burundi, the Tutsis yielded power after a Hutu won the country's first democratic election in 1993. He was killed in an attempted coup four months later, and his successor in a suspicious plane crash in 1994, in which the Hutu leader of Rwanda was also killed.CNN

*   *   *   *   *

Why is there conflict between Tutsis and Hutus?

The bloody history of Hutu and Tutsi conflict stained the 20th century, from the slaughter of 80,000 to 200,000 Hutus by the Tutsi army in Burundi in 1972 to the 1994 Rwanda genocide in which Hutu militias targeted Tutsis, resulting in a 100-day death toll between 800,000 and 1 million.

But many observers would be surprised to learn that the longstanding conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi has nothing to do with language or religion—they speak the same Bantu tongues as well as French, and generally practice Christianity—and many geneticists have been hard-pressed to find marked ethnic differences between the two, though the Tutsi have generally been noted to be taller. Many believe that German and Belgian colonizers tried to find differences between the Hutu and Tutsi in order to better categorize native peoples in their censuses.

Generally, the Hutu-Tutsi strife stems from class warfare, with the Tutsis perceived to have greater wealth and social status (as well as favoring cattle ranching over what is seen as the lower-class farming of the Hutus). The Tutsis are thought to have originally come from Ethiopia, and arrived after the Hutu came from Chad. The Tutsis had a monarchy dating back to the 15th century; this was overthrown at the urging of Belgian colonizers in the early 1960s and the Hutu took power by force in Rwanda. In Burundi, however, a Hutu uprising failed and the Tutsis controlled the country.WorldNews

*   *   *   *   *

Hutu vs Tutsi

With the arrival of catholic missions in the African great lake Region, there was a resistance from Tutsi community against conversion. The missionaries were successful with the Hutu. Properties of Tutsis were taken away from them and given to Hutus. This was the beginning of the conflict between the two ethnic groups.

Culturally, Rwanda has a monarchy system of Tutsi monarch, the Mwami. The other area that is the northwestern part is ruled by Hutu society. The rule of the king was demolished after it received independence. Currently there seem to be no cultural difference between the Tutsi and Hutu and they speak the same Bantu language. There were marriages between a Tutsi and a Hutu. The child was reared up as per the father’s culture. The impression is that Tutsi is a class and not an ethnic identity. But there are several dissimilarities in the two groups of societies.

German rulers gave special status to Tutsis as the rulers found them to be superior to Hutus. Tutsis are well turned-out people in relation to Hutus, who are shy and timid. This earned Tutsis the chance to get educated and find a place in the government. The Hutus were in majority and this special status sparked off conflicts between the two groups. This policy was followed by the Belgians who took over control of the region after World War I. Finally in the year 1959, Belgians changed their stand and allowed Hutus to form the government through proper mandate.DifferenceBetween

*   *   *   *   *

Tutsi, Hutu and Hima—Cultural Background in Rwanda

Burundi and Rwanda had already become separate Tutsi kingdoms before European occupation as the Tutsi-Hima empire broke up.  The Tutsis were a minority in both territories, and currently make up about 15% of the Burundi population and about 9% in Rwanda.  But do not overlook the fact that the Tutsis and Hutus had intermarried considerably, even with the tribal class distinctions.

Some Tutsis have more Bantu features than the "pure" Tutsis.  But the Tutsis have commonly been referred to as "the tall ones" and the Hutus "the short ones."  Many observers of the region comment that there has been no real difference other than superficial differences in features, and that the "tribal" division referred to in recent history was a class distinction exploited by the Germans and treated only by the colonialists as a difference in ethnicity.

The Colonial Era
Animosity between the "indigenous" people and the Tutsis increased due to the German, then the Belgian, colonial pattern of indirect rule.  The colonials chose the Tutsi minority as their ruling class under the suzerainty of the Belgian Empire.

Under German colonial domination from 1890, Germany first occupied what is now Burundi until the end of World War 1, when Burundi and Rwanda were joined by the League of Nations under Belgian administration as Rwanda-Urundi.

Initially Belgian indirect rule supported Tutsi power, but tension built between the two tribes.  Clashes have broken out periodically in both countries.  The Tutsis have remained dominant in military and politics in Burundi, though recently Hutus have been brought into the government.OrvilleJenkins

*   *   *   *   *

Hutu and Tutsi

It has been theorized that the distinctions between Hutu and Tutsi were not emphasized until the area was colonized by European settlers. When conducting census counts, the Belgians separated Africans into Tutsi and Hutu groups based solely on appearance or wealth. The colonists believed that the Tutsi were superior because they were taller and had longer noses and therefore more similar to Europeans. On this basis, only Tutsi were allowed to participate in government or seek education. Naturally, this caused dissatisfaction among the Hutu majority. In 1959, the Belgian government reversed this practice and implemented a Hutu government. Civil wars and genocides instigated by both sides have occurred periodically ever since.Mahalo

*   *   *   *   *

Hutus vs. Tutsis

The ethno-racial clashes between African tribes have been particularly murderous in Rwanda and Burundi because these two small areas are the densest in Africa. Rwanda, for example, has about seven million people in an area the size of Vermont – not a lot by Western European standards, but very dense for Africa. In this relatively small area there have lived for centuries, side by side and at each other's throats, two very different racial tribes: the Hutu and Tutsi. The Tutsi are familiar to all those who saw the grand epic movie, King Solomon's Mines (the 1950 version with Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr); they are a tall, slender, graceful, noble-looking tribe, there called the Watusi. The Tutsi are an Ethiopid, Nilotic people. The Hutu, on the other hand, are short, squat Bantu, a closer approximation to what used to be called "Negro" in America. "Negroes" are now called "black," but the problem here is that the skin color of both the Tutsi and the Hutu are much the same. The real issue, as in most other cases, is not skin color but various character traits of different population groups.

The crucial point is that, in both Rwanda and Burundi, Hutus and Tutsis have coexisted for centuries; the Tutsi are about 15 percent of the total population, the Hutu about 85 percent. And yet consistently, over the centuries, the Tutsi have totally dominated, and even enserfed, the Hutu.LewRockwell

*   *   *   *   *

 

Hutu and Tutsi  

By Aimable Twagilimana

Gr 5-9—A Rwandan linguist explains the people of Rwanda and Burundi. He deals primarily with Rwanda, and a large portion of the book (17 pages of 60) concerns Hutu/Tutsi politics and violence since 1959. This emphasis tends to obscure the roots of the problem in the colonial period. Twagilimana accurately stresses that the Hutu, Tutsi (and Twa) share language, religion, and space, with their identities having been somewhat flexible and based on unequal status. He discusses the European colonials' racial stereotypes but does not specify the profound impact of European "scientific" racism, which assumed that Tutsi and Hutu were different "races," with the Hutu born to be forever inferior.Western-educated Africans absorbed this view. Moreover, the Belgians therefore recruited Tutsi to dominate the Church, army, and civil service; most secondary school places went to the Tutsi minority; Hutu kingdoms were "Tutsified"; and changes in land rights benefited the Tutsi. —School Library Journal

*   *   *   *   *

 

As We Forgive: Stories of Reconciliation from Rwanda

By Catherine Claire Larson

Rwanda—bloodied, scarred and nearly destroyed by the 1994 brutality of the Hutu genocide of Tutsis—is now called an uncharted case study in forgiveness by author Larson, who was inspired by the award-winning film As We Forgive. Individual stories form prototypes: there is Rosaria, left for dead in a pile of bodies, who forgives her sisters killer. And Chantal, whose family is brutally murdered yet who forgives her neighbor for the crimes. Devota, mutilated and left for dead, survives, forgives and eventually adopts several orphans. Each story is horrible and deeply personal as Larson mines the truths of forgiveness deep in each ones tale. Helpful interludes offer readers hands-on ways to facilitate forgiveness and take the next step to reconciliation in their own lives. This isn't an easy book to read or digest, yet its message is mandatory: Forgiveness can push out the borders of what we believe is possible. Reconciliation can offer us a glimpse of the transfigured world to come.—Publishers Weekly

*   *   *   *   *

Rwanda Ten Years after   Rwanda Genocide Conference  Clinton Administration  The Struggle Odes  Ode #95

The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo (Film Review by Kam Williams)

 

 

*   *   *   *   *

Rape Crisis in Congo Tied to Mining ActivityWashington Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, helped launch an international awareness raising campaign called V-Day in 2007 to end sexual violence in eastern Congo. UNICEF estimates that hundreds of thousands of girls have been raped in the last decade in the two eastern provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu. "Corporate greed, fueled by capitalist consumption, and the rape of women have merged into a single nightmare," Eve Ensler said at U.S. Senate hearings on May 13. "Women's bodies are the battleground of an economic war." Ensler said that international mining companies with significant investments in eastern Congo value economic interest over the bodies of women by trading with rebels who use rape as a tactic of war in areas rich in coltan, gold and tin.

"Military solutions are no longer an option," she said. "All they do is bring about the rape of more women." The United States has invested more than $700 million in humanitarian aid and peacekeeping to Congo, according to the U.S. Department of State.

Prendergast said this money will do nothing to root out the economic causes of eastern Congo's conflict and sexual violence.

He said a comprehensive long-term strategy to combat rape needs to change the economic calculus of armed groups. Prendergast asked senators to support the Congo Conflict Minerals Act, which was introduced by Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold in April of this year.

The bill aims to break the link between resource exploitation and armed conflict in eastern Congo by requiring companies trading minerals with Congo or neighboring states to disclose mine locations and monitor the financing of armed groups in eastern Congo's mineral-rich areas.

"The sooner the illicit conflict minerals trade is eliminated, the sooner the people of Congo will benefit from their own resources," said Prendergrast. U.S. consumers, Prendergrast said, can also help by pressuring major electronic companies - from Apple to Sony - to certify that cell phones, computers and other products contain "conflict-free minerals," a campaign tactic popularized by the Sierra Leone-based film Blood Diamonds.     Such a process would use a tracking system for components, similar to that developed in 2007 under the Kimberly Process. This international certification scheme ensures that trade in rough diamonds doesn't fuel war, as it did in Angola, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone during the 1990s.

Germany has already developed a pilot fingerprinting system for tin that could be expanded to other minerals and help establish certified trading chains, linking legitimate mining sites to the international market. Truthout

*   *   *   *   *

Congo has attracted attention in the media [as a place that is suffering] systematic rape in war. One statistic quoted is 200,000 rapes since the beginning of the war 14 years ago, and it is certainly an underestimate.

When in Congo, I met government representatives and particularly women who had been raped and violated. It was interesting but also disappointing - nothing is getting better and more and more civilians are committing rapes.

But I should be fair and say that there has been progress, the government has introduced laws against rape, it has a national plan and there is political will. There is a lot to do to implement the legislation, but now there is an ambitious legal ground to stand on to be implemented by the police, judiciary and health care. Margot Wallstrom - "There Is Almost Total Impunity for Rape in Congo"

*   *   *   *   *

How did Rwanda cut poverty so much?—16 February 2012—The small African nation of Rwanda recently announced that it had cut poverty by 12% in six years, from 57% of its population to 45%. That equals roughly a million Rwandans emerging from poverty -- one of the most stunning drops in the world.It's a remarkable achievement for Rwanda, which has emerged from civil war and a bloody ethnic genocide in the 1990s. How did it happen? The Times quizzed Paul Collier, director of the Center for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University, about the  numbers.

How did Rwanda cut its poverty so much?—There were one or two helpful events, notably the rise in world coffee prices, which pumped money into the rural economy, but, of course, overall the global economy since 2005 has not provided an easy environment for success. Hence, most of the achievement is likely due to domestic policies. Rwanda is the nearest that Africa gets to an East Asian-style “developmental state,” where the government gets serious about trying to grow the economy and where the president runs a tight ship within government built on performance rather than patronage. There were strong supporting policies for the rural poor—the “one cow” program [that distributed cows to poor households free of charge], which spread assets, and the improvements in health programs. Alongside this, the economy was well managed, with inflation kept low, and the business environment improved, both of which helped the main city, Kigali, to grow. Growth in Kigali then spread benefits to rural areas—the most successful rural districts were those closest to Kigali.

When you say well managed, what do you mean? What choices did the government make that were signs of good management?—Basically, [President Paul] Kagame built a culture of performance at the top of the civil service. Ministers were well paid, but set targets. If they missed the targets there were consequences. Each year, the government holds a whole-of-government retreat where these performances are reviewed: good performance rewarded, and poor performers required to explain themselves.An example is the strategy to improve Rwanda's rating on the World Bank's “Doing Business” annual rating, where over the course of six years the country moved from around 140th to 60th in the world rankings. Each component of the ratings was assigned each year to an appropriate minister. So over time, a cadre of government officials has been built up who believe in their ability not just to strategize but to get things done.— LaTimesBlogs

*   *   *   *   *

AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake.

She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.WashingtonPost

*   *   *   *   *

King of the Mountain

The Nature of Political Leadership

By Arnold M. Ludwig

“People may choose to ignore their animal heritage by interpreting their behavior as divinely inspired, socially purposeful, or even self-serving, all of which they attribute to being human, but they masticate, fornicate, and procreate, much as chimps and apes do, so they should have little cause to get upset if they learn that they act like other primates when they politically agitate, debate, abdicate, placate, and administrate, too."—from the book King of the Mountain presents the startling findings of Arnold M. Ludwig's eighteen-year investigation into why people want to rule. The answer may seem obvious—power, privilege, and perks—but any adequate answer also needs to explain why so many rulers cling to power even when they are miserable, trust nobody, feel besieged, and face almost certain death. Ludwig's results suggest that leaders of nations tend to act remarkably like monkeys and apes in the way they come to power, govern, and rule. Profiling every ruler of a recognized country in the twentieth century—over 1,900 people in all­­, Ludwig establishes how rulers came to power, how they lost power, the dangers they faced, and the odds of their being assassinated, committing suicide, or dying a natural death.

Then, concentrating on a smaller sub-set of 377 rulers for whom more extensive personal information was available, he compares six different kinds of leaders, examining their characteristics, their childhoods, and their mental stability or instability to identify the main predictors of later political success. Ludwig's penetrating observations, though presented in a lighthearted and entertaining way, offer important insight into why humans have engaged in war throughout recorded history as well as suggesting how they might live together in peace.

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues


1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        

Enjoy!

*   *   *   *   *

The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more) 

 

 

 

 

 

update 29 January 2012

 

 

 

Home   The African World   Mackie Blanton Table  

Related files:  Rwanda Ten Years after   Rwanda Genocide Conference  Clinton Administration  The Struggle Odes  Ode #95  Thinkable Genocide

Rwanda Crisis Could Expose U. S. Role in Congo