Dear, Dear Maddy

What would we do without her?

Secondly, the coverage shows how quickly the west reverts to racism. Why is the word "tribal" only used to refer to Africa? Why don\’t we talk of Belgian tribes or Middle Eastern tribes? No, only in Africa is inter-ethnic violence cast as "ancient", immutable tribalism, associated in the European mindset with barbarism and irrationality.

She then goes on to give an accurate descsription of the way in which the violence in Kenya has been caused and the way in which it is playing out. For example:

This is the region where Kikuyu, the biggest ethnic group who have done the best since independence, acquired land in the 60s dispossessing the Kalenjin – a grievance that has festered unresolved ever since.

Err, tribalism.

Except for this bit of course:

What we are seeing in Kenya – and in other unstable developing countries – is how human beings behave when faced with the kind of chronic insecurity that globalisation is incubating the world over.

Had to get that bit in, didn\’t she? Quite amazing to think that it\’s globalisation, that is, that you no longer have to depend solely upon local resources, which is driving battles over local resources like land.

8 thoughts on “Dear, Dear Maddy”

  1. And, although the media might not use this word she wishes to consign to the memory hole, is not the current Belgian situation exactly tribal?

    Historic and economic aspirations, exacerbated by linguistic and cultural differences and compounded by the presence of larger mono-tribal (I am exaggerating here, clearly) adjacent countries?

    We certainly talk about tribes when describing football supporters. We only use the word “clan” for Scottish tribes because that is the equivalent word in the local dialect …

  2. “Why is the word “tribal” only used to refer to Africa?” Oh, she is a silly tit. In my history lessons at school, our own ancestors were routinely referred to as “tribes”.

  3. “Why is the word “tribal” only used to refer to Africa?”

    This woman would be well advised either to study the recent history of Kosovo, or to watch an Old Firm game.

    Then she’ll know about tribalism.

  4. She’s right, of course. It’s exactly the same as the situation in Belgium.

    I remember now that when I saw the TV pictures of murderous mobs roaming the streets it reminded me of something, and I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

    Yup, Belgium. Anyone seeing any differences must be a racist. Thanks Maddy.

  5. The woman is a cretin. Anyone with literary comprehension skills beyond the most vestigial knows that the lowest level political unit in Middle Eastern societies is the clan, above which is the tribe. Your allegiance is hierarchical: first (extended) family, then clan, then tribe, then sect, then country (maybe). The sociopolitics of the Middle East are completely opaque to study without an appreciation of this fact. Simply to note, for example, that Bashar Assad is a member of the Numaylatillah clan and Matawirah tribe is to derive an insight into Syrian government.

  6. It is fascinating how the word racist is the ultimate ‘shut up’.
    It will all come back to bite you lot.
    think of China and even India – who tend to prefer their own birds of a feather.
    When you add religious shibboleths talking is hardly possible.

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