June 11, 2008

The Color of the Rich

Or more precisely, the colorlessness of the rich. The New York Times reports:

In early May, Vumilia Makoye, 17, was eating dinner with her family in their hut in western Tanzania when two men showed up with long knives.

Vumilia was like many other Africans with albinism. She had dropped out of school because of severe near-sightedness, a common problem for albinos, whose eyes develop abnormally and who often have to hold things like books or cellphones two inches away to see them. She could not find a job because no one would hire her. She sold peanuts in the market, making $2 a week while her delicate skin was seared by the sun.

When Vumilia’s mother, Jeme, saw the men with knives, she tried to barricade the door of their hut. But the men overpowered her and burst in.

“They cut my daughter quickly,” she said, making hacking motions with her hands.

The men sawed off Vumilia’s legs above the knee and ran away with the stumps. Vumilia died.

Just last year alone, 19 people across Tanzania who suffered from a genetic disorder that had left them with pigmentation deficiency — albinism — have been murdered. Witch doctors, who are suspected in these murders, thrive on a burgeoning market among the rural and uneducated poor, who believe that the possession and consumption of albino body parts will magically make them rich. A Tanzanian government spokesman has lamented the killings as a serious distraction, when the country's economy is poised for growth after years of failed socialist economic policies.

Macabre as it is, I wouldn't blame the people who have been fooled by the witch doctors into believing that a redistribution of the body parts of the evil albinos would pull them out of their grinding poverty. Not after the politicians have been feeding them for years, socialist potions concocted from the harvested "skin, bones and hair" of the evil rich!

1 comment :
  1. Macabre ya that is the word. What is wrong with these people?
    If the country had any laws worth its name, they will soon see what happens to people who redistribute body parts.


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