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Denis Beckett

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

The Race Card Still Trumps All

My latest column on Moneyweb:

On the way to Sci-Bono, the radio is race, race and race. UN economist Jeffrey Sachs is under fire for raising the thought of a three-child policy in Africa. A lengthy string of African persons come on to express extreme distaste for non-African persons telling Africa what to do.

I sukkel over what to make of this. An outside agency tells you to change a practice that has been unquestioned forever? This practice has given you a richly extended family that makes you as an African feel strong and fortunate compared to cultures by whom in other respects you feel daunted? Of course you’re cross.

Then again, is it compulsory to ascribe to Sachs a malicious secret anti-Africa agenda? And even if Sachs is to be crucified, is “the West” as a whole truly to blame? Of course “the West” is no longer in any sense an entity, as in Cold War days. It’s a way of saying “white people” obliquely so it can be said fiercely.

The airwaves flow with bile about villainous white people who are hell-bent on re-suppressing Africa by restricting its birth-rate. These are the same airwaves that yesterday flowed with bile about villainous white people having too much wealth. There are times a ou can wonder.


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