thinglets: Burundi Albino Boy Dismembered

It's been two years since I first found one of the most terrifying and bizarre stories I'd ever read or heard about. Everyone who follows my twitter feed knows that I'm a sucker for bizarre articles, but when I found a link appear in my newsfeed to Tanzania's Albino Genocide, I was immediately dumbstruck.

I don't know what inspired me to make a lovehatethings post out of it, but, in retrospect, the topic held some gravitas. To date, that initial post has been read over 23,000 times, and I've received numerous emails and comments about it. I've since maintained a bit of a watch on the subject of albinos in Burundi and Tanzania being slaughtered and dissected for parts because some witch doctors believe it is magic.

I still shake my head to this day.

I am not an albino, nor have I ever been to Tanzania or Burundi, nor do I have ANY tie whatsoever to the cultures involved suffice to say this: the human race is fucked up beyond belief when I'm still reading about ANY nine year-old being dismembered for ANY reason whatsoever.

This blog is often about pop culture minutiae and mindless drivel that sustains me from one day to the next. I am often loathe to be too serious, lest someone take me for someone who really gives a damn about hair care products, cereal boxes, Steve Jobs' foibles, or some new cool tilt-shift video clip from Vimeo. 

I am not often moved to violence, more prone to expressions of disbelief and frustration, so perhaps Bruce Cockburn best expresses what I'm thinking when I keep hearing stories like this for the ongoing lifetime of this blog. And perhaps, out of all the things I've claimed to hate, they all pale in comparison to this.

I want to raise every voice -- at least I've got to try.
Every time I think about it water rises to my eyes.
Situation desperate, echoes of the victims cry.
If I had a rocket launcher... Some son of a bitch would die.

3 responses
As a person with albinism, an educator, a scientist and a bleeding heart liberal that is rather opposed to the death penalty I have a few thoughts. First off, if people could get a (sorry I am going to use colourful language) fucking education they would know not to do this, and would not be so fucking superstitious. If they could learn the science, they ideas about equality, they would not do shit like this. These people show the problems with Africa, and much of the rest of the world. That problem is, people do not know shit. We are not magical, we are not cursed, we are not to be pitied, we are human beings.

I went through the teasing, the bullshit, the 'you should be in a special school because your vision is so bad' (we have horrible vision due to melanin's role in the development of the visual system). With my parents' and my teachers' (most of them) support I did well in school. I got a fucking PhD, I am a university professor, I educate people, damn it, I am training the next set of young scientists and leaders in this country. I did this and do this despite the goddamned prejudice, the bullshit, and it is NOTHING like what people like me in Africa face.

If I could, I would rip these bastards apart, fuck my bleeding heart liberalism.

Dave - I've got your back if you ever want to book a plane ticket.
I may take you up on that buddy. Thanks.