Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Now They're Poaching People!

An article in yesterday's IOL News says that ignorant fools who somehow believe that the blood and body parts of albinos can attract gold and despicable fools who claim the power to make magic charms from such material have opened up a new and lucrative market in Burundi and Tanzania: A market for dead albino parts. I'm not talking about albino tigers like these, or even albino apes like Snowflake. I am talking about albino HUMANS.

Rhinos, apes, monkeys, elephants, leopards, and many other animals have been threatened with extinction through poaching, and often for ridiculous reasons. Are we now to add humans with no melanin in their skins to the list?

A province official has opened his home to albinos who can get there, in order to protect them from roving gangs seeking to kill them for profit.

The report illustrates the path from discrimination to destruction that sometimes happens to minorities. Albinos have been ostracized,actively discriminated against, and mistreated in Africa. But now it has escalated to murder.

I have to wonder where this idea came from. Surely nobody just happened to kill an albino and then happened to notice that his/her blood or body part made gold come up from the ground. Some fishermen think using albino meat to bait their hooks will catch fish with bellies full of gold. Did this actually happen once? Where the hell did the idea originate?

I guess it could be similar to those who used to (and perhaps still do, in some places) blame Jews for things such as plague or financial collapse, leading others to first ostracize and eventually murder Jews. To the ignorant native "sorcerer/doctors", encouraging people to kill albinos and bring the blood and parts to be transformed into gold-attractor charms, it solidifies their power within communities, is lucrative for them, and rids the area of individuals they claim deserve death. Three birds with one stone.

Terrible and stupid! Hopefully the official who is protecting some of these people can find a way to stop this barbarism.

People are so bizarre. In some parts of Africa, people, even children and babies, are being killed because they have been accused of witchcraft. In other parts, people claiming to be sorcerers encourage killing albino people to make magic charms. What if the two groups met? Would they kill each other off?

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