Statement by the Press Secretary on the Horn of Africa Humanitarian Crisis
In 2011, the worst drought in 60 years struck the Horn of Africa. The United Nations declared famine in six regions of Somalia, threatening the lives of over 250,000 Somalis, and requiring urgent humanitarian assistance for more than 13.3 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and other parts of Somalia. The international community responded and famine conditions abated in January 2012. Nevertheless, today, more than 9 million people still remain in need of emergency assistance in Horn of Africa.
To prevent a worsening of the fragile humanitarian situation and more people requiring emergency aid, the United States Government is providing an additional $120 million to those in need of emergency assistance in the Horn of Africa. This assistance is targeted to avoid the crisis from escalating in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia where the lateness and insufficiency of rains are expected to have a significant negative impact on crop production. We commend Ethiopia and Kenya for building the resiliency of their nations to mitigate the shock of food insecurity and drought, as well as their effort to host and provide a safe place for Somali refugees. This contribution brings the total U.S. assistance for the drought and famine in the Horn of Africa to more than $1.1 billion since the crisis began in 2011.
We urge the international community to continue their support and assistance to those in need of emergency assistance in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia with the objective of building resiliency in order to save lives.
Statement by the President on the 17th Anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda
Seventeen years ago today, the world watched as an unimaginable slaughter began to unfold in Rwanda. One hundred horrific days later, more than 800,000 innocent people—men, women, and children—lay dead in one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. Today, we join the Rwandan people in honoring the memory of the loved ones they lost so senselessly, and we reaffirm the lessons of that tragic chapter in history. For just as the Rwandan genocide exposed man’s capacity for evil, it also revealed man’s capacity for good—courageous Rwandans who risked their lives to save friends and neighbors from the massacre. As an international community, we must summon the same courage to ensure that such mass atrocities and genocides never happen again.
Today we also reflect on Rwanda’s progress. Out of the ruins of genocide, Rwandans have welcomed home refugees and former combatants and worked to build a more peaceful, prosperous and democratic society for all it citizens. And as a leading contributor to peacekeeping missions around the world, Rwanda reminds us of our obligations to each other as fellow human beings, and our shared responsibility to prevent attacks on innocent civilians, as the international community is doing today in Libya. As they reflect on this painful day, Rwandans must know that the United States will be their partner in pursuit of the secure and peaceful future that they and their children deserve.
Kicking off his very first visit to the Motherland by making a stop in Cameroon, Pope Benedict XVI said Tuesday to reporters that condoms are not the solution to the AIDS / HIV epidemic that is ravishing the continent.
Pope Benedict XVI said that AIDS “is a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, and that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems.”
The pope, who according to the teachings of the Catholic Chruch, is a human spokeman or mouth piece for God, told those who gathered to greet him at the Yaounde airport, that “the traditional teaching of the Church is the only sure way of preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS.” How archaic is that particular line of reasoning? In the worldwide scheme of things, not everyone is a Catholic or practice catholicism. So, what about those individuals? Are we all heathens and doomed to die in a fiery Hell because we are not Catholics and do not subscribe to the “traditional teachings of the Catholic Church?”
For arguments sake, lets suggest that everyone became a Catholic and abstained from premarital sex or remained fatihful to our spouses. That would be only one part of the equation. What happens to the twenty-two million people who are living with HIV or AIDS? Do we turn our back on them? Pope Benedict XVI says that AIDS / HIV “cannot be overcome by money” but wouldn’t you agree that it takes money, and lots of it to fund programs that assist the millions suffering from AIDS / HIV in Africa?
What about the 1.8 million children who are orphaned because of losing their parents to AIDS? How about the plight of 12 million African women who are living with AIDS / HIV? Pope Benedict XVI made the claim that “the Catholic Church is at the forefront of the battle against AIDS.” In what is that the case? By offering dead-end solutions?
The Catholic Church needs to revise its’ “traditional teaching” to include the needs of those who aren’t Catholics, or Christians. Visiting the Motherland for a week should enlighten the pope to the numerous religious and tribal belief systems that many Africans hold dear. Not only that, it is important for the pope and the Catholic Church to note that educating Africans about AIDS / HIV is the dominant means to prevent the spread of this disease. Using condoms is a must. But if African women are still living within a culture that makes them less third class citizens with absolutely no say so over their own bodies, how does the “traditional teachings of the Catholic Church” help them?
Pope Benedict XVI is in a position to really help the people of the Motherland. However, from his mouth, we have learned that that help is limited at best. In fact, virtually non-existent. Instead of spouting religious rhetoric that is valueless to the hearers, the pope should offer realistic solutions that can bring the desired results. If he really cares about the people of Africa, this week in the Motherland should provide Pope Benedict XVI eyewitness testimony of how the Catholic Church is ineffectively doing what it can to stop the spread of AIDS / HIV.
Zimbabwe’s new prime minister survived a car accident Friday that killed his wife, officials said.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was taken to the hospital, where he was visited by President Robert Mugabe and other senior government officials.
The vehicle in which the two were traveling was reportedly sideswiped by a truck. Sources within Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change party said it appeared that Susan Tsvangirai took the full impact of the collision.
The accident happened south of the capital Harare, on an undulating road on a notoriously dangerous stretch. The prime minister was heading to his country home in Buhera, where he was to address a rally Saturday.
For 10 years, Tsvangirai was the country’s opposition leader and Mugabe’s fiercest critic. But after a disputed presidential vote last year and state-sponsored violence against the opposition, regional leaders stepped in and proposed a power-sharing deal.
Protracted negotiations and bickering over Cabinet posts finally ended last month when Tsvangirai took the oath of office as prime minister and joined his arch-rival in a national unity government. Tsvangirai pledged to rebuild Zimbabwe, but the challenges remain monumental: the country has the highest inflation in the world, a growing humanitarian and hunger crisis, and a cholera epidemic; health and education services have also collapsed.
Taken from NPR. Thank You!
It is surprising that the media and overall national outrage over this shocking New York Post cartoon isn’t above a whisper. Explain how it is that the President Of The United States can be so viciously caricatured and there not be an all out and out media blitz regarding it?
Explain. Please, anyone, how an assassination plot against President Barack Obama can be so callously and shamelessly etched between the pages of major newspaper and a full-blown media instigation not develop? Is that not what it truly is, after all? Friday afternoon, a rally and march on The New York Post occurred and wouldn’t you know it? This form of social protest that is essential to maintaining the basic freedoms outlined in the United States Constitution, that we as Americans enjoy and for the most point, take for granted, went unnoticed by CNN, MSNBC, FOX and every other major news outlet that considers itself a source for the layman to get his / her news.
Ignored. The only feed that was to be had was found on The Michael Baisden Show, an urban radio show hosted by the increasingly influential and charismatic Michael Baisden. It is ironic that a story of this magnitude was trumped for the press coverage of leaked photos of a beaten and battered young woman. However, while that particular topic is regretful at best, and a conversation starter or stopper depending on whose side one falls, it fails in comparison to the insult and obvious vicious attempt to slander President Barack Obama in the most insidious way possible.
How in the world is it that media has remained virtually tongue-tied over this ignorance? Not that long ago, the media was gung slam ho over anyone that DARED speak against the President. If someone, let’s say a senator or congressman, or your neighbor, spoke out against the war in Iraq, were they not tarred and feathered in the town square? CNN, MSNBC, and FOX were drunk on patriotism so much so that they misled the entire country about Iraq and refused to stand up against the Bush Administration concerning the forced and fierce black out of necessary media coverage. Eight years of lies and half truths. Eight years of white-washed news coverage. Any apologies from CNN, MSNBC or FOX? Nope.
For those who would like to say that they can’t see anything wrong with that offensive cartoon, I say you lack the intelligence and presence of mind to discern how that pic was a deviously masterful attempt to implant in the hearts and minds of those who harbor racial hatred against African Americans in this country a visual road map to carry out vicious and felonious acts of violence.
The New York Post’s refusal to retract or apologize for printing such a powder keg, just gives those with simple minds and hateful tendencies a pat on the back! The Post has gotten into bed with the KKK, the Nazis, Skin Heads and all those other extremist groups that draw their lifeblood from feeding on the hate that the media continuously spew on a regular basis.
Here’s something for those who have more than ounce of intelligence: Did you know that chimpanzees are the most intelligent out of the primate species?
Think about that one and see where your mind takes you.
Is An Apology Enough? House Of Representatives Pass Resolution To Apologize For The “Peculiar Institution” Known As Slavery
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a resolution that apologized to African Americans for the slavery holocaust and the post Civil War laws established to keep African Americans in a figurative and literal slave state, known in the South as Jim Crow. The passing of this resolution makes the House of Representatives the first branch of the Federal Government that has apologized for the horrific atrocity that we know today as slavery.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis, Tennassee. Incidentally, Mr. Cohen is a Caucasian American. The resolution, which states:
“African Americans continue to suffer from the consequences of slavery and Jim Crow, long after both systems were formally abolished through enormous damage and loss, both tangible and intangible, indeed the loss of human dignity and liberty, the frustration of careers and professional lives, and the long-term loss of income and opportunity.”
The resolution appears on the surface to address almost every point that most psychologists, historians and anthropologists have argued the validity of for decades. But in what direction, if any, will this resolution take to make amends for a gross human error that has been recognized? From the looks of the resolution, the apology will have to suffice. No reparations or reparation studies were mentioned or suggested.
Nineteen years ago, and every year there after, Rep. John Conyers, MI, re-introduces a bill that he drafted for the study of reparations to descendants of African American slaves. Known as H.R 40, “Commission To Study Reparations for African Americans,” since January, 1989, Rep. Conyers has fought an uphill battle to just get a study on the subject of reparations. Just a study. The bill is still just a bill. Conyers named his bill ’40′ after the Special Field Order #15, issued by General Sherman, January 16, 1865, giving freed slaves forty acres of land and a mule to work it. This act was to help newly freed slaves support themselves and their families.
History tells us that this Special Field Order was rescinded. Which is why African Americans feel so strongly about the subject of reparations. Many perceive reparations to be about handouts and free money when actually it really is about receiving what is due. For example, in 1988, Congress passed a bill and issued an apology to Japanese Americans for succumbing to racial fears and prejudice during WWII by rounding up all Japanese Americans and herding them into so-called “detention centers.” An American name for “concentration camps.”
Part of this apology and resolution included reparations in the amount of twenty thousand dollars. Now, in no way is it being suggested that the United States pay out large sums of money to African Americans. Some would disagree. But the best way to compensate or establish reparations would be to create state of the art public schools to teach young African American children, to give them an adequate head start. Most urban cities are strapped for cash to run public schools and therefore African American children are receiving substandard educations, which equals bleak futures.
Another suggested form of sustaining reparations would be to extend the option of receiving a free university or college education for all African Americans who would like to advance their education. This would be an excellent avenue to give a gift that keeps on giving. With a community that is failing and increasingly irresponsible, cutting checks is not going to do it, which is why the issue of reparations is a sore spot.
But the only thing that my ancestor, George Ricks, a runaway slave from Tennessee, wanted for his children was for them to have an education, live free and have their own means of support. As his great, to the tenth power, granddaughter, that is all I want, too. All freed slaves wanted this for their children and those that came after them.
So, an apology is a step in the right direction. But the most important step should be extending a reparations program that, instead of being just another welfare check and crutch, would become an infused foundation to a self-sustained independence that births human dignity and pride.
Abigail Chiroto, 27, wife of newly elected mayor of the city of Harare, was found bludgeoned to death late Wednesday officials said. She, along with four other activists and her 4 year old son, were kidnapped from their homes by men wearing military uniforms on Tuesday. The kidnappings and subsequent murders stem from the apparent political opposition and activism to oust Zimbabwe President Mugabe. Mugabe is currently running for re-election.
The four activists were also found murdered. Abigail Chiroto’s son, however, was returned unharmed. President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF Party are allegedly linked to these murders.
I suppose that wives of politicians are not off-limits in Zimbabwe during election season.