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Kenyans, on the blood of my children, I indict you all

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Georgianne Nienaber       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   7 comments

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I have been wishing I could be in Kenya, reporting what is happening there for progressive media. It has since occurred to me that progressive media is totally abandoning its responsibilities by the extreme amount of navel-gazing focused on our national elections. The same goes for mainstream media. We have become a clone of the system, trying to outdo each other in spinning the primary process.

Meanwhile, Kenya is in chaos, there has been an earthquake in Rwanda and Congo, extreme weather has threatened billions in the Far East, and American politicians have become the new celebrity culture—replacing Britney Spears and Lindsay Logan in the national lexicon of who’s who. Oprah-Obama is the new Brangelina.

In Kenya, 300,000 people have been forced from their homes since the recent elections. The Peace Corps has pulled out. posted an opinion piece one hour ago suggesting that Kenya was on the “brink of collapse.”

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Writers who have the ability to spend hours re-spinning what has happened in our primary process have abandoned their responsibility to humanity by at least not researching what is happening in Africa and elsewhere.

I venture that the writers on these pages have not been physically in the presence of the candidates they write about. If nothing else, where is the accountability of the candidates to address world issues?

My newly elected Senator from Minnesota has failed in pre-election promises made to me, and to people from Africa that she met personally, to do something about press freedoms there. I don’t care if Amy Klobuchar is a junior Senator. She is an extremely bright woman with a tremendous amount of drive, whom I have seen accomplish anything she puts her mind to.

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Klobuchar’s lack of follow-through makes me wonder what the real reasons are in the halls of power for our total moral abandonment of all things African.

The following comments appeared in a letter to the editor in Nairobi’s Daily Nation. A friend and colleague who lives in the UK emailed it to me.

I am shocked, but not surprised by what follows. It is impossible to have a voice in central Africa these days. I know, firsthand, what the muzzle of censorship feels like, but I have the almighty blue American passport to wield as my shield when reporting from Africa.

Read this letter,weep, and then do something about it.

"I write this letter as my final mortal action upon this earth.

"I have determined to collect email addresses of prominent people that I know and my friends and send it to them from an anonymous email address for two reasons.

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"First, to spare them the distress of knowing beforehand what I am doing, therefore saving them from culpability, and second, because my identity and future is now irrelevant—it could be any of those men around the country who feel as I do.

"So you might guess from my style of writing, I am a well-educated man. I am a graduate of Nairobi and Strathmore universities. I have been privileged to be educated around the world.

"I have worked in Berlin, Stockholm, London, New York and many other places. I speak six languages fluently.

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Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota, New Orleans and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill (more...)

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