Robert Mugabe is like Jeremiah Wright on steroids -- there is a parallel at least in that both men are angry about conditions that no longer exist, fighting battles that have already been won, and hating enemies that died years ago.
When Barack Obama speaks about change, I believe he means about the difference between himself and his former Pastor. Wright's anger was appropriate at the time. It was the angry determination of the African-American community that overturned the regime of segregation in this country. But that anger is misplaced now, and Obama has moved past it.
In Africa, Robert Mugabe lives only in a dream world of old Rhodesia. His heart burns with hatred of the British colonial masters of those days. Back then a white man was always addressed as "boss" and a black man was always called "boy." Those rules were strictly enforced in old Rhodesia, and Robert Mugabe hated that regime, and fought it, and destroyed it. Old Rhodesia is gone, except within the foul heart of Robert Mugabe.
This is 2008, white people, in Europe and North America, have rejected those old ways. There are still a few virulent racists among the exiled Rhodesian community -- but they are not gaining any converts.
In fact, the best thing that could happen to the desperate countries of Africa would be an influx of professional, middle-class Europeans and Americans -- also Asians. People with education, people with a modest amount of capital, people with no overt racist intentions, people who would willingly adapt to the language and customs of the African people, people who are very different than their parents or grandparents -- but people who could bring their own skills and abilities to a continent that desperately needs them.
I'm not talking about do gooders and social engineers. I'm talking about plain old economic opportunists who would come to Africa and take their chances -- not especially to do any one a big favor, but to do an even better thing -- make an honest living and build a home for themselves. Africa needs these kind of people.
Yet it is these very people who are most feared by the racist leadership of most African countries -- a hatred expressed most virulently by Robert Mugabe, but shared by the more moderate leaders of other African countries.
LACONNER TEARS. Former LaConner Mayor Wayne Everton had this to say in a recent email to Frog Hospital
I think I discovered many years ago that the La Conner merchants aren't really interested in doing those things that would improve business. I think they'd rather bitch than be creative. I see what Anacortes does, I even see what Sedro Wooley does and I don't see what La Conner does except spend $20,000 putting brochures in racks with several hundred other communities.
Twenty years ago people came to La Conner whether we wanted them or not. It was "quaint" and "cute" and "warm. Now other towns have learned to be "quaint" and "cute" and "warm" but we, for some reason, think competition doesn't exist.
It's interesting, and ironic, that when we had a volunteer Chamber of Commerce business was good. Now that we have a highly paid professional Chamber business has fallen off. I wonder if there's a connection.
--- So that's what Wayne Everton thinks, and he has a good point
Meanwhile, Anna Ferdinand is a rising star at LaConner's weekly newspaper. Her story about Georgia Johnson's school lunch innovations was most excellent. It's too bad the LaConner weekly doesn't have a website -- because Anna's reporting needs to go around the world.
Speaking of art, one of LaConner's best artists, Joel Brock, had quite a show last week --- in Edison, not in LaConner. In fact, Brock is no longer a LaConner artist -- he moved to Edison some years ago. Why did he leave LaConner?
Why is Edison the most creative hotspot north of Seattle, while LaConner is becoming the capital of Old Fogeys eating ice cream? Sic transit gloria. Or, as Ernest Hemingway said, "It's a Moveable Feast" and it sure has moved out of LaConner.