What's So Funny About Africa?

Patronizing reporting makes a mockery of Africa's real problems.

(Continued from Page 1)

Certainly not all coverage of Africa by the Times is patronizing and small.Over the years, several reporters have have contributed coverage that went beyond what Charlayne Hunter-Gault calls the four Ds of the African apocalypse—disease, disaster, death and despair. Others have not. Apparently, when it comes to Africa, it's the luck of the draw.

Mswati deserves to have his lifestyle and treatment of his country rigorously questioned. As someone who has traveled in Africa and who deeply loves the continent, I have no misplaced racial loyalty to corrupt and selfish leaders who plunder their country's resources and leave their people starving—or worse. Especially when they do so in the name of anti-colonialism, of liberation and free and independent rule. As my uncle used to say, it don't matter if the hand picking my pocket is black or white.

This is a real nation with real problems, not some fairy-tale land. The Times should turn its powerful eye on abuse of power and what is clearly a simmering political crisis. I wonder if the people of Swaziland are pleased to find themselves so amusing to Times readers. I wonder if they are in on the joke.

Kim McLarin is the author of Jump at the Sun: A Novel.

The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.