The killings of albinos in Tanzania have made international news for the last year. People have been seeking out Albinos, killing them and then selling their body parts to traditional healers aka "witch doctors". Allegedly the body parts of albinos are used in a potion that promises prosperity and good fortune. The potion is said to be popular among businessmen and others looking to get rich and can cost a thousand dollars. In the last 18 months over 40 albinos have been killed and, thankfully, 12 people are now on trial for some the murders.
Stories like these leave me speechless. The notion that a person's life is a legit exchange for another's good fortune is not new. It's archaic and horrendous, but not new. From institutional slavery to aggressive imperialism, people have historically exploited [and even killed] others in the name of economic expansion [we know this], but this insanity has to end. I was already outraged to hear that albino women were being raped in Zimbabwe because many believe they can cure HIV. But this new phenomena of killing them to provide someone with the chance at prosperity is… unfathomable. The so-called "traditional healers" as well as anyone who has ever purchased the expensive potion should be on trial too.
Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.