“We pride ourselves as being top, really, on the African ladder… We feel that we have actually been advancing rather than going backwards.” – Robert Mugabe
This past week’s diversionary news story has been the killing of a Zimbabwean lion named Cecil [not named by his mom, but by humans – and English ones, at that] via the bolt of a dentist from Minnesota. As with the already forgotten and meaningless Confederate flag debacle, this event has dominated the news and social media sites, where the pathologically uniformed American public band together to feign “outrage” and risk dislocation of shoulders from patting themselves on the back over their moral stance on such an oh-so-important issue.
Of course, few in America can actually point to Zimbabwe on a map, let alone know fact one about African big game hunting or conservation. But, as is often the case with animal “rights” supporters, most of those claiming to be on the side of the Panthera leo are basing their opinions on emotion, not in any true quest for truth or justice.
And why not?
Animals generally spark an emotional reaction in humans, either as a feeling of joy or sorrow in the case of most domesticated pets, or as a sense of fear when confronted face-to face with a non-domesticated predator (couch-bound during Shark Week notwithstanding.)
Americans do love their animals…it’s seems even more so than people. Perhaps that’s warranted in some cases, but just to keep things in perspective, let’s take a little historical stroll through Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is a land-locked nation located on the Southeast side of Africa, north of the nation of South Africa, with which it shares a border. As with all of Africa, it has a long history of violence and bloodshed, from natives, settlers, AND nature. It was first settled by Europeans in 1890’s when Cecil Rhodes’ British South Africa Company began using the area as a trade route, eventually becoming the British Colony of Southern Rhodesia in 1923. The nation declared Independence in 1965 and was immediately immersed into a 15-year bush war with the communist black nationals known as the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), as well as a bunch of other warring tribes touting equally as lofty names.
ZANU was led by one Robert Gabriel Mugabe, graduate of the University of Fort Hare, SA, and holder of bachelor’s degrees in Education, Administration, and Science. Often referred to by his nickname, Uncle Bob, he found himself held as a political prisoner (much like neighboring terrorist Nelson Mandela) from ’64 to ’74, where he additionally gained two Law Degrees through the University of London. Immediately upon his release from jail, he jumped across the border to Mozambique and took commanded of guerrilla operations during the Rhodesian Bush War, which ended in ’78.
By 1979 the Internal Settlement document was signed leading to the end of white majority rule, and the nation was then renamed Zimbabwe by the new black majority government. In 1980 Mugabe was elected Prime Minister, and by ’81 transformed the ZANU to the ZANU-RF, which he saw as a means to a single-party political system based on Marxist/socialist ideals with himself as dictator.
There were some who took exception to that idea, but not for long, as Uncle Bob created (with the training help of North Korea) The Fifth Brigade – an “internal security force” tasked to deal with decenters. And deal with them they did! From 1982 to 1985, at least 20,000 were slaughtered and buried in mass graves. The exact number is hard to know since historically African “freedom fighters” can’t be bothered to tally such things.
By 1987 Mugabe had centralized power and was declared Executive President by Parliament, which is just a grand euphemism for dictator. Along the way he centralized all industry, farming, and the media, as well as removing the right to private property. A country which once fed itself and exported food surplus soon turned into a dustbowl, with 80% unemployment and an inflation rate of five sextillion (for those counting, that’s a 5 followed by TWENTY-ONE ZEROS.)
A once thriving nation with infrastructure and electricity, hospitals with the best healthcare in Africa, as well as schools which produced the highest literacy rate on the continent, has been reduced to 3rd world status by a greedy, murdering, communist tyrant. Starvation and disease are now rampant, with life expectancy reduced to 35 years. The best hope anyone has for tomorrow is to be upwind of the raw sewage smell wafting from the capital Harare.
For some in Zimbabwe there is an occasional ray of hope. You see, every now-and-then a wealthy American, Asian, or European coughs up $50,000 to buy a lion hunting permit, and makes their way to that hell-on-Earth where they spend even more cash on lodging, transportation, food, guides, trackers, PHs [Professional Hunters], rented vehicles, taxidermists, and all the other amenities one might want on such an adventure. And, if Artemis smiles, a local village may even find meat in their pots for a week.
But, to the presently fuming American public, the lion is all that matters.
Personally, I’d be willing to bet a week’s pay that 99.8% of the masses of Zimbabwe haven’t a clue who the “beloved” Cecil the Lion was, and wouldn’t hesitate to accept an offer of lion steak for dinner. I’d also bet no one in Zimbabwe gives a rodent’s posterior about the opinions of Americans.
As of yesterday, TY, the Beanie Baby people, are offering a special Cecil doll of which some of the proceeds will go to the British scientific team that was studying the lion. The starving children of Zimbabwe will no doubt be impressed at their generosity! The warmth that notion provides should keep their immune systems running perfectly.
Three major air carriers have made the oh-so-heroic stance of refusing to ship big game trophies from Africa. I’m sure they will have no problem accepting the ticket fees from Mugabe’s second wife, Grace, as she likes to go on international shopping sprees at very expensive locales. So much so, she’s earned the nickname Gucci Grace. I doubt she says no to fur.
Hundreds of thousands of people have signed a White House petition to have an American citizen, the dentist in question, EXTRADITED to Zimbabwe. As if any kind of proper due process could ever be expected from that tyranny. Justice be damned when the mob wants blood.
It’s not often that I am embarrassed to say I’m American – It’s usually only the day after elections – but in this case I’m ashamed of my nation and the vast majority of people in it. This vapid, Kardashian-drunk, out-of-touch, myopic, childish behavior is an absolute embarrassment.
And I can already hear the comments : “Just because I care about a lion doesn’t mean I don’t care about humans in Zimbabwe!”
Save it for the tourists. You learned about Cecil last week – Mugabe has been the angel of death since 1975, and you’ve done NOTHING.
Your priorities aren’t even backwards, anymore, America – they’re completely based in fantasy.
“Walter Palmer is Satan” – Sharon Osbourne