Saturday, February 12, 2005

Galeano On Salgado: 14

From Eduardo Galeano's "Salgado, 17 Times":
14. The Third World the "other" world worthy only of contempt or pity. In the interest of good taste, not often mentioned.

Had AIDS not spread beyond Africa, the new plague would have gone unnoticed. It hardly would have mattered if thousands or millions of Africans had died of AIDS. That isn't news. In what is known as the Third World, death from plague is a "natural" death.

If Salman Rushdie had stayed in India and written his novels in Hindustani, Tamil, or Bengali, his death sentence would have attracted no attention. In the countries of Latin America, for example, several writers have been condemned to death and executed by recent military dictatorships. The European countries recalled their ambassadors from Iran in a gesture of indignation and protest against Rushdie's death sentence, but when the Latin American writers were sentenced and executed the European countries did not recall their ambassadors. And the reason they were not recalled was because their ambassadors were busy selling arms to the murderers. In the Third World, death by bullets is a "natural" death.

From the standpoint of the great communications media that uncommunicate humanity, the Third World is peopled by third class inhabitants distinguishable from animals only by their ability to walk on two legs. Theirs are problems of nature not of history: hunger, pestilence, violence are in the natural order of things.


Post a Comment

<< Home