Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A Distant Grief, part I

As promised, I just posted an excerpt from Kefa Sempangi's book A Distant Grief. However, there are so many good sections, I decided to do several in a yet-to-be-determined number of installments. Unfortunately, the installments will also be rather long, so I've decided to post them on My Bookshelf, and to give little teasers here.

Part I, the Preface:
It was October, 1972 and I was lecturing in art history at Makerere University in Uganda. Uganda, once described by Winston Churchill as “the Pearl of Africa,” was celebrating its tenth anniversary since independence – in blood. While the western world dismissed stories of genocide as wild exaggerations, Idi Amin had systematically exterminated 90,000 people in three months. In a few short years Uganda’s death toll would stand at over 300,000 and all hope for rescue would be dead. The New York Times would report:

Nearly 30 years after the foundation of the United Nations, there is still no mechanism to protect citizens from the arbitrary madness of governments; mass murder in Uganda and elsewhere remains, for the United Nations and the United States government, a distant grief at best.

Read the rest here, pretty, pretty please!

1 comment:

Christian said...

Wow. Ok, so I definitely need to get this book (I just emailed Marilyn the link on Amazon as a birthday request...do you know if the bookstore has these?)