Links of the Week 02/22/2013

1. Let’s get rid of ethnic churches. [Chine Mbubaegbu]

Our society is becoming increasingly multicultural. But a multicultural Church isn’t just about political correctness. A multicultural, diverse Church is beautifully symbolic of the God whose very essence is unity.

The Church therefore should be the last place where, before entering, I put on the Cloak of Race and stand side by side with those sporting the same attire as me.

The Church should be the one place where the cloak matters least; where we stand together with one sole, unifying identity.

2. Django, in chains. [CNN Opinion]

Tarantino stated his goals and interpretation of the Oscar-nominated film’s impact: “I’ve always wanted to explore slavery … to give black American males a hero … and revenge. … I am responsible for people talking about slavery in America in a way they have not in 30 years.”

He went on, “Violence on slaves hasn’t been dealt with to the extent that I’ve dealt with it.”

“Django Unchained” is being projected on screens around the world, out of context: A slim percentage of consumers have any real understanding of what took place during slavery, one of history’s most prolonged, barbaric and celebrated human rights violations. Sadly, for many Americans, this film is the beginning and the end of that history lesson.

A big reason slavery is avoided in American storytelling is guilt. Unlike the Holocaust, when it comes to slavery, our people were the bad guys. But we’re not German, so we can rail on Hitler and the Nazis all day without thinking critically about our legacy.

For descendants of slaves, and all Americans, our ovens — the slave plantations — are tourist destinations and wedding venues, home to preservation societies and guided tours. The “good ole days,” when faceless black folks with zero potential were merely quiet, collateral damage.

America’s minimal comprehension of slavery combined with the kind of trivialization “Django” offers renders us ill-equipped to empathize with its victims. This is a chicken or the egg manipulation: “Do I know nothing about the complexity of slavery because it’s not that big a deal, or must it not be that big a deal because I’m only vaguely informed?”

3. Bongi Ngema Zuma:  I chose to be his fourth wife [BBC World News]

BBC interview with South African President Jacob Zuma’s fourth wife, Bongi Ngema Zuma. She is speaks about her foundation, and her marriage to Jacob Zuma.

4. The Oscar Pistorius File [Africa is a Country]

The South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius shooting and killing his girlfriend seems to be the only news out of that country these days. Nothing else seem to matter. Even Usain Bolt was asked his opinion during what seemed like an interview to promote a brand on CNN. Bolt declared himself “shocked.” Shocking. There’s also the ridiculous: Femi Fani Kayode, a former Nigerian government minister, —in a rambling Facebook post—blamed Steenkamp for her own murder. Pistorius, Kayode claimed, “was provoked into a murderous rage by his pretty little lover (who) played on his insecurities and inadequacies.” Steenkamp was a “creature from the sea” sent by the devil. Okay? Incidentally Kayode wasindicted for money laundering last week.