In the wake of the enormous media coverage of the uprisings and so-defined “revolutions” in North Africa and the Middle East, I am hard pressed to find any media coverage of the escalating atrocities and impending civil war in Cote d’Ivoire. The “blackout” of this media coverage I am referring to is not within the mainstream media… which is understandable… it’s within the AfroSphere itself. One can read more on Chris Brown… even on Charlie Sheen… on blogs, news sites and webzines within the Black/African blogosphere, than on Cote d’Ivoire. 

The sad thing about this is that in this age of the power of social media within the creation of communities of interest, the recent histories of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Kenya are being repeated today in Cote d’Ivoire (here)… and we don’t care. It’s an indictment on all of us, from President Obama… “a son of Africa”… to those of African descent within the continent, the Diaspora and the AfroSphere. We do nothing, then we get pissed and question the motives and sincerity of the Bono’s, George Clooney’s and Mia Farrow’s of the (white) world when they take up the causes of African people. 

In saying all this however, I must acknowledge and give props to Patrick-Bernard at Cry Me An Onion for his post “The Ivory Coast Saga” in December 2010. He is one of a handful within the AfroSphere with a global perspective and understanding on the importance and significance of these issues on those of African descent regardless of where we reside. 

Henceforth, the first step to do something… anything… about this is awareness. Below are some resources on Cote d’Ivoire that bring knowledge and perspective to what is happening there now:

  1. Aljazeera: An Ivorian Miracle?
  2. Crossed Crocodiles: Ivory Coast – What Happened? What Next? (excellent background and references on current situation)
  3. The African Executive: The Ivory Coast: Unlocking the Impasse
  4. Pambazuka News: Cote d’Ivoire: Forces behind the crisis and what’s at stake

Post something on your blog or webzine to bring attention to this crisis. Hundreds have been and thousands will be massacred. Atrocities such as mass murders and rapes, other crimes against humanity including genocide is forthcoming. Obama and the European allies argued that they had to intervene in Lybia to prevent a humanitarian crisis… what about Cote d’Ivoire?

Enlighten those during discussions about the so-called “Jasmine Revolutions” as well as debates surrounding military intervention in Lybia, about the fight for democracy and the current humanitarian crisis in Cote d’Ivoire. This should be our primary concern.  

The mainstream media may ignore the plight of the people in Cote d’Ivoire… that’s expected… our blackout of this event… is self-imposed. The guilt will be ours.