The White Man, Mailer writes, had been taking a daily drubbing over the last thirty years. For better or worse, the women's movement has had its breakthrough successes and the old, easy white male ego has withered in the glare. Even the consolation of rooting for his team on TV had been skewed. For many, there was now measurably less reward in watching sports than there used to be, a clear and declarable loss. The great white stars of yesteryear were for the most part gone, gone in football, in basketball, in boxing, and half gone in baseball. Black genius now prevailed in all these sports (and the Hispanics were coming up fast; even the Asians were beginning to make their mark). We white men were now left with half of tennis (at least its male half), and might also point to ice hockey, skiing, soccer, golf (with the notable exception of the Tiger), as well as lacrosse, track, swimming, and the World Wrestling Federation-remnants of a once great and glorious white athletic centrality.
This article in Salon by Laura McClure highlights the chaos of the Democratic Republic of Congo. "More than 3.3 million lives lost in five years, and more civilian deaths in one week than in the Iraqi war to date."
Who benefits from the gold, diamonds and the minerals mined there? The high-tech industry. Why doesn't the US, so concerned about human rights abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan, intervene?
From the Salon article:
"The history of the Congo -- richer in mineral resources than any other country in Africa -- is one of bloody exploitation. Gold, diamonds, rubber and ivory have flowed to Europe and the Americas for a century from the area known first as the Belgian Congo, then as Zaire, under the West-backed regime of Mobutu Sese Seko from 1965 to 1997. The present conflict started in 1998, after Laurent Kabila took power, renaming the country again as the Democratic Republic of Congo. "
Macheted infants and the rape of young girls are commonplace.
One other reason the US isn't stepping up is that the two countries that are raping the Congo, Uganda and Rwanda, are allies of the US.
"Coltan, a combination of minerals found in abundance in the Congo, is regularly used in the making of cellphones and laptops and can sell for up to $100 a pound -- one-tenth of what the Congolese who dig it up are paid. But as yet there is no public outrage over "conflict coltan," and Gondola blames the news media and Microsoft for the lack of attention paid. "If there were a democratic government in the Congo, if the country owned all the resources, the price would go up," he says. "Microsoft doesn't want that, Bush doesn't want that. So nothing will change. The bottom line is always money." The humanitarian atrocities in Liberia, Sudan and Zimbabwe are nowhere near the scale of those in the Congo, but those are the wars it appears Bush wants to fight. "
Another reason: the people dying are black Africans.