Unless you’re plugged into the feeds of international news organizations or you get your news directly from the Wikileaks site, you wouldn’t know that many of the Wikileaks cables delve deeply into issues which impact the continent of Africa and other brown and black countries. You wouldn’t know because the brown and black mouthpieces responsible for connecting the dots have been – by in large, well…silent.
In the last few weeks, we’ve learned that the cables reveal that the Saudi government believes that Hezbollah is setting up bases in Africa and that China is operating on the continent in partnership with ‘unsavory’ regimes. No surprises here. Africa has become a veritable wasteland to an array of world leaders for whom the road to economic dominance meanders through Africa’s limitless pool of slave labor and mineral-rich resources.
It is also no surprise that, as usual, the global community doesn’t give a rat’s behind about the plight of the dark continent or its inhabitants. For the most part, establishment journalists have gone on the hunt for Wikileaks founder Assange in lockstep with the governments that he offended by leaking the official diplomatic cables. Instead of directing their critical voice at the corrupt governments who lie, steal, and break both national and international laws, pseudo-journalists have their crossairs aimed at Assange. Mixed in with the meshing of pretend journalists and administration officials, however, is the deafening silence of African American leadership (if such a thing still exists) on the Wikileaks revelations on Africa.
Rev. Jesse Jackson said that the release of some decades old cables in which Mandela’s attorneys expressed concerns that Jackson was working too closely with the South African government to secure Mandela’s release unearthed painful memories (Note: Mandela’s attorneys were probably right). Here we are in the midst of what may be the largest dump of raw government information in American history and our default civil rights leader is worried about his emotions, further undergirding the false narrative pushed by the establishment media that the Wikileaks releases are merely gossip. Move on folks…nothing to see here.
In order for the life’s blood of truth to pump through the veins of a fully functioning democracy, the organism’s fitness must be maintained by a steady intake of information revealed which can only be revealed through investigative journalism. And actions must taken by active dissident factions to follow up on those revelations. These dual functions are necessary to enrich truth. In America, we have neither. Flatline.
Those who are coming to the defense of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange are not the familiar copycats who boldly go where every rebel has gone before. They are not rioting in the streets, risking having their brains splattered on the concrete, or peacefully marching arm in arm as a show of civil disobedience. They are hackers.
At a gathering of hackers in Germany for the annual Chaos Computer Club (CCC) meeting, the group reiterated their core beliefs: “All information should be free. Mistrust authority. Computers can be used to create art, beauty and help transform life for the better. Access to computers, and to information that shows how the world functions, should be limitless and complete.” As we speak, hackers are mirroring the Wikileaks site and working to build new alternatives such as Openleaks, a project started by former CCC attendee and Wikileaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg.
Unlike the relics of the civil rights era, hackers are doing more than just going on the record about Wikileaks. They are actively preparing for a new generation of struggle and oppression. Whether we agree or disagree with their methods, we must acknowledge that hackers recognize the chaos afoot and are plotting a new way forward. Increasingly, we must examine the ever apparent reality that people like Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton, who appear on cable news shows only to tell us what we already know and leverage their own financial interests, are relics of days long gone. They are not only expendable, but detrimental to the causes for which we care about so deeply.
We’ve seen Jackson and his cadre jettison off to South Africa and to a variety of other locations as surrogate diplomats for the U.S. government. But whatever happened to standing up to – not on behalf of – government? Well, it still happens. It’s happening now. If you don’t smell revolution in the air, it’s probably because you’re sniffing around in dead grass. The revolution will not be televised, probably won’t be tweeted, and most certainly won’t be instigated by the sames names and faces which we relate to the 1960′s Civil Rights movement. It’s time to move on.
Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill Staffer turned political blogger. She currently publishes two blogs, Spatterblog.com and GoGirlGuide.com.