Friday, April 19, 2024 -
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Mugabe: Crime is colorblind

So perfectly, so sadly, so repugnantly, did Nicholas Kristof put it in the New York Times: If Robert Mugabe, leader of Zimbabwe, were white, he would have been pressured out of office long ago — if not killed. But because he is black, his crimes are tolerated. His crimes are many and severe, indeed.

In a phrase, he has ruined a country. He has summarily booted white owners off their land, destroyed the land’s ability to produce food, not to mention murdered or disfigured his political opponents. Disfigured isn’t even the word. What is the word, actually, for chopping off a person’s hand and both of her legs? We don’t know. But this is a typical tactic of Mugabe and his thugs.

It is all tolerated because a very different Mugabe, long, long ago, took Rhodesia, a racist state, and turned it into a state that respected all races. As we say: long, long ago. Now, in Kristof’s memorable words, Mugabe has committed crimes far worse than those of Ian Smith in the worst days of apartheid in South Africa. Yet, the world says little and does less.

We regret that we must state this truism: a crime is a crime, whether the criminal is black or white or any other race. Crime is colorblind. Mugabe is a criminal.

Speaking of the world’s indifference, the silence at the UN is deafening. For checkpoints in the West Bank, which, under the worst possible reading, are an unjustified and gross inconvenience, the Security Council is ready with an imbalanced, anti-Israel resolution. But for the death of an entire country — Zimbabwe — the UN has nothing to say.

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