A splendid celebration of soccer on a sinking ship.
A splendid celebration of soccer on a sinking ship. Photo by Getty Images
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Africa is the soap with which the West cleanses its hands, still dirty from its past.

Anyone with eyes in his head should see that liberation from the burden of colonialism has not done wonders for Africa. Fact: Africa after the colonial era is a sunken, lost continent. Though during the colonial era the white powers plundered it, murdered its inhabitants and took them as slaves, today the rulers who have arisen in their place are doing the same things in the name of liberty and nationalism - along with international economic powers, which don't call themselves "colonial" because they have learned this is not a nice word.

Genocide in Rwanda, and after that in Darfur in Sudan, are only extreme examples of how, for murderous racism to exist, it need not necessarily be called by a specific name like colonialism. Moreover, what remains alive in spite of the prevailing human cruelty in Africa is killed by diseases, such as AIDS and malaria. And drought and famine. For all of that, says the Western world, we are really not to blame.

An African's dream is to live anywhere except in Africa, and, as poet Charles Baudelaire said, he is prepared for this to be "anywhere out of this world," as proven by the black corpses that wash up now and then on the European shores of the Mediterranean Sea. These were people who preferred to die rather than continue living in Africa.

Africa has sunk, like the legendary Atlantis. However, from time to time, its prow peeks out above the seas. The World Cup tournament opening today in South Africa is the tip of such a prow. It encourages Africa and says to it: Look, if you make an effort, you have a chance of lifting your head above water.

Like all the other ostentatious and symbolic things from which, the international community is convinced, salvation for the misery of the world will come - the World Cup too is a glittering illusion. The election of Barack Obama as president of the United States, for example: Since he took office, have those trying to escape from Africa become any fewer in number? And has the cruelty of those who do not want Africans in their midst become any less?

This is because racism does not need the label "apartheid" in order to exist. After the fall of the apartheid regime in South Africa, some of the countries of the world realized that to continue to act in a racist way, they had to appear officially not to be like apartheid countries, and thus were able to circumvent the dry letter of international law. The most wicked of the countries have understood the method the West has for punishing or granting citations of merit to the various and sundry regions of the world where they obey it or do not obey it.

South Africa was, as noted, "a bad girl," and for a long time stood in the corner, chagrined, because of apartheid. Today it is considered to have mended its evil ways. Iran is the "bad girl" today. And China is forgiven, though it is not clear why, for the Tibetan apartheid.

In America and Europe there is a kind of apartheid, or segregation, between those who have money and the inferior race of people who don't have a cent. Those who belong to the latter race cannot ride the subway in even the most enlightened of countries.

Thus, there are indicators of apartheid everywhere there is a state. Perhaps, though, these are not identical per se in their rules and laws to those of South African apartheid, which is considered the ultimate satanic model of racial separation. Therefore the world does not punish every instance of apartheid because, according to its punishment rulebook, it may not have reached that apartheid's level of evil.

Therefore, the world that is called enlightened proves the extent to which it is the prisoner of racist patterns. It cannot tolerate in any way, and will punish severely, the white man who discriminates against the black. It is far less appalled by discrimination against a black person by a black person, or a dark brown one. It is even less appalled by discrimination against a dark brown person by a light brown person. And so on and so forth down the scale of abhorrence. At its bottom are kinds of apartheid that are no less horrific, but simply do not have a specific color. For example, there is the apartheid in corrupt states between those who belong to the handful of families that enjoy the benefits of power, and those who do not.

According to the official index, then, South Africa today is a country free of racism and happy. Good for it. And it has been awarded the World Cup. Hurrah. The world's imagination has always been tickled by splendid celebrations on the prows of sinking ships. At the end of this celebration the blue sea of misery will once again cover everything.