The Greater Fool

This shouldn't bother me; its just a throw-away line mostly ancillary to the larger point the author is attempting to make: 

"Walking through the Olympic Village the other day, here’s what struck me most: the Russian team all looks Russian; the African team all looks African; the Chinese team all looks Chinese; and the American team looks like all of them."

So says New York Times globalism columnist, Tom Friedman.  You see my problem, right?

"The African team all looks African" - just what team is he referring to here?  Teams at the Olympics are by country and my map has not a country called 'Africa'.  It has a very beautiful continent with that name, but try as I might, I cannot see the country to which he refers.

But isn't this was outsiders in general and white people in particular have always done?  It is interesting that the one place they actually concede the invisibility of political borders is when it comes to Africa.  Mention some small Georgian republic and white folks are up and arms about just where South Ossetia belongs, but they day in and day out express a disregard for whether or not Kenya, Ethiopia or Morocco exist as separate nations.

As I said before, this is nothing new - and in the whole scheme of things I should probably ignore this remark.

And yet, I can't.

Because there is a larger context here: what if there was a United Republic of Afrika?  The UAR could be a mighty force amongst the nations of the world and powerful enough to prevent the corporate looting of the natural resources of the first continent.  The UAR could be strong enough to protect its citizens and project a positive image of Afrikan ability across the world.

Perhaps Mr. Friedman has - accidentally, of course - provided us with a road map on how to make the 21st century an Afrikan century.

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