British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt condemned a violent attack by a Donald Trump supporter on a BBC cameraman at an El Paso, Texas, rally on Monday. Hunt linked the violence to a troubling surge in fatal assaults against journalists, whom he praised as the “invisible line between open and closed societies.”
A man wearing a red “Make America great again” cap was captured on video attacking BBC cameraman Ron Skeans at the rally before he was pulled off the journalist. Ironically, the MAGA violence erupted at a rally where Trump talked of improving safety in the nation.
“It is never acceptable when journalists and cameramen are attacked just for doing their job,” Hunt said Tuesday on Sky News. “There is a broader issue here, which is that last year 80 journalists were killed across the world just doing their job.” (Hunt addresses the incident in the video here at 8:33.)
“We are very worried about this because freedom of the press is the invisible line between open societies and closed societies. It’s very, very important that we protect the ability of journalists to do their jobs.”
Hunt added, in an apparent reference to America: “We have to make sure that it’s not acceptable anywhere in the world for journalists to be impeded from doing what they should do, which is to tell the public exactly what’s going on and hold power to account.”
Unlike Hunt, Trump frequently slams the press as the “enemy of the people.”
Last year Trump praised Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), who body-slammed a Guardian reporter after the journalist asked Gianforte a question about health care on the eve of his election victory. “Any guy who can do a body slam, he is my type,” Trump said in a speech at a Gianforte re-election rally last fall, triggering outraged criticism. “He’s a great guy, a tough cookie,” Trump added.
At his own campaign rally in 2016, Trump encouraged supporters to attack protesters. “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you?” he said. “Just knock the hell … I promise you I will pay for the legal fees.”
Gary O’Donoghue, the Washington correspondent for the British public service broadcaster, called the attack on Skeans “incredibly violent.” He complained that the “goading of the crowds against the media” is “a constant feature” of Trump’s rallies.
The White House News Photographers Association also condemned the attack. “Given that the president’s rhetoric about journalists is too often false and derogatory, we ask that he refrain from unnecessarily targeting journalists with his speech since such rhetoric may be inciting violent acts such as this one,” the association said in a statement.
|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|For so many years I have worked very hard and waited for my left hand to be right. I’m still working hard and waiting …
I admit. This is not my writing style at all – especially when reporting myself. But then here we go. Eisch!. I have decided I share with you some random snippets of my experience or non of it over the 20-plus odd years I have lived on this side of the pond; for I forever shall live in mortal fear of being misquoted or lack of it thereof; or worse still forgetfulness and forgettable. Non consequential or just as ‘SHIT HOLE’ as US President Trump’s characterization of Africa and its populations myself included.
You see! I have seen it all. From ‘dog-whispers’ to ‘bull-horns’ of racial slurs. Some deliberated, calculated and unleashed and the outcome assessed, and blatant and yet others random and ignorant. From people pretending they don’t understand my accent, and least still cannot spell my African surname even as it shows clearly on the identity badge laying on my lapel all the time, all written in English alphabet – and (‘by law’?). Wait! Aah! You name it. But jog on still.
But it still hates …
Take accents for example; and their names. Already cause anxiety and discomfort among and between some lot.
One time years back; just over one-year after September 11: my partner and I planned visiting with friends in New York. Our respective annual leave were generous – could take a good 4 weeks in the summer. We didn’t think much about itinerary or anything except booking the tickets online –lastminute.com and whacked email to our friend Monika – a Czech – American to let her duly know we were on our way and asked what we should bring her from London. Flight Tickets were cheap; £420 apiece return and all.
Except for me to be denied a visa DESPITE the fact I lived in America before. In Louisiana (Lousyana). Barton Rouge.
Despite I was the professionally fully employed between the two of us. As if it should have mattered.
Despite we had our own two bed room flat in North East London; Walthamstow . We bought it for £182.000.00. On mortgage of cause.
My bank statement at that time was very healthy. No reason to complain in this department … at that time at least.
Despite my manager John Pink at Community Volunteers (CSV) writing a passionate passion-able letter vouching for me; tax returns and payslips; bank statements; and the fact that I had not taken sick leave for all the 3 years I had been working with him. And that there was no reason whatsoever for me to get stranded or live off some American public freebies or on government recourse for that matter – we had enough savings in personal and joint account as it stood.
You name it. The whole shebang.
My application failed.
The ‘computer said no.’
Their Sentiment: “There was no sufficient evidence with my application to suggest I would want to return to the United Kingdom after my holiday in America.”
In their pitifully blinkered or myopic eyes on issues of human and social mobility, geography ie population movements and settlements; they had just done some non formulaic calculation; I wasn’t gonna come back to the UK – would go on a runner. ????
And they said my partner could still go ahead though and travel to visit with our friends as she was on a German passport. They made it sound we were very fortunate at least one of us could still be travelling. Dough!
No refund for airline tickets even as we informed the Airline two weeks in advance.
We took it in our synchronized stride and jogged on.
Images of ‘black men’ doing ‘black man bad man tings‘
Is it me? Every time I watch news on telly and there is some robbery or stabbing or even an accident that has taken place. I’m conditioned to quickly check if the aggressor, violent person at that were a black man or not. Simple demographic statistics. And praying … “Oh God Let It Be Not A Black Man This Time.” Of course there is disproportionate representation of blackman crime versuswhite man crime. The media do that everyday. I work there. Masochistic!
Look! As black men we are wired to self doubt; confess; self interrogate, and question our selves first before the other in any situation what ever situation; a bad one or a good one. We can be impressionable, callous, belligerent and gullible. Don’t speak out for fear of being labelled cocky or arrogant or both or self aggrandizing; therefore double-down on self-minimization and our lack of potential; assumed of course- trying to prove we can fit in while all the while dying of self-pity. The vulnerability.
I’m not a pub man but when I do do happen to go into one all sorts of things happen.
EXHIBIT 2 – Pub In Barcelona
Imagine the famous and memorable Gaudi Architecture; Las Ramblas and the Olympics village in Barcelona.
Las Ramblas Barcelona;
Las Ramblas is often the first landmark that most tourists identify with the city. It is the central most boulevard which cuts through the heart of the city centre and is a vibrant and lively promenade filled with Barcelona action at its best and sometimes the worst.
Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was a Catalan architect who is the best known practitioner of Catalan Modernism.
Gaudí’s works have a highly individualized, and one-of-a-kind style. Most are located in Barcelona, including his main work, the church of the Sagrada Família
Magnificent! We went up to Gaudi House’ by cable car; did little of nosing around and taking pictures. A cup of coffee. We were four of us; an English couple who had traveled with us from London; long time friends shall I say, and the two of us. My partner then heavily pregnant; irritable, irritating and all … as you can imagine. We all decided we needed a drink after the excursion up the Gaudi Hill. We headed into the next pub that came to sight by The Ramblers, except I thought I remain outside for a little-while to finish off my ‘fag’. I had just started smoking then, and drinking for that matter. And why not – that was pregnancy stress, anxiety and all.
I casually walked in the pub a little while later. Took a quick glance and spotted my little gang patched on a wide table by the corner.
Drinks ordered including my San Miguel. Happy days. Before I realized ; a notably smartly dressed gentleman whom I assumed to be a staffer walked up to me and accosted:
” PARRDONH! My ‘pathronh‘ patrons/customers are not pleased seeing you here.” he said.
“There is another nicer pub down the road,” he added helpfully of course.
Sheepishly and meekly as I always do in ‘these’ circumstances …; I smiled my normal broad smile showing only the white teeth and said something to the effect;
“Sorry. Thank you. Thank you so much. And God’s Blessings!”
What is that all for?
I believe BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS, BLACK BROTHERHOOD just as SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS has undesired consequences and outer-limits for thoughtful intercultural and interracial dialogue; and our common struggle against prejudice: religious, race, creed or OTHERWISE.
Or some pointless meaningless mumble of some sort.
This all happened in full glare of the Mexican and Brazilian dance troupe who stared at the scene in bewilderment, and bemused . World vision! Consequently my lot including the cacophony of the dance ensemble – wobbled out with some apologizing on ‘their behalf’ to me … which was bizarre but understandable for such brazen attack will not happen in the UK where I live; as I am still aware. I presume.
EXHIBIT 3 – Black on black crime and the language of self – hate and hurt.
I don’t know about you. I have decided the British Law of Etiquette & Decorum still works.
It doesn’t really matter what you are at and where are you at in life as long a you are not hurting or hating others, fair and fine.
More than three million displaced in Yemen – joint UN agency report
|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|SAUDI ARABIA faces international condemnation and censure for the apparent murder of its citizen at a Turkish Consulate in Istanbul in October; and its ongoing war in Yemen.
The United Kingdom and the US are working towards a joint resolution, and consequently a joint communique ending four-year conflict that has claimed millions of lives and made even more millions of peopled internally displaced.
Yemeni families are on the brink of famine. On top of forced displacement, hunger now looms across Yemen, leaving the lives of millions of children, women, and men at risk. UNHCR is working hard to provide displaced families with vital support like food, shelter and healthcare in their time of greatest need. But we cannot do it without you.
This is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis and it deserves critical attention. Your donation could help to provide displaced families with the essentials they need to survive: shelter, blankets, medical care and emergency assistance. UNHCR can make your gift reach the people most in need – fast. We are on the ground within 72 hours from an emergency helping families forced to flee. It is our job to protect and safeguard refugees’ rights and help rebuild their lives.
More than three million displaced in Yemen – joint UN agency report
A joint report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has found that the conflict in Yemen has resulted in the displacement of some 3,154,572 people, of which 2,205,102 remain displaced across the country and some 949,470 have attempted to return home.
“The crisis is forcing more and more people to leave their homes in search of safety,” Ita Schuette, UNHCR’s Deputy Representative in Yemen said in a news release on Friday, announcing the report.
The news release added that due to the escalating conflict and worsening humanitarian conditions, displacement across the country has seen an increase of about seven per cent since April, with 152,009 individuals fleeing from violence during this period.
The report, prepared by the Task Force on Population Movement, a technical working group led by the two agencies as part of the humanitarian response to the crisis in Yemen, also said that a significant number of those displaced are attempting to return home, a 24 per cent increase of some 184,491 individuals. However, it cautioned that movements remained fluid and correlated to moments of lulls or perceived improvements in the conflict.
“IDP returnees are considered to remain within the displacement cycle as long as they have not achieved a sustainable reintegration and their needs remain high, as is also the case for the non-displaced host community,” said Laurent De Boeck, IOM Chief of Mission to Yemen.
Mugabe may have gone, but the young Itai Dzamara, journalist cum human rights activist’s family is still picking up the pieces after his disappearance and are still demanding answers.
|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|You see! Sometimes you begin by reminiscing those pleasant moments and occasions visiting friends and relatives in the villages. Often around Christmas festive season – when families and extended families gather for annual reunions. They would travel all the way from across Zimbabwe boundaries.
Myself. Not even a journalist then; barely through high school. Things were dandy. Happy days.
Itai Dzamara, 35, is Sheffra’s husband and Nokutenda and Nenyasha’s father. He was abducted three years ago today. He was getting a haircut on a Monday morning when four men bundled him into an unmarked vehicle and sped off. Itai’s whereabouts and the identities of those behind his kidnapping have remained unknown ever since. “Every day I think that I’ll hear him coming through the gate,” continues Sheffra. “I think maybe I’ll see him on the news, or someone will send me a WhatsApp. These days my phone is always on, ready to receive news that Itai has been found. Maybe someone will phone, and he’ll be on the other end, or someone will give us information about where he is or tell us he’s on his way back. It’s hard to live like this, every day waiting to hear good news.”
The season. Culminating into Christmas festivities; people celebrate and reflect the successes and failures of the year gone or going by, by way of feasts and prayers.
Bulls, goats, chickens, pigs and sheep or all of them and sometimes at once are slaughtered. This is ‘MEAT-CURE‘ Season at its best and for a REASON. People joke about this and say you can only come across vegetables at your next door neighbor’s – around this time.
People eat; drink, talk, sing and dance.
Little harmless verbal fights. Little harmless white lies here and there. Catching up and harmless gossip are in order. There are also sideline activities; plots: engagements or and birthdays.
People constantly talk and hardly sleep; sometimes music blurring uncontrollably and catatonic-ally on ‘fading and dying batteries’ throughout the night – and to be honest; this exhausts me a lot though.
There are no open quarrels except if they are, they are communicated via hidden messages in songs and folktale, proverbs and metaphors. Communication is delicate, deliberate as it is loose due to alcohol consumed and weed smoked – necessary tasks given the circumstances. This is one of the things so dear to me that I have missed for over – 20 -odd- years and counting. The thought of it alone sends my head into a spindle.
And often wonder allowed as to when I would one day visit the motherland Zimbabwe. I scratch my head often – only for my bare fingers to scratch over a bump, ‘dent on the middle of my head’ – a stuck reminder of how close I came close quarters with death. This dent on my head: left by a cocoa-cola bottle struck from one of Mr. Mugabe CIO agents. Challenging my lectures and my views on a current affairs programme I used to co-present on ZTV; Sundays.
On the Zimbabwe Television program. It was a Sunday evening current affairs program. I just happened to have been co opted onto presenting the program by the Head of Radio 4; Sam Munyavi. The editorial content comprised of simple question and answer sessions and general dialogue.
One fateful day though I drew the ire of the then minister of Environment and Tourism Francis Nhema. I queried the minister on the inflated fees for foreign tourists; that included ‘tourist price’ for things like transport, shopping and meals. I pointed out:
I had lived in Kenya in the previous years; had seen how Kenya promoted tourism, including nominal fees and such
Foreign tourists are arriving in droves simply because of President Chiluba’s land and business policy: “I don’t care whether a cat is black or white for as long as it catches the rats”
And that South Africa had embarked on amicable and equitable redistribution of the land
And that Nigeria had just offered Zimbabwean white commercial farmers land leases that span 90 – years if they chose to settle in Nigeria.
That query alone landed me the nickname: Mr. ‘Been-to’ although I would have rather Mr. Bantu.
It has taken me this long to face and accept the reality of my British-ness; and for Zimbabwe to remain a pipe- dream destination; probably as it should be.
In the beginning it used to get to my head and my dreams too.
I reminisce weekends of barbecues/braai KWA MEREKI – HARARE. Fake birthday parties from and among friends to attend to – excuses for PARTIES and having fun. That was grand.
But when mum went to be with the Lord on July, and realised still I couldn’t travel to Zimbabwe for the funeral – for the danger is still as real now as it was under Dictator Robert Mugabe. Imagine!
My beloved aunt remarked recently: “By the time you visit Zimbabwe all the people would be gone. Dead!. That scared me. For it is the stuck reality.
It doesn’t get any better. Thinking of my former graduate journalism student cum human rights activist Itai Dzamara who disappeared into ‘thin air’ from some hair salon downtown Harare; and in broad daylight.
He was abducted three years ago. He was getting a haircut one Monday morning in March 2016 when four men bundled him into an unmarked vehicle and sped off. Itai’s whereabouts and the identities of those behind his kidnapping have remained unknown ever since.
Rumors has it that he was ‘murdered’, his body soaked in sulfuric acid and dumped in Lake Chivero/McIlwaine – 5 miles west of capital Harare.
“Every day I think that I’ll hear him coming through the gate,” says Sheffra, his wife.
“I think maybe I’ll see him on the news, or someone will send me a WhatsApp. These days my phone is always on, ready to receive news that Itai has been found. Maybe someone will phone, and he’ll be on the other end, or someone will give us information about where he is or tell us he’s on his way back.
It’s hard to live like this, every day waiting to hear good news.”
And then there is the fateful Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi
A Saudi Arabian journalist, dissident, author, and a former general manager and editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel and Columnist for Washington Post who was assassinated at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018 by agents of the Saudi.
The CIA has a recording of a phonecall in which Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave instructions to “silence Jamal Khashoggi as soon as possible”, a Turkish news website has reported. Gina Haspel, CIA director, is said to have revealed the existence of a wiretapped call between Prince Mohammed and his brother Khaled bin Salman, who is Saudi’s ambassador to the US, to Turkish officials during a visit to Ankara last month, according to Hurriyet. “It is said that the crown prince gave an instruction to silence JamalKhashoggi as soon as possible and this instruction was captured during the CIA wiretapping,” Hurriyet columnist Abdulkadir Selvi wrote on Thursday. “The subsequent murder is the ultimate confirmation of this instruction.”
It sends shivers through my spine. My head goes into an ‘intoxicated’ like dangerous spin. Imagine a journalist; one so prominent at that; can be murdered in a Turkish consulate and nobody knows how it happened; and no knowledge of the whereabouts of his body so family can lay him to rest with respect.
And for President Trump to say ;
“Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Trump said. “In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region. It is our paramount goal to fully eliminate the threat of terrorism throughout the world!”
And for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to say:
“It’s a mean, nasty world out there — the Middle East in particular,” Pompeo told reporters at the State Department. “There are important American interests to keep the American people safe, to protect Americans — not only Americans who are here, but Americans who are traveling and working, doing business in the Middle East. It is the president’s obligation, indeed the State Department’s duty as well, to ensure that we adopt policies that further America’s national security.”
All in front of a ‘dead body.’
Shame! It is a shame.
Shall we ever live in fear for as long as we remain trained and practising journalists?
From: The U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia (if we had one.)
Subject: Saudi crown prince visit
Mr. President, in advance of the visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a.k.a. M.B.S., I want to share some thoughts:
It’s only a matter of time before King Salman turns over the reins of power to M.B.S., who’s already the effective ruler. M.B.S. is not a democrat, nor is he interested in promoting democracy. He’s a modernizing autocrat. The most we can expect from him is the modernization of Saudi Arabia’s economy and religious/social structure, but given how badly the country has stagnated from years of tentative reforms, this is deeply significant.
M.B.S. is definitely bold. I can think of no one else in the ruling family who would have put in place the profound social, religious and economic reforms that he’s dared to do — and all at once. But I can also think of no one in that family who’d have undertaken the bullying foreign policy initiatives, domestic power plays and excessive personal buying sprees he’s dared to do, all at once. They are two halves of the same M.B.S. package. Our job: help curb his bad impulses and nurture his good ones.
His potential is vast. M.B.S. is trying to forge a societal transformation in Saudi Arabia. Call it “one country, two systems.” For those who want piety, the mosque, Mecca and Islamic education, they’ll all be available and respected. But for those who want modern education and a more normal social life between men and women — and access to Western film, music and the arts — those too will be available and respected. No more religious domination. That is huge.
Thomas L. Friedman became the paper’s foreign affairs Op-Ed columnist in 1995. He joined the paper in 1981, after which he served as the Beirut bureau chief in 1982, Jerusalem bureau chief in 1984, and then in Washington as the diplomatic correspondent in 1989, and later the White House correspondent and economic correspondent.