By William Markiewicz
A while ago I saw on a Canadian TV channel an interview about Bosnia with some big shot, a top American politician, who was asked 'Why shouldn't those ethnic groups separate if they want to?' He answered pompously, "Because they have to learn how to live together like everybody else does!" I thought, 'You pretentious ignoramus -- have you tried it yourself?' Now in the African Lakes region they are ordered to live together, especially when they are dead.
As a matter of fact, peoples don't live together but separately. Looking at all the old countries in Europe for example, we see that the most peaceful ones are the homogeneous ones and there are plenty of them. As we know, Albania is populated mostly by Albanians, Finland by Finns, etc. and we don't hear of any bloodshed and 'reconciliations' there. Big cities are cosmopolitan everywhere but big cities are not the true sample of a people. The majority still lives in smaller more homogenous agglomerations, and very pacifically in general. Of course I don't say how it should be, only how it is whether we like it or not. Usually we neither like nor dislike, we just take it for granted.
Yes, America is different. America is a country of immigrants who merged into communities. America is not a people, it is a nation of communities. In Europe, Italians are a people, in the U.S. a community, etc., etc. Those communities share the same common language -- English in general -- common economic conditions. They are definitely one nation but not one people, not yet anyway. It will be many centuries before all those communities melt into a people with a homogenous culture as you find on the older continents. And in the meantime America shouldn't try to be a model for those who have left this process behind, who have deep roots in their land and an old shared culture and history deeply rooted in them.
The present African Great Lakes states are an artificial product of European colonialism which totally ignored the ethnic fabric and put together ethnies who should never have been forced to live together. How many Tutsis paid with their life for this we will never know, probably more than a million. And the bloody game is not over because blood brings blood. As the political status quo everywhere is more important than human conditions, we will stubbornly continue to push people toward "unity and reconciliation" until either the stronger survives or, in the best of cases, the sore will last forever.