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BEASTLINESS

‘…hardly any Jews!’, The Matabele Campaign 1896,
Colonel R.S.S. Baden-Powell, Methuen, London, 1897


The British in Africa seem always

to have verged on the comical. There was

BP chasing a Matabele girl

through bush. He was ahorse, she on foot.

In tranquillity, he sketched the scene – the girl

bare-footed and -breasted, himself at a

gallop – for publication. She escaped –

but Rhodesia was made safe for Cecil,

the continent for Aids and exploitation.

Jingoist, philistine, racist and snob,

was BP conditioned or conditioning?

The darkness at the heart of Africa

is white man’s metaphor.

© Copyright David Selzer
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1 Response
  • John Chapman
    November 3, 2010

    The white man, still supreme, joined now by the black gangs and ‘rabble armies’ which exploit the people still to profit from the geology – whilst the black man rapes his own and plagues spread unmolested. Still the gun is king and money its mentor.

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