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Why America Needs Foreign Correspondents

Your media is blind. You need an outside eye

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The Minister Of Education by Kudzanai Chiurai

eople ask why I write about America. Why do Americans write about Sri Lanka? Just consider me your faithful foreign correspondent.

One cannot see that their own fly is open. You need an outside eye. In this case, America, you have no pants, you’re screaming, and you’re covered in blood. Put down the steroids and walk away from the nukes.

Let me help you with a few simple words. You use these words on other countries all the time. They now apply to you:

Corruption. Concentration Camps. Collapse. Nepotism. Racism. Election Rigging. Abduction. Torture. Brutal Repression.Crimes Against Humanity. Forced Sterilizations. Fascism.

American media comfortably uses this language for the abroad, often accurately. These words condense many details into the general horror that they are. The same media, however, gets all mealy-mouthed at home. It honestly gets absurd.

The same NYTimes that brought you ‘enhanced interrogation’, is now calling vaginal mutilation ‘invasive gynecology procedures’. We are talking about knives cutting the genitals of captive migrant women. How they dress up the monstrous in words, and take it to tea.

The truth is that America runs concentration camps. America does forced sterilizations. These atrocities are all out in the open, only hidden under the ponderous bias of your own media. They don’t even lie about it, they just censor by synonym. They have flooded the zone with noise.

This is why you need an outside perspective to be like, ‘uh, no, sterilizing and mutilating women is a crime against humanity.’ You truly cannot see yourselves because you are yourselves. America needs foreign correspondents for you have become foreign unto yourselves.

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We Live in Silence XII, 2017 by Kudzanai Chiurai

Set Up A Foreign Bureau

American media corporations should set up foreign bureaus. In America. These need to be staffed with journalists from the Dirty South who will cover you like the foreign country you are. Honestly, you could even bring over random cab drivers and be better informed.

The NYTimes should hire Senegalese and set them up in Washington DC. They can ask their Senegalese friends for tips and meet a few people. They can spend a weekend in Minnesota, talking to the natives. For background, they can read a book on the plane, written by a Ghanaian who visited once.

MSNBC should have talking heads from South Korea analyze the upcoming election and provide political expertise. It’s better if they don’t speak English at all. They can just state the obvious truth, which is visible to anyone with eyes.

Election Rigging

For example, your election is rigged. Your government broke your own Post Office, and they did it in plain sight. They literally ripped post boxes off the street, all over the country. They dismantled machines. You don’t need to speak English to understand this. Anybody can see a hole in the ground.

Republicans are sabotaging the postal vote, removing polling stations, and charging people money to vote, but this gets reported in the US press as a bunch of isolated events and buried in the news cycle. American commentators, who should connect the dots, are like ‘this cannot be exactly what it looks like, because America’.

Meanwhile your Senegalese correspondent, who is mainly trying to find some fucking seasoning for their food, would be like, wait a minute, they crippled the entire Post Office? They’d immediately file a headline about major election rigging and it would be true. Then they’d keep repeating the general, obvious fact, in every report. The American government is rigging an election.

This is why you need an ignorant, hungry Senegalese on a deadline. To just skip the bullshit noise and tell you the obvious truth, as if it’s happening in another country. Your election is being rigged.

Corruption

Now let’s talk corruption. America is obviously corrupt, but it’s never reported that way, and it should be. I mean, please just think about this for a minute:

Money just walks into a hotel with THE PRESIDENT’S NAME ON IT. In most places ‘revolving door’ is a metaphor but, no, in America IT’S LITERALLY A DOOR. Lobbyists or foreign agents can just walk across the street from the White House and pay money under a sign that says TRUMP. He also funnels government money through properties bearing his name. I’m yelling but IT’S A BOX OF CORRUPTION THAT SAYS TRUMP ON THE TIN. C’mon reporters, this has a friggin’ bow on it.

Other dictators — with their complicated shell companies and lackeys — are looking at American corruption like ‘whoa, swag.’

Meanwhile the American media covers this as just another unusual thing among many unusual things and maybe someone should investigate? This is stupid. We have a simple word for this. The word of the day is corrupt. Just use the word for the thing it is. Append it to his name like a dishonorary degree. Be lazy, use it in every report. “Corrupt President goes golfing at his corrupt golf club”. There’s power in repetition, you use it on third world despots all the time.

Then his son-in-law. Please, this is an easy one. In other countries the family never touches money directly. This is one of the Ten Corrupt Commandments, but American despots truly do not give a fuck. Trump’s son-in-law gives out multi-million dollar PPE contracts over WhatsApp and goes on TV about it. And the American media covers it up. Not with lies. They report on it so much but with so little connection that the bigger story gets buried in noise.

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We Live in Silence IX by Kudzanai Chiurai

Let me clear it up for you. THIS IS JUST CORRUPTION. Imagine an African doing it, wearing cheetah print, does that help? It’s the same action, just taken by your people. I would say this is new, but it’s not, white people are the most corrupt in the world, they just launder it the best. The word ‘corrupt’ is reserved for the ghetto fabulous, but it shouldn’t be. It is what it is.

If you had a foreign correspondent, they would just keep repeating the big story of government corruption with new details attached, not the other way around. You’re missing the forest for the trees.

If a Sri Lankan was covering this story they would just drink at the Trump Hotel, publish CORRUPT PRESIDENT AND CORRUPT SON-IN-LAW DO CORRUPT THINGS AGAIN and fall asleep. And this would be correct.

Instead, American media reports this as norms being violated, over and over again. I mean, I guess this is technically true. Someone wearing human skin does violate norms, but the problem isn’t really fashion norms, is it? That’s a serial killer.

Trump isn’t ‘violating norms’. He’s wildly corrupt. That’s the story, not each individual instance of corruption. American media is like , ‘area man wearing more human skin today, something seems fishy’. FFS, there’s a serial killer on the loose!

Just call the President corrupt, and always call the President corrupt, even if you’re reporting on his golf game. Be like a foreign correspondent. You need to conserve your big words for blathering around the hotel pool.

Since this perspective seems impossible for Americans, just get a foreign correspondent to do it for you. We can also drink and talk shit.

Should I go on?

Look, I could go on. On almost every issue your press is covering the facts and completely missing the truth. Your reporters are trying to get Trump to say that he’s a white supremacist. Fucking why? He’s doing white supremacy. Just call him what he is and move on.

American media also trusts government sources to an extent that they would never do in any other country. The NYTimes says they didn’t find evidence of mass sterilizations because ICE told them so. Do they follow this standard in China? Lol no. These people simply shouldn’t be covering themselves, because they can’t do it with any integrity, or even common sense.

America needs perspective, because your journalists aren’t even using obvious words correctly. This is why you need foreign correspondents.

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We Live in Silence XVI by Kudzanai Chiurai

But… no

Unfortunately, no. No one in their right mind is coming to America now. The place is a total shithole. You could interview African leaders without worrying that they’d personally give you Ebola. Not in America. The White House is a superspreader of COVID-19. There’s no amount of hazard pay that makes this worthwhile, and no one in this strange country even washes their butts.

But we can cover you from abroad. So look out for other perspectives. And reorient yourself, to a world where America is just another country. Does your country not feel foreign to you now? Start thinking that way; suddenly the words will fit the scene.

How would you view a place where people are getting tear-gassed and beaten in the street? That’s what we call repression. How would you view a government that rips babies from mother’s breasts? That’s what we call crimes against humanity. What do you call a society where a thousand people are killed every day? We call that collapse.

We have words for these things, you know. Your media uses them on other countries. Now that foreign country is you.

Written by

A writer living in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He/him. indi@indi.ca

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