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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Black Lives Don’t Matter In Laikipia Conservancies

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Black lives matter is the new form of synergism that is taking the world by storm. It started in the United States Of America ,when a rogue cop squeezed out life from a man of color. His name is Floyd. The deceased had already surrendered.

As key to the economic empowerment of pastoralist peoples, the colonial forces that exist within the conservation sector frequently allude to “alternative livelihoods.”

But this flimsy window dressing hardly conceals the fraud inside.

Conservation interests have built a cauldron. The extremely wealthy pour out astonishing sums of money to subvert systems, grab land, and plunder resources.

Whiteness Mentality

White skin is a mentality. It dictates that indigenous-occupied land is terra nullius (no one’s land). Thus accessible for invasion, acquisition, or development by imperialistic white individuals.

This word came from the British settlement of Australia.It did not accept the interests of the First Nations that followed them for nearly 200 years.

This very scary problem of restricted land access faced by pastoralists, and indigenous peoples in laikipia, has often resulted in violent conflict over resources. Regrettably,leading to loss of life and property, most notably livestock.

Simplistic Approach

Typical responses to such conflicts are flash point state violence. Besides vilification of affected communities as “bandits” or “raiders.” Hence accompanied by legal punishment for their “rudeness” or “ethnic intolerance” by their leaders or legislators.

This oversimplified stance on this issue speaks loudly of the ”elites”. Intellectual brassiness is applied to the conservation of natural resources.

So, what is the real essence of this phenomenon that defies our attempts to handle its negative impacts so consistently? Firstly, the only reason this problem seems so intractable is our society’s inability to recognize or identify it.

We confront symptoms of this profound dysfunction, called settler colonialism. Instead of firmly dealing with the particulars that enrage us so intensely.

Mere acknowledgements like ”indigenous people” fool pastoralists. Which accurately defines the celebration inside a colonial system. Forced to operate within the conservancy are maasai beadwork, dances and traditional garb.

Except if, in this scheme, pastoralists are not allowed to practice livestock production. More so, under the systems imposed by a conservation or conservation NGO.

Alternative Livelihoods Fraud

As key to the economic empowerment of pastoralist groups, the imperial forces in the conservation sector also allude to “alternative livelihoods,” such as tourism and beadwork.

However this vague display of ignorance hardly conceals the fraud inside. In fact, the informal use of the term “alternative livelihoods” is a shameless admittance of neo-colonialism .

Livestock production is a heritage aside from being a livelihood that generates an income above and beyond what tourism offers.Colonial oppression is attacking this. That identity that instills joy in pastoralists and makes it very hard to sway them with small handouts.

Present-day oppression involves more deception than aggression. Its agents learnt from their forerunners that livestock is the “glue” that binds pastoralists to their native lands. The source of pride and dignity that fuelled their opposition to outsiders of all kinds.

A pastoralist man without livestock has no business in rural Laikipia. He is likely to end up trying to work as a watchman in the conservancies, as a laborer in Rumuruti, or as a curio seller on Nanyuki Town streets.

Patrick Wolfe Theory

Most Kenyans and other citizens who were once colonized vigorously dispute the deep negative effects of colonialism. This is because they are either unable to acknowledge Patrick Wolfe’s fundamental theory of colonialism as a structure or are scientifically unable to grasp it.

We can tackle the complexities of colonialism. Only,if we agree that it is not an occurrence or a phase but a system.

Pastoralists face the greed and selfishness of external stakeholders who use their property for the purposes of conservation and tourism.

Large NGOs for conservation have emerged. For decades, these organizations have thrived in darkness. Riding on a huge pool of goodwill drawn from their romanticized missions and visions’ apparent nobility.

Only over the last decade or so, the white nationalist implications have been recognized or addressed .

Disinformation

For decades, literature, fiction, media and even science have celebrated the ludicrous notion. That black Africans Pastoralists are actively placing wildlife at risk in Africa and that white people need to interfere to “save” this biodiversity.

Modern day colonialists maintain that the pastoralists are “overpopulating,” “overgrazing” and “degrading” their land. It generates the nonsensical argument about the big conservation lie. Conservationists somehow have to “take over” and “manage” these resources on their behalf and exploit those resources.

Often couched in feigned concern for the indigenous black people,the “eco-pirates” tag along local foot soldiers. Lip service reasons make it necessary to have black foot soldiers.

Biased Reporting

A recent case in eastern Kenya is a perfect example of how that plays out typically. In the region of Ishaqbin in Garissa on 10 March this year,two four-month – old giraffe skeletons were discovered.

The conservancy management (under the direction of the Northern Rangelands Trust) immediately released a press release. Moreover alleging that the giraffes (a leuctical mother and calf) were “killed by armed black poachers”. This happened without providing any evidence to substantiate the argument

The media release was cleverly written. It insinuated that out of just three existing animals belonging to an incredibly rare species, the two dead giraffes were two.

They deliberately avoided the important point that the giraffes were suffering from a genetic disorder. They were plainly reticulated.

No Credibility

The BBC immediately began to regurgitate the story through its international platforms. By making a sharp reference to the fact that the giraffes “lived in an unenclosed conservancy,” clearly illustrating that one of their main goals was to justify utilizing fencing as a conservation tool here.

The anticipated global crescendo of criticism for the “savage” black poachers took hold after the article’s publication. For example , in India, the online publication Bhaskar.com covered the BBC report.

The comments readers varied. Some insulting the “poachers”. Others demanding that they be murdered for their violations as well.

The new face of colonialism and marginalization is conservation interests. They need to be treated with caution. 

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