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What does a 19th century genocide in Africa have in common with your cell phone?
 

What does a 19th century genocide in Africa have in common with your cell phone?

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    What does a 19th century genocide in Africa have in common with your cell phone? What does a 19th century genocide in Africa have in common with your cell phone? Presentation Transcript

    • What does a 19 th century genocide inAfrica have in commonwith your cell phone? Read on to find out.
    • Congo is oneof the largestcountries inAfrica. It liesalong theEquator. It ismountainous,covered withdense tropicalrainforests,and rich inresources.
    • To get a sense of itssize, check outeverything you cansqueeze into Africa.Now go back a slideand look at Congoagain and make amental comparison tothe size of the US onthis map. It’s a bigplace.
    • In 1878, pockets ofEuropean control inAfrica were prettymuch limited to afew coastal tradingposts.
    • King Leopold II This man, King Leopold II of Belgium, changed that. He did so by murdering millions of people in Congo and reaping huge profits through their suffering.
    • In the early1800s,CharlesGoodyearand otherslearnedhow tomakevulcanizedrubberwhich hasmanypracticaluses.
    • The invention of the bicycle …
    • … and the automobile made the price of rubber, essential for tires, skyrocket.
    • A rubber tree takes 15 years tomature before it can be tappedfor its sap. Rubber trees onlygrow naturally in a few spots,including Congo.Leopold knew if he gainedcontrol over the natural rubberforests of Congo, he’d have adecade and a half to corner themarket before he’d face anycompetition.
    • He hired agents to gain control of Congo – an area80 times larger than Belgium which he claimed ashis privately owned lands. When he did, otherEuropean powers followed his lead. They met inBerlin and carved up the map of Africa.
    • By the eve of theFirst World War, allof Africa (exceptEthiopia) had beenconquered and itsresources werebeing exported tothe industrialfactories of Europe.
    • Stage 3:Leopold II’s menIn Congo, Dehumanizationexported a steady flow ofrubber by enslaving itspeople and forcing them toharvest this resource.
    • Stage 3: DehumanizationLeopold’s soldiers weregiven a rifle and ten bullets.Bullets were expensive. Toprove soldiers didn’t wastethem, they had to bring backa severed hand from avictim for each shot fired.Of course, no one hits theirtarget 100% of the time somany innocents had theirhands cut off to cover forthe soldiers’ missed shots.
    • A 20-year genocideclaimed 10 millionlives before Leopold IIwas eventually forcedto turn control ofCongo over to theBelgian government.Afterwards, littlechanged. Congo, richin resources, stillsuffers an eerilysimilar fate today.
    • Today, 90% of coltan,a rare metal essentialfor cell phones,laptops, and otherelectronics is foundin Congo and dug byhand in pits like thisone run by some of SCRAMBLING FOR HIDDEN WEALTH A hunter discovered tin ore in eastern Congo in 2002, andthe people who miners arrived almost overnight. In the battle for control of the mine in Bisie, a militia allied withconducted the 1994 the government won out.Rwandan genocide.
    • http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/11/15/world/africa/20081115-congo/index.html?ref=africa Click on these links to read more about this terrible aspect of today’s global economy. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/world/a frica/16imani.html?ref=africa&pagewanted=all