I'll have to use a lot of disclaimers throughout this piece to avoid being called a racist, a Darwinistic, brutal insensitive Mongol, because it's not true. I'm very sensitive.
In fact, I suffer from low self-worth. My relatives consider me to be a typical no-good lazy bum, a coward, a mama's boy, and along with no doubt some conservative commentators on this website, an anti-American subversive.
I resent that. I'm not typical.
I had an employer once tell me that if I worked hard all my life and got very lucky, I might rise to the level of zero. I was going to enroll in a self-esteem class, but didn't feel worthy enough to attend.
That's another story. Where was I? Oh yeah. The purpose of this piece.
Regarding the Ebola crisis, the nightmare that will eventually make the Isil threat in the Middle East seem small, has anybody thought that Africa is according to scientists, the cradle of humanity, where the very first ape-like walking human appeared in a rift Gorge in Kenya perhaps.
Has anybody thought that if Africa is the cradle of all humans, it has lately become the hothouse incubator of deadly diseases. We had the AIDS epidemic originate in Africa and now Ebola. Why is it that these diseases kick-start from the African Continent?
Should we quarantine at least the top half of the African Continent and if we did, how could we do that? Build a wall across it and around it? Let no one fly in or out?
How and why do these diseases spawn? Is it because humans in these areas live in close proximity to monkeys, not the zoo kind, but real monkeys walking around wild? I think it's possible diseases can make the jump from monkey to man because we're both so similar.
Here's the disclaimer I promised. Don't call me a racist. I have a higher opinion of monkeys than I do of many people I know.
Back in the old days when European powers ruled Africa, the natives were exploited, but the Belgian, English and German-built trains at least ran on time. When these powers were forced to go steal from someone else and pulled out, the natives gained their freedom, although some were now under the heel of a black dictator rather than a white one.
In some of these countries, the natives have remained in grim circumstances. Why? Here's another disclaimer. Don't call me insensitive or a racist. Nobody has more vigorously defended in print the rights of African Americans than I have (in print).
A liberal might tell you the natives were held down so long by exploiters they don't have the skill set to run an orderly, healthy and prosperous country. A conservative will often think (but not say outright) he is better because of the color of his skin. We know what color that's likely to be.
A Ugandan man displays a bat he captured for food December 1, 2000 in a cave in Guru Guru, Uganda. Bats are being studied as one possible carrier of the Ebola virus. | Photo: Tyler Hicks | Ebola, Quarantine, Bat, Death, Uganda, Disease, Virus, Fruit Bat,
So why do these diseases start in Africa?
I have another possible explanation. Elephants and God.
God is fed up. Now when I say this, realize I'm not devout. The chance I'm going to hell because I'm a weak and selfish person (not all the time) does weigh on my mind. If there is a God, he (if God is a he), might be mad at what we're doing to his earth.
God has had it. With us. We're steam-frying the planet with greenhouse gases and some of us say we're not, and bombing and chopping the heads off helpless people and cheating and lying and stealing. But if that wasn't enough, we're also poaching elephants to extinction. The elephant. For God's sake! One of God's supreme creations, the most gentle, regal, forbearing of all helpless creatures, who only becomes a rogue when he's chased and hounded and shot and tortured.
Here's a disclaimer. I don't want to be called, what's that big long word that means someone who is so fond of animals he attributes human characteristics to them?
Nevertheless, there are scum-people who post pictures on Facebook posing with an elephant they've killed.
You know what? I've been I think an agnostic. But maybe not now. God is saying, "You guys going to act this way? I'm gonna take you out. You like poaching elephants? Let's see how you like it. I'm going to poach you (humans). I'm going to give you a little disease, and let's see how you like dying off."
If the world's population is cut in half, that will slow the greenhouse emissions and the poaching of elephants.
Here's another disclaimer. I do not hope this turns out to be true or is going to happen. I value human life.
But perhaps I can soften this a bit and say that no matter what happens, it's time for human beings to stop and think a moment about the value of life----all life----not just ours.
Here's another disclaimer. I don't want to be called a cruel cynic.
But if something happens that would cause people to become less cowardly, less violent and cruel, something that involved all people to realize we share the same frailties and the same limited precious space. There might be some sliver of good come out of it somehow.
I won't disclaim that.