I love Kate’s blog, I do. I think it’s entertaining as well as informative reading coming from a country (Congo) so much written about from a distance and little understood. Kate’s blog is on the list of my must daily visit blogs and over the month of reading, I have to come feel like I know Kate (which I don’t) and to like her.
Maybe that’s why I feel so strongly about her Thursday, June 22, 2006 Congo 101, Lesson 1: Geography post that basically set out to describe how one can tell from which of the country a Congolese you meet comes. Kind of the thing we have in Uganda where you can say he’s a Muganda because he has a huge nose, she’s a Munyakole because of her wide hips. That kind of stereotyping you never really notice and is even considered fun sometimes. Except this one time.
Is it because I know Kate is a white woman that my radar is wailing? Do I think she is being smugly patronizing and racist because she's white? I know I’m not the only one who was disquieted by that post because the number of comments on her blog suddenly dropped. I think I maybe being unfair but this seems to be an issue where I can’t get my heart to agree with my head. Read the post and decide for yourself.