To the Editor:

I read James Kirchick’s article (“For today’s South Africans, apartheid takes a new form,” 1/13) with a faint smile on my lips.

Firstly, to denigrate Thabo Mbeki for holding a different point of view (albeit at the cost of other humans) misses the mark. Especially so from the almost morally bankrupt point of view of a culture that thinks itself to be responsible for undertaking a global civilizing mission that has self-interest as the basis. You should clear the log out of your field of vision before attempting to move a speck out of a friend’s eye.

I have advice for commentators on African issues: Be constructive or keep quiet. We (I purport to speak for Africans) have had too many distracting opinions. I hardly think this advice will be heeded, but when it comes to Africa, many of us Africans at Yale will not tolerate any self-righteous attempts to malign mainly responsible adults who happen to have points of view others do not agree with. That we have mainly been quiet does not imply consent.

On Africa, there are many competent Africans thinking about progressive ways to do things. This sort of article does nothing to promote progressiveness and only serve to offend minds which would rather be bent on more important matters.

Paa Kwesi Imbeah ’05

Jan. 14, 2005