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We Are Niggers in Algiers

There is a kind of synchronicity to Bongani Ncube-Zikhali’s experience of racist discrimination as a black African at the hands of official Algeria. A parallel to what Algerians themselves face on the other side of the Mediterranean, and a melancholic coda to Algeria’s once-proud role in the Pan-African and non-aligned world of the 1970s.

It is night time as the bus speeds through the Maghrebi countryside on its way to Algiers.

For Mexicans, the Double Curse of a Pushover President in the Face of Trump

Twice now since August, Donald Trump has treated the Mexican president with open contempt, and been met with shocked and feeble hesitation, writes the Mexico City daily La Jornada. A president and a political class which have somehow still failed to apprehend the kind of man they are now dealing with in Washington:

“When you don’t make a decision soon enough,” the old proverb says, “someone will make it for you.”

The American Dream Was Never for You

Hell. Photo CC: Thomas Hawk

The end of ‘America.’ Millions of people in the United States today awoke to a new dread that will sleep beside them for years to come. From Mexico’s Aristegui Noticias, a powerful essay on the dream of an America that was never meant to be for millions of Latin Americans, and of the expiration of a vision of ‘America’ that stood at the head of a world order whose time has now passed.

Today is Wednesday Dec. 9, 2016. It is the morning after the presidential elections in the United States.

The Bastard

Coming of age is a fist in the face for Karim Miske. Filmmaker, detective novelist, son of a Mauritanian diplomat and a French communist mother, Miske both inhabits and illuminates in his work a world of shifting and uncertain French identities. In this excerpt from the first chapter of his memoir, Unbelonging (N’Appartenir), the moment when the fine drapery of a middle class upbringing in Paris began to fray, exposing the rot behind:

In the beginning there is the shame. It circles around inside you, elusive and toxic.

Trump Gate-Crashes Mexico

Donald Trump by DonkeyHotey. Photo Creative Commons.

A surprise meeting with the Mexican president today, ahead of his “major immigration speech” in Arizona: Donald Trump announced it on Twitter yesterday. But according to the Bajo Reserva column in Mexico City’s daily El Universal, Trump more or less proclaimed the meeting without consulting with the Mexican government, setting the date to fit with his US speech, catching President Enrique Pena Nieto flatfooted.

Basically, the Republican candidate to the White House has spectacularly crashed the gates of the Mexican government.

Ghosts of The Aerohabitat

Majestic in its decrepitude, the Le Corbusier-influenced Aerohabitat rears up out of the side of the mountain that overlooks the bay of Algiers: a 22-floor obelisk, hundreds of apartments with panoramic views of the city, an enclosed shopping mall halfway up the tower, a four-lane road flowing through the basement–and a large community of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa. In the striking photographs of Nassim Rouchiche’s Ca Va Waka, the Aerohabitat is haunted by the ghostly presences of its African inhabitants.

What exactly does the title of your show, "Ca va waka" mean?

In Brazil, Racism’s Second Lives

Black Awareness Day in Brazil passed some weeks ago. Half the country’s 200 million people consider themselves white, half say they are black or brown, making it one of the most racially diverse large countries in the world. In this essay, a Brazilian journalist recalls the appalling practices of not so distant a past and measures the powerful, though almost invisible, present remains of the beast within.

In the 1970s, I remember vividly how one of my relatives kept two types of glasses in the cupboard.

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