A Reflection of My Life after living in Uganda as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mob Justice and Graphic Media

Police tend to be corrupt in Uganda. They fall prey to bribes easily and often think themselves more important then their jobs and fail to actually do their jobs. This leave many people who do not believe in the police. Communities have then taken on mod justice to fix trouble that occurs. I was reading the newspaper yesterday and saw this picture and article. A man was caught stealing and the community striped him of his clothes and tried to beat him. He took off running and ran to the police for protection. While the police do not always go out and settle disputes or apprehend offenders, they also don't kill people. They are a safe place. This thief sought refuge at the police station because at least his physical life wouldn't be in jeopardy. He will probably go to jail now. If a thief shows up at the police they don't have far to go to take them to jail so they will at least do that.

It's interesting to read the newspaper or watch news programs on TV in Uganda. They are incredibly graphic. Full on nudity is shown, brutally murdered bodies are displayed and graphic language is used. People seem so desensitized to it all. Often times I have to turn my head and completely avoid the pictures I see. They are too disturbing and horrifying. I think we are also over stimulated with graphics in America and we also become desensitized to horror. Yet, it seems different to me somehow. I'm not exactly sure what the difference is. Maybe it's because the people I see and hear about in America are far removed from me. They are from some other State, or some other country. But here, I read about my town, an acquaintance's family member or a tribe I know well. Maybe this is closer to my understanding of reality than my reality in America. Whatever it is, it's upsetting.

Oh, Uganda. While I won't miss the corruption, the lack of infrastructured justice, or the graphic media, I will miss the little things that make it different - ie. mob justice, poor quality news, etc.

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