The word tribe as noted
in Koigi Wa Wamwere's book, Negative Ethnicity from Bias to Genocide, he quotes Professor Bethwell A. Ogot of Maseno University in Kenya.
The definition of ethnic groups as "tribes" is a concept that was racist and ahistorical in the sense that it regarded the various nationality groups as being static, exclusive and homogenous. In this sense the concept of a "tribe" was therefore an intellectual abstraction, a mental invention of the colonialists that was intended to convey or portray the picture of a people without government, without culture and without history, in order to justify colonialism.
This was interesting because when you hear 'tribe', it doesnt really connotate people . But when you hear community...its really about people. Koigi wa Wamwere proposes the idea of 'negative ethnicity', to show ethnic hatred and Bias. He does this by examining language.
From the Gikuyu or kikuyu - nduriri which is a neutral word but can be used to affect dislike of foreigners. As in "Mwana Wakwa ndekuhikira nduriri" - My daughter shall not marry a foreigner! i.e an inferior foreigner.
From Luo - jamwa meaning uncultured, uncivilized and inferior.
O.k other words from other communities? Anyhoo, the point is, awareness of how African's perception towards other tribes...oops communities forments issues. There is a rich history of Africans before colonialism, it would be interesting to examine intercommunity relations before The Scramble for Africa. The little that i recall from school involved some form of government in the community level, and issues being settled though inter community dialog , though there were 'wars' or 'skirmishes' i rather doubt it was at the scale that is exhibited by places like Rwanda or Darfur. What changed? Hopefully his book will explain this. The distinction between 'tribalism' and 'ethnicity' seems important though. Professor Ogot's words gave me pause though.
On a totally unrelated front...Has Oprah had a facelift? Her cheeks look alittle stiff, i just hope in 10 years she doesnt end up talking like Barbara Walters with her perpetually pursed lips.