[AfrICANN-discuss] [members-discuss] [SPAM] Re: ICANN 2016 Nominating Committee Announces Selections - unfortunate Africa d

Walubengo J jwalu at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 31 16:17:08 UTC 2016

I know it is a touchy subject but fortunately or unfortunately I stand by it. 
When  I say it gives me a feeling of inclusivity (misplaced or otherwise) when we have  representation form the 'heavily pigmented' :-) Board members at the ICANN board I do mean it. It does  inspire some subconscious  affilliation or belonging. It is an existing social construct that we may wish to pretend does not exist but unfortunately it does and ICANN can actually used positively to its advantage.
BUT this is not the same thing as saying 'non-heavily pigmented' Africans like you should be excluded from the board.  It is a question of  being sensitive to the diverse pigmentation spectrum that Africa offers and trying to balance that out where possible.
As Paulos notes in his final submission, if you try to do regional diversity within the African context you will get exactly to what I am saying in a more blunt way :-).  I have had the opportunity to travel across Africa and for sure the North African or the South Africa (.za) experience is far from the Sub-saharan African experience. 
Ofcourse on the flip side, a heavily pigmented Malawian African rep on the ICANN board may cause similar reactions from the North African audience. They may not 'identify' with him or her.  So it is not a call for removing anyone, but rather one of trying to include 'everyone' based on the African realities that obtain on the continent.
Nomcom should be sensitive to these subtle diversities going forward.
NB: And you are right Alice was never on the ICANN board but on the GAC. And yes Njeri, Prof. Nii Q, Fadi were also there. But its Katim & Alice I interacted most with respect to ICANN i.e introduced me to ICANN, hence they quickly came to my typing fingers.
      From: Mike Silber <silber.mike at gmail.com>
 To: Walubengo J <jwalu at yahoo.com> 
Cc: Dr Paulos B Nyirenda <paulos at sdnp.org.mw>; "community-discuss at afrinic.net" <community-discuss at afrinic.net>; "members-discuss at afrinic.net" <members-discuss at afrinic.net>; AfrICANN Community List <africann at afrinic.net>
 Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 4:27 PM
 Subject: Re: [members-discuss] [SPAM] Re: [AfrICANN-discuss] ICANN 2016 Nominating Committee Announces Selections - unfortunate Africa d
Hi John
A couple of observations 9in my own capacity of course):

On 31 Aug 2016, at 15:05, Walubengo J <jwalu at yahoo.com> wrote:
As an academic, I might be suffering the same illusion as Paulos :-),
I think what he was saying is that the current board ...Is not diverse (should I dare say black?) enough?

Well, you are conflating black and African and assigning anyone on this continent who is not suitably pigmented to some scrap heap. Of course ignoring my pigmentary enhahnced colleagues on the board who do not originate from this continent and are therefor equally cast aside. So Africans who are not “black enough” don’t count and people who are “black enough” but are not “African enough” don’t count either?
And if it is a question of “blackness” then how do you test that? Or do we have to go back to the "pencil tests" employed by apartheid racists to determine blackness by seeing if a pencil inserted in the hair would stay (you are black) or fall out (you are white). For what it is worth, pencils stay in my hair.
I really think this is about to descend into the realm of the ridiculous.

I remember my interest in ICANN was actually provoked by the days when Alice, Katim et al were on the board.

Maybe you need to test your memory, Alice has not served on the ICANN board. I have fond memories of time served with Katim, but I think you do a disservice to Nii, Njeri, Mouhamet and Fadi.
I have been privileged to serve with many fine people on the board, many of whom amaze me with their knowledge, energy, dedication and contribution. At the same time there are many passengers (I hope I am not one). Origin is not an indicator of contribution and there are people from both groups from all of the regions.
Simply demanding more “blackness” does a disservice to those Africans who have contributed at every level in all of the I* organisations. They are there because of their capability and contribution and not as decoration.

Without doubting the capability of the incoming members, it is important that Nomcom takes the issue racial diversity alot more seriously.  After all, that is WHY ICANN is trying to be as 'international' as it can get.  Why not begin at the top?

How easily had Fadi been forgotten? Or is the CEO not “at the top” enough? Oh, that’s right - he was not “black enough”. 
Find the right candidates and they will get there, on their own merits and not on some quota system or as window dressing to a more systemic issue.

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