And so is the death and destruction that comes with them. When you watch this video/documentary:
You will see that diamonds are anything but just beautiful gems to adorn your body with. Are black men and women in America that cold and heartless to love diamonds more than women, children and men who are butchered in the name of diamonds? Are black people in America so in love with bling-bling of diamond-encrusted teeth, heavy diamond necklaces, glaring diamond bracelets, watches and rings, that they give not a damn about the brutality that kills tens of thousands of lives in Africa over diamonds? That they care not what happens to families in Sierra Leone and Angola?
I’m asking these questions of all Americans, not just white, Latino, Native American, Arabs, Asians, and everyone else, but, especially of black Americans. For if we do not even care of what brings a diamond into our hands and how it got to us, and what the many black Africans in Africa suffer through to obtain this diamond, then if not we, who else will care? We black Americans have to stop and think of how our actions affect others thousands of miles away from us.
In the end, no one truly knows whether a diamond is “conflict free” or not.
But then again, this has not been much of a mystery to me. Knowing the history of DeBeers and their cruel, racist, vicious tactics to keep diamond miners from keeping back some of the diamonds for themselves, if caught, the overseers of the DeBeers Corporation (a Dutch colonial empire built off the blood of black Zimbabweans of the country formerly known as Rhodesia) would have the black miners hobbled to keep them from running away.
Hobbling involved chopping the ankles just so where the foot remained attached, but horribly crippled the man.
I have personally boycotted diamonds for more than 25 years because of the hateful apartheid racist practices of South Africa, and therefore, I would not buy ANY diamonds whatsoever. Nor gold.
To this day, I still do not buy diamonds or gold.
I have boycotted the buying of Granny Smith apples because the bulk of them were grown in South Africa, as my way of showing solidarity with the then-imprisoned African people of South Africa. Yes, I am only one person, but when I go to bed at night, I do not have the fear that at least with diamonds I am contributing to another black person’s suffering and degradation.
I can live without diamonds.
If eating meat in my sister’s presence offends her, then I will eat no meat.
I will not contribute mindlessly to the utter cruelty of mutilation that blood conflict diamonds bring. I will not be so selfish as to look at a diamond and not see beyond all its brilliance, the untold carnage it takes to bring that diamond to the jewelry seller.
Is there in existence the potential for any diamonds that come through DeBeers and Kimberly Diamond Mines industries to be “clean” enough to purchase from? To be clean enough to not be in any way a bloody conflict diamond?
Somewhere along the way, the diamond will have become “bloodied” before it reaches the hands of the lapidary, and ultimately ends up on the finger of a human.
Whether the diamond is mined by a young child or woman, brutally worked from sun-up to sundown, with a gun to their head; whether the diamond is carried, mule-like, by young teenage boys for a warlord, warlords whose whims can sway with the wind and if tested too much, will cut off the arms or legs of a child who doesn’t move fast enough to pack the diamonds for the next courier; whether the diamonds are fought over by opposing groups who want to corner the market in their part of the African continent, Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia, etc., so that they can sell the diamonds like a mess of pottage to the highest bidder; whether the rival factions of neighboring villages fight and kill each other, destroying their villages because of a gem that grew from soft coal to a hardness strong enough to cut glass——-these are factors that must be taken into consideration before purchasing a diamond.
Is it worth that much to have a diamond?
Can people find it in themselves to ask is the life of a human more important, or is the owning of a diamond more important?
In the end the choice is ours to make.
Or a human life.
Which in the end will have the greatest value? Which in the end will we care the most for?
DeBeers’s slogan “A Diamond is Forever”, has held cachet over women (and men) for decades.
Isn’t it about time for another slogan:
“A Human Life is More Precious.”
I certainly think so. And it is a way of thinking whose time has long been overdue.