, 17 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
4 days, 25,000+ signatures in 2 petitions, 3 non-apologies and the @NYTimes are steadfast in their dubious position, the @FCAEA in their self-preserving silence, and @kimidefreytas in deleting her problematic posts from the past to solidify her victim position in all this.
Defenders of @kimidefreytas have told us again and again that Kimiko did not choose the photo. Kimiko is not to blame. Yet yesterday this photo she posted on her Facebook came to light. (I have censored it - there are uncensored versions on Twitter if you must see the photo).
It is a photo of another dead African - a victim of Ebola: artless, stark. In this instance, she DID choose the photo. The post IS the photo. There is no photo editor intervening here. There is no institutional editorial policy at work here. Just an unbridled Kimiko.
She has since deleted the post, knowing that she is under scrutiny. She KNOWS. She has cleaned up everything that would reveal her sketchy behavior.
Over to you, defenders of Kimiko. Ye battalion, cavalry of honor. Educate us.
As an aside, Kimiko was appointed East Africa Bureau chief in September 2018, and within two months she was writing about Ebola and militia in Congo, and posting artless, graphic photos of dead Ebola victims on her Facebook.
There was no outrage about that, possibly because you can get away with posting unethical photos of remote villagers in Congo - who will speak for them? The Media Council of Congo? Congolais on Twitter? It's open season out there, fam.
Disease, famine and war - the Holy Trinity of African News Reporting. We are bored.
There is strident commentary online about Kenyans wanting to end press freedom by deporting journalists. This is not what we are saying. It is not that we don't want journalists working in Africa, it is that we don't want HER.
It is not that she is white, or that she is a woman. It is that she is biased, insensitive and a liar. We don't trust HER.
We know that her work here isn't FOR us, but it is ABOUT us, about our country, about our people, about our ups and downs, and we are refusing to be contextualized and framed by a biased, insensitive, blame-shifting, post-deleter.
We don't want THIS particular living, breathing, tweet-deleting assemblage of biases, insensitivities and blame-shifting. There are MANY East Africans who could do this work for the @NYTimes without needing thousands of Kenyans to educate them re: ethics and cultural sensitivity.
Can you imagine how many hours, how much mental energy, how much electricity, how many internet bundles have been consumed in trying to get @kimidefreytas to understand that what she did was wrong? Jesus, @NYTimes do you think we have nothing else to do than educate your staff?
@NYTimes, if you absolutely MUST have an American act as Bureau Chief in East Africa, there must be hundreds of eager New-Yorkers, armed with that one semester of African Studies they did two years ago at NYU and a desire to 'help Africa', that could do a marginally better job.
But not @kimidefreytas. No thanks, ma'am. Cease and desist.
There is a Kenya Airways flight direct to New York leaving on Saturday at 10:55pm. If she hurries, she can catch it. We can even volunteer to help her pack, and forward her bags later.
Enjoy your weekend, my people. Refuse indignity. ❤️
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