WARRI, 17 December 2010 (IRIN) - As families count the cost of another military operation against militants in the Niger Delta, analysts say up to now government efforts to quell violence are hampered by corruption and fail to get at the deep-seated causes of unrest in the region.

Residents told IRIN hundreds of families are still displaced more than two weeks after the crackdown.

By Louis Chude-Sokei

December 17, 2009

It should be clear by now that we are at the cusp of a new era of classic, no-holds-barred, in-your-face minstrelsy. Just this year alone blackface "incidents" have flared up in cultural zones ranging from America's Next Top Model to critics’ darling Mad Men, from YouTube and Facebook to this years' edgiest of Halloween costumes. French Vogue's recent photo-spread of a model in blackface was therefore less an act of racism than a calculated statement of the zeitgeist. That it so quickly followed on the heels of a now notorious blackface Jackson Five impersonation broadcast on Australian television was telling: the skit immediately went viral just as blackface did the moment it appeared in nineteenth century America.

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