The Third World, particularly Africa, got a shock reminder last week that Trump’s America and its allies in Europe are sparing little thought, if any, for what they believe are s**hole countries.
Statements of wide condemnation of Trump’s remarks flew thick and fast, but there was no looking back for the ‘giant gold Goliath’, to borrow from the rich vocabulary of Zimbabwe’s ousted leader Robert Mugabe.
Trump, who rode to the presidency on the back of mostly white supremacists and lead singers of far-right politics, has been blatant in what his administration stands for – the protection of Americans, mostly white, at the expense of foreigners and worshippers of Islam.
His elevation to power has helped inspire the rise of far-right parties in mainstream European politics. Using racist rhetoric to exploit a migration crisis that has become difficult to contain in the West, far-right groups are readying to conquer the West.
In France’s Marine Le Pen, Nikolaos Michaloliakos of Greece and Heinz-Christian Strache of Austria, Trump has a great army of sympathisers whose political parties have actually gained ground in recent years.
Even Finland, where political tranquillity is as common as racism in Trump’s mouth, has the True Finns – a far right party – as one of its biggest political movements.
With this shift in global political ideology, Africa cannot continue to beg for glorification from men like Trump, even where glory itself does not exist. It’s time to place on ice the crybaby mentality and claim our rightful place on the face of the earth.
Trump cannot even execute the simplest function of pronouncing ‘Namibia’ correctly, yet we expect him to show an iota of sympathy towards Africa and its people.
Imagine Africa in a world ruled by the AfD of Germany, Le Pen’s Front National of France, PVV in Holland or Italy’s neo-fascists. African migrants would certainly be ordered back to their countries, as is currently witnessed in Israel where a March 2018 ultimatum has been issued.
With this rise in fascist politics in the West, Africa must realise – and the sooner the better – that nations are headed in an unprecedented era where it is every country for itself, God for all.
Relations between nations, in all likelihood, would be anchored on trade relations more than on anything else. Yet trade has been an insurmountable task for many an African country. The fact that trade between Namibia and Zimbabwe, two neighbours who pride themselves as all-weather friends, stood at a mere N$24 million in 2016 is testimony to the hard task lying ahead to counter the fascist tendencies of the West. A N$24 million trade value between nations is, from whatever perspective, pocket change.
Disharmony has been one of the greatest catalysts of keeping Africans apart. Look at the strong umbilical cord tying the West together – both in trade and politics. Why can’t Rwanda and DRC put aside the political differences for the sake of their people? Why are the two Sudans threatening one another with missiles – a chorus trumpeted by leaders seated comfortably in Juba and Khartoum – without consideration of civilian lives?
The Trumps of this world would happily grab popcorn at any given moment to watch African nations butcher themselves to destruction. The ‘America First’ slogan – which in all fairness is a patriotic stance by the US president – will manifest itself in the fullness of time and is already being felt on the shores of Africa. Only time will tell.
• Toivo Ndjebela is managing editor of New Era Publication Corporation.
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