Monday, 14 November 2016

America votes Donald Trump and Britain voted Brexit, so what?

America votes Donald Trump and Britain voted Brexit, so what?
This is an interesting topic and I will try to make my contribution from an African angle.
America has elected Donald Trump, a businessman with no experience and knowledge in governance, and not very long ago Britain voted to leave the European Union "on what many believe to be xenophobic grounds". What does this mean for Africa? To understand what this means for Africa we have to understand some key factors that motivated these decisions which both sent huge shock waves throughout the world.

Every country has the right to choose their leadership, and the path they want their country to take. However, this decision of choosing the leadership and path a country takes has a lot to say about the people of that country. This can be especially so when it has to do with countries like the United States of America and Britain, whose actions forged a new path for Africa, left an indelible mark on the continent, and whose pervasive social and economic influence still hold great prominence on Africa.

America and Britain are among the richest nations in the world. But I would like to remind you all that the wealth you are sitting on today, and guarding so selfishly was created at the expense of Africa´s growth. While I do not wish for us to dwell on the past and use it as an excuse for not standing up for one self, we must not forget that the deep scars and pervasive ugliness inflicted by Colonialism and the slave trade, which directly fuelled the economic prosperity of both America and Britain, still haunt Africa and the people of African descent.

The wealth brought by the slave trade to Europe provided the capital, and resources that financed and facilitated the industrial revolution that is the cornerstone of the immense wealth possessed by these countries. Interestingly, America and Britain were at the very centre of this trade. While white people had the opportunity to go to school and wander into the new realms of science and technology, the people of Africa were held in darkness that perpetuates to modern times.
 I just cannot believe that America can shamelessly look straight into the eyes of history and choose to vote for a president whose “only response to black Americans is violence and moral degradation”.

Before Trump, the American people gave hope to the world when they choose to elect Barack Obama. It showed the willingness of the American people to break down the trammels of our ugly history and strengthened the position of America as the land of the free, home of the brave. It is thus a shame and a great contradiction that the land of the free and home of the brave decides to vote in favour of a protectionist America, an America intolerant to Muslims, and an America that views immigrants as rapists etc. How pitiful! I cannot help but be awed by the very forgetfulness of Americans that all the wealth and greatness of America was created by African slaves on the plantation farms, and in the large scale export of Africa´s natural resources from which Africa benefitted nothing more than a broken society.

Let us not lose hope entirely. I still believe that not all Americans are blinded enough to support a protectionist America that forgets its historical social responsibility to the world. Donald Trump´s election and the Brexit say a lot about how strongly the drive for more wealth has washed out our society´s moral fibre, but these are errors the American and British people, and perhaps the rest of the world, must do all they can to correct. You cannot take everything from the world and turn around to say they should take care of their mess; the mess Britain and America created in the first place . Americans and Britons, do not forget that you owe the world a historical social responsibility. You paused, broke and reshaped the course of history to create the immense wealth you enjoy today. Instead of gravitating towards protectionist tendencies, let us all work together to break the ugly face of our collective past. Lets be human!
This is a food for thought.

2 comments:

  1. So what must educators do to make the right thinking start to happen????

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks very much Miriam. I think educators must help our learners to understand the past and how it changed the course of history, and use it to take a more holistic perspective on the the decisions that we face today.
    Thanks again Miriam.

    ReplyDelete