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African Elites Should Stop Self-Pity over Trump

By Ofwono Opondo

Jan, 24, 18

One of my twitter followers posted “We all have ‘shitholes’, and that includes Donald J. Trump,” in reference to the brief firestorm that US president kicked up three weeks ago when he reportedly referred to Mexico and Africa where some of the immigrants seeking to enter America in search of the “American Dream,” come from. In spite of the obvious denigrating racial intent, which Trump has denied, we should examine his comment from another, if possible, positive perspectives.
If, he indeed referred to Mexico and Africa as ‘shithole’, that shouldn’t be surprising considering that during his election campaign in 2016, Trump said he would build “a great, great, wall,” to block Mexico from sending “drugs, criminals, and rapists,” over the border. When elected, Trump promised to reduce US contributions to NATO and UN, saying his country shouldn’t unduly shoulder the burdens of lackluster Europe, and the world. Trump then asked each country to pay its fair share for own security, development and welfare as he vowed to make America First, and Great Again.
It is therefore surprising, that some ‘good’ African leaders like Ghana’s Nana Akufo Addo, could dare think, and even publicly say that Trump’s comment was “utterly unfortunate, has no place in diplomatic discourse, and is contrary to the norms of civility and human progress.” Perhaps leaders like Akufo Addo, should be told that world diplomacy, rules, and etiquette are written by the wealthy and powerful often after shedding blood in the battle fields as Otto von Bismarck noted in his famous  “Blood and Iron” speech on September, 30, 1882 about German unification.
 AU diplomats at the UN, in New York, picking from some of their presidents back home even had the impudence to demand that Trump “retracts his comments about Africa and apologise to the world,” which they haven’t received to-date, and won’t get anyway. The earlier these diplomats realise that Africa is a small dark dot on the global economic map, the more realistic they can represent Africa at the world stage. Putting their heads in sand like the proverbial ostrich does not make Africans part of the so-called ‘international’ community, although we are human beings. Africa does not write the rules and standards of the world.
Like President Yoweri Museveni has said since Trump became president, he (Trump) is one of the few good things that are happening to our part of the world because he speaks his mind frankly, and perhaps not a hypocrite like his predecessors including Barrack Obama who many Africans falsely believed was one of their own. Today, reality is slowly downing on Black Africans in Africa that Barrack Obama, was perhaps, simply, a passing cloud at a distant horizon.
Look, after the Second World War, allied powers comprising US, Britain, and Russia, admitted China into their club of nations because China, was considered among the victors, and viewed by then US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as a counterweight after the war against British and French colonialism. He Roosevelt also foresaw China's rise to world power as a counter balance against USSR, and China formally joined UN Security in 1971 with veto powers after Taiwan was expelled from the UN.
China that had been despised by the US and western Europe for centuries didn’t have to argue whether it was backward, with ‘squinted eyed’ people as the West referred to them, but got down to serious work on socio-economic transformation, first through cultural, and later industrial revolution, which catapulted it into, the leading trading, second richest, and first world country today within just seven decades since 1949. Here, Africans are still whining over slave trade, colonialism and unfair trade.
China has been able to write and hold an independent line on international engagements in military, diplomatic, trading and human rights spheres. It has equally supported African nations with arms, funding and diplomatic cover against western imperialism because it is able to feed, house, educate and provide healthcare to its 1.4 billion people without begging from western nations. Japan and Germany, both destroyed with nuclear bombs as part of the “Axis power,” or “Pact of Steel” has rebuilt themselves through hard work, creativity and innovation. Today, they are third, and fourth largest economies respectively and well respected.
Norway today ranked among the richest with generous welfare, social mobility, and happiest country index in the world, was occupied by Nazi Germans who practiced racial purity under the so-called German Aryan race children project, where Norwegian young women were kept in special hostel and impregnated by German soldiers.
The Asian countries like, South Korea, Singapore and India, transformed into global technology and economic power houses, have today overcome racial bigotry by the West. Therefore, Africans, who were left behind by the agricultural, industrial and computer revolutions must seize today’s emerging fourth industrial revolution, if they want any respect, because the world in not run on charity. Unfortunately, Africa will not achieve that level of prosperity and earn the desired respect when its leaders and elite continue to squander locally generated resources in foreign countries in a futile effort to prove that they are enlightened.