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What Happens When ‘Shithole’ Countries Try To Rid Themselves Of That Stain?

 Conservative men were virtually jizzing themselves in the Comments Section all over the innanets yesterday ahead of the State of the Union Address, each heaping their fawning adoration on a subject who could neither hear their euphoric vociferation nor care if he did. America’s Orange Fuhrer lives only for his self-gratification, and these tiki-lighting, khaki-wearing minstrels are little more than the oil that keeps his engine of his inflated ego rolling, rather than the device itself.

“Thank you, Mr. President! My stock portfolio is up and the apology tour is over!”

“Trump doesn’t need to say anything at this SOTU address besides “#WINNING #WINNING #WINNING!” and watch the whole Republican side of Congress erupt into a roar. Because we’re WINNING!!!”

“America finally has a president that is willing to put America and its people first. Maybe it’s time for presidents from other countries to do the same so that their people don’t have to keep coming to our great nation in droves. #MAGA.”

Bored Over It GIF by State of the Union address 2018 - Find & Share on GIPHY

It was the last comment (and I swear to you that these are actual words written and published by actual white men) that gave me pause. I had to wonder, what was in this voter’s mind or in the scope of his experience that would lead him to doubt that presidents and leaders of what 45 recently referred to as “shithole” countries had attempted to shift the tide and perception of their fortunes. Did he really think that in all the years spent in the struggle for independence from Europe’s former colonial stranglehold, none of these nations had striven to empower themselves, give their citizens a sense of pride and destiny or match the might of their former oppressors? Do men like him really believe that the ideals of liberty and all its trappings are reserved for the West alone?

Of course, the answer to any of those questions is a simple ‘yes’. The average American – white men, chiefly – are woefully ignorant about world history and the machinations that have driven policy that make some countries shitholes and others a refuge from them. This ignorance is willful and insidious, because the toll to overcome it is much too steep. In order for the presidents of “other nations to put their countries first”, The Average White Man sitting in America espousing such lofty hopes would be required to interrogate his personal role in preventing this reality from coming to bear yet.

Historically, when nations populated by Black and brown people have thrown off the oppressive yoke of white domination, it has not come without severe consequences. When Haitian slaves revolted and overthrew their French overlords, directly making the Louisiana Purchase possible, America did not reward these men and women in Liberty’s service with their support. Instead, they set up a trade embargo that decimated Haiti’s economy. This while France demanded that the now independent Haiti pay the European nation 150 million francs in ‘reparations’ and in order to have its independence recognized. If Haiti today is a shithole, America and France are the shovel that dug it.

Is that too far in the distant past? Then perhaps we can consider a period I call Africa’s Scramble for Independence, those years between 1957–1990 (Namibia was the last Sub-Saharan country to gain independence) where Western interference was not only rampant, it was celebrated. Now declassified documents reveal how the CIA orchestrated progressive Nkrumah’s overthrow, the repeated installment of puppet leaders all over the Continent and methodical crippling of African infrastructure by Western powers, post independence.

Sekou Toure

Sekou Toure, Guinea’s first president and a man considered to one of Africa’s greatest leaders said:

“We prefer poverty in liberty to opulence in slavery… that Africans are not French and that Africa cannot be reduced to French territories”

As a country well-versed in its own fight for liberty, equality and brotherhood, France understood these sentiments well. Recognizing that the nascent fight for full equality would soon be in full bloom, his position triggered French flight from the country. At their departure, Frenchmen took all of their possessions and destroyed all that could not be moved. Buildings, books, cars, medicines…even telephone poles were not spared France’s tantrum. Over the years, France would continue to undermine the will of its former subjects by tampering with elections and destabilizing currencies. This was no secret, and not a single Western power stepped in to deter these malicious orchestrations, let alone call for sanctions. If the white men in America are looking for ways to repair shithole countries with the aim of stemming immigration, this is a great springboard to consider.

Oh? Is that still too far in the distant past? Not recent enough for you? Too lofty a goal? Well, here’s something white men desirous of leaders of ‘shithole’ countries putting those respective countries first as their Orange Fuhrer has done: Start with supporting Eastern African countries’ ban on secondhand imports from the US and UK.

In 2016, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi announced their intention to phase out imports of secondhand clothing and shoes from western countries by 2019. President Kagame also called it a matter of “dignity”. The objective is to see many more companies produce clothes in those countries and build a lagging industry. More jobs in a diversified economy means fewer people have to travel to ‘greener pastures’ to look for work, and that’s a good thing. Right?

Jackie King, director of SMART

It might surprise you then, to learn what America’s response has been to those efforts. The United States has threatened to withdraw the aforementioned countries from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA’s aim is to promote economic and political development in sub-Saharan Africa.  Why the bullying, you may ask. Why punish countries for wanting to expand and develop their own textile industry? The reason is because every time your Aunt Mary tosses out your Uncle John’s old socks and work boots, an American worker is responsible for sorting and shipping that tonnage to Africa for dumping and re-consumption. If African nations impose bans on your dirty white underwear, it could cost 40,000 US workers their jobs.

It’s really simple: African leaders putting their citizens first means that American leaders’ hands are tied in the attempt to put THEIR citizens first. And for that, shithole countries must be punished.

The reality is this: America and other Western nations greatness does – and always has – hinged on the oppression of what you lot call shithole countries. From Italy dumping its toxic waste in Somalia’s fishing waters to America polluting what was one arable farming land in Agbogbloshie, these nations have had to navigate the precarious position of trade partner and whipping boy based on the mandates and dictates of the West. Africa, South America and Caribbean nations have served as your landfills and playgrounds, depending on your whims. For these countries to advance, Western nations will have to temper their exploitative reflexes.

 Mr. MAGA Foot soldier, if you truly want to see shithole countries throw off the stench of that reputation, the power is in your hands. Lobby congress to allow us to set our own prices for the sale of raw materials. Demand that emerging industries be allowed to flourish without intervention or threat. Insist the American students learn a foreign language and dispense with lingual hegemonies with English at the top. Practice responsible waste management so that you do not export your pollution to environs that you are likely never to tread. When the currencies of these nations are on par with the dollar and pound, and their kids have good schools and voters can demand excellence from leaders who are not in the pockets of the West, you can sit back and take pride in your work. The drop in the number of immigrants will cheer you. You could do all these things and more…but then these are the battles and concerns of ‘liberal snowflakes’. But even worse, it would force you to consider people from shithole countries your equal…and that is not something you could ever abide. Is it?

This article has 6 comments

  1. Ziggymar

    Great article, but we can’t continue to blame the white man for all of our shitholes. Sani Abacha is alleged to have stolen over $5 billion and Jammeh of little Gambia stole over $200 million before he was driven out from office.

    The theft, corruption, thievery, and scheming are the main causes of the shitholes in the continent. I acknowledge that the white man did severe damage, but we are in a position to correct those mistakes and uplift the people from the shitholes.

    The Chinese, Singapore, Malaysia etc went through the same exploitations, but have managed to lift their people from shitholes. Rwanda is now setting an example for the rest of the continent. What we need is good leader who has the passion, vision and selfless to lead most of the people out of shitholes, which is a reality for majority of Africans.

    • Malaka Gyekye Grant

      I don’t think I insinuated anywhere in this article that I continue to “blame the white man”. I’m sorry if you read it that way. What I AM saying is that the world we live in and the systems that govern it have been designed for the benefit of white (and classed) people to the detriment of others. I AM saying that if the beneficiaries of that system are tired of the oppressed encroaching on what they perceive to be theirs exclusively and by right, then then have an obligation to work to reverse those same systems that their forebears built in their favor. That’s all.

  2. Ziggymar

    Great article, but we can’t continue to blame the white man for all of our shitholes. Sani Abacha is alleged to have stolen over $5 billion and Jammeh of little Gambia stole over $200 million before he was driven out from office.

    The theft, corruption, thievery, and scheming are the main causes of the shitholes in the continent. I acknowledge that the white man did severe damage, but we are in a position to correct those mistakes and uplift the people from the shitholes.

    The Chinese, Singapore, Malaysia etc went through the same exploitations, but have managed to lift their people from shitholes. Rwanda is now setting an example for the rest of the continent. What we need is good leader who has the passion, vision and selfless to lead most of the people out of shitholes, which is a reality for majority of Africans.

    • Malaka Gyekye Grant

      I don’t think I insinuated anywhere in this article that I continue to “blame the white man”. I’m sorry if you read it that way. What I AM saying is that the world we live in and the systems that govern it have been designed for the benefit of white (and classed) people to the detriment of others. I AM saying that if the beneficiaries of that system are tired of the oppressed encroaching on what they perceive to be theirs exclusively and by right, then then have an obligation to work to reverse those same systems that their forebears built in their favor. That’s all.

  3. Not A Blogger

    I understand your concern for our markets as well as selfish American reasons, but if you don’t know the second hand clothes market is the easiest form of entreprenuership for the most vulnerable and especially women, it is not ideal, but at the moment it works. And also employs far more than a formal industry would.

    • Malaka Gyekye Grant

      I get that. And I understand that it is an “easy” way to make a living. It doesn’t make it right or best for the importing country in the long run. At some point, we Africans have to stop relying on stopgap solutions and pay attention to the details that are going to yield long term growth and stability.

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