Governments and diplomats throughout Africa and the Global South continue to express their outrage and disgust at Donald Trump’s most recent ignorant and racist diatribe, in which he suggested that the US should focus its immigrant entry policy on countries such as Norway, rather than El Salvador, Haiti and the countries of the African continent, which he actually described as “shithole countries”.
In an effort at damage control, he later denied using those words, however Dick Durbin, a Democratic senator who attended the meeting where Trump uttered his latest faux pas, told reporters, “He said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly… ‘shitholes’ was the exact word the US leader used.”
Why are we so shocked when finally a US president is simply stating out loud what has been the perception behind closed doors since the very inception of what we know today as the United States of America, a nation that was founded on the genocide of the indigenous peoples dwelling there, and built by the free labour of captured Africans. Since its inception, Donald Trump’s country has relentlessly pursued a foreign policy based on an implicit belief in white supremacy, and has sought to plunder the wealth of the world. In this context, are such comments really surprising?
The only positive aspect of Trump’s presidency is that he is exposing, once and for all, the true nature of the Empire. A meme that was circulated at the end of Obama’s presidency said it best: “Only in shallow, self-absorbed, privileged America could a leader drop 26,000 bombs on seven countries in a single year, and have citizens mourn the end of his term because he looked and sounded classy while doing it.”
The only difference now is that all the “classy” is gone and the Emperor and his Empire are standing before us naked, and it is not a pretty picture.
An understanding of the historical dynamics of imperialism will show that it is only a matter of time before the US empire collapses. Rather than shocking us, Trump’s latest remarks and his presidency should serve as a wakeup call to all those seeking to immigrate to the US, where millions of people live in poverty, where more people are imprisoned per capita than in any other nation on earth, where millions are denied basic human rights such as housing and healthcare, where the illiteracy statistics among school leavers have been described as shocking, and where black people are gunned down on the streets with impunity.
The white supremacists who govern the US to this day, the descendants of those who enslaved our ancestors, continue to plunder our wealth right here in Guyana and throughout the Global South, while ensuring that any nation refusing to be subjugated is, quite literally, destroyed. The persistent poverty and chaos we see all over Africa, South America and the Caribbean is a direct result of the actions of this powerful minority. Surely it is time to move out from among them. Instead of immigrating to their country, where we are scorned, why not remain in and develop our own beautiful and resource rich homelands, which we can only do by rejecting Empire and all its trappings.
If El Salvador, Haiti and the entire African continent are being described this way by the US President, then we can safely assume that Guyana also falls into the “shithole” category. If being called a “shithole” is not enough, then what will it take to wake us up from our slumber and force us to summon the dignity and courage we need to finally break free.
Gerald A Perreira
Organization for the Victory of the