A few months ago, I did an Ancestry DNA test. Now for the first time, I have the names of African countries where my ancestors came from: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo, Mali, Benin, Togo, Senegal. It’s an amazing feeling to have that information.
In direct opposition to that feeling, each day Donald Trump’s increasingly racist comments are an assault on my mind and soul. He is morally repugnant. Ignorant and hateful. I condemn him and all that he represents.
The most recent abhorrent statements by Trump referred to Haiti and African countries in general as “s***hole” countries. The context of these statements were in regards to immigration policy. He then went on to say that he’d prefer that people come to the United States from countries like Norway.
Many have since denounced his comments. The Government of Botswana issued a statement asking if they are considered one of those countries and further stating that they “view the utterances by the current American President as highly irresponsible, reprehensible and racist.”
The African Group of Ambassadors to the United Nations met in an emergency session yesterday to consider Trump’s remarks. They issued a statement demanding a retraction and an apology.
Among other things, they said they are “extremely appalled at, and strongly condemns the outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks attributed to the President” and further stated that they are “concerned at the continuing and growing trend from the US Administration towards Africa and people of African descent to denigrate the continent and people of colour.”
In the wake of all of this, there are a few things that I would like to state.
There are 54 countries in the African continent.
The birthplace of human kind is in Africa.
In September 2017 at the United Nations General Assembly, Trump stated, “Africa has tremendous business potential, I have so many friends going to your countries trying to get rich. I congratulate you, they’re spending a lot of money. It has tremendous business potential, representing huge amounts of different markets. … It’s really become a place they have to go, that they want to go.”
Donald Trump Jr. has a history of visiting Africa to kill wildlife.
The conversation around Trump’s comments has degenerated into talking about “s***hole” countries that people have left to come to the United States. I hate the focus on that word.
Instead, I wish the conversation would elevate to how the Continent is rich with resources and beauty that everyone wants.
Further, the people from this magnificent continent make-up the African Diaspora, who have shown unshakeable resilience and bravery in the face of terror and horror over centuries and brought beauty and culture throughout the world.
+ + +
Image: Public Radio International