I have never seen a man so isolated, abused, browbeaten, attacked, torn down, accused, yet still take to the microphone and speak positively of the greatness of his nation, the power of the potential of his people and his determination to lead the charge towards the restoration of the country. Anyone would have given up and said, forget the job, forget the title, forget the drama, but Donald J. Trump – somehow – keeps persisting and persevering through it all.
The Democrats have mobilized against him and given him no rest for his entire first term and you have to know that there must be those in his party who have doubted him and worked to undermine him, the local and international ‘mainstream’ media have thrown everything they can at him, social media ‘pundits’ have hammered him left, right and centre, people of various faiths have gone at him, people from different countries have disparaged him… even self-professed Satanists and witches have had their go at him… as has COVID-19. But, this guy somehow picks up and keeps on going. I know that people are praying for him, I know he has millions of supporters, but you have to imagine what toll this role takes on him. He’s even donating his salary – and still, he gets slammed… and keeps on going. That is heart and I pray he will find the mercy, grace and favor he needs to complete his journey well. He needs it. What he’s going through – and on all fronts – is not easy. I didn’t say he’s perfect, but I know the condition of my heart so I’m not throwing any stones today.
But we need to talk about something very critical.
All across the world, it is extremely difficult to find a nation that has influenced or impacted the world in the way that the United States of America has. I’m not praising or criticizing here, merely stating facts. From slavery to movies, to books, to music, to fashion, to business, to architecture, to politics and yes, even war, the USA has been at the forefront of various moves and cultural trends for centuries; influencing, impacting, directing, overshadowing, dominating or giving the appearance of dominating. In their movies, the only time it seems that an American gets shot by the bad guy (who is said to be from a Middle Eastern, Asian, European or Afrikan nation, or intergalactic forces – or the occasional rogue US agent) is when it is the tool that is used to forcing the hand of the US to retaliate for such ‘injustice’! At least those are the images left in my mind from my days of watching Rambo, Delta Force, Commando, Die Hard, Predator and on and on. The storyline was that the Americans always came out on top. It didn’t matter who came against them, they always rose to triumph over their foes. United as one! The message was that you could not touch them.
They would even depict themselves coming to the aid of the ‘hapless’ Brits, Afrikans, Europeans, Asians etc and so the image of America as the Big Brother, the world’s policeman, the world’s hero, superior in all ways, the land of opportunity etc was sown in the minds of generations across the world. That was some powerful brainwashing they were putting out there.
So, it’s a little odd to see the America of today where the reality doesn’t appear to match the decades of propaganda about them. Where positivity and optimism seem to have almost been overshadowed by negative energy and image, particularly on the domestic front. Where the head of state is so easily disparaged and abused by his people, among them a former head of state, for the whole world to see. Where the image of unity has been replaced by one of division, and that of prosperity, by struggle. Where graciousness and kindness appear to be in such short supply and the words of many are used to injure, assault and tear down more often than build up.
It’s also heartbreaking because the influence of the US on the global environment is still felt. The disrespect one to another, the disparaging of leaders and elders, the threats and violence are all speaking a language to a global audience, influencing thought and social direction for those strongly under the influence of the US. Freedom of speech has become a tool used to tear down and humiliate and cause harm; this trend has worked its way across various parts of the world. Afrika included.
We have become a people who appear to no longer give heed to eldership or brotherhood but rather look for ways to minimize people’s positions using sarcasm and disparaging words, rather than finding ways to build one another up. And no, I do not blame America for this, I pray that they will find paths back to compassion and brotherliness, where even if a leader is wrong, he is not dragged out in shame before the entire world, but the nation – as a family – would stand together to find ways to correct the mistake, conscious that his error reflects on them as a people… but more so their responses to his choices. That this will impact the way the world sees them as a nation, that this will be the reality exposed, beyond the propaganda.
A meme doing the rounds on social media says, in effect, that the way people speak to each other on social media would have earned them very physical repercussions if those words were spoken face-to-face.
Certainly, there is a false bravado that surrounds many of the comments that are hurled out on social media, but this tough talk emanated from a wider socio-cultural context that was given credence by politicians, the entertainment industry, the fraying social fabric, the abandonment of the walk of faith and inculcation of values contrary to family, love and brotherhood in America. This is what allows an elderly woman in a supermarket to point at a mother and her little children and say to them that she wishes they die, simply because they are not wearing masks during this season – or for a white woman to threaten to call the cops on a black man and lie to them about what he was doing. Something broke in the society and it was given wings to fly by the same mantle that allows America to influence the rest of the world and the world ingests this poison, blindly.
It ought not to be so.
This is clear evidence, for me, that blindly copying a culture along with its social, economic and political practices makes no sense for Afrika, indeed it makes no sense for the rest of the world either. Many have spoken of the gradual decline of the US over the past few decades, attributing it well to an abandonment of their God-given purposes and the introduction of policies that have been detrimental to the overall welfare of the individual, the family and the society as a whole. That the Afrika hasn’t paused to consider this and urgently moved to separate itself from the trends of the US and instead unearth and revive its own positive ways is worrying. That the nature of Afrika’s citizens more and more each passing year has taken on an American-ish character is disconcerting, to say the least. That the people in charge of leading their nations seem to ape more and more what America says, wants and does, is utterly horrifying. It leaves us open to the horrors that currently face that nation and instead of learning from the choices they made that brought them to this moment in time, we are signing a guarantee that we shall end up like them.
But hear this: There is NOTHING to stop us from changing course. If new economic policies are needed, let us create them and implement them. If new methods of educating our children are required, let us develop them and use them. If a new approach to societal structuring is beneficial, then let us restructure and speedily. There is no reason to remain on a course whose end we can clearly see is detrimental, more than it is beneficial. The choice is up to us.
For when the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts yield for us abuse and hatred, murder and death, we know there is cause for concern. When we can face those senior to us and insult them and tear them down with no regret or remorse, something within us is broken.
When we can misuse the resources of those who are junior to us, who are in our care, something is misaligned in us. When we can utterly disregard family and care for family in the broader context of the entire nation or continent of Afrika, then we are in a crisis. The time to do something about that is now. Love, brotherhood, forgiveness, compassion and care are paramount to a thriving and successful Afrika.
Let us rebuild that.
What's Your Reaction?
Chioma Phillips is the Editor of Msingi Afrika Magazine and the host of Msingi Afrika Television. Her hope is to see the Truth shared, with all who will listen, for the transformation of the people and the continent of Afrika - and the world. She believes passionately in the critical role that Afrika and Afrikans have to play on earth right now and hopes to ignite the spark that will cause them to see and believe who they are, so that they can live out their Truest lives for the remainder of their days.
My sister the first two paragraphs you wrote set the pace for the rest of the article and made me decide not to read further. It is said that the first paragraph of any article sets the tone for the entire piece. Your first two paragraphs were horrible and I am appalled at what you said. You praised Donald Trump and it shows that you don’t have any knowledge of who the man was and is. HE IS A RACIST! He hates people that look like you and I! I am an African American. I was born and raised in the United States. I left the US 9 years ago and I’ve only returned once. I am a retired engineer who has worked for the U.S. government and private industry. I am not a Democrat or a Republican. I am registered with an independent political party name the U.S. Green Party. I didn’t vote for Donald Trump or Joe Biden for the presidency. I say this because I want you to know that I am not defending what you said about the Democratic Party. Back to Trump. As an American of African descent and 74 years old, I know and have experienced racism in the US many, many times in my life. Too many times! It is the main reason I left the country. Donald Trump did not start racism, but he is the face of racism in this particular time in the U.S. He is not in your words “isolated, abused, browbeaten, attacked, torn down”! He is a racist just like his father and grandfather were before him. He tore himself down! As the words of wisdom says, ” you reap what you sow”. You need to do your own research on this man who you bestow so much respect on and you will find that he doesn’t give a care about people that look like you and I and he doesn’t care about Africa. He only cares about himself and his racist followers who he can manipulate at will. This man doesn’t really believe in God, but he uses religion to control the minds of his followers. If he believes in God, he would not have said and done the things that he did to all the women that he abused (fact!). He would not have said that he did not want immigrants from and I quote from his own words, ” African shithole countries” (fact!). If he believed in God, he would not have asked for the death penalty for five young Black and Latino boys who were wrongly convicted and imprisoned for the rape of a White woman in New York’s Central Park. He did this even after the five boys were found to be wrongly charged of the crime after serving time in prison (fact!). If he is such a fair individual like you think he is, he would not have turned away prospective Black American renters from one of his apartment complexes he owns because they were Black (fact!). You don’t seem to know much about this man at all. All I have listed above is true and can be found by looking it up on the internet. There is a lot more about him you don’t know. A lot! So, please, before you lionize this individual, you should get your facts straight as to who this individual is. He is not a man of God! His God is Donald Trump and money! It sickens me and hurts the many people this man has harmed throughout his life to know that a Black person like yourself believes that this racist, violator of women, a man who in 2016 is quoted as saying he could get away with murder is being persecuted! If your think that all I have said to you is fake, look it up! The world knows better!
Thank you so much for your candid reply. I knew, writing that piece, that it may not go down well with many, but I felt it had to be stated. Like I said in the article, he is not perfect, but I know the state of my heart too, yet God has found some way to redeem me despite it all and because of that I now try to look at situations and people from a different perspective.
I live in a country and a continent that has been assailed by imperfect leaders who have done horrible things. We continue to be impressed and attacked by other countries through negative and ugly policies. We are browbeaten and downtrodden and called names but, for the most part, Afrika has allowed the poison to seep into her bones and not to rise up from the ashes. Which we must do in order to become who we are supposed to be. So, even in the ugly I have to see the purpose for everyone’s lives. If I resort to hatred or bitterness I will get tired and worn down, like Afrika. It is something I have had to learn and deliberately practise.
Gaddafi did some things in his country that were actually beneficial, it is in his death that many came to see that. I am not trying to make a saint of anyone. I am working through the darkness to find the light and I believe it is something that everyone needs to practise. We cannot resort to hatred and vilification when love, compassion and understanding are needed. Whatever the cost.
That’s what we emphasized in our book. The colonialists did terrible things to us but to remain in hatred and anger and unforgiving leaves us trapped in a reality that we can never hope to escape. And having also come to understand that we can only give to the outside world from the abundance of what we have on the inside, I am daily working to perfect love in my heart for all and out that which is being perfected inside me, I now see everyone else. Irrespective of their flaws. Trump inclusive.
I hope you understand my meaning sir?
It is only when we break out of the pain of the past and the present that we can hope to rebuild the present and the future and by that we heal our world.
God bless you.
My sister I don’t speak out of hatred for this fowl man! I am a practicing Buddhist and I don’t speak hatred towards any living being. I speak about his deeds of the past, the present and what he intends to do in the future. I dislike like the system that he supports and leads! Something that you, because you are not a citizen of the United States, are totally unaware of. It is built around world dominance! I know because I was both a member of its military and worked as a professional in its government for over 30 years! The things I could tell you would make you cry out in fear in the night! As it makes me do sometimes at night, even now. I speak out against the injustices he and that system supports not only in the United States but in the entire world. What you don’t realize is since he is supposedly, “the leader of the free world” and “the most powerful nation on earth” (not my quotes!), he has more of an effect on you, I and everyone on this planet than all the leaders you speak of. These are things I and others are currently fighting to resist because I have children and grandchildren that will be affected by these things. SO WILL YOU! It is not for me to forgive this man who I don’t care about. He, first, must apologize to the people that he has done so much harm to. And to those he is planning to do harm to. Something he has not done and has no intention of doing. Why? Because he is a narcissistic, egoistic, tyrant whose only desire is to help the United States rule the world through its corporations and military!
Thank you for getting back to us again. We hear you loud and clear.
I feel the same way as you. Too many black people outside of America (and of course, non-blacks) have a Poly-anna, delusional and very one-sided and narrow, I might add, view of the US. Which is of course, by design. America has mastered public relations, if nothing else. And what people see in movies and in music is a very manufactured, myopic and staged publicity campaign that is meant to sell the world a product–America. And in the same way that we know that no company worth it’s salt is going to produce a commercial or PR campaign that reveals the underside or blemishes of it’s product (Coca Cola will never tell you about the health risks of drinking it’s product & Mickey D’s is also never going to tell you that they purposely place their restaurants in poor & low-income neighborhoods and this has probably contributed to the increased rates of obesity in this demographic) America is not going to willingly show you her TRUE face: the fact that slavery was never really abolished (the 13th just handed over the “privilege” to the US govt & states and took it from private owners), blacks who are descended from the enslaved Africans who built America own about the same percentage of US wealth as their ancestors soon after slavery supposedly ended and this is not b/c of the much vaunted explanation of “laziness or lack of ambition” but b/c the US has a racial caste system just as entrenched as Indian society. Which brings me to another truth about America, bc slavery was never really abolished, the prison industrial system needs to target the same demographic that populated American plantations and they do that effectively via laws that disproportionately disadvantage and imprisons young, black men, as well as black women and even children as young as 5 via the school-to-prison pipeline. I’ll just end this here bc we’ll be here all day with examples.
Said all that to say that America portrays itself as Superman when in reality it’s closer to the Joker or any other Superman nemesis. America won’t publicize it’s nazi and apartheid history in relation to black folk who have been in the country since before it was America. They won’t publicize that they are Big Brother on steroids and have been covertly targeting and harassing law-abiding black citizens a la S. Africa Apartheid-era with impunity for CENTURIES, with no pause.
And I won’t even get too deep into the mischaracterization of Donald Trump. If you are going to slavishly praise an American, you certainly couldn’t have chosen someone more entitled, racist and psychologically crippled than Trump. People like him see the US treasury as their own personal piggy bank. So even if he did donate his salary, I’m sure he’s been wheeling and dealing and setting up himself and his less-than-qualified children for even more economic largesse once he leaves office. And before you paint me into a box and accuse me of being a Dim, I don’t like them either. Both American political parties are opposite wings of the same bird of prey. And neither represent the interests of the average American. The US govt sold it’s soul long ago (that’s if it ever really had one, some would argue the contrary) and is fascist in every sense of the word. Corporations run and control the US. And so the bottom line is the only thing that matters and thus, the reason Trump was perfect for the role of Barnum in the circus that is American politricks. But if you also know his track record in business, it should come as no surprise that he was as ill-equipped and unqualified to successfully run the corporation that is America as he has shown himself to be in running his own businesses.
Thank you for your comment, it’s wonderful to hear from you. We love to be able to have interactions around key issues.
We agree with you about much of what you express… our article is a warning to our Afrikan brothers and sisters about not embracing blindly the propaganda that America has put out there for generations, which permeates and pervades almost every sector of every society in the world, to the detriment of the cultures of individual nations. Shocking, almost, how effective that propaganda machine was… almost yet not, as it is evident just how much has been invested into spreading specific messages for generations and often with such sinister motives. Hardly a Pollyanna perspective. With regard to Trump, it is far from slavish praise, but we shall reserve further comment for now.
Hello, thanks for responding. I didn’t mean to imply that you are not entitled to your personal opinion on Trump, but that I would hope that you would take into consideration his ENTIRE history. He has a clearly-defined racist penchant that goes back decades. But the truth is: he is the quintessential and prototypical white male–rich and poor alike. America was borne of the moral trifecta of theft, genocide and slavery and has never even really tried to alter that national character. (at least not without people demanding it). I could go into my own personal human rights abuse experience, but again, we’d be here all day. Just know that there really is no material difference between apartheid-era S. Africa, apartheid Israel, Nazi Germany and America. They are all cut from the same rancid, blood-soaked cloth. And I’m telling you what I know, not what I read in a book or in an article.
We’re really not here to excuse anybody’s behavior or choices – including Trump. We’re trying to move Afrika beyond the evil and poor choices that America has made, towards a self-view and path that has shed the weights of slavery and colonialism and any other form of discrimination and hatred to see that we can be more than the past tried to make us become. And more than the propaganda tries to influence us to become. The Afrikan narrative should not always be about racism, about backwardness, about slavery and about the lie they call third world country. No. The Afrikan narrative can be better than that. We need to move forward having shed the weights and learnt the lessons.