Columns

Trump has thrown down the gauntlet to the Negro

Franklin
Johnston

Friday, January 19, 2018

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The world is in spasm with President Donald Trump's “s***hole” comment about Africa, Haiti — by inference, all blacks. Black nations are outraged, but we understand him. Nations were aided by America, some for 60 years — Europe rebuilt; war-wrecked Japan, Vietnam, Tigers prosper; but black nations are uniformly poor.

People try to flee Africa via the Mediterranean and thousands drown, as they can't swim. Our academics blame slavery as “the white man took our wealth and tortured us”. Truth is, we only know what whites chose to write. They took the Taino's land and made money using our forefathers' labour. We got a bly in 1962, but do not use Tainoland to enrich our masses. The sanitised version of expletive is that blacks must work, grow our nations, do not beg America, get with the human race!

Trump is powerful, yet deeply flawed. The ugly American got uglier, but crude words spoken in private and leaked may still focus minds. Hypocrisy is underrated. How else do we deal with distasteful people when they have what we need but to smile sweetly? Do you see our diplomat to the USA? Now check the one to Nigeria — you get it?

This issue is not strange, as for years we have seen Trump's coarse conduct. We are Trump's for tourism and remittances, but let's engage other options and grow fast! He is not in sync with decades of USA policy on Haiti; nor are we. When canoes landed in Portland we bagged and tagged Haitians and Cabinet sent them off one-time! When Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made obscene remarks about President Barack Obama what did Jamaica, Caricom, Africans do? He said the most powerful man in the world, who is black, was “a son of a whore”, so by failure to act then did our leaders open the door for the most powerful man today to insult all black people? We reap the fruit of our action or inaction!

Trump is revolution. We may not like him, but disruptive development is real, and there is a pussycat inside him, so check back in mid-2019. Impeachment did not remove President Bill Clinton, so our strategists must exploit each shaft of light. Trump empowers white men to be crude, sexist, racist, and is like us who cuss 'cloths' of all types and our men publicly describe gross sex acts they wish to perform on passing 3 o'clock schoolgirls: “Hey, gal, come yah mek me wreck a pum pum.”

We dismiss Trump to our peril. He could win here, so take note, career politicians, and look for good unintended consequences. We admired President John F Kennedy, but who made laws to end racism? President Lyndon B Johnson, who had the charisma of a toe rag!

Articles by angry blacks provide no evidence to negate Trump's foul epithet, so I am gutted. I can't say, “Sir, Jamaica used 55 years of USA aid to grow and prosper; just look at us now!” That some West Indian leaders and writers blame our failure, but not success, on slavery is hypocrisy. Are Usain Bolt's speed, Bob Marley's rhythms, Derek Walcott's poetry, Sir Arthur Lewis's Nobel for white economics all due to slavery?

Haiti and Africa are fetid. We who work there see the personal wealth and the mass poverty — almshouse! We have heard “s***hole” type talk from foreign consultants of aid agencies. They say Jamaica is great and will get contracts till Jesus come, as we will not leave the American aid teat. So get angry, folks, but what's our takeaway? Study the adversary, as we want to prosper not win debates.

Trump is supported by those who advocate white supremacy. We saw it early, and he may take the US back to the 60s or civil war; maybe virtual, not like the first one, but with race at the core. So let's aim for per capita gross domestic product of US$30,000 by 2030 via manufacturing, mining, arable land, balmy climate, strong people, and location. Africa will not be free until it has one rich nuclear state. Until then, blacks will be insulted and killed with impunity.

We have intergenerational poverty, so Trump brands us with no fear of contradiction. Can rich Nigeria launch a missile to focus his mind as “poor” North Korea? No! Can African nations block mining coltan (for niobium, tantalum), so USA electronics, mobile phone firms freeze and Trump think twice? Why are blacks everywhere so freakin' powerless? Friends, let's build little Jamaica and lead the way!

Trump has been called names and did some ripe name-calling too. On evidence he lies, cheats, is a coward, a lecher, and does not like Negroes. If you can change him, do; we will work around him to meet our goal. Iconic, mendicant Haiti is a tragedy in two acts — we grieve. Is the Negro always a minstrel? Africa shames us. It will not even say why it sold our ancestors to whites. Idiots here read the white man's half and wish to get rich thereby. How can we teach kids that actions have consequences if academia does not demand Africa's half of our slavery story?

Trump has thrown down the gauntlet to the Negro and we can't disprove his “s***hole” characterisation of black nations who “huff and puff” as Prime Minister Andrew Holness sits on Jerusalem fence. Trump struck a rich seam of racism and America must deal with its mess. Weep not for America!

Should we register disgust in curt prose — not long essays as in the papers? Should we go for United Nations sanctions; expel ambassadors? Should Jamaica and Caricom refuse aid until he exits? These times try men's souls. We need a Michael Manley. Stay conscious!

Franklin Johnston, D Phil (Oxon), is a strategist and project manager; fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK); and teaches logistics and supply chain management at Mona School of Business and Management, The University of the West Indies. Send comments to the Observer or franklinjohnstontoo@gmail.com.

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