Is Africa A Sh*tHole? One African Thinks So. - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14879524
So, I was reading the headlines in google news, as I do every morning when I log in at work, and sure enough, I found myself reading the latest flurry of condemnations for something Trump said that was both "low-brow" and "offensive," but which I had found both amusing, and hard to deny, in its general truth. It was nothing I had not heard a thousand times over by both conservative and liberals in "honest conversation" at a bar or from every Tom, Dick, and Harry at an auto repair shop or construction job-site.

In spite of these condemnations, I found several African articles where African journalists refused to condemn Trump's word and instead criticized their rulers for being the source of problem in being labeled shitholes.

One article in particular I found especially good, and will now quote it below in its entirety and leave the link below.

Is Africa a shithole?

From Prime News Ghana:

If someone tells you that you have bad breath and you’re not sick in the head, you are not expected to laugh or smile. But if you know you have bad breath, you will be embarrassed, but you don’t get angry with the one who points it to you. You get a remedy.

No African country is expected to be happy after the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, called African countries “shitholes”. But are we not shithole countries? How different is this from what Tony Blair said at a Labour Party conference in 2001 about us? Blair said, “The state of Africa is a scar on the conscience of the world.” Do we dispute that too?


I cannot speak for Haiti and El Salvador, which Trump reportedly lumped together with Africa and described as “shithole countries.” But which honest African can beat their chest and say we have conducted ourselves well enough to deserve respect and dignified treatment on the global stage? There are great African individuals doing great things around the world, but collectively, we don’t deserve the respect and dignity we fight for without doing much to earn a modicum of it.

In many instances, we have conducted and continue to conduct ourselves like wild beasts and have lost the moral right to be angry at the description Trump has given us. In 2018 a member of parliament is murdered and the pathologist says the autopsy report is missing. The court had to fight hard in order to get the autopsy report on Major Mahama’s murder. These are two murders that shook Ghana and if this is the drama at their trial, what will not happen to ordinary mortals like you and me? The police are issuing conflicting reports on the rape case involving a Lebanese. And if you collapsed and were taken to any government hospital today, chances are that you will be turned away because there is no bed to treat you. This is Ghana in 2018.

Because we are human beings, we deserve to be accorded the fundamental human dignities and rights. But that’s where it ends. The thief, drug addict or beggar has the right to life and to a fair trial and the basic rights accorded to humankind. But do you respect them and value them the same way you value the hardworking man or woman who is impacting society in a positive way?

I’m not out to defend Trump or endorse his words. Trump is incurably racist. He is irredeemably uncouth and unrepentantly crude in his ways. He is not any better than some of the worst so-called leaders with whom the Africa continent has been cursed since independence. He’s just like Yahaya Jammeh, the immediate past president of The Gambia. The only difference between their presidencies is that America is a fairly organized society, where institutions work. For this reason, any idiot can govern America and still succeed to some extent.



His stance on immigration is problematic but what got Africans worked out is his description of us as shithole countries. It is said that if someone speaks ill of you, live your life in such a way that people will not believe him. Unfortunately, every honest African believes Trump when he says we are shithole countries. Our elders say a child who washes its hands well eats with kings. But have Ghanaians and Africans washed our hands well?


As long as we remain, beggars, we should not expect to be treated with equal dignity and respect in the League of Nations. We beg without shame. We beg from Europe to America, India to Indonesia and from China to Cuba, where we Ghanaians get medical doctors to treat our sick. We don’t beg because we are poor. We beg because we are thieves who steal the resources meant to develop our continent and carry them to the Western World and some parts of Asia.

In 2017, Switzerland announced it was returning $321 million to Nigeria. This money was seized from Abba Abacha, son of former Nigerian Head of State, Sani Abacha. At the time of making this announcement, Switzerland had already recovered around $700 million of Abacha-related assets.

Nigeria was also pursuing $480 million, which had been seized in the United States. Nigeria lost $400 billion to corruption between 1960 and 1999, according to estimates cited by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Abacha alone is believed to have stolen $4 billion. And this country cannot feed its citizens, provide power, drinking water and other basic necessities of life.



Nigeria is not an exception. Neither is Abacha. It has become an unfortunate norm that the average African politicians, business people and middle class, are out there to fleece the poor. Honesty and integrity and the patriotism to serve and build African states are qualities that are rarer than snowfall in the Sahara Desert.

In 2015, one energy contract in Ghana was said to have been inflated by $150 million dollars. In 2016, $74 million waste bins contract was found to have been inflated by at least $34 million. A piece of bin liner sold on the market at 22 cents was invoiced to the state at $15.6 a piece. In the same country, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General received a donation of desktop computers from the Chinese Embassy in Accra and an amount of 10,000 cedis or $2,300.

Why do we take offence at the word “shithole” when cleaning our streets and markets appears more difficult than launching the most sophisticated spacecraft? We still die from preventable diseases such as cholera, malaria; and any time there is an outbreak, we look to the West or some UN agencies to deliver us.

How on earth do we expect to be treated with respect and dignity when we don’t put any value on the lives of our citizens? For a long time, the European Union had made the plight of African migrants its top agenda. Every day we hear stories of how energetic young men and women from Africa drown in drones in the Mediterranean Sea in desperate attempts to escape from shitholes. Italian, Spanish and other European countries patrol these deadly waters daily and are able to rescue some. What has the African Union done about it? The AU, whose headquarters is a product of begging from China, does not seem to care about the lives of its citizens but it cares about the shithole description.

Last year news emerged of how these young men and women were sold to slavery in Libya. With as low as $400, one could get a slave to buy. The kind of uproar which greeted Donald Trump’s comment was absent. The desperation of African migrants is because their leaders have specialized in looting their collective wealth and stashing the loot in foreign banks. Chances are that many of them will die to leave such funds in those banks and not even their children or spouses will know about some of them.

Some things do happen in Africa and one wonders if we were created the same way like other human beings elsewhere. Consider the following incidents that happened in Romania and Ghana in 2015.

In that year 32 people died in a nightclub fire disaster in Romania. About 20,000 protestors took the streets to protest and blamed the authorities for corruption and lack of supervision. The results? The Prime Minister, Victor Ponto, took responsibility, apologised to the people and resigned.

In that same year, more than 150 people were killed in an avoidable fire and flood disaster in Ghana. The June 3 disaster was caused by leaked oil from a fuel station and choked drains, which caused flooding in the city of Accra. The mayor who supervised the floods said he would not apologise to anybody. The President did not fire him.

A few weeks later, hundreds of people took to the streets of Accra, blocking traffic for hours. The reason, the mayor who supervised the causes of the disaster had picked up a form to contest as a member of parliament and the crowd was there to support him amidst dancing and drumming. They voted for him in the 2016 election and they call address him as “Honourable!”

The only person who was arrested by the security agencies over the deaths was a young man who was alleged to have smoked a cigar and thrown the tub in the floodwater. How can anybody defend this country when someone describes it as a shithole?

Africans are racists to the core. Our form of racism is nastier because we direct it at ourselves. Many ethnic groups in African countries see each other as superior to one another. In most cases, such frictions have influenced and continue to influence the politics in Africa. They have also led to deadly wars that have killed millions, the deadliest one being the Rwandan Genocide.

When I got to the Dulles International Airport in the US in 2014, the young immigration officer who processed me was a Chinese. There was also an Arab next to him. I met Ghanaians who were high ranking officials in the US Army and some served in very sensitive positions in state departments. Recently a Ghanaian was appointed a Minister of State in the UK and we were shouting all over.

In Ghana, hell broke loose when someone raised an alarm that he had seen a “white man” driving a Ghana Police Service vehicle. If a Chinese, American or Lebanese becomes a citizen of Ghana and tries to join the security services, what will our reaction be?

Trump may be wrong in trying to control immigration, but African countries have such bad histories. In 1969 the Aliens Compliance Act led to the sacking of migrants from Ghana, including missionaries. In the early 1980s, Nigeria did same and sent Ghanaians who had fled the political turmoil back home fleeing leaving their landed properties. Around that time, Nelson Mandela and other freedom fighters of Apartheid South Africa were going round Africa begging for money and resources to go back and free the black race from oppression. Today, Black South Africans are hacking and killing citizens of other African countries who are here legally to work.

In 1957, when Ghana gained independence, our first President and champion of Pan Africanism, Kwame Nkrumah declared that the African was capable of managing his own affairs. Sixty years on, we have proved him wrong.

The stories of how African countries govern themselves are replete with barbaric tales of greed, mismanagement and corruption. In countries like Ghana, which the Western world fools us into believing that we are bastions of democracy in Africa, we are yet to understand what democracy is about. Apart from the violence-free periodic elections and freedom of speech for politicians and journalists (the rest are victimized for speaking out), there is nothing significant about our so-called democracy.

In the week Ghana celebrated the 25th anniversary of the 4th Republic, 84,600 youth were lined up in the sun to fight for 500 slots in the immigration service. Those who are daring enough are trekking in the desert in order to get to Libya and finally cross to Europe.

We are a shithole continent that has blamed the Whiteman for our woes but refused to say how we have been complicit in even the white man’s sins. We helped in catching and selling our relatives into slavery and helped the colonisers to fight kingdoms such as Asante, which were determined to resist colonialism.

We accuse the colonialists of stealing our resources to build their empires but after independence, we steal from our own people and carry it to our colonial masters. The politicians, middle class and traditional rulers in Africa now see owning properties in the West as a necessity.

I can go on and on, but the message remains the same. Africa is a continent that cannot feed its people. It cannot provide healthcare for its people. Potable drinking water still remains a luxury. The power supply is erratic. Our educational system is collapsing and those who can afford now educate their children in Europe and America. Nine out of every 10 Africans you sample are likely to run out of the continent at the least opportunity. And a shithole continent is an apt description of our messy state of affairs.

Instead of fighting Trump, let’s fix our mess. Fixing our mess will not change the perception of Trump about us. We won’t do it to please anybody. But we deserve to live dignified lives.


https://www.primenewsghana.com/general- ... gnity.html
#14879538
So, I was reading the headlines in google news, as I do every morning when I log in at work, and sure enough, I found myself reading the latest flurry of condemnations for something Trump said that was both "low-brow" and "offensive," but which I had found both amusing, and hard to deny, in its general truth.


It is not at all hard to deny "its general truth".

Africa has problems. No doubt. If we apply our living standards to them they are behind. But that would be a huge mistake. It is preposterous to consider every nation which does not adhere to our lofty standards a shit hole. The EU could certainly do that with regards to many of the inner cities in the US or our preposterous health care system. Regarding our inner cities, they are, perhaps, to cultured and polite to do it. With regard to our health care system perhaps they know that for all of its problems, they are greaatly benefited by the research it funds.

The problem with this is not down-played by some African writer using this opportunity to make political statements about his and other governments. That will always happen. Opportunists abound in political writing.

The problem with this is that it deeply affects our ability to interact with African nations. It harms our intelligence gathering capability, stops diplomacy in its tracks and strengthens our opponents in the region who are all making speeches about their "dear partners in prosperity" and "allies in strength and security" as they move their bankers, spies and military into the continent.

This is a huge diplomatic mistake by Trump. No need to sugar coat it. His childish behavior is harming the nation and the fact that his stupid supporters can't see that even more frightening.
#14879542
The best in the Trump presidency is that every Tom, Dick, and Harry at an auto repair shop or construction job-site can feel like president anytime the Donald opens his mouth. Also, the issue is not whether there are shithole countries in Africa. I like the comparison with Blair, his words sound like that of a statesman.
#14879544
Blair was too oblique, yes he deflected blame from where it lay and that saves face for Africans but, statesman like it may be, it doesn't do anything for the kleptocracies remain unfingered.

Trump's style is honest and blunt, he is a hammer where Blair is a smoke bomb. Some nuts can only be crushed by hammers and not smoke bombs.

But some are just pathologically enraged at Trump's very existence and anything he says or does will be an opportunity for frothing and raving. If he had used Blair's elegant phrasing to disguise his meaning you would all be screeching on how he wasn't speaking clearly enough.
#14879545
To be honest, when I walk down the strrets in a major US city, such as NYC, I am struck by the massive income inequality, the amount of homeless people, and the high number of people desperate to sell me something.

It is one of the reasons why I am hesitant to label the USA as a developed country. I do not like to swear (I leave that to my beloved), but if you are going to claim that developing countries are deserving of such an epithet, then look to the plank in your own eye.
#14879546
Pants-of-dog wrote:To be honest, when I walk down the strrets in a major US city, such as NYC, I am struck by the massive income inequality, the amount of homeless people, and the high number of people desperate to sell me something.

It is one of the reasons why I am hesitant to label the USA as a developed country. I do not like to swear (I leave that to my beloved), but if you are going to claim that developing countries are deserving of such an epithet, then look to the plank in your own eye.

NYC is a victim of its own success in that respect, half the world wants to live there but it only covers a few square miles. It is hardly the same thing at all with Aftrica's problems.
#14879550
Pants-of-dog wrote:The same thing happens when I visit LA, Detroit, Miami, Vegas and other places in the US.

They do not even have public health care or paid parental leave.

Again not even comparable. Anyway they have hospitals and surplus income can be saved to fund one's own leave. Being a ward of state might be utopia for you but not everyone needs to be a bureaucrat's pet to have a nice life, some people feel the richer for being master of their own affairs.

You should visit Africa some time to get a sense of perspective.
#14879552
SolarCross wrote:Again not even comparable. Anyway they have hospitals and surplus income can be saved to fund one's own leave. Being a ward of state might be utopia for you but not everyone needs to be a bureaucrat's pet to have a nice life, some people feel the richer for being master of their own affairs.

You should visit Africa some time to get a sense of perspective.


El Salvador also has hospitals and people there can also save money.

The rest of your post is your usual emotional reaction to off topic issues, so I will simply ignore it.

It’s not like there is some objective criteria for determining whether or not a country is a shithole. Apparently you feel the need to defend Trump’s feelings about Africa and Haiti.
#14879553
Pants-of-dog wrote:It is one of the reasons why I am hesitant to label the USA as a developed country. I do not like to swear (I leave that to my beloved), but if you are going to claim that developing countries are deserving of such an epithet, then look to the plank in your own eye.


Yeah, because the United States is like Ghana or Zimbabwe. :roll:

Pants-of-dog wrote:The same thing happens when I visit LA, Detroit, Miami, Vegas and other places in the US.
They do not even have public health care or paid parental leave.


Because that is even remotely like anything the author from Ghana was complaining about in his own country. Boy does this sound spoiled.

Americans having private health care = Ghana not having running water or beds in hospitals.

Americans don't have paid parental leave = African nations suffering from insane genocides, aids epidemics, and death from diseases long cured in the west.

Talk about an example of asinine elitist snobbery.
#14879556
Pants-of-dog wrote:El Salvador also has hospitals and people there can also save money.

The rest of your post is your usual emotional reaction to off topic issues, so I will simply ignore it.

It’s not like there is some objective criteria for determining whether or not a country is a shithole. Apparently you feel the need to defend Trump’s feelings about Africa and Haiti.

You are projecting, I am not being emotional at all, you imagined all of that. This is the quality of debate I expect from you. :lol:
#14879558
Victoribus Spolia wrote:Yeah, because the United States is like Ghana or Zimbabwe. :roll:

Because that is even remotely like anything the author from Ghana was complaining about in his own country. Boy does this sound spoiled.

Americans having private health care = Ghana not having running water or beds in hospitals.

Americans don't have paid parental leave = African nations suffering from insane genocides, aids epidemics, and death from diseases long cured in the west.


Since I never claimed that these things are equal, I am going to ignore this strawman.

Talk about an example of asinine elitist snobbery.


Yes, that is a good description of Trump’s comments.

————————

SolarCross wrote:You are projecting, I am not being emotional at all, you imagined all of that. This is the quality of debate I expect from you. :lol:


Okay.

Since this post of yours is devoid of anything resembling an argument, I will simply move on.
#14879559
Again not even comparable. Anyway they have hospitals and surplus income can be saved to fund one's own leave. Being a ward of state might be utopia for you but not everyone needs to be a bureaucrat's pet to have a nice life, some people feel the richer for being master of their own affairs.


Sure they do. Right until the wheels come off. I deal with them all of the time.

You should visit Africa some time to get a sense of perspective.


An American (or any other person from the first world) visiting the poorer areas of Africa would indeed feel out of place and, if they had any heart at all, feel pity for the people. But that is the thing. Africans visiting the poorer areas in Africa would feel the same. If you were to walk down the streets of East LA you might feel out of place too.

I think that what we all often miss is that happiness lives everywhere. This is not to say that the AIDS crisis in Africa is not to be challenged. It is to say that it is fallacious to say that African people are unhappy because they do not live in a gated community like you and I do. That said.

If the goal is to deal with despotic governments and make life better for Africans, and I hope it is, then the last thing to do is throw these despots a bone. That is what Trump did. General and Dictator for Life, The Reverend Doctor Joe Blow of Whereverland can stand in front of his people and say, "Here is what the racist Americans, who took our forefathers as slaves, really think of you. You need to follow me because I love you like my own children and a bright future awaits".

I see in the arguments supporting the use of the term two major problems. Of course the obvious one is their sense of cultural superiority. Perhaps more disturbing is that they fail to see how profoundly this kind of childish rhetoric on the part of an American president, harms our country. And by extension, all western countries seen as allied to the US.

It will not likely happen but if these shenanigans should cost the republicans the house and the senate in 2018, what will they say then? They will act injured and whine about the damned "liberals" taking over the country. They will not realize or admit if they do, that their upcoming political losses, whatever they are, will be a self-inflicted wound.
#14879562
Sub-Saharan Africa is a shithole by any standard. There are some shitholes in the U.S., mostly inhabited by immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa. By the same token, there are parts of cities in Europe and the U.K. that are just as bad. I'll put up London's East End against Detroit or Ferguson any day.

Most folks speak about like Donald Trump in private. I'm not a snowflake. I've heard Haiti referred to as a shit-hole and worse plenty of times. Most of the folks I hang around with are professionals with advanced college degrees. Every hear the tapes of LBJ. Ever hear of Donald flopping out his dick in a cabinet meeting? :roll:
#14879564
Drlee wrote:If the goal is to deal with despotic governments and make life better for Africans, and I hope it is, then the last thing to do is throw these despots a bone. That is what Trump did. General and Dictator for Life, The Reverend Doctor Joe Blow of Whereverland can stand in front of his people and say, "Here is what the racist Americans, who took our forefathers as slaves, really think of you. You need to follow me because I love you like my own children and a bright future awaits".

That might be plausible (I am being generous) if VS hadn't shown us with his OP that there is at least one African who took Trump's message the right way where you took it wrong. You just hate Trump, basically, we can no more have a rational conversation about anything Trump says with you than an agoraphobe can walk in the fields of Nebraska. He is by no means a perfect individual but that excuses the lunacy arrayed against him not at all.
Drlee wrote:I see in the arguments supporting the use of the term two major problems. Of course the obvious one is their sense of cultural superiority. Perhaps more disturbing is that they fail to see how profoundly this kind of childish rhetoric on the part of an American president, harms our country. And by extension, all western countries seen as allied to the US.

What Trump said was basically correct, not polite but then so often politeness is just a lie, and for this you are enraged and then mostly because it was Trump who said it. If Blair in a rare moment of honesty said the same plain truth you would not mind at all. All of Africa's problems are just an opportunity for you to obsess over trump.
#14879566
Drlee wrote:Of course the obvious one is their sense of cultural superiority. Perhaps more disturbing is that they fail to see how profoundly this kind of childish rhetoric on the part of an American president, harms our country. And by extension, all western countries seen as allied to the US.


A critique of the choice of language should be a separate matter from the general point, which is why I quoted a man from Ghana on the matter. That the language is childish or rude may all be true, but as the author points out, the truth that lies beneath its callous expression only stings because it rings sadly true. The author then proceeds to compare his own country to the west and states that if Africans don't like their countries being called shitholes, they need to do something about it.

If someone tells you that you have bad breath and you’re not sick in the head, you are not expected to laugh or smile. But if you know you have bad breath, you will be embarrassed, but you don’t get angry with the one who points it to you. You get a remedy.

No African country is expected to be happy after the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, called African countries “shitholes”. But are we not shithole countries?


This is the point. Language inappropriate for a statesman? sure. Was such an imprecise generalization? Sure. Did it make the President sound like a Dick? Sure.
Was it rude? Yes.

Was It Untrue? No.

[EDIT]:

I will also add:

Is it how most working class Americans would characterize these nations when they watch the latest genocide or outbreak of black plague (as is this case in Madagascar) on CNN? Yes.

Is it how even "liberals" would characterize these nations if they were suggested to them as an option for their 18 year old daughters to visit on spring break? Yes.

Should they be compared to the United States, even at the ghetto-level (and lets not even go there on the demographic similarities)? No.

Are there exceptions, even in Africa? Yes.

But here is the thing, Africa, on the whole, is a shithole.

Its the fucking third world, how this has been made a topic for debate is baffling when everyone knows it is true. Cognitive dissonance has reached a breaking point in this country when pundits cannot admit that they would feel safer, both regarding crime and their health, to visit Norway rather than Haiti. Thats just fucking dumb and please, ANYBODY, try to prove otherwise, which itself would prove my point.

Third world countries, no matter where they are, may be characterized in common parlance as shitholes.

low standard of living, high crime, high disease rates, high infant mortality, low life expectancy, poor utilities, corrupt administrations, low GDP, etc, etc. Lets not complicate this.
#14879578
Yes Africa is a shithole and every time you turn on your phone to check the news or make a post or every time you drive to work or take the bus or turn on a light, watch TV, put on the heating go on holiday purchase a bottle of water wash your clother brush your teeth eat an apple etc. Basically every move you make and breath you take in the developed world you're responsible for dumping another shovel load of stinking shit into that ever filling hole that is Africa.
#14879586
jessupjonesjnr87 wrote:Basically every move you make and breath you take in the developed world you're responsible for dumping another shovel load of stinking shit into that ever filling hole that is Africa.


Is this sarcasm or are you genuinely criticizing the west? Please Explain.
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