Everyone should be familiar with Donald Trump, the United States of America presidential aspirant on the platform of the conservative Republican Party.
He is rabidly racist, irascible, anarchist, amoral, voluble, loquacious, xenophobic, isolationist, and protectionist – name it! He sounds every bit irrational, violent, and dangerous. His hatred for immigrants – Blacks especially – knows no bound.
To be sure, Trump wouldn’t be the first such hate-peddling presidential aspirant in the history of the United States; problem, however, is, this one appears a very serious aspirant; he seems a likely winner of the Republican ticket. The who’s who in his party has endorsed him and the voters in the ongoing party primaries are flocking unto him.
He has trounced hitherto promising challengers and the gap between him and the others keeps widening primary after primary. Soon, he could reach the threshold necessary for him to be declared the undisputed winner of the Republican ticket – and he would be only one step away from the White House – the world’s most powerful office.
As it is today, the only person capable of stopping Trump is the Democratic Party presidential aspirant, Mrs. Hillary Clinton.
Former First Lady to two-term ex-President Bill Clinton, former Democratic party presidential aspirant (challenging Barak Obama and giving him a run for his money); former Secretary of State in Barak Obama’s cabinet and Senator, Hillary aims to make history as the first woman president of the United States.
If she is elected, the Clintons will also make history as the first couple in the country’s history to both occupy the White House as president. She has practically outpaced other challengers for the Democratic Party’s ticket and barring any upset, should soon wrap up the contest. Is she to be preferred to Trump? Many will say “yes” but I have read reports about her being an Establishment person whereas even in her own party, the chant is for change from the Washington culture. She is said to be far right of the Centre; not a friend of the poor; not passionate about the issues that concern the poor and if she wins, is likely to serve more of the same menu that Americans across party divide are fed up with.
Americans need CHANGE. The conservatives need change. They want somebody conservative enough to implement real conservative policies that will make no pretence at pandering to populist ranting. Trump appears to fit the bill. On the Democrats’ side, the people, especially the young, are also clamouring for change. Senator Bernie Sanders best approximates that change but he may not win the ticket.
Clinton is not trusted even by the pro-Left of her own party who sees her as pro- Establishment and pro-Wall Street. This is why many are afraid that in the event of Trump winning and Sanders losing, a chunk of pro-CHANGE Democrats may defect to Trump.
Our own Reuben Abati described Trump as “snarling insurgent and nativist” and the possibility of his becoming the U.S. president as “frightening prospect” Abati adds: “(Trump) has said all the worst things that should never be uttered by anyone seeking to lead a responsible and diverse nation. His campaign has been marked by insults, anger, put downs, bully tactics, rants, and unapologetic immaturity…He recommends torture and the killing of the families of terrorists. He has been endorsed by white supremacists and he doesn’t quite seem to mind being labelled a racist. He threatens violence and on one occasion almost punched a protester in the face. He even got into an altercation with the Pope. He wants to barricade the American South border and build a wall to shut out Mexico because, according to him, the Mexicans who cross the border into America are ‘rapists’. And when that wall is built, he insists Mexico must pick the bill. He doesn’t want Muslims inside America either, and he has dismissed Africans as unwanted and Nigerians as a problem”
The hysteria which has followed Trump is understandable. Now, hear what he said that has frightened everyone
“We need to get the Africans out (of America). Not the blacks (African-Americans); the Africans; especially the Nigerians. They are everywhere. I went for a rally in Alaska and met just one African in the entire state. Where was he from? Nigeria! He’s in Alaska taking our jobs. They are in Houston taking our jobs. Why? Why can’t they stay in their own country? Why? I’ll tell you why: Because they are corrupt. Their Governments are so corrupt they rob the people blind and bring it all here to spend. And their people run away and come here and take our jobs! We can’t have that! If I become president, we’ll send them all home. We’ll build a wall at the Atlantic shore. Then maybe we’ll re-colonize them because obviously they did not learn a damn thing from the British”.
Now, don’t blow your top yet. Let’s overlook the insults but do contents analysis of what Trump said about us.
Truth, they say, is bitter. Is it not true that Nigerians are everywhere? We often cite this as evidence of our industry. Had Trump gone a step further to find out the tribe of the Nigerian he met in Alaska, he might have found out his is Igbo! Don’t you think so? But truth is that where countries are faced with problems of massive unemployment, the first scapegoats are foreigners.
Trump may have been crude in his choice of words but repatriation of foreigners, especially illegal immigrants, is worldwide practice. We ourselves have sent Ghanaians and other Africans out of this country. Other African countries such as Ghana, Libya, and South Africa have done a similar thing to us. Are our governments not corrupt? Of course they are! Have our so-called leaders not stolen us blind? Of course they have! Do they not siphon the loot abroad while we suffer at home for basic amenities that such stolen money could have provided for us many times over? Of course that is the case! Is there not a brain drain from here to the developed countries? Of course there is! Are our people not running away from hardship here? Of course they are! And are they not taking up jobs in other lands that the citizens would, ordinarily, have got? That, of course, is the fact! But, again, this is the standard practice all over the world. There are, perhaps, more Americans working abroad than foreigners working in America.
Trumps’ tirade against Muslims is no less c acerbic, yet with its own “justification”. We must note that 9\11 continues to haunt the Americans; not to talk of the ISIS, Boko Haram , al-Qaeda, al-Shabbab, Mali, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, to mention but a few. It is trite, though, that the crimes of a few should not be stamped on everyone, especially when it can be argued that America’s foreign policy cannot be divorced from the terror-war in many parts of the world.
Islamic leaders have a lot of image-cleansing to do all the same. Incendiary statements by Muslims leaders portray the faith in bad light. The mindless bloodletting everywhere in the name of Islam does not help the image of Muslims. We have had our own nasty experience here in Nigeria; the Mile 12, Lagos mindless killings, for instance. Read Remi Fani-Kayode’s “Sons of Futa Jalon” and you are bound to recoil in horror.
In the last few weeks, the Ese Oruru saga has not been good Public Relations for Islam. Newspaper reports are to the effect that there are many other Ese Orurus that the media have started to champion their cause for freedom and justice.
Other people confront their problems but we run away from ours. Is that not why our best brains have left the shores of this country? Many of the lecturers who taught me at Ife, who made that campus tick, are out of the country. I will be surprised if you find White lecturers on our campuses again. In those days many of them taught me at Ife.
When I heard storied of Nigerian medical doctors who ran away to the U.S. to try to become a nurse, I wept. I understand one fellow wrote the qualifying exams several times but failed. He was almost giving up when, like our own President Muhammadu Buhari, he was prevailed upon to try one more time – and this time, he passed! Tell me, if others behave like us, who will create the Eldorado that we take pleasure in running to? We love finished products; we loathe finishing the products ourselves. Even to grow coaches at home, we cannot; we would rather import them. Buhari said we import from rice to tooth pick – and he is damn right. We hate rules. I mean here in the country – but we conform abroad. The car crash that killed a Minister, his wife and son turned out damning revelations of rules broken. It was impunity upon impunity. Yet, the Presidency rushed to compensate such infractions with the award of scholarships! When we should all have buried our heads in shame! If gold rusts, what will silver do?
Send them home, Trump, send them home! Let our universities bubble again with first-class academicians. If all those who brain-drained into the U.S. alone are sent back by Trump, we shall have our hospitals brimming with first-class professionals. And we shall learn to develop inwardly.
Prof. Chike Obi said long ago that unless we Blacks make contributions to science and technology\inventions, the Whites will never accept us as their equals. That is a fact. The best that we have notched up is Nobel Peace prize and Nobel Prize in Literature. Can Leopold Sedar Senghor then be right when the father of Negritude said: “Reason is Hellenic (white) while emotion is African (black)”? How will Donald Trump not trump us, so to say?
Whether abroad or at home, have we behaved properly to others and to ourselves? The stirring but shrill voice of Okot p’Bitek, in Song of Ochol, pierces the wind again as he moans: “Mother, why, why was I born black?”