My heart is broken, irreparably. It seems as if a long thin sword with serrated edges and dipped in vinegar and hot chilli pepper has sliced through my heart and with every pulse, I feel lost and at sea, oh so lost. My heart hurts. As if I have been jilted by my groom at the altar, left ajar with no sense of direction and no consolation. The dull but steady pain stays with me wherever I go, I cannot shake it off, whatever I do. It seems I have, what the Americans call, ‘the Blues’.
Ok, enough of the dramatics. I guess the point has been made that my predictions for the recent American elections did not materialise. Who would have thought? The shock still ripples through the world and everyone, including me, strike that, especially me, is reacting differently. I had initially written a victory post to celebrate Hillary Clinton as the first female president of the United States (FPOTUS) and what that meant to me as a female African. Now that my prediction did not materialise, it seems right to check out the other side. What does a president who is not Hillary mean to me as a black female living in Africa? Every one is making projections, I have gladly jumped unto the Predictions Galore Wagon!! Here we go!
Some of my friends are trying to convince me that there might be a silver lining afterall, with the new incoming president who shares some of hardline views on God, abortion, gay marriages, etc. I am not convinced. I foresee dread and desolation, trepidation and terror and a general dismantling of the existing institutions of diplomacy that has kept this world from another world war.
Goodbye to AGOA and all fair trade policies with the US
This was a candidate who had repeated called Africans and Blacks unsavoury names and profiled us in unfavourable terms. I do not expect that his foreign policy will focus much on Africa except in terms of the usual looting mentality. The African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) has its negatives but it has also supported Africa to take advantage of trade with the united states in various forms and this has helped build local industries. With his insistence on making America become insular and inward looking, I do not forsee a continuation of AGOA in any shape or form. Infact, expand this grave prediction to other American incentives that support the building of African institutions such as the MIllenium Challenge Account (MCA), Obama’s Young Africans Leaders Initiative and all other like minded state funded programmes are on their way to being scrapped. What should we expect rather? Sale of our mineral rights, sale of real estate. I actually would not be surprised if he makes a bid to buy some African Countries.
Goodbye to presidential visits to the African continent
All us presidents have, one time or another during their presidential terms, visited a few countries in Africa as part of their foreign policy. I do not forsee this happening. Isn’t this the president who has said that he will be too busy in the White House to travel? And even if it does, that particular African presidential host should expect to be insulted and ridiculed in his own country or soon afterwards. Infact, I warn whichever country that seeks to invite this particular US president to visit. Beware of the consequences.
Goodbye to any form of aid, trade or bilateral support to local charities
This president has already said clearly that he will stop funding for the American charity Planned Parenthood. Also, even with his buckets of money has not put one cent into any form of charity or support and has a track record of tax avoidance and misrepresenting his financials.
Goodbye to my US visa
Immigration has been one of the cardinal points of his campaign. The promise to build a wall and sack all Muslims and Mexicans. Plus other unsavoury comments about immigrants, most of who work in his casinos and hotels. Smh. So for those of us whose US visas have expired, don’t expect it to be that easy to get a renewal and for those who are now going for a US visa, my advice is for you to hurry up and get it before January 20th, because your chances will just get slimmer and slimmer. But I wonder what will happen after he has repatriated all the undocumented immigrants. Who will do all that work? The scrubbing, tomato picking, potato peeling, the cleaning and the washing? How will American travel companies survive if we are all refused Visas?Well, we wait to see this changing socio political landscape. The good thing however is, that all your long lost friends and family members who travelled to the us and did not bother to check up on us here will now be coming home, no menace intended. And we will be waiting to serve them their right levy for all the missed funerals, births and weddings.
Goodbye to gender equality and womens empowerment
The issue of gender equality has been set back for about 100 or more years. All the inches of ground, painfully gained and held on to by women over the past 144 years since the times of Susan B Anthony are at a great risk of being trampled upon. I predict that there will be a great depression in the feminist arena. I also predict a strong underground movement. I am sure all the women, if there will be any, in his cabinet will be his version of women. Blond, model and brainless. This is a man who when confronted with the fact that he harassed certain women replied that they were not beautiful enough to warrant his harassment! SMH. A person who has gone through three marriages and openly brags about his ill treatment of women. I shall continuously pray for the women who have to work closely with him Thankfully I won’t, because, me, beautiful me, still not fit his perception of beauty, thank God!
So overall, it’s a rather bleak picture. I see the next eight, yes, eight years, as a serious retrogression on all the progress we have made as a civilised people learning to live together with each other’s differences. God help us all.
Author’s note: Part 1 of this blog was written on the eve of the American election. I look forward to publishing Part 1 on 8th November 2020 when Hillary becomes President. Insha Allah