With cash and good tidings in hand, President Bush ventured to Africa to express his love for African humanity, and to show the goodwill of the American government which promises to throw plenty of taxpayer dollars at the continent’s various problems.
With the infamous Goree Island slave dungeons looming in the background, the president told the world that “the United States seeks to bring peace where there is conflict, hope where there is suffering, and liberty where there is tyranny. And these commitments bring me and other distinguished leaders of my government across the Atlantic to Africa.”
But those words rang hollow in the ears of such leaders as NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and the entire Congressional Black Caucus.
Mr. Mfume said the president has not attended one NAACP conference during three opportunities as leader of the world’s superpower. Mr. Mfume has been denied an audience so many times with the president, on behalf of the millions of Black Americans that his group represents, that he has stopped asking.
The Congressional Black Caucus has yet to meet with the president to discuss some of the same issues that are plaguing Black America that Mr. Bush is pleading to Africa to let him help them with–AIDS, poverty and lack of education.
What about bringing hope to the unemployed Black youths who can’t get a fair chance because life’s circumstances made them Black and poor? What about coming with a real AIDS plan to help the fastest growing HIV population in this country–Black women!
President Bush did not ask any CBC member to travel with him, nor did he seek their advice. So much for his concern about the well-being of Africans. If he doesn’t care about Africans living in America, how could he care about Africans living in Africa?
Similar to his misstep by snubbing Black America by not attending the UN Conference on Racism, Mr. Bush has yet missed another opportunity to connect with Black America and show real compassion.
Pres. Bush also knows that the $15 billion he has asked for to fund HIV/AIDS treatment in Africa over the next five years will never materialize. Where is the money going to come from in an era where defense appropriations and Homeland Security get all the available cash. Meanwhile, Bush proposes that funds for successful programs like Head Start be put under state control, knowing that states will divert those funds to other areas.
Where’s the money promised to cash-strapped New York post 9/11?
We hope that African leaders don’t fall for the okey doke that industrialized nations–those who robbed Africa of her wealth in the first place–now promise that they are coming back as saviors to help develop poor Africa. The Holy Qur’an says that the enemy promises only to deceive you.
How long has Africa been suffering; and how effective has any effort from Europe or America been in really addressing these problems? They only give enough to make them look like they are concerned, and too often the money that does come is gobbled up by greedy and dishonest leadership.
And that’s primarily why Africa suffers! It’s not that she doesn’t have wealth or that she doesn’t know how to capitalize from that wealth. It is a lack of bold, honest leadership that has the interest in developing human potential in Africa and the willingness of African leaders to bow down to White power.
African Christians praise a God that they say is Sufficient, while African Muslims bow to a God they say is The Sustainer. Yet, African Christians and Muslims are fighting and killing each other over boundaries that they didn’t create and resources that they could share and reap the benefit from together.
Why is this not happening? Is it because the same trickster that divided them in the first place continues to return to mediate a fight he instigated?
“Africa for the Africans, at home and abroad,” was the cry of the Honorable Marcus Garvey. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, on the banner of Muhammad Speaks newspaper showed the African in the West joining hands with the African in the East as a sign of what must happen in order for Black people to realize real power: Unity!
But where was the call from the African Union for involvement of the African in the Diaspora to contribute to their deliberations at their recent summit? Doesn’t the African in the Diaspora have something to offer? Don’t African leaders feel that Black Americans or Blacks in the United Kingdom or Blacks in the Caribbean care about our kith and kin in Africa and their development?
Why do African leaders trust Whites from Europe and America more than they have faith in their brothers and sisters in the Diaspora who have a foothold in these very nations that Africa wants help from and could help to deliver that help? Is it because even they have been overcome with the same self-hatred that plagues us in the Diaspora?
It was good that President Bush went to Africa. His trip helped to bring attention to the continent. It showed us that some Africans can stand up and say they didn’t like the fact that Mr. Bush attacked Iraq in an action that was a violation of international law! It showed us that the future of the world is in who controls Africa.
We hope that it also showed us the need for our unity, so that Blacks throughout the world can help Africa to rise into its rightful position as the superpower for the 21st century!