Isdore Guvamombe Saturday Lounge Reflections
The discussion among village elders was that radio stations were agog with the news of the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black American, by the United States of America police.
Blake’s shooting itself, the elders contended, had come before the blood of another black man, George Floyd, had not “dried up”, after he died at the brutal hands of the same institution — the police.
There were several other people, the villagers tried, but failed to remember by name, who died at the hands of US police.
There we were, sitting around a bonfire, discussing matters of State and governance, of course, sipping a beer here and there, for, back in my village in the proverbial land of milk, honey and dust — Guruve — you cannot discuss important matters on dry throats.
Unlike the old days, when a calabash did the rounds from mouth to mouth, now every man brings his own cup, for Covid-19 has brought a new normal.
But in the village, beer, no matter how hard, oils the throats and obviously oils the discourse, too.
As we sat, the fire started slowly dying, but one man stood up, bended over and tried to give it one lively boost.
As he moved the pieces of firewood and made their ends touch, it raised sparks, smoke that forced everyone to close eyes and systematically frown.
Thereafter, there was a glow that started in pale purple then turned the ambers red. The fire flamed up. And, so did the discourse.
There was clear anger and disgust. There was shaking of heads and caressing of goatee beard.
Karitundundu, the ageless village autochthon of wisdom and knowledge, who, for long has been sitting with an unease stillness, drew out a pouch, snuffed his nostrils, drew a circle on the ground with his walking stick and concluded:
“White Americans are contemptuous of black people and small nations the world over. They think they are gods, and America wants everyone to kneel before it as the God of our time.”
He snuffed again and, when the oracle concludes, the discussion is over and the subject changes.
The full input of it is that America’s institutionalised racism, brutality and deliberate trampling of smaller nations has become subject of discussion everywhere.
From George Floyd to Jacob Blake and many other black people, the actions of their police remain consistent with the contempt and nauseating hatred.
Floyd, a Black man, died on May 25, after a policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
His death sparked calls across the US for policing reforms and triggered global protests.
Jacob Blake (29) on the other hand, was on August 3, shot seven times in front of his children and has become paralysed.
Racial problems in the US are on the rise right now. It’s happening not only due to the George Floyd case or Blake, but it has become institutionalised.
In general, racism in the US is a result of deep-rooted imbalance and injustice in American society.
The Floyd murder was only the trigger and eye-opener of this crisis.
In reality, US still has a policy of segregation in terms of skin colour when hiring people and in salaries issues, in many spheres of life and so on.
And even now we see the hypocrisy of the US government.
While the US has for years tried to position itself as the biggest and greatest democracy, as an icon of human rights, as the epicentre of everything good and the fad of a good world, the opposite in very true.
Today, the US continues to meddle in the internal affairs of independent states such as Zimbabwe and the failed July 31 regime change demonstrations are a good example, instead of solving their internal problems.
The illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and many other countries on the false claim of lack of democracy, good governance and accountability and cooked up human rights abuses, are nothing, but a smokescreen behind which the US hides its perpetual contempt of the advancement of black people.
Washington, by activating its foreign policy to destroy any other State running on an independence plinth, wants to shift international community’s attention from the chaos in its backyard, to other agendas.
It is fact not fiction that the US has lost its much loved image of being the “leader of a free world” and now we all see the real face of American-style democracy.
Democracy to the US means white supremacy.
It means disrespect of small nations and what they stand for. It means intolerance to nations that do not tow their line. In fact, the US democracy means crashing any other nation that is not subservient.
It is time for Africans — all African countries — to criticise and express dismay at this regime change tactic and advancement of white supremacy.
The US’ dirty methods in terms of sponsoring regime change in the disguise of democracy and give so-called aid to developing countries, but in fact, the biggest part of this aid “returns” to US as a payment to some “humanitarian and non-governmental organisations” which in reality are connected and affiliated to US government and its bigger agenda.
If developing countries are really interested in sustainable growth and development they need to demand national control of international aid and investments, otherwise it looks like new colonisation.
The NGO sector has become the instrument for regime change and they bring aid that has too many strings attached.
Africans should use regional, continental and international mechanisms (Sadc, AU, UN, etc.) to work out joint positions and decisions on such important issues concerning Africans, to condemn the policy of new colonialism by Western countries and so on.
Africa should also quickly develop its military and police such as AU and Sadc standby brigades to deal with its own hot spots.
The white supremacists do not even care how much other races and countries feel about being downtrodden day in day out.
They just don’t care how much mayhem the NGOs have caused in countries like Zimbabwe, coordinating protests, tarnishing the image of the Government on social media and disturbing peace and tranquillity that the country has been known for.
Small incidents in Zimbabwe become big issues and yet black people are living in fear in the US and are being killed and injured every day. It has become daily occurrence.
Police brutality against black people in the US has become a sad daily occurrence.