Call me old fashioned, but due to the sheer quantity of swearing required, from henceforth ‘shit’ shall be written as $#%
Straight after the famous $#%@hole comment, the internet flooded with response, my facebook wall included. Many nice, thoughtful responses were from Americans who apologised for their President. Of course the mega-rich, corrupt African leaders came out immediately, up in arms that Trump had said such a thing. How could he?
A significant number of Africans however, agreed with Trump’s assessment. At least on some level. And its not just on facebook. Some of my friends here in Northern Uganda found his comment refreshing. One friend laughed when they heard it, and expressed that Trump was ‘very accurate, politicians don’t usually talk like that’.
Patrick and Jairus are not just well educated, but are top young leaders in Liberia and Uganda. I got to know Patrick at a conference in Demnark, and I’ve never met anyone so passionate about changing women’s lives by improving access to family planning. Their responses are well thought through and fantastic.
By agreeing with Trump they don’t think the Physical country, is $#%@hole, or that the regular people are $#%@hole. That’s obviously not true. Jairus and Patrick love the land, and the people of Liberia and Uganda. They are devoting their lives to improving it. They just realise that their ‘nation states’ and their institutions, are indeed $#%@hole. Many Westerners, especially in the mainstream news talk about countries like Uganda as if they have governments and institutions that are trying do the right thing, but just have a lot of work to do. They are wrong. This is what I mean from a Ugandan perspective.
– The policeforce is so corrupt and evil they are probably worse than useless, it would probably be better if they weren’t there.
– In rural areas, when you complete primary school you still can’t speak English, the language you have apparently been taught in for the last 5 years.
– Your government health centers don’t have drugs half the time because of corrupt leaders and zero accountability.
– Even if you struggle through the system and get educated, jobs are hard to get. I had 80 people with university degrees apply for my assistant’s job 3 years ago which at the time was paid 200USD a month. That’s right, 200 a month.
I agree with Jairus and Patrick. That’s $#%@ hole. Its good to recognize the plain truth. If we get out of our privileged ivory towers and recognize just how messed up these nation states and their institutions are, we’d understand why Trump’s comments resonate with a surprising number of people here. And this will continue while Western Governments continue to prop up these nation states and institutions, and fund the militaries of countries like Uganda, all the while turning a blind eye to the violence, corruption and inequality inherent in the institutions they support .
There is huge irony that the US government, the institution which Trump himself heads is one of the most guilty parties in funding these evil governments and perpetuating the problem. He’s a little bit guilty himself for the whole $#%@hole situation.