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Africa and its S-hole countries – uncommon perspective

Yes, the United States in particular and the West in general are a major reason why these countries are shitholes. Quelle surprise!

I’ve come across a number of people who have voiced support for Donald Trump’s ‘shithole countries’ comment (Trump indicated that African countries and Haiti are shitholes). The basic premise being that however brutal it might sound the Donald was basically correct about the state of African countries.

My problem with this line of thinking is twofold;

Firstly, Donald Trump was not referring to the countries in his statement. He was referring to the people. He wasn’t rejecting the countries, he was rejecting the people. After all, immigration is about people NOT countries. It is completely unhelpful to come to the Donald’s side because it misses the point of what he was actually saying.

The second problem is that it is all too common that when the weak and oppressed get attacked by the powerful and oppressive elements within the victim group give succour to the attacker by confirming the premise of the attack. When Penny Sparrow attacked black people two years ago for soiling her pristine beaches there were many black people who sided with her and agreed that we blacks are the polluters of South Africa’s beautiful beaches. When a woman was attacked at the Gaborone Station last year for the way she was dressed there was many a woman who proclaimed that women also made it difficult for men to behave because of their scanty attire.

The effect of such talk is always the same. It gives cover to the abuser and ratifies their twisted thinking. It emboldens him and allows him freedom from self-criticism and review. It also diverts attention from the real issue. In Trump’s case it means we don’t end up dealing with the fact that a major reason why these countries are considered shitholes is because of the policies and behaviour of the United States itself.

Yes, the United States in particular and the West in general are a major reason why these countries are shitholes. Quelle surprise!

Giving support to Trump directly allows him to forget this inconvenient fact. And leaves us in no better place but square one.

Trump is and has always been a racist. As much as I realise that our continent has a lot of work still to do his racism will get no sustenance from me.


Osego Garebamono is a practising attorney and partner at a successful law firm in Botswana. He is also host of a popular radio programme. Garebamono is a great proponent of  fundamental human rights and freedoms. To that end, he is non-judgemental, open-minded,opinionated, non-conformist and appreciates these same values in others.

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