Why do Africans give a shit about Trump calling us “shithole countries”?

On Thursday, Trump was exposed for calling Haiti, El Salvador and African states “shithole countries” during an official meeting discussing immigrant protection.

The whole world was outraged. Ordinary people derided his comments on Twitter. Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper actually called him a racist on live CNN broadcast. The Vatican and the United Nations scolded him, the African Union woke up from a months-long nap to scream about it, and the presidents of Botswana and Ghana had a bit of a meltdown.

But I’m bored at the attention that the media keeps giving Trump whenever he says something controversial (read: idiotic). 


Don’t get me wrong: it certainly isn’t a bad thing that people are finally calling Trump out on his racism or that African presidents are demanding explanations, it’s just irritating that so many, especially Africans, seem to be shocked that the president of the United States would think (or say out loud) that Third World countries were “shitholes”.

Have we all been asleep over the last fifty years of American foreign policy?

President Akufo-Addo of Ghana said he would not accept insults from a ‘friendly country’.

But the the United States was literally founded on racism, treats its own Indigenous, Black and Asian populations with indignity, is the strongest ally to Israel, has troops in Africa conducting secret projects and has been ousting democratically elected governments in multiple nations, including “shithole” countries, for decades.

This is a country that has banned people from the six majority Muslim countries while cowering from calling out Saudi Arabia for murdering people in Yemen and supplying armed groups with arms. What friendly country does Afuko-Addo speak off? 

The majority of American people voted Trump in, and then faced nationwide protest the day of his inauguration. The healthcare system is so bad that they have a higher child mortality rate than Botswana, one of those “shithole countries”.

It goes on, but I don’t care enough to mention the rest of its history of exploitation and horror and incompetence. The country has become a joke.

They are facing karmic retribution for every savage action that government has imposed upon the rest of us.  Are we offended that Trump thinks this and voiced it, as though his thoughts exist in isolation?

Trump is a reflection of the greater American public. Yes, read that.

I don’t care if the United States of America implodes. The rest of us should be focusing on developing greater internationalist unity, decolonising our countries and breaking down our imposed borders, destroying patriarchal systems and adopting equalising economic systems. But no, we’re too focused on clamouring for approval from a government whose own people, black and white, don’t care about us.

Do you think the American public would suddenly defend us if Trump was replaced? All they care about is maintaining their power, and they appear to be siding with us because Trump is threatening their hegemony. They need us to help get rid of him, but will happily turn a blind eye to the next president bombing and starving and stealing from oppressed nations and colonised people over the next few decades, as long as they maintain a good image. That’s all the USA is. A vacuous image.

This focus on Trump is tacky and unnecessary. We, people who live and work and die in Africa, will continue to suffer despite what Trump does or doesn’t do next.  Why do we give a shit?

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