Suddenly, during the main course, Kissinger, with disarming casualness, said he wished to raise an issue which was likely to come to a vote in the General Assembly of the United Nations. It was clear to Michael that the question of Cuban troops in Angola was a major cause of concern for the United States and had provoked Kissinger’s wrath. Kissinger stated plainly that he was most unhappy about this turn of events and asked Michael to promise not to vote in favour of the Cuban intervention. He went on to say, with every appearance of pragmatic understanding, that US-Jamaica relations could accommodate an abstention but that a vote in support of Cuba’s action would not be viewed with favour. Michael responded that the whole situation in Southern Africa involving apartheid and the illegal occupation of Southwest Africa, now Namibia, by South African force of arms, was one that Jamaica took very seriously.
– pg. 174, MICHAEL MANLEY: THE BIOGRAPHY, by Godfrey Smith, Ian Randle Publishers, 2016
After lunch, they withdrew to the living room for a final coffee and tete-a-tete, exchanging pleasantries about Jamaica, its beaches and his holiday. Then, as suddenly as his earlier introduction of Angola had been, Kissinger mentioned a US$100 million loan that Jamaica had recently broached in Washington. The loan application was a critical element in Michael’s pocket of measures to help Jamaica through the period of adjustment. Kissinger simply said he knew of the proposal, although it fell under the purview of the Treasury rather than the State Department.
To Michael, it seemed that the notion floated in the room, that there would be a connection between the loan and the vote in the UN.
– pg. 175, ibid.
Forty years later, it would be revealed that Kissinger had mapped out secret contingency plans to launch airstrikes against Havana and “smash Cuba.” He was so irked by Cuba’s involvement in Angola that he convened a top-secret group of senior officials to work out possible retaliatory measures in case Cuba deployed forces in other African nations, according to documents declassified by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. He worried that the United States would look weak if it did not stand up to a country of just eight million people and really wanted to “clobber the pipsqueak,” referring to Castro.
– pgs. 175, 176, ibid.
The Deep South was founded by the Barbados slave lords as a West Indies-style slave society, a system so cruel and despotic that it shocked even its seventeenth-century English contemporaries. For most of American history, the region has been the bastion of white supremacy, aristocratic privilege, and a version of classical Republicanism modeled on the slave states of the ancient world, where democracy was a privilege of the few and enslavement the natural lot of the many. It remains the least democratic of the nations, a one-party entity where race remains the primary determinant of one’s political affiliations.
Beginning from the Charleston beachhead, the Deep South spread apartheid and authoritarianism across the Southern lowlands, eventually encompassing most of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana; western Tennessee; and the southeastern parts of North Carolina, Arkansas, and Texas. Its territorial ambitions in Latin America frustrated in the 1860s it dragged the federation into a horrific war in an attempt to form its own nation-state, backed by reluctant allies in Tidewater and some corners of Appalachia. After successfully resisting a Yankee-led occupation, it became the center of the states’ rights movement, racial segregation, and labor and environmental deregulation.
– pg. 9, AMERICAN NATIONS: A HISTORY OF THE ELEVEN RIVAL REGIONAL CULTURES OF NORTH AMERICA, by Colin Woodard, Penguin Books, 2012
In a sense, in last week Tuesday’s presidential election the citizens of the United States of America asserted, or re-asserted, their European-ness. There was a white nationalism backlash being expressed in their Donald Trump vote by many of America’s majority white citizens.
There are areas of the United States, most notably the so-called Confederate Southern states, where the notion of a black American President was viewed with great skepticism, and sometimes downright scorn. The United States, of course, elected a black President, Barack Obama, in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, whom Obama defeated to win the 2008 presidential nomination for the Democratic Party, and who became the Democratic Party candidate for last Tuesday’s presidential election, was viewed by white nationalists as someone who would be continuing the Barack Obama legacy and policies, a legacy and policies viewed as odious and contemptible by Confederate-thinking Americans.
The continental United States was a territory inhabited by Indigenous Native American tribes when the first Europeans, perhaps the Spanish and the French, landed on its shores in the sixteenth century. European settlers of British origin came to the northeastern coast of the United States in the ship named the Mayflower in 1620, but their explorers and pirates, such as Sir Francis Drake, landed on the West Coast of America decades earlier. When the Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day next week, they will basically be celebrating the arrival of the Mayflower, the survival of their Puritan Pilgrim ancestors, and their ancestors’ removal and elimination of the Native Americans they met in Virginia and other parts of the American northeast in 1620. The Europeans came, they saw, and they conquered. They did so violently, in the first instance, after which they tried to teach Christianity to those Native Americans who survived their violence.
We are not trying to give you an academic history lesson. What we are seeking to do is provide a historical background for you as 2016 Belizeans, so you can better understand the predicament in which Donald J. Trump will place us after he is inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America next January. We Belizeans believe that we are led by our own Belizean political leaders, but Belizean politicians have to make deals, and some of those deals are demeaning, before racist white supremacy allows them to take power. Not only that, such Belizeans political leaders have to honor these deals they made when they were aspiring for power, or they will be removed from power, by any means necessary, by racist white supremacy.
After the Europeans came to America, they began to import captured Africans from the motherland to provide free, slave labor for their agricultural and industrial enterprises. In the case of the now superpower America, there came a time, between 1861 and 1865, when the philosophical and economic conflict between their industrialized, Northern, so-called “Union” states, and their agricultural, Southern, so-called Confederate states became so bitter that that conflict became an extremely bloody civil war.
As a consequence of the Union victory in the U.S. Civil War, Africans were freed from Confederate slavery, but they remained a minority (10 percent) population fighting against the scourges of poverty, ignorance, disease, and racist white supremacy. Finally, black Americans achieved voting and other civil rights in the mid-1960s, and then a black American was actually elected President of the United States in November of 2008. The symbolism of Barack Obama’s election was overpowering in its emotional catharsis not only for black Americans, but for black people all over the region and the world. Barack Obama, of course, was only a token black face: he had been placed in the White House to do the bidding of the American power structure. And so he did.
Even though black Americans came to see that Barack was not doing, and could not do, much to better their socio-economic status in America, and came to understand that his election to the presidency had been mostly symbolic, the masses of American whites saw Obama’s symbolic presidency as an insult to their majority white American race.
In British Honduras in 1969, the year when this newspaper was established as the media organ of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD), racist white supremacy in the power structure here was so well disguised that the then ruling People’s United Party (PUP) and other elements of that power structure were able to argue that UBAD was importing a problem into Belize which did not exist here. In 1969, to remind you, black Belizeans were a majority of Belize’s population, there was no crack cocaine, and no black-on-black violence amongst our black youth. But racist white supremacy ruled Belize, ultimately, and racism was institutionalized, especially in the colony’s economy and the educational system and curricula. Still, to repeat, that racism was well disguised, and many Belizeans who would be considered black when they migrated to the United States, had not viewed themselves as such in Belize.
The topic we have chosen for today’s editorial is a complex one, and so we now have to go back and examine the nature of European white supremacy more closely. The Europeans do discriminate amongst themselves. The so-called Anglo-Saxon (Aryan) populations, such as those of Germany, Great Britain, and the Scandinavian nations, are considered the elite of European white supremacy. The populations of European nations such as Italy, Spain, and Portugal are not considered of pure blood lines by the elite Europeans, because Italy, Spain and Portugal are too close to North Africa, and there are histories here involving first Hannibal, and later the Moors.
The point we wish to make is that race and racial origins have been and remain issues of serious concern in Europe and in those areas of planet earth which are ruled by Europeans. Belize happens to be one of those areas which have been ruled by Europeans since they entered the Western Hemisphere five-plus centuries ago. The even more critical point we wish to make is that too often black leaders, chosen by black populations, have decided, in the interests of pragmatism and power, to commit crimes against their own people. Let us not forget such notorious black leaders as Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier in Haiti, Fulgencio Bautista in Cuba, and Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire. These leaders ruled with the support of American white supremacy presidencies. Those black leaders were supported by Washington, and they and their families became enormously wealthy at the expense of their own populations.
Consider the situation on Southside Belize City, and indeed the whole of Belize City today. There is a human rights crisis here in the form of a brutal, black-on-black civil war which has been going on for a quarter century and more. The deaths, mutilations, and incarcerations number in the thousands and thousands. The casualties are, in the vast majority, black youth. Of the seven elected Southside Belize City political leaders, six of those represent the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP). All six are black. All six are Cabinet Ministers, and two of them are the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, respectively. How you figure?
Can any of us, then, categorically declare that it is racist white supremacy which is responsible for Belize City’s human rights crisis? We cannot do so as readily and as definitively as we would like, because we are led by our own. Our enemies can argue that all our suffering is of our own making. We are a sovereign, independent people.
The danger that Donald Trump represents lies ahead. He is a white racist who will support any Belizean political leader who places Washington’s interests first. There are ambitious Belizean politicians who will be tempted to begin thinking like Duvalier, like Bautista, like Sese Seko. If you black Belizean leaders want to do it to your own people, Trump will support you, unconditionally.
The question is, with a terrible civil war already being waged in Belize City, how much worse can this get? The answer is, ask the Haitians, ask older Cubans, and ask the people of the Congo. Yes, it can get worse. It can always get worse when white racists achieve regional power and can excuse their racism on the grounds that it is we blacks who are doing it to ourselves. This is the opportunity which has now been presented to Donald J. Trump. Belizeans with eyes to see, let us see.
Power to the people.