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Post factual politics; the Africanization of the West

By: Basil Jide Fadipe
Medical Surgeon, Teacher, Social Commentator
Justin Fadipe Centre
Commonwealth of Dominica
West Indies
fadipeb@cwdom.dm

Politics in Africa has always been and still is a uniquely brutish winner takes all contact sport; It is not unique because it is a hit or be hit macabre duel, ….politics everywhere is after all cast in that sorry mould …. its uniqueness comes in its below the belt kind of hit, disregard for rules or facts or principles ; just one huge and unbecoming contest not over power of ideas, but ideas of power. And where rules exist, they are so tenuous they are impalpable and the impalpabilities render them uniquely vulnerable to flagrant flouting; lawlessness intrinsic to African political culture remains the greatest bane to continental progress.

Hardly is the term “post factual ” politics more the case in any part of the world than in Africa ; Hardly that is, ….until now … when like a horse , Trump rode post factual politics big league to the White House : starting by playing his opponents like a fiddle, then ending beating them like a drum; Trumpery shot his ‘inventor’ ( Trump) into the political stratosphere as rocket fuel does the astronaut.

The trump phenomenon is the earliest sign yet of an africanization of the western electoral process; ….a process in which African political leaders have become well honed at hawking untruths in ornate wraps competing amongst themselves which untruths sell best and in what electoral constituency. Poor hungry african voter like his poor angry rust belt or brexit equivalent too beleaguered ( and ignorant) to be bothered about fact checking, laps up the sweet nothings from these political aspirants, poverty or group identity exploited to the hilt, electoral victory the only bargain.

African intelligentsia and friends had always hoped the continent’s practice of politics will shed its toga of a bruising and mendacious sabre rattling in favor of a westernizing model with its relatively sanitized fact based open contests until Trump suddenly popped up on a high wire extravaganza betraying the somber reality that Africans hold no monopoly over meretricious political incursions. In one short election cycle, Trump reversed everything of a tested model deploying to stunning advantage African style political demagoguery, tribe/ race baiting, poverty/ anger tap and vapid messianic platitudes, milking the protopathic sensibilities of a people or group as a farmer would the laden udder.

That is unsettling enough!!! More unsettling even is the new inclination by some ( including many who for good reasons were then opposed to his despicable style ) to want to elevate trump to the level of a Ceasar, along with a foreseeable short step from branding his tactics the tactics . What a doom prospect.

Should the west evolve in a trumpian direction in its electioneering culture , it might not only be a race to the bottom , it may come to spell the beginning of the end of western civilization . Why would a potential aspirant intent on high office want to trek the harder road of fact based contests, constrained by need for mutual decencies and polished discourse when by merely locating himself inside a post factual bubble simulating the Trumpian foot dance of disregarding the facts exploiting either the poverty ( Africa) and or anger ( American/Brexiter ) of voters , a softer ride to victory is not only possible, trump has shown it to be probable .

In Africa the trumpian model has earned the process nothing other than unending hostilities, cycle after cycles between groups pitched one against another by reckless campaign rhetorics and post truth realities. Is that kind of Africanization of western politics in the preservatory interest of the west ? !! What is now obvious more piquantly so than before is the ubiquitous role of the poor/ marginalized in shaping electoral outcomes . This is so because the poor/disgruntled will always be the weakest link in any democracy chain and where they happen to constitute the larger electoral bloc inside the particular democracy the process can only get to be as sanitized as the poor/ disgruntled renders it.

Just as ominous is the new reality that in the west just as it always has been in Africa, electoral ideals can be hijacked from unexpected quarters, the poor/deprived too ready to look past whatever the glaring ugliness of the candidate is, the messianic promise of rescue the only bet! Tied into the trump victory is yet another frightening prospect ! Until now, people in the west had always been able to stay ahead of the rest of the world in any knowledge based contests ; the littlest American easily able to outcompete arriving giants from outside and so job security for him was always assured.

Immigrant outliers all along patiently took positions in the queue, but constantly tooling and retooling themselves to jack up individual market appeal and market value; now many are so qualified the table has turned. Immigrants, still playing inside the rules they were faced with , came from the rear to the front of the queue outcompeting the winners of yesterday in those very knowledge based contests. but only to the chagrined resentment of winners of yesterday the new losers hoping to finagle old but tested rules, toss knowledge out the ring, to be replaced by mix of nativist and color driven contests, their savior, no longer competitive knowledge/skill sets but raw trumpian emoting and trumpian braggadocio .

When a civilization that once walked its way into preeminence through dint of hard work amongst its rank and file, all other peoples outcompeted fairly and squarely , suddenly now has to rely on banal impulses of race and group identity for quotidian survival, the only foreseeable way ahead for such a civilization is ‘down’ Trumpery is a looming threat to western civilization even worse, an incremental if unintended drift towards an Africanized model many of us long to jettison.

 

 

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Until Africa is respected, no black can enjoy respect

Prof. Basil Jide Fadipe
Medical Surgeon, Teacher, Social Commentator

To be black, no matter how straight or nuanced the story behind the blackness, is also in the end more to be viewed as African….. for good or bad.  And though blacks dispersed around the world no longer represent a homogenous group, ….courtesy history and accidents of history and the penetrant or overriding impact of the two on geneticisation and phenotypic pluralisms, to be black ( shade or sound irrespective) is to be tied into the challenged African historiography, ….its labored mix of plusses and minuses deriving from the dreary image problem, fair and unfair, that Africanity for all of its recorded centuries has engendered. Out there in the larger world blackness equates to africanness and with it constantly comes the risk of being kicked to the sociologic kerb or pond base some, more victim than others, but none ever not a victim, one tint or another, in the fierce global dynamics between colors and racial classes.

 

So plenty and so often are the relative minuses of being viewed an African that m many blacks would rather pant away at m historical revisionism, hastily ready to excise any part of a story that seeks to cant them in the direction of an African rootedness. If success can be lumbered with a thousand fathers, failure or any appearance of it can often painfully look an orphan, no one willing to be its parent . The African trajectory till date can hardly be canvassed in colorful inks ; for reasons as much her fault as they are not, her story and her reality a somber concatenation of tasteless misadventures that give her a Cinderalla profile Cinderallas may be many things to many people but never anyone’s envy.

 

To be sure , at the individual level, there are Africans (and blacks generally) whose tenacity of purpose and the attendant exceptionalism have earned them upward mobility, gravitas and uncommon respect, the pervading tendency however has always been to calibrate any black or groups of them against the generic visual scales that the parent continent produces. Those scales have never been flattering and so no black has ever been able to fully escape the wrench, once he wanders away from base . Hyphenated blacks in their various incarnations ( black-American, black english, Caribbean-blacks or black-anything ) are regularly more profiled for the blackness than the hyphens and therefore may be no more than few dangling shades away from the plight of the unhyphenated. The plight of blacks ( hyphenated or not ) is a common one though tangible differentials ( time and space ocassioned) can be imported into the dynamics to pitch one black or group of blacks agsinst another in a craftily calculated and disingenuous attempt by those who may wish to create and exploit wedges .

 

So it is not uncommon to find blacks staking out ‘superiority’ positions between and betwixt themselves, using calibrations that are in reality ungrounded in anything but superfices. Inside campuses and work places around the world it is not uncommon to find particular black grouping viewing itself as superior to another black grouping, disingeniously unmindful of the common plight before all when all the superfices ( or even artifices) are subtracted. For as long as it seems convenient or self serving either to the ego or the moment or the grand purpose, the fratricidality looms larger and larger , playing into the hands of none but the very agents likely to benefit from any wedge .

 

Over years of traveling and mingling with various kinds of blacks and non-blacks , the sobering reality in my view has come to be that the ‘fastest’ blacks ( hyphenated or not ) will on the global stage, always be judged by the standards of the ‘slowest’ blacks. Until the slowest blacks ( however the calibration is done ) anywhere and most certainly in Africa are able to up their game, no black anywhere will ever get his or her full due of respect . The American white , more guiltily so the poorly educated and poorly travelled amongst them , sees every black as an African and his views of Africanness remains hardly improved over the years, buttressed daily by the kind of news about African affairs hitting his optics at every turn . And though his African American brethren has lived next to him for scores of hundred years now , all he still sees of him is an African undeserving of equal status or equal dividends.

 

If only Africa will rise even by her own standards so the benefits of respect can spill over into everything black including for those who now find themselves hyphenated in different lands and climes. It hurts to see how blacks are being felled like game in American cities day upon days . The police kills the black, the media smears the victim and the prosecutor tips the scale; ….over and over, the paranoia of the killer is packaged as acceptable defence inside a sour system that still views the black as a savage import from Africa. Then the post murder parades of talk and analyses, more talk and effete protests ….. then snap into silence. And then again !

 

Africa on her own part must pick up speed to reinvent herself whilst dispersed or hyphenated blacks everywhere on their own part must realize that unless Africa is respected , neither they nor the continental Africans can ever expect to live respectably when once outside of their own genetic base . Taunting each other from inside own respective cubby holes as to who is superior or inferior is being penny wise, pound foolish. Such fratricidal taunts only pull down everyone to the fatigue of all but the detractors .

Professor Basil Jide Fadipe
Medical Surgeon, Teacher, Social Commentator
Justin Fadipe Centre
Commonwealth of Dominica
West Indies
@fadipeb@cwdom.dm

 

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Ben Carson: A Tragic Anomaly

Ben Carson Paradox

By: Basil Jide Fadipe
Medical Surgeon, Teacher, Social Commentator
Justin Fadipe Centre
Commonwealth of Dominica
West Indies
@fadipeb@cwdom.dm

If I’d thought the Ben Carson that popped up on the political stage was nothing but pitiful caricature of expectations, his recent decision to cast his lot with Donald Trump reduces him to a tragic anomaly. Ben Carson is lost in a fugue, wandering farther and farther away from saneness.When recently , some commentators particularly on the European side started doubting his academic credentials, ‎I personally had little difficulty agreeing. Nothing Carson had said or not said since his presidential bid is testimony to intelligence or high learning ‎…..rather eloquent pointers as much to a perplexing ignorance as  mental sluggishness, served in a mushy base of nauseant self centredness. Ben Carson either knows no reality or…. barking mad, ….he has reduced reality to reverse, increasingly locked inside a warped mental state, the product of overinflated ambition and  laser grade schizophrenism chisseling ferociously at his mind. ‎

When he drove a wedge between himself and obama at a white house prayer breakfast he had been invited to, using bufoonedly unproven claims to beat down on obama care, I thought he was not only a very dishonest man, he was also very dangerous : dangerous for a man, wicked for a black. A president Obama … out of a sense of kinship , regard for fellow ‎citizen and assumption of the unfetteredness of a trained mind, extended a brotherly magnanimity to Ben Carson: Carson came, mind furtively fettered to inordinate ambitionspat from deep inside his pathologic guts, poison into the face of his host, dishonest enough to characterise obamacare the worst thing since slavery right to the ear of his host: hoping to be rewarded with a Republican platform to launch lurid ambition‎.

If intellectualism ( and scientific refinement )is less about certificates more ‎about clarity of mind and quality of delivery  Ben Carson comes to the table empty.On the issue of homosexuality, he confused socialization with geneticisation, glibly mistaking what is acquired with what is inborn and conflatingpropaganda with scientific rigor And when his stupidity was outed, he lied, denying he ever said what the entire world heard him say ;In the end, both his stupidity and his dishonesty subsequently came to haunt him…… what kind of intellectualism reduces a man’s breadth to no farther than the tip of his nose.If scholarliness is about incisively prolific thinking, enriched by years of studied and accumulated facts, Ben Carsons shows up little more than arid, obfuscating views and opinions to a set of fermenting ludicrities  totally at odds with cerebrality.

A man who unashamedly would explain the Egyptian pyramids as grain stores for Egyptian Pharaohs around the time of Joseph ; whence such scholarship?If honesty is about dogged affection for and consistent subscription to truths,Carson is stranger to the art. How can he be otherwise?Here is a man who publicly lambasted planned parenthood for trafficking in body parts, condemning same as reprehensible, yet review of his research records revealed he shopped in those very “reprehensible ” places for those very body parts for his own work.If Christianity’s essence is about “being thy brother’s keeper ” ……’us for the other ‘‎, Carson’s ‘us versus them’ is a damnable antithesis, a devil’s advocacy .Yet like many Ben Carsons, many his type,he would constantly drip with biblical and prayer lines at every twist and turn.

The Ben Carsons are the worst enemies of the Christian faith,  irresolvable conundrums in the path of the doctrine.If historical awareness,  knowledge of selfand insight into symbolisms are pointers to the cultured mind, Carson remains in the woods, unevolved from blighted beginnings….no Muslim should be allowed in the white house,…… some Syrian refugees are like rabid dogsOnly a short long period ago, it could have been ….no black man should be allowed in the white houseOr…. no black man at John Hopkins. Governor Wallace was an influence only a short while past;”….segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever…”. was his clarion call to stop the Martin Luther kings.

Such is the silliness and vacuity of this Ben Carson, he couldn’t see the parallelism or indignant equivalences between words ( perhaps convictions) : his and Wallace’s.Nor would he be reminded of the tremendous sacrifices endured by his slave predecessors  canalising a path for his generation. The day obama was inaugurated, he met the congressman Louise, fellow fighters with MLK in the civil rights tussle, obama slipped a note into the latter’s hand as they walked past each other” because of you “Obama had scripted on that note, too ready to link his victory to their sweat.Ben claims he has repaired brains but seems his is left as cratered as can be.

To go cast your lot with a man like Trump, defending your decision with the argument  there are ” two Donald Trumps ‎” and on the basis of one Trump  you choose to ignore the other Trump , content to place faith in one, recklessly risking acceptance of the other, you are  by that very argument diagnosing no less a content of schizophrenia in the bipolar Donald as in you ….the admirer. And this, the reason I think Ben Carson  is not just a dangerous man, he is as much  a tragic anomaly. So much said.

Basil Jide Fadipe
Justin Fadipe Medical Centre
Commonwealth of Dominica
West Indies.