OPINION: The American government has never taken Africa as an equal partner, nor has it really cared about the well-being of the African people.
by Anwar Adams
ACCORDING to the US State Department's website, the Biden-Harris administration's "Leaders in Democracy Summit" will be held online on December 9 and 10, with themes such as "countering authoritarianism, combating corruption, and promoting respect for human rights“.
The “democracy summit” is a flagship initiative proposed by Biden that demonstrates his administration's commitment to putting "democracy" and "human rights" at the centre of US foreign policy, according to the website.
However, It has long been clear to Africans that the US’s policy towards Africa has always been driven by factors outside Africa, rather than grounded in the development needs of continent itself. The American government has never taken Africa as an equal partner, nor has it really cared about the well-being of the African people.
Thus, the three agenda items of the summit – "fighting against authoritarianism“, ”combating corruption“ and ”promoting human rights" – are like a magic mirror, exposing the false goodwill of the US.
Does the US, which has boasted of bringing democracy to the African people, have a deep understanding of our national conditions and history? Did they really give Africans independence and self-determination? Have they respected the will and aspirations of African people?
The answer is self-evident, just simply by relying on military force to export to the African continent the so-called "American democracy" model in order to better manipulate Africans.
African countries have long resented America's attempts to shape others to its own needs. A Nigerian expert on international affairs once disclosed that most of the economy, finance and resources of African countries are controlled by western countries. If some leaders do not comply with the requirements of the US and other Western countries, they will intervene and reform under the standards of "democracy"and "human rights", artificially create political tension and confrontation, and then instigate a coup.
This year alone there have been six coups, in Mali, Guinea and other African countries, as well as attempted coups in other African countries. The US has always used the fear of war to intimidate other countries to accept the "American democracy" model, democracy at the point of a gun. This is typical American authoritarianism!
Money plays a vital role in US politics, and the US administration, which has fallen into "deep corruption", has been repeating its cliché in promoting the upcoming so-called "democracy summit", while struggling to disguise the nature of its money politics.
Money politics runs through all the links of election, legislation and administration in the US. The essence of corruption is the transaction of money and power, which consists of certain means and objectives. The way to achieve this is to buy power with money.
At all levels of elections, raising money is an entry requirement for candidates, and high election costs greatly raise the threshold of participation, which precludes the majority of people from running for office. Only a few people with the ability to raise large amounts of campaign money can enter the political race in the US.
This undoubtedly creates a hotbed for the rich and interest groups to attract candidates with money. The rich choose qualified political agents by way of funding campaign funds, so that they become candidates, and then win the election and gain political rights.
The goal is to abuse their authority for personal gain. After the candidates become politicians, they will fix some things that are good for capitalists in the form of legislation, such as when Republicans came to power and then legalised the pillage, so that the capital could profit from it. Or when the Democrats came to power, they enacted legislation in the name of social justice, blocking the upward mobility of the lower class of society and facilitating the expansion of monopoly capital.
Corruption in the US has grown from one party to the next. Politics under capital? This is typical American corruption! Respect for human rights? Persecution under a double standard, as a matter of fact!
In the labour market in the US, African-Americans have been the most important component, but they have always been at the bottom of society. They do not enjoy the rights of human beings, and they have long faced the dilemma of unequal distribution in education, medical care, housing and other aspects.
In the face of oppression and persecution by the upper classes, they struggle in the lower class. And this has become a deeply rooted cultural tradition in American society. In the face of such a terrible and serious human rights issue, the US government not only failed to introspect and reform itself, but also pretended to be a beacon of human rights, and now it is even openly promoting "human rights".
While we are commemorating the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the anti-racism document at the UN, the US, together with more than 20 Western countries, boycotted the commemoration meeting, refused to introspect the history and current situation of its own racial issues, and avoided issues such as compensating the descendants of the victims of the slave trade.
Therefore, we can see that the US, which started with the long-term bloody and brutal slave trade, has not changed its "dark tradition".
According to the Washington Post, the probability of African-Americans being killed by the police is nearly three times that of white people. In the first nine months of this year, 111 African-Americans were killed, mostly by white police officers who could not be convicted, exposing the US’s double standards on human rights. Persecution under a double standard is typical of "American human rights"!
Africans will no longer believe in the false goodwill of the US, and do not welcome countries with bad intentions. Africa is not an arena for a game between major powers, but a big stage for international co-operation. All countries should co-operate with Africa on the premise of respecting Africa's sovereignty and listening to Africa's voice.
* Adams is a councillor in the City of Cape Town and the president of the Democratic Independents.
** The views expressed her may not be that of IOL.