An Afro Global View of Democracy



As citizens of the World, we tend to romanticize movies like Titanic and those of the Mayflower and we forget that not everyone on the Mayflower was royalty. 16th and 17th century Britain was a society of classes and to this day the color of your blood better be blue.The world through British lenses have expanded the nobility to include meritocracy. America is the melting pot where your father could have been a janitor but you can be a Harvard grad with massive student loans and experience life on Park Avenue. If on the other hand your grandparents came on the Mayflower as servants of a wealthy nobility who owned large tracts of land in the American south for the British industries then your perspective is different.

What is happening in America can only be equated to something similar that which happened in South Africa before the Boers and the British. If you asked the Zansi who were the ruling class how they felt about Tshaka’s reign then of course they loved him. If you asked the Enhla which were the middle tier people how they felt about Tshaka’s rule they would have said it was okay they were second rate citizens but if you asked the working class how they felt about pre-colonial times then they were not happy campers but the onset of the coming of the British upset everything. Schools came and suddenly one was not just an ‘untouchable” they could attend the mission school and be someone other than what society had relegated to them.
If you belonged to the Zansi then you lost your power and privilege and whatever else you thought of yourself. So you were more interested in gaining your kingdom back than the average person. The black experience in pre-colonial Africa was not a monolithic experience just as the black experience in America is not monolithic as well.

At the end of the day the elections are about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which are true for everyone regardless of time, place. To some degree all human beings are driven by self interest regardless of what they say their actions speak otherwise. This is what one of my favorite authors Chenjerai Hove calls the “politics of the belly”
It’s perfectly understandable to the rest of us why a man would be upset with women joining the workforce especially when it comes to equal work for equal pay. When Hillary Clinton ran for President we saw a placard written “Go home and iron my shirt” something that only a male chauvinist would say but then as the radio host encouraged people to call and have their say it became apparent that a lot of men echoed the same sentiments. I was shocked that men in the U S of A felt this way. I always thought this was a scene from “the gods must be crazy” but as the saying goes boys will be boys!

Article by Mel