The West shrugs as Africa continues to reel from centuries of colonialism - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

The West shrugs as Africa continues to reel from centuries of colonialism

The third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit was held in Turkey’s Istanbul between Dec. 16-19. Cooperation between Ankara and Africa, which is steadily developing, is, of course, of vital importance. 

As the Africa Summit was being held in Turkey, debates over restricting the voting rights of African Americans were raging in the States. Furthermore, tensions are flaring up over the rewriting of the history of America's founding. Attempts to teach the history of American racism in schools have become a bipartisan issue in the U.S., with Republicans strongly opposing the teaching of "critical race theory."

Those who argue that America's history should be rewritten emphasize that the United States was founded on land theft and slave labor, while federal laws upheld racial discrimination. 

According to a significant segment of Republicans, American identity and political order should be based on the “White-Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP)” component. American voters seem divided when it comes to these debates. The fact that the U.S. population is changing in favor of non-White Americans is a nightmare for Republicans since the overwhelming majority of Black Americans and other non-Whites vote Democrat.

It is no secret that the Black Lives Matter movement, which gained momentum during the Trump era, played an important role in Democrat Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. Biden's picking of Senator Kamala Harris, who hails from an Indo-African family, as his Vice President encouraged Black Americans and other immigrant groups to take part in the elections. 

Meanwhile, the fact that African Americans were the hardest hit during the Covid-19 pandemic further exposed the glaring inequalities of America's economic order. 

Black Americans, who have been enslaved for centuries, were subjected to discriminatory treatment even after slavery was abolished. They suffered the most from Covid-19, due to malnutrition and their severely limited access to healthcare. 

The fact that African Americans suffer from underlying diseases, and thus are disproportionately affected by Covid-19, stems from the discrimination they are subjected to in their everyday life in the US.

The source of American wealth is the labor of enslaved Black Americans who were forcibly plucked from Africa. And the same goes for Europe: The colonization of Africa in the 19th century played an important role in the West’s accumulation of wealth. 

Before Western colonists unleashed their tentacles, the continent had self-contained local economic, administrative, and political institutions. Western powers destroyed these institutions in a matter of a century. This is why Westerners are seen as largely responsible for Africa's poverty.

During the Cold War era, Africans found themselves caught between a rock and a hard place as America and Western Europe made their lives more difficult by supporting military regimes in the continent; while European powers, which have exploited Africa for centuries, are now turning their backs on the people who are risking their lives every day to escape the purgatory in their own countries. Europe watches brazenly as the deadly waves of the Mediterranean devour these poor people.

Western capitalism is also to blame for climate change, an existential disaster that threatens all of humanity. 

One of the continents hit hardest by this disaster, despite the fact that its contribution to global warming is minimal, is Africa. 

According to research conducted by the World Meteorological Organization, and other relevant institutions, there are only three mountains covered with snow in Africa every season: Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Mt. Rwenzori in Uganda, and Mt. Kenya. 

These mountains, which play an important role in balancing temperatures in Africa,  are warming up rapidly. Not to mention rising sea levels, floods, droughts, landslides, and extreme weather events the continent will face in the near future. 

According to these studies, the gross domestic product of Sub-Saharan Africa will decrease significantly in 30 years due to rising temperatures. If these predictions materialize, Africa will then become even poorer. The great patrons of the climate crisis are watching idly as they evade their responsibility to change the bitter fate that awaits Africa.


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