Watching the American election and Hollywood movies like the recent “London Has Fallen” from afar, Afro-Muslims like myself notice that the focus on Muslims as terrorists is constant and often times the faith itself is questioned. Now, a guy by the name of Donald Trump has come out of nowhere and jumped the Republican Party’s bandwagon winning the GOP primary elections and leaving Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson, and Jeb Bush, the son of one former president and the brother of another, in the dust. His participation in the elections has elicited mixed reactions from Afro-Muslims.
Is American democracy unlike any other? Is it no longer regulated by powerful lobbyists or monopolized by particular family dynasties?
Trump’s GOP landslide victory has proved wrong the 8-year-old promise of Obama’s presidency to defuse racial tensions and revealed it as an aberration. US elections, it seems, have a vulnerability whereby reckless folks can declare their candidacy without any prior examination of their mental fitness and take part in a political game with no laws.
That the Republican frontrunner has fictionalized, satirized, trivialized, and devalued US elections, which once had global respect, worries Afro-Muslims. The election has fed the continuation of stereotypes like “African Americans are lazy”, an insult to Africans by extension. “What does he say to Africans? Genetically hungry?” remarked a fellow African.
Donald’s foul tongue sends a chilling message to Africa undoing Obama’s short-lived legacy on the continent. We came to that a man with African ancestry can rule the ‘greatest’ country on earth. In return, it boosted Africans’ image in general. But this lengthy election campaign sounds much like a mediocre soap opera. By now many have turned off the TV or changed the channel to avoid the spectacle of a ‘ex-great’ America, once known for inventing many useful devices that enabled humanity to live better.
Adolf Hitler’s election winning tactics to take power are not fully documented but the prominent use of his prejudice against Jews and his call to get rid of all Jews, disabled, and homosexuals in Germany to ‘purify’ German race was central. 71 years later, the same tragedy upon different group of people is imminent.
Donald has similarly found American voters ‘soft spot’ of freaking out from the mere mention of Islam, fed by media coverage of ISIS brutality, and he has pressed this soft spot to draconian levels of a total ban Muslims entering the US. Trump ally Newt Gingrich added that the US should “deport Muslims who believe in sharia law”. Campaigning on themes like “Mexicans are rapists” and “Muslims are terrorists” is a stark reminder of Hitler’s venomous language to vilify Jews as “vermin” and other anti-Semitic remarks. Will America be better off sans of its minority Muslims?
The American election taking more time than necessary, the ugliness of the electoral college, and a myriad of other issues have made the electoral process look chaotic. Watching this year’s spectacle has divided and alienated Afro-Muslims further and earned animosity for Americans. The Donald is virtually out of control. He utters something before thinking about it and, in the case of presidency, he will ‘leap before he look’.
Non-Americans have to respect whomever Americans vote for but this election has reminded the world that American ‘sophisticated’ electability system can malfunction and of how vulnerable it is to people who have either the twisted faith of Osama or the paranoia of Hitler. US Muslims numerically, politically, and economically are nobody but Donald can be a threat to America itself. Forget about Muslims. Following the televised debates so far, about personal attacks and subverting entire communities rather than of speaking substance and leadership, Afro-Muslims are sitting on the fence whether America deserves to call itself ‘great’. This election solemnly reaffirmed one thing just one thing to the outside world: America suffers from not just an economic downturn but also of a deviation from its once respected American mores.