Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro

The just ended Presidential elections in the United States of America (USA) may have been either of particular and/or indifferent interest to Namibia, and Africa, for different reasons depending which country and her citizens.

Be it government actors or/and the people, especially class actors, like working class and business sectors. It must have been of particular interest to Namibian state governors given the cordial relationship Namibia seems to have been enjoying since independence. Essentially, whether the Namibian state actors would wish to admit or not, a neo-colonial cordial through which the umbilical cord between especially Namibian state actors, and its business appendage, has been strengthened. The hallmark thereof which is the 2000 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) facilitating and enhancing African trade with the USA.

A relationship which in modern neo-colonial parlance coughed as globalisation. Giving a false impression that the world today is a global village of inter-dependent polities, while the reality is that globalisation is nothing but an euphemism for the continuation of the exploitative relationship between the developed world, and the underdeveloped world, of which Africa is a significant part, if not the most exploited and underdeveloped presumed development partner.

“In Europe, North and South America, we are the untouchables. We are discriminated against in employment and promotions; we suffer more than all other minority groups from unfair immigration practices and school systems, the latter of which is causing high dropout rate from schools by our youngsters and a worsening drug addiction problems,” reads an excerpt from an article in a 1990 First World First, a Pan African publication. This state of squalor of Africans, and/or people of African descent in the metropoles of the world, is very much still a reality today in 2020, as it was 30 years ago in 1990.

More than 400 years after the end of slavery, African people and/or people of African descent, whether on the continent itself, or in the Diaspora, have essentially continued to live in slave-like conditions, visited upon them by an economic order and/or system, Capitalism, which apparently is the best economic model ever in terms of prosperity of and for all.

But from which Africans, and people of African descent, the biggest group of the downtrodden of this world, are yet to benefit from in any significant manner. It is in this regard that the USA elections, in which Joseph Robinette Biden, himself of a humble social upbringing, from a working class background in fact, may be significant than meets the eye, or the internationalist fraternity may admit and appreciate.

Not even oblivious to the fact that Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris, is a black woman, an African-American and Asian-American. In the heartland of capitalism this may sound like a drop in the ocean in terms of internationalism. This may be true. But as much one cannot underestimate the meaning of the ascent to political power of someone with working class background like Biden, and equally by the first black woman Vice President. If only to the memory and legacy of African Marxist-Leninist intellectual, late Dr Samir Amin of Egypt, and his idea of new international of workers and peoples.

This is by no means a mean feat but a significant development. Especially if one is to locate and deposit the ascent of both Biden and Harris to state power within the groundswell movement of progressives. The people having spoken. A movement of progressives resembling a rainbow, which ideologically may be eclectic but yet necessary in terms of the requisite start towards a revolutionary advance, as minimalist as such may be.

Already conservative America is reeling with fear lest these progressives become ideological, thus veering towards socialism or socialist principles. Of course there cannot and there should be no illusions that things can and may change overnight in the USA under the stewardship of Biden and Harris. In view of the polarisation ignited and nurtured during four years Trump’s cultural nationalism. As much one cannot naively assume business as usual. Certainly in the aftermath of the chaos of the Donald Trump era, realistically one cannot see how it can be business as usual, cognisant of the fact that indeed the Biden-Harris tenure may have challenges of its own. But to the internationalist fraternity this must be a welcomed ray of hope.

Yours Truly Ideologically cannot but quote Harris quoting the late USA congressman, John Lewis, as saying: “Democracy is not a state. It is an act.” Harris becomes Vice President of the USA exactly 100 years this year after the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to suffrage. Certainly it must have taken hard work, especially by women since the 19th Amendment, for the first African-American woman to rise to the second highest political office in the USA. Through sheer strength and willingness of American women to fight.

As Harris herself testifies, she is the first but not the last. This cannot but inspire all internationalist, that however long it may take, the people have the power to advance towards the revolution. American internationalists and the American people have laid the first foundation for the advancement of the peoples movement. The legacy and spirit of notable women like Rosa Parks of civil rights fame, surely lives on. Not to forget ideologues like Angela Davis.