In the brilliant film “I Am Not Your Negro” James Baldwin says, “The American Negro has the great advantage of having never believed the collection of myths to which white Americans cling: that their ancestors were all freedom-loving heroes, that they were born in the greatest country the world has ever seen, or that Americans are invincible in battle and wise in peace… Negroes know far more about white Americans than that…[They] dismiss white people as the slightly mad victims of their own brainwashing.”
This came to mind as I read (NYT March 29) that “Thousands of Ghanians rallied in the streets of their capital…to protest a deal that would give the United States military an expanded role in Ghana.” The US will invest $20 million in equipment and training, the article said, but the demonstrators were demanding jobs, not a US military base.
We Americans are all bathed in the blood of “American Exceptionalism” and so if the story failed to register, perhaps you’ve subconsciously bought some piece of that collection of myths.
It’s not too late to open your eyes and shake yourself awake.
Ghanians want jobs, schools, health care, unions, pensions—what everyone around the world wants. Our wealthy, unaccountable, arrogant government offers only the possibility of bloodshed, the certainty of war.
They know us better than we know ourselves. And don’t wonder any longer why people throughout the world want the US out.