Us Democracy Model Under Scrutiny

By Fungai Kwaramba
Political Editor

THE murder of a black man in the United States (US) by a white policeman has triggered violent demonstrations in that country and drawn global condemnation, with political analysts calling upon the world superpower, which usually bullies smaller nations, to introspect and end racism.

The widespread demonstrations, which are accompanied by arson and looting, engulfing the US, have spilled into other western countries where blacks are still treated as second class citizens and often suffer at the hands of a brutal racial discriminatory system.

To make matters worse, incendiary remarks that have been made by US President Donald Trump that he would unleash the army to quell the protests rocking his country fly in the face of that country’s self-anointed role as the prefect of the world, analysts said.

Political analyst Mr Maxwell Saungweme said the duplicity of the US has been laid bare following the callous murder of George Floyd by the police in the state of Minneapolis last week.

“If the killing by police of a black man and military deployment in response to civilian action had happened to Zimbabwe you would have heard uniformed elements calling for Western sanctions on the country.

“This is what makes sanctions an act of duplicity of international relations by people who think that they are the global big brothers,” said Mr Saungweme.

Viewed by some quarters as the model of democracy, the US which still maintains illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe that have caused untold suffering on the general public has fallen short of meeting the democratic yardstick it often pontificate as it has failed to create a just and equal society for its citizens regardless of race.

“What is happening in the US speaks volumes of the volatility of governance by strong men and not strong institutions. It delegitimises bad governance and the investment in warfare instead of institutions and peace building. Racism is a scourge in the US as it is in the world. It kills more people and destroys the realisation on full potentials by people just like diseases such as Covid-19 do. Racism is so contagious, so toxic and so deadly like Covid-19. It is made more contagious when you have inept leadership that seeks confirmation by being bigoted and issuing inflammatory statements. What’s happening now in response to this issue, the protests, military development and all, demonstrates lack of leadership just like America’s response to Covid-19 is. America is no longer a model democracy, our country has nothing more to learn from their system,” said Saungweme.

Another political analyst Mr Obert Gutu said the wanton murder of blacks, arbitrary arrest of protestors, including journalists, and threat to deploy the army to shoot demonstrators is yet another clear indicator that Zimbabwe is suffering now simply because it dared to redress historical issues around land distribution.

“Zimbabwe should get one very clear and unambiguous lesson from what is happening in America right now. America’s fervent and emotionally charged cry about the political and socio-economic situation in Zimbabwe has got absolutely nothing to do with the issue of human rights. America is very, very angry with the Zimbabwe Government because of the land reform programme that began in earnest about two decades ago. The land reform programme was a historical game changer in international relations and global politics. It defined a resolute stance by a small but determined country, Zimbabwe, to reclaim her land that had been dispossessed by the evil forces of colonialism and imperialism. That’s the main reason why most powerful Western countries, particularly America, will never forgive Zimbabwe. America would prefer to have a puppet and malleable Government in power in Zimbabwe. That is the bottom line,” said Mr Gutu.

On his part, Namibia-based academic Mr Admire Mare said the protests have exposed the US as a lopsided society which treats blacks with disdain.

“It is very concerning that Donald Trump is downplaying the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. It is very clear that racism is still very much deep seated in the American social fabric. It is also clear that black lives are not being treated with the utmost care they deserve.

“There is need to reform the criminal justice system so that all lives matter without looking at racially profiling blacks. Everyone must be presumed innocent before the law rather than meting out instant justice,” said Mr Mare.

Over the past years, scores of black Americans have been racially profiled, murdered by the police and yet little action has been taken to bring perpetrators to book. In this case of Floyd, there is public outrage after the state of Minnesota charged the police officer, who pinned him to the ground with third degree murder, a relatively lighter sentence in view of his deeds that has stoked tensions globally.

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