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ULIMWENGU: Fascism is in town, and riding it are two men in power, but who is paying attention?


Oct. 08, 2019

Finally Donald Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry. Even the hesitant Nancy Pelosi has admitted to the inevitability of that extreme step to deal with a particularly wayward president.
From Africa, we watch in amazement and wonder what could have happened to the land of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.
We are about to tire asking ourselves if it is true that we are witnessing the great American people struggling with a hooligan who is now threatening them by telling them that they either accept him as he is, warts and all, or there will be a civil war. They call it blackmail, but I ask myself where the ‘‘black’’ in that word comes from.
What Trump is telling the American people is effectively this: “Guys, look it this thing like I do. You better understand you’re up shit-creek without a paddle. You sure well know you elected me to be goddamn POTUS, and that means I should be above the law, unless you never heard nothin’ about those guys over in the Africa place where a chief is a goddamn chief and ain't nobody gonna go around the public square running their mouth about chief done this or chief done that other damn thing. And if you persist in this goddamn witch-hunt orchestrated by Hillary and Obama, there’ll be hellfire and brimstone of a civil war that not even old Uncle Abe Lincoln never seen...”
No, seriously, that is what the American people are up against. An open, growing and threatening fascist clique that could soon flex its muscle in the streets and the farmlands demanding our “country back” and “lynch the blacks” to roaring crowds of white supremacists, Nazis and other fascists.
One need only go to Steve Bannon, a former Trump insider, who has ostensibly parted with his boss but is on a campaign trail to implant Trumpism in Europe and make sure that the gospel of white supremacy rules over the “free world.”
Please take note, Bannon has been on a warpath in Europe to galvanise fascistic forces and plant the seed of the “brave new era” in which true white men will rule over a world made safe from black-loving liberalism. This is no fiction.
Listen to what Bannon had to say recently while sharing a platform with Frances’s fascist leader, Marine Le Pen: “What I’ve learned is that you’re part of a worldwide movement that’s bigger than France, bigger than Hungary, bigger than Italy, bigger than all of us,” clearly setting the world as the stage for the rising tide of Trumpian glory.
“Let them call you racist, xenophobes, nativists, homophobes, misogynists—wear it as a badge of honour.”
You might be fooled into believing that Trump is an isolationist nationalist who only thinks of making “America great again,” but clearly his disciples are preaching an international scripture whose impact is likely to be as widespread as it will be nefarious for the world.
The US has highly learned individuals who have studied world history, movements and trends, and some of them have warned against what they see as the reenactment of the 1930s in Europe with the rise of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler.
They look around the world—as I do in my little village—and see petty tyrants, demagogues and populists all hiding behind the screen of nationalism, grabbing power and closing down democratic spaces.
What is happening to the Brits supplies evidence of what I am saying. For fascism to take root it needs bold actions by individuals who may be looked upon as mavericks and misfits but whose actions dovetail into a pattern far more nefarious than the casual observer may discern.
We were, will-nilly, brought up by the Brits to respect certain institutions, chief among them the Crown. That a British government officer dare pluck the courage to approach Buckingham Palace, meet Auntie Betty and tell her some cock-and-bull about the importance of proroguing parliament...well, that simply takes the cake. Well, Boris Jonhson has just done it and lived to tell.
But that is the new normal. Donald and Boris are Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and in their likeness they will continue to spawn little marionettes of fascists across the world.
One only needs to look at France, Italy, Hungary, Brazil, Philippines...the list is growing while the rest of us are too busy running the rat-race to notice that we are being surrounded.
Jenerali Ulimwengu is chairman of the board of the Raia Mwema newspaper and an advocate of the High Court in Dar es Salaam. E-mail: [email protected]
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