Gordon Robinson | Why the shock over Trump?
During the 1970s, Jamaica completed the mental decolonisation process, having legally cut the umbilical cord in 1962.
Starting circa 1981, when the first satellite dish was introduced, Jamaica began genuflecting to a new colonial master, namely the good ol' US of A. Signalling the successful completion of that process is Jamaicans' continued obsession about President Trump, as if he was Jamaica's prime minister.
Trump campaigned on a specific promise to free American racism, fascism, and misogyny from the politically correct closet in which they'd been hidden for decades and make America white again. He won an election across 50 states combined (not just New York and California) on these specific platforms and is proceeding, post haste, unusually for an alleged politician, to implement his campaign promises.
Shock and awe are some of the milder reactions from progressive Americans who, regrettably, are in the distinct minority, save, as mentioned before, the Northeast coast (especially Boston and New York) and California. When, in his inaugural address, Trump confirmed that he intended to take himself and his promises seriously, protests, mostly involving women, were organised and executed with positive results, far exceeding organisers' wildest, wettest dreams. For the first time in my memory, these protests spread worldwide, with women, but including many thousands of men, marching in tandem with American progressives to protest the president's inaugural 'America First' speech.
This surprised most Trump voters because apart from having filed wild assertions from science geeks (that the world contains other countries) in the same category as 'the-world-is-flat' claims, they're incredulous that many of those other countries think like America's progressive minority.
One country conspicuously absent from these protests was Jamaica, despite a cross section of Jamaicans (but mostly women) flooding social media with hate mail aimed at Trump. You see, close examination of the protest marches reveals that they were as supportive of abortion, LBGTQ rights, and other fundamental human rights apprehended to be in danger from Trump as they were against his inaugural speech. Jamaicans, especially Jamaican Christians and especially Jamaican Christian women, not inna dat, preferring to sulk on social media about a man they've never met yet seemingly despise.
So Trump ignored the inaugural speech protests and proceeded blithely to the clumsiest of Muslim bans, ordering landed Muslims (including with visas/green cards) to be sent back only to experience the same reaction from progressives at airports across USA. Jamaicans also protested loudly but, again, only on social media. From the ether, lawyers appeared at American airports and volunteered their services on the spot to write habeas corpus writs. They succeeded in obtaining temporary stays from five federal judges in five states and have been celebrated as national heroes by protesters.
If you're a president and lawyers are more popular than you, you're in trouble. But any secret-ballot poll of real America will reveal that the majority applaud the Muslim ban (perhaps regretting how it was introduced). Remember, I told you, from as long ago as July 2016, that Trump represents the real USA, whose members don't have the 'backative' to speak like Trump publicly but who support him wholeheartedly.
Jamaicans stalking Trump on social media have forgotten that we're a de facto American colony. We look lovingly at the USA. We dress like them; we act like them; we copy their inner-city cultures. Hip hop was inspired by originally recorded Jamaican toasters led by U-Roy, Big Youth, and Yellowman. These influences led DJ Kool Herc to develop his playing style, which gave birth to New York hip hop. However, hip hop has repaid Jamaica the favour by exporting a particularly crass type of behaviour, via the satellite dish (morphed into cable TV), now a staple in dancehall. Regrettably, women, who seem to combine desperately low self-esteem with undereducation to produce behaviour demeaning to their own gender, are again the worst offenders. Don't believe me? Check https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK_FQ0H3J08 for proof positive.
Finally, for those who still doubt USA is our new colonial master, look around you today. It's rumoured that the Reggae Boyz, Jamaica's national football team, will play against USA at 'The Office'. Guess what? Today is Super Bowl Day. Belatedly sensing the danger of NFL's popularity leading Jamaicans to choose the Patriots-Falcons match-up over Boyz/USA, I note the Reggae Boyz game being promoted as a 'Super Bowl warm-up'. ROFL! There's good news. A Reggae Boyz win is likely as US 'soccer' players' minds might be in Houston where The Terrible Tout says take the Pats by a touchdown.
So before you waste your next tweet on your thousandth expression of disgust or outright hatred of President Trump, don't forget that the overwhelming majority of Middle America, and, especially, white women, voted for Trump who, in fairness, NEVER hid his plans. Obama voters stayed home in droves rather than vote for Hilary Clinton, who they saw as an Establishment puppet and a system manipulator. And, folks, it's time to get off the 'majority vote' bandwagon. This isn't Jamaica where 'majority vote wins' is obviously best.
USA has a peculiar, easily overlooked history. Originally, 'states' were effectively separate countries each with different 'foreign' owners. The British ruled the north/northeast, including New York and Boston. We tend to forget that as imperialists, the Brits' greatest rivals were the Spanish, whose empire was called New Spain and included (after Spain conquered the Aztec Empire in 1521) Mexico, Central America (above Panama), much of southwestern and central USA, and 'Spanish Florida'. The French owned Louisiana until 1763 (to me, still the most fascinating of all states as it kept the 1804 French Code Civil as its law).
Hold on to your hats, folks! Did you know that between 1763 and 1867, Russia (yes the same Russia Trump now embraces, as Obama did Cuba, and, like Cuba, every American has been taught to hate) owned settlements in the north and west? They were known as 'Russian America' and comprised parts of what are now California (take a Valium, Bill Maher), Alaska (Sarah Palin DID tell you she could see Russia from her home), and two ports in Hawaii.
With so many states having such diverse origins, a majority-vote-wins system in any federal election would prove anti-democratic because whoever wins California and New York would always win, regardless of what the other 48 states thought AND it would derogate from the historical geography of America - built from East to West, not the other way around. In order to truly democratise these assorted states and to give each state a voice in every federal election, the Electoral College (EC) was created. EC votes are allotted based on population, so New York and California retain huge inputs but not as definitive as a majority-vote system would confer.
So, Jamaicans, take a chill pill. Trump hasn't tricked anybody. He's doing what he said he'd do. His stated intention ("make America great again") is to return the world to pre-World War II conditions when unilateralism ruled and empires were built on jingoism, xenophobia, and military juggernauts. So while he shreds decades of multilateral contractual cooperation and threatens Mexico with troop invasion, his supporters won't take to the streets. They've retreated to the nation's backwaters with their Bibles, shotguns, corn whiskey, pet goats, and water boots, waiting patiently to re-emerge in 2020 to re-elect Trump.
Finally, real America is exposed to the world. Watch and see.
In the meantime, as good colonised subjects with no statehood benefits and all the imposingly imperial negatives, to get with the programme, Jamaica must immediately:
1. Learn how to count, especially crowds. Empty seats aren't to be counted negatively, but, using the alternative method, they each represent three people at home watching on TV. The quicker you grasp this new maths, the better you'll be able to assess this afternoon's turnout at The Office;
2. Ban all Muslims from Jamaica with immediate effect. Don't worry, the ban won't be discriminatory if you express it artfully as a ban on persons coming from majority Muslim countries, except for all members of minority religions there. Jamaicans can support this as it doesn't offend good Christian values like burning homosexuals at the stake and refusing to allow abortions.
3. Don't even think about freeing up ganja, especially for export. AMERICA FIRST. Remember?
Or, maybe, fleetingly, we might consider cutting yet another seemingly essential umbilical cord and put Jamaica first. Remember self-reliance?
Peace and love.
- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to email@example.com.