Several American nationals living in Namibia this week shared their views about the just-ended elections in the their country of birth, with many holding the view that Donald Trump’s poll victory was a sign of voters rejecting Hillary Clinton instead of them supporting Trump. Trump is due to be sworn-in on 20 January 2016, but his presidency is being opposed by protesters who refuse to accept the outcome and have since staged street protests and burnt buildings to oppose his presidency. Pollsters and poll aggregators predicted a Clinton win on election day. By the time polls opened on the East Coast, FiveThirtyEight gave Clinton a 70% chance of winning, the Upshot at the New York Times gave her a 84% chance, and the Huffington Post predicted Clinton had a 98.2% chance.
Trump claimed throughout the campaign that the support he saw at his rallies was not being reflected at the polls and that he would turn out a record number of white voters who were alienated from the political process. According to exit poll data from NBC, Trump won white voters without a college degree 65% to 29%. White voters with a college degree went for Trump 47% to 46%. The only group of white Americans who on average didn’t vote for Trump college educated white women who voted 51% to 43% for Clinton. It is notable, however, that 43% of college educated white women did vote for Trump, which means having a college degree only gives you 11/9 odds of voting for Clinton. Africans across the continent followed the US presidential election with keen interest. And like some Americans, while some fear that a Trump presidency could have disastrous consequences, others remain cautiously optimistic. The Patriot spoke to some American nationals living in Namibia about their views on the elections and the way forward for the US under Trump.
“The Democrats failed to field the best candidate which in this case would have been Bernie Sanders, instead they were more interested in Clinton’s career development,” Branch said. Branch further stated that the Democrats were complacent in the view that they thought black Americans would always vote for the Democratic Party and as a result they failed to offer major policy shifts that would empower blacks. He vehemently opposed the ongoing protests in the US against Trump’s victory. “Trump won fair and square and therefore he should be allowed to rule just like all the other elected presidents did. He did not rig elections or anything,” charged Branch. Branch used an example of DTA of Namibia’s president McHenry Venaani who graciously accepted defeat when he lost the presidency race to Swapo Party’s Dr. Hage Geingob during the 2014 general elections. “I believe Trump is a one term President, provided that the Democrats get their house in order. I think a Trump presidency will be different from a Trump candidacy and those who voted for him based on what he said during the campaign trail will be disappointed because he cannot do much with the system hanging over his head,” Branch said. Branch further said outgoing president Barrack Obama’s contribution to the US will be felt when he leaves the White House, saying he will have enough time and space to serve Americans.
He added: “African American business registrations and university enrolment increased significantly under eight years of a Reagan administration. Life under a Trump presidency will result in blacks being vested in self-help initiatives and achievement focused, with a greater awareness of legal rights and due process, and undoubtedly watchful and more vocal about policies, which may directly impact their quality of life.”
Mike Amey is of the view that there is a generation of black men who have not been taken care of by the system. “If you compare the Rodney King verdict in 1992 around police brutality with the events of today, one can see that nothing really changed in terms of police brutality against the black man. The only reason why current incidents are so visible compared to the past is because social media provides a window as to how black men are treated by the system,” he said. Amey said he grew up in Los Angeles during the height of gangsterism in the US. “You could not wear red and blue because you are coded by the type and color of clothes you wear. Growing up was tough and although social segregation was not explicitly outlined, we knew it was there,” he said. Amey said crimes committed were always attributed to blacks and that often the police would not respond to crime scenes in black neighborhoods. When asked to predict life for a black man under a Trump Presidency, Amey responds “I think it will be life as usual just with more eyes watching our issues and more opinions on how the system is rigged. My prayer is that a voice in our community rises to lead us to getting a fair and decent shake in all of this.”
Chivuno who is of Trinidadian descent, with family in the U.S also added his voice. He said: “Basically America wanted the world to believe that racism was extinct. And that white privilege is a figment of imagination. The Trump campaign has exposed this and therefore black people finally have the evidence to present that America is inherently racist and that the system is designed to oppress them. Before Trump there was no smoking gun. Now it is laid bare for everyone to see.” He believes Trump will not be much different from any of the other presidents who served before him. “Trump supporters have been kind enough to say what many white Americans have been thinking and practicing for centuries while blacks were always being accused of being overly sensitive because the black man is neither free nor accepted. His[black man] life is certainly not valuable beyond the economic productivity that can be extracted from him.”