By NZE NWABUEZE AKABOGU
THE United States of America is currently in a state of unprecedented turmoil and terrible siege rarely witnessed in the history of the country. Indeed, America has never had it so bad since the dark era of civil right upheavals in the sixties.
The recent mindless shootings, and killings of hapless African American citizens by the trigger–happy white police officers had indeed portrayed America as a law less society with no regard for the sanctity of human life. And to further compound the ugly situation was the most recent shooting of innocent American Citizens by allegedly mentally deranged gun trotting elements suspected to be inspired by terrorist ideology or the so-called Islamic State otherwise known as ISIS.
The most chilling and disturbing incident which occurred last month was the shooting and killing of forty nine innocent people in a popular Gay night club in Orlando, Florida by a lone gun man, a 29-year old American citizen of Arab extraction, Seddique Mateen. Scores of people were brutally wounded in that attack. The horrifying incident expectedly threw Americans and the international community into deep mourning.
President Barrack Obama while condemning the horrendous attack renewed his call for urgent review of the legislation on gun control in the U.S. According to President Obama, the law which allows American citizens to carry gun for personal safety has become outdated and counter- productive.
It is regrettable and worrisome to observe that USA democracy and freedom in the world could find herself in this terrible quagmire where almost on a daily basis, incidents of violent attack on innocent citizens occur across the country. America is equally regarded as a civilized nation with enormous economic and military powers in a unique position to defend the vulnerable and oppressed across the globe.
Paradoxically, the U.S appears incapable of defending her own citizens against gross injustice and flagrant abuse of human rights of other citizens including minority groups. American blacks have continued to bear the brunt of racial discrimination and segregation deliberately aimed at holding them down in their own adopted country.
It is pertinent to mention that by the failure of the American government to adequately protect the lives and property of her own citizens, it stands to reason therefore that the U.S has lost the moral authority to condemn or even point accusing fingers at other nations who have continually violated the human rights of their citizens. There seems to be a general sense of insecurity and despondency on the part of the African American citizens owing to the failure of the state apparatus to protect them, hence the new wave of reprisal attacks on the white police officers in the U.S. in recent weeks.
Only recently, a black American sniper named Micah Xavier Johnson shot and killed five top white police officers in Dallas Texas. He was instantly shot dead during the shoot out with the police. And just a few days ago, three police officers were again shot and killed by a 29-year old former black American Marine in what could be described as a cycle of violence in the U.S.
President Obama in his official reaction to the killings of the five Police officers in Dallas where he and the first lady Michelle Obama attended the memorial service for the slain officers along with former President George W. Bush and his wife Nancy, strongly condemned the mindless attack and killing of the police officers whom he described as fine and professional public officers who had died in the course of protecting American citizens.
In an emotion laden speech, President Obama went down memory lane to trace the social inequality and discrimination that had existed in the American society for centuries which has now given rise to the current violent attacks and reprisals already becoming a recurring decimal.
As the Obama Presidency is fast winding down, there appears to be a general sense of anger, frustration and outright betrayal among the black Americans who had rather naively assumed that President Obama whom they had regarded as one of their own occupying the highest office in the land would be in a position to automatically change their rather unfortunate situation for the better. It has quite happened, many have said.
Americans should, therefore, engage themselves in sober reflection to enable them overcome the have problems that have befallen their great nation. Urgent and decisive action should be taken by the U.S congress to review and regulate the outdated legislation which gave all Americans the right to own and carry all sorts of guns, including sophisticated assault rifles for personal security.
The forthcoming Presidential election in the U.S certainly offers Americans a rare opportunity to chart a new course for their nation. Americans should therefore be careful in their choice of the next President of the United States who will be the 45th occupant of the White House in January 2017.
Although it is the choice of Americans to make, the next President of the United States of America must be a person who clearly understands the dynamics of global politics which today places more emphasis on global peace, mutual respect and understanding among all nations, as opposed to the arrogant exhibition of military might and intimidation of weaker nations.
The two Presidential nominees of both the Republican and Democratic Parties namely: Donald Trump of the Republican party, and Hillary Clinton of the Democratic party should however be subjected to intense scrutiny by the American voters to enable them make the right choice between the two candidates. This is necessary to avoid the fatal error of judgment. The American society which is made up of different nationalities with diverse socio-cultural and religious backgrounds and orientations is generally regarded as a melting pot of some sort, and as such the American President must be able to acknowledge the obvious fact of the American diversity which indeed is her strength. In the forthcoming Presidential election therefore, any of the two candidates who fails to fit into the American vision, dream and ideals of the founding fathers based on unfettered freedom, liberal democracy, religious tolerance, accommodation, and above all, social justice and equality for all Americans, certainly does not deserve the votes of the American people and should be denied the opportunity to occupy the White House.
*Akabogu writes from Enugu-Ukwu, Anambra State.