In the United States, NAFTA and other free trade agreements have resulted in the continued loss of manufacturing and blue-collar jobs; jobs that had enabled many African Americans to move from poverty to the middle class.
Conservative ideology is even seen in the administration’s appalling approach to climate change. The administration has ignored the scientific community regarding the need to address the issue, scoffed at the data and now, when estimates are that we have ten years to address warming before irreparable harm is done, the steps forward are minuscule.
Research indicates that the African continent will bear the greatest burden of climate change. In the United States, we need go no further than the deadly ineptitude before and after Hurricane Katrina to see how the administration responds domestically to environmental disasters.
So, despite the red carpet that has been rolled out to receive the president and the first lady, many Africans – like African Americans – view the trip with a high degree of cynicism. They, like us, simply do not believe the hype.
Nicole Lee is a regular contributor to The Root.