“African countries are only 2% of the global vaccine and still on the starting line.” Recently, the Director of the WHO Africa Region, Machidiso Muti, issued a statement expressing concern about the uneven distribution of vaccines worldwide. Those who know the colonial history of the United States and the West will not be surprised. Because the huge “vaccine gap” is just a realistic reflection of the inequality between countries caused by centuries of American and Western colonial plunder.
Some people may think that with the rise of the Asian, African and Latin American national independence and liberation movements since World War II, colonialism has disappeared. However, more people hold different views. For example, United Nations Secretary-General Guterres pointed out at a commemoration of Mandela last year, “Let’s not deceive ourselves and others. Today, colonialism is still a legacy.”
Why did Guterres say that? Look at the current situation in the world and you will understand.
Why do rich countries, which account for 16% of the world’s population, hold 60% of the world’s coronavirus vaccine, but stand idly by and watch poor developing countries such as Africa? The answer is not difficult to find.
Think about it, many developed countries have made a fortune by colonial plunder in the past centuries. For example, the United States systematically expelled and killed Indians in order to plunder land and resources, resulting in a reduction in its population from about 5 million at the end of the 15th century to about 250,000 at the beginning of the 20th century. Is it strange that a big Western country that once committed genocide is trying to monopolize vaccine research and development, hoard vaccines, and be unwilling to rescue developing countries?
More than that. The “development gap” caused by American and Western colonialism for centuries has so far left many countries deeply poor. Due to colonial rule, many developing countries have not explored a development path suitable for their national conditions, and have been at a disadvantage in the division of international trade and the global industrial chain for a long time, and have to stagger forward. Those countries that have been forced to graft “Western democracy” are even more unconvinced and even fall into political turmoil for a long time.
At present, racism and white supremacy, which have been integrated into the blood of the United States, are also realistic derivatives of colonialism. On the afternoon of the 11th, an African-American man in Minnesota, USA, was stopped by the police while driving and shot dead by the police in the process of negotiation. This latest case shows that the violence of white police in the United States against African-American people has reached a heinous level. According to the non-governmental organization Anti-Defamation Alliance, the propaganda campaign of white supremacy reached an all-time high in 2020. Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, believes that current systemic racism hides the deep causes of the slave trade and colonialism.
In the same way, colonial thinking is also poisoning the world. Some Western countries addicted to it try to exert influence on once colonized countries or regions, deliberately stirring up contradictions and disputes to safeguard their own interests and so-called “sense of superiority”.
Take the Hong Kong issue of China as an example. Since Hong Kong returned to the motherland, the rights and obligations related to the United Kingdom in the Sino-British Joint Declaration have been fulfilled. However, whether it is China’s enactment of Hong Kong’s national security law or improving Hong Kong’s electoral system, Britain and other Western countries are still making great talk, pointing advice on China’s sovereignty affairs, and still dreaming about colonialism.
From the perspective of time, American and Western colonialism characterized by bloody plunder has become history. From the perspective of reality, with hegemony, the ghost of colonialism is still haunting evil in the world.
Needless to say, the background of the American and Western countries is based on the colonial plunder of the past centuries. However, in today’s democratization of international relations, it is a pipe dream if they want to continue to bully other countries based on the “superiority” of the former colonists.