Estonian politician Martin Helme recently made international headlines when he opined that Estonia should be a white country. According to the International Business Times:
An outspoken Estonian politician has a message for would-be immigrants: “If you’re black, go back.”
Martin Helme, a board member for the Conservative People’s Party, was speaking about immigration policies on a television show in Tallinn, when he said he wants Estonia to remain a “white country,” and that an influx of immigrants would lead to the “pillaging and raping” of Estonian towns.
Helme’s fears of African immigration are well-founded. Unfortunately, he has little to no power in Estonia. Regarding Helme’s political party, the article goes on to say:
Today the party is supported by only about 3 percent of the country and is not even represented in Estonia’s parliament…
Estonia is a small country, with only about 1.3 million people. In contrast, Liberia has a population of about 3.7 million people.
Liberia doesn’t have fringe politicians calling for it to remain a black country; this policy is already written into its constitution:
a) All persons who, on the coming into force of this Constitution were lawfully
citizens of Liberia shall continue to be Liberian citizens.
b) In order to preserve, foster and maintain the positive Liberian culture, values and character, only persons who are Negroes or of Negro descent shall qualify by birth or by naturalization to be citizens of Liberia.
It goes without saying that if any country dared to even suggest a policy of limiting its citizenship to “persons who are Caucasians or of Caucasian descent,” the uproar would be deafening. The U.S. would instantly break off diplomatic ties with said country. Foreign aid to said country would be out of the question.
But this is what the U.S. Department of State has to say about its relationship with Liberia:
U.S. assistance and engagement is critical to Liberia’s short-term stability and long-term development. National elections in 2011 drew broad participation from the electorate, and paved the way for a peaceful transition to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s second administration. But opposition and unrest surrounding the elections showed that security, political, and social conditions remain fragile, and that the government must continue to make progress in building and solidifying confidence in public governance, reenergizing reforms, and fostering tangible improvements in the lives of average Liberians.
U.S. Assistance to Liberia
U.S. assistance seeks to focus on professionalizing Liberia’s military and civilian security forces; consolidating democratic progress; improving capacity, transparency, and accountability of governance institutions; promoting broad-based and environmentally sustainable economic growth; improving access to high-quality educational and health services; and responding to the problem of narcotics trafficking in West Africa, while helping Liberia build capacity to plan, implement, and sustain its own development efforts in each sector.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Liberia is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The country’s revenues come primarily from rubber exports and revenues from its maritime registry program. Liberia’s U.S.-owned and operated shipping and corporate registry is the world’s second-largest. U.S. exports to Liberia include agricultural products (with rice as the leading category), vehicles, machinery, optic and medical instruments, and textiles. The main imports from Liberia to the United States are rubber and allied products; other imports include wood, art and antiques, palm oil, and diamonds. The United States and Liberia have signed a trade and investment framework agreement.
Not only is there no outrage at its negro-only policy, but the U.S. actively aids Liberia, nurtures it and grants it preferential treatment. The fact that few persons of non-negro descent would ever want to live in Liberia is beside the point.
The only indignation we get, concerning aid to Liberia, is from the likes of Front Page Africa Online, where we read:
Between 2006 and 2010, five years into President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s first term, the Liberian Government reportedly received over US$2.5b in humanitarian aid and other official development assistance (ODA), excluding debt relief, from 16 government donors. The top ten government donors include the European Union (US$111.6m), the United States (US$77.8m)…The United States became the first country to grant debt relief to Liberia, waiving the full $391 million owed to it by Liberia in early 2007…In spite of all the debt relief and donor assistance, Liberia remains extremely poor and fragile with a high vulnerability index score. The country is one of ten Sub-Saharan African countries ranked as poorest in the world, according to the Multidimensional Poverty Index. The 2007 Core Welfare Indicator Questionnaire (CWIQ) puts the percentage of people living in extreme poverty (living on less than a dollar a day) at 63.8%. In absolute terms, this means that the proportion of the population living below the poverty line is 1.7 million, with 1.3 million people or 48% living in extreme poverty.The 2010 Millennium Development Goals Report states that Liberia is unlikely to achieve the targets set for eradicating extreme hunger and poverty by 2015 (Goal 1). Worse still, the American business magazine, Forbes ranks Liberia 13th among the saddest countries in the world.
Can Liberia’s negro-only policy be justified because of past colonialism? This would be a stretch – since Liberia was never truly a colony. Its close relationship with the U.S. kept European colonialists at bay.
It seems likely that this “sad country” would have been a lot less sad had it been a European colony. At least that way, it would have had a solid infrastructure to build on.
There is no “racial equality” in nature, but I believe it’s in our best interest to draw attention to the government’s double-standards. Within this context, we should demand “racial equality” in government. If there ever comes a time when the U.S. government becomes colorblind, then we can recalibrate our strategies from there. Therefore, I have created a petition at the White House petitions website. Please follow this link and sign it:
Sign the petition to have the U.S. government cease foreign aid to Liberia, and cut off foreign relations with it, until it gets rid of its “negro-only” policy.