Today Caribbean economies continue to be dependent on external forces. In the Caribbean, European and American companies own various industries, such as the bauxite, asphalt, oil and sugar industries, as well as substantial local resources, including land, plants, machinery, railroads, and port facilities. A major problem in Caribbean economic development has been the lack of economic diversification, which has affected the region’s export growth. This lack of diversity has been encouraged by the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries respectively offer special trade preferences and the Caribbean Basis Initiative, programs that actually create a greater dependency and stifle real economic growth. The efforts to counter economic intrusion and domination through regional unity have failed and rather than have Pan-Caribbean unity, we are left with titular displays of classism and big island versus little island petty rivalries/mentalities. Beyond this, however, Caribbean nations are increasingly plagued with a range of problems from corruption to brain drain to rising crime rates to the health crisis provoked by AIDS.
Latin America has provided a dystopian existence for Afrikan people. The principle Afrikan nation in the region, Haiti, initially was a symbol of hope, freedom and redemption for Afrikans in the Americas. As the only independent Afrikan nation in the Western hemisphere, amid a sea of racist Western nations, Haiti was to experience the wrath and vengeance of white supremacy for daring to liberate herself. Though free, Haiti was unable, perhaps even unwilling to develop within an Afrikan worldview orientation. The island’s privileged class, already identifying with European culture, would come to dominate the new nation’s politics and economy. Haitian history is stained by the dictates of corrupt leadership, which consists of a biracial color caste who comprises 1 percent of the population but controls nearly half the nation’s wealth. Conversely, 85 percent of Haitians survive daily on less than one U.S. dollar. Unemployment is 70 percent, while adult literacy is 50 percent, and mortality rates average fifty years old. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere and one of the hungriest and poorest in the world. Stigmatizing Haiti further is her identification with voodoo, a survival from traditional Afrikan spiritual practices. However, in Haiti’s dysfunctional environment, often self-serving, unprincipled, and undisciplined individuals for personal gain employ these practices capriciously. Absent from these practices are the checks and balances and the overall structure and communal purpose traditional society provided. Thus, the result is ritual and spiritual chaos in Haiti.
Throughout Latin American society Afrikans occupy the lowest social class. In Brazil, where the largest numbers of Diasporan Afrikans live, only 22 percent receive middle school education while comprising more than 80 percent of the jailed population. Brazilian society has denied Afrikans any meaningful role despite the significant contributions Afrikan culture has made to society. Although the West projects Brazil as a racial utopia, the issue of race has created an extremely stratified society. Brazilian discrimination and racial classification are predicated on skin color primarily but include facial features as well. For example, a Fulani or a Somali would be classed as an Indian not an Afrikan. This broad classification system is arbitrary and vague, and has helped to weaken the Afrikan Brazilian identity. Many people of Afrikan descent rather than identity with the maligned Afrikan choose to classify themselves as mulattos or Indians. Therefore, unlike their American counterparts, Afrikans in Brazil lack racial consciousness and the potential political power it engenders. In the past twenty or so years a black consciousness movement has developed to address the historical ills of Afrikan Brazilians. A number of Latin American nations are also experiencing Black consciousness movements.
North America, particularly, the United States, is where Afrikans through protest and the acquisition of suffrage have attained an impressive degree of political power. Financially, “Afrika America” has a national buying power of approximately 900 billion dollars, which suggests a degree of economic power. However, Afrikan Americans lack economic coherence. This lack of economic cohesiveness and the lack of purposeful national leadership have lessened their economic clout. A small upper class exists that has accumulated considerable wealth, but it has been unable or perhaps unwilling to effectuate change for the masses of Afrikan Americans, who remain securely in the lower class. As a group, Afrikan Americans are at the bottom of American society, possessing the lowest median income, the lowest home ownership rate, the highest poverty rate, and the highest percentage of those imprisoned. Arguably, segregation, once allowed Afrikans to in-gather accounting for group cohesiveness, but with their increasing integration into American society, signs of deterioration in their social and moral fiber are evidence. Such signs are the weakening of the family, the rise in mental health disorders, and slumbering educational achievements. In addition, AIDS is rapidly increasing in the Afrikan American population.
As uncertain as the situation seems for Diasporan Afrikans, the state of affairs on the continent appears even more precarious. As stated earlier, Western power is predicated on exploiting the mineral resources of the world. As for mineral resources, Afrika is the richest continent on the planet. Therefore, keeping the nations of Afrika destabilized and underdeveloped is advantageous for the West. This simply facilitates Afrika pillaging. The old mercantile system is still in effect. By Western design no Afrikan nation has developed any suitable or competitive industries. Instead, Afrika’s mineral wealth is fodder for Western industries and contributes to the continuation of Western hegemony.