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15 Feb, 2023 20:40

Afghanistan needs ‘Black Girl Magic’ – US envoy

Washington’s diplomatic representative seemingly thinks that Beyonce and a woke hashtag can help women in the war-ravaged country
Afghanistan needs ‘Black Girl Magic’ – US envoy

The US’ diplomatic envoy to Afghanistan has declared that the hashtag “#BlackGirlMagic” might improve the lives of Afghan women, calling on Beyonce and Lizzo to in some way aid her cause. She was ridiculed online for her suggestion.

Since taking over as Chargé d’Affaires at the US Mission to Afghanistan in Qatar last year, Karen Decker has repeatedly and strongly condemned the Taliban for barring women from universities and cracking down on female activists. Decker regularly tweets about black activism in the US, and suggested on Wednesday that Afghans could look to American ‘woke’ culture for inspiration.

“Are Afghans familiar with #BlackGirlMagic and the movement it inspired?” she asked. “Do Afghan girls need a similar movement? What about Afghan Women? Teach me, ready to learn.”

Decker tagged pop stars Beyonce and Lizzo, as well as actress Regina King, in her tweet.

Hundreds of comments poured in ridiculing Decker’s tweet “How did we ever lose that war?” the Columbia Bugle, a right-wing news site, replied. “I’m speechless,” Florida Congressman Mike Waltz tweeted, as another commenter declared “Caligula making his horse a senator was less laughable than this.”

“What the hell is this?” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted. “Apparently the Biden Administration isn’t embarrassed enough already by their Afghanistan debacle…”

Popularized around 2016, the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic does not imply that black women are imbued with magical powers that could somehow aid Afghanistan. Instead, it is used on social media to celebrate the accomplishments of black women, and is often posted alongside photos of attractive African-Americans. The phrase was invoked by Democratic Party activists in 2016 in a bid to increase the turnout of black female voters, who reliably vote Democrat.

The US withdrew its military from Afghanistan in August 2021, bringing its two-decade occupation of the country to a close. The US-funded Afghan National Army crumbled in the face of advancing Taliban militants, and Afghanistan was back under Taliban rule immediately after the last American plane left Kabul. 

The occupation of Afghanistan cost the US taxpayer more than $2.3 trillion dollars, a figure that includes half a trillion dollars of interest owed on money borrowed to fight the war, and $233 billion paid caring for the nearly 21,000 veterans wounded there.