So, President Trump now wants to buy Greenland! An uninhabited Greek island is one thing, but the largest island in the world that is also an autonomous territory… Well! Although Greenland has been a part of Denmark for over 200 years, it has been increasingly self-governing since 1979, with only foreign affairs and defence still controlled by Denmark. The suggestion just highlights how callous and clueless the American President is.
People are not for sale
Despite its promising name, Greenland is no Eden. Three quarters of it, in fact, are covered under permanent ice. Erik the Red, the Norse explorer, reportedly gave it the attractive name in order to encourage colonisation. Now Greenland has 57 thousand or so inhabitants and they are justifiably proud of their identity, culture and autonomy. For Trump, however, people are just pawns and this move is just another confirmation of his cynical outlook. For Trump, money and power come first. What next? Will he decide to auction Puerto Rico (a US unincorporated territory) to the highest bidder? Slavery was abolished in the US in 1865, but clearly, Trump still does not quite understand that people are not for sale.
A US tradition
True, the US has a tradition of buying territory; the purchase of Louisiana from France in 1803, Florida from Spain in 1819 and Alaska from Russia in 1867 are just a few examples of its many transactions. Nevertheless, the world is a very different place now and annexing people and lands through war or purchase is now seen for what it is: an affront to civil rights.