Barack Obama: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

by Sheyi Oriade

Much like anyone else with more than a passing interest in world politics, I have recently found myself spending an inordinate amount of my spare time monitoring developments emerging from the primary season of the American Democratic Party. In some ways this is surprising, because after the debacle of the 2000 presidential elections in America, I lost interest in American politics altogether. But if, according to former British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, ‘a week is a long time in politics,’ then by comparison eight years is an eternity and sufficient time within which to renew one’s interest in American politics. And this I have done. So here I am once again, following with religious zeal the unfolding drama that is the primary season of the American Democratic Party.

There are no prizes on offer for guessing the reason for my renewed interest in American politics. It is down to one man – Barack Obama. Quite naturally, I feel an affinity towards him, being as he is of African origin and an African American in the truest sense of the term. But beyond this narrow bond of racial identification and affiliation, I am also impressed by his formidable array of attributes: intelligence, energy, youthfulness, resolve, courage, charisma, and oratorical skills. Attributes of which, would ordinarily propel any candidate, possessed of them, to the comfort of the White House in a presidential election year. But nothing is certain in American politics, particularly, after the fiasco of the 2000 presidential elections.

My revived interest in American politics also brings back memories of another period in time. Twenty years ago, this year, Jesse Jackson stood before the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, to deliver what is regarded as one of the best ever speeches in the history of the Democratic Party. In 1988, just like in 1984, he ran in a bid to become the presidential nominee of his party. In both attempts, he fell short of the mark and was ultimately unsuccessful in his objective. But, nonetheless, he succeeded in planting powerful seeds of hope and expectation in the hearts and minds of his party’s membership, whilst also laying the foundation for others to follow in his trail blazing footsteps in years to come.

Back then, Jesse Jackson admonished his party that the day of the underdog was not far off in American politics. As with every prophet – religious or secular – the purview of their time-frame is almost always futuristic, and there is often a time lag between their pronouncements and the fulfilment thereof. So Jesse Jackson was not wrong back then, he was simply ahead of his time.

During his momentous speech in 1988, Jesse Jackson touched upon various themes, delivering line after line of poignant and captivating oratory that achieved great resonance with his audience. One theme that he touched upon back then and which remains fresh in my memory till this day, had to do with the historical placement in America of his forebears and those of the late Michael Dukakis, his opponent at the time. As a preacher, poet, and politician his choice of words were wonderfully resounding and effective in their reach and impact; this is what he said.

Providence has enabled our paths to intersect. His foreparents (Michael Dukakis’) came to America on immigrant ships; my foreparents came to America on slave ships. But whatever the original ships, we’re in the same boat tonight’.

Keeping faith with the historical perspective of Jesse Jackson’s powerful words, but shifting the focus to comparatively more recent events; I am not certain what mode of vehicular transportation Barack Obama’s Father adopted when he embarked upon his journey of self improvement to the United States. But I am delighted that he set forth on that journey and that he arrived safely, and made the connection with Barack’s Mother. Not even he, back then, could have envisaged at the commencement of his journey that he was being propelled by the irrepressible winds of destiny and was part of a much larger unfolding plan of action. For quite often, auspicious journeys often begin in the most seemingly ordinary of circumstances.

Today, because two different men on two different continents set out at different times on different journeys, another man, standing on their shoulders and on the shoulders of countless others, has embarked upon a journey of his own and in the behalf of others. Unlike Shirley Chisholm’s journey of 1972 and Jesse Jackson’s trail blazing political odysseys of 1984 and 1988, Barack Obama’s journey of 2008, has about it, a sense of greater promise and success, and this, largely because of those who beat a path before him. Such is the interest in this pilgrim’s political progress that there is a real prospect of meaningful change occurring in America this year.

As much as I find current political developments in America exciting and encouraging, I also find it perplexing that it has taken this long to get to the point where either a black man or a white woman has a realistic shot at winning the presidential nomination of a major political party. For as far as I am aware, there have been black people in America since 1619, and I imagine white women for even longer. So I find it confounding and difficult to compute in my mind, particularly, against the background of the historical and philosophical underpinnings of the founding of the United States, why it has taken this long.

Right through the early periods of my induction into historical matters as a school boy, I’d always believed and had also been led to believe that the American nation was founded on the principles of equality and justice. But I acknowledge that quite possibly there may have been gaps in my learning that inadvertently led to my forming the wrong impression about the origins of the American nation. For this reason, and in order to dispel any erroneous impressions persisting in my mind, I decided to revisit some of the text on the founding of America.

Reading through the historical narrative of the founding of America, it is difficult, nay impossible, to arrive at any other conclusion, other than the fact, that the Founding Fathers (no Founding Mothers, I presume) were driven by the highest and finest of ideals. It appears to me that when they laid the cornerstone of their aspirational nation, they did so in the hope of erecting a New Jerusalem after the manner of the heavenly Jerusalem above. And in their attempts to build a paradisiacal nation on earth, they sought not only to cultivate a land of freedom, but also to enact the will of God on earth just as it is in heaven.

For by their avowal and espousal of the loftiest beliefs, they demonstrated that they were men acting not only under the inspiration of the divine, but were driven by the most sublime of motives. For hardly any other nation in the world can lay claim to a group of Founding Fathers who proclaimed belief in the following creed:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

But in reading these words, I am struck by the great gulf of disconnection between the rhetoric of the Founding Fathers and the reality for many American citizens, particularly those of colour and women. To these people, the rhetoric of the Founding Fathers though lofty, rich, elegant, and poetic in content and overtone, represent nothing more than a grouping of hollow words completely devoid of meaning. But how could this be so? Could it be that the Founders of America were actually duplicitous, deceitful, disingenuous, or even delusional men? We may never know for certain.

Perhaps no greater demonstration of the gulf of disconnection between rhetoric and reality can be seen, than in the periodic ritual dance of political candidates for the presidential nomination of their parties. This ritual dance, has more often than not, over the course of America’s history been overwhelmingly subscribed to and dominated by Caucasian males. For right from the inaguaral presidency of George Washington to the present day, the presidency of the United States has been the exclusive preserve of a select ‘band of brothers’ – all of Caucasian descent.

Thankfully, this year the gulf of disconnection is being bridged by the participation of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party’s primaries. And with the withdrawal of John Edwards from the race for nomination, the Democratic Party will be making history, and quite possibly so will America.

It is perhaps, no surprise that it is the ‘broad church’ of the Democratic Party, rather than the ‘country club’ of the Republican Party, that has provided a platform upon which this dance of destiny is taking place. The Republican Party appears to be too preoccupied with maintaining the status quo rather than in making history. But in mitigation of the Republican Party’s position, it must be remembered, that it is they, while in government, rather than the Democrats, who have appointed, in succession, two African Americans to the important position of Secretary of State. So in some ways the Democratic Party is playing catch up.

America, right from its foundations to the present time, has been a nation of contradictions. Piping tunes of freedom, yet refusing to let many of its citizens dance to its beat. In many ways, this year, America has an opportunity to redeem itself in the eyes of the rest of the world. It needs to demonstrate that it is worthy of being the leader of the ‘so called’ free world. For me and many others, of the candidates on display, Barack Obama represents the best chance of actualising this opportunity.

I am not suggesting, not even for a moment, that he represents the ‘second coming’ or that he is some ‘other worldly’ redeemer who will resolve the problems of the world. Far from it. Neither am I taken in, to the degree, that I have reposed blind faith in his candidacy. None of this is the case. But I do believe that he represents the best hope and possibility of change for the better within the context of the American nation. With his background and mix of skills he has already demonstrated his ability to inspire not only his own people, but others around the world who look to America for leadership.

For those who think that he is not qualified to run. I say think again. For those who say that he does not represent anything more than inspiration, they only need to see how disillusioned people across the world have become with America’s current direction. For those who say that he is not a policy wonk and, therefore, should not be president, I say to them that is the function of presidents to preside and provide leadership. There will be room enough for policy wonks and technocrats of every description in a government he leads. For those who say that he is running too soon, I say, that there is no time like the present. So run he must.

In many ways, Barack Obama is running a race not only for nomination of his party, but a race for respect and recognition that began hundreds of years ago by others. And for this reason, he’s running a relay race, having received the pass of baton from those who ran, marched, and died so that others could experience the elusive freedoms declared to be the inalienable rights of all by the Founding Fathers.

Like the Totemic Poles of the native American Indians, Barack Obama is standing on the shoulders of giants gone before. On the shoulders of men and women of every colour, complexion and creed that have fought for freedom everywhere; the rainbow people of God.

The refrain of his campaign has been, Yes We Can, in answer to those who doubt their ability to effect political change in America. Only time will tell whether or not the tape will be breasted at this attempt. And in some ways, what matters most of all, is that the race is being run. And ultimately the only race that really matters is the human race. By accepting the reality and beauty of our diversity and celebrating our common humanity – we too – will have won the race. If America can demonstrate this year that it is mature enough to overcome its ancient prejudices, then maybe the rest of the world will also follow suit.

As I reach the end of this piece, I once again return to Jesse Jackson and to his spirited admonitions of 1984 and 1988 – to wit – that we must ‘keep hope alive,’ and challenge the status quo that seeks to keep us divided and apart from one another. If we are to build a world, one in which we can all be proud of, then we must embrace change as an agent of our collective renewal. America has a chance to do so over the coming months, and I hope to God that it has the courage to follow thorugh.

Conventional wisdom admonishes us about the possibility of change on a personal level by saying that ‘if something is to be, then it is up to me.’ The Hopi Indians, out of the abundance of their ancestral wisdom, relay a similar truth about the inevitability of positive change and our part in bringing it about, when they declare with prophetic and poetic profundity, that:

‘We are the People, We’ve been waiting for’

Barack Obama, Baraka (Blessings) upon you; and Yes, You Can, because you are standing on the shoulders of giants!

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Larry September 2, 2008 - 7:20 am

Have been reading all things Obama recently. This is a beautiful article on him. I hope he goes all the way. It would be fantastic.

F. Otito July 16, 2008 - 11:02 am

Stumbled upon this article and found it inspiring and uplifting. Good Job.

Akinola February 27, 2008 - 4:21 pm

Sheyi: You characterized my belief in this matter as “unwavering”. Is yours wavering? Is there anything that I can possibly tell you about Barak Hussein Obama that can have a negative effect on your belief about him? It seems to me, going by what you have so far written about the man, that your mind is already made up and no amount of fact or evidence (no matter how well proven and documented) will you ever allow to get in the way of that belief. Just couple of days ago, one of Barak Hussein Obama’s fundraisors was indicted by the Federal government. Allegedly, the money that he gave Barak Hussein Obama (in some sort of land/cash/home transactions) came from an Iraqi convict (convicted in France). He now lives in England. The man, allegedly, has ties to Islamonazi groups in the Middle East. The only difference between an Islamonazi and a Communist is “faith”.

And concerning the common opinion of you and Tokunbo regarding Marxist Hillary and her formidable political machinery’s ability to uncover negatives of her opponents, let me reiterate what I have been writing concerning those two: when it comes to philosophy there is not a dime of a difference between those two. Their case is that of “six of one half a dozen of same”!

Why in the world would Marxist Hillary be interested in exposing the philosophy of her opponent if she herself shares the same exact philosophy? But as I stated before, whatever it is that I may say about Barak Hussein Obama is gonna matter less than a mustard seed when it comes to your belief in him. Afterall, you chose to discount his own willingness, as articulated in his own speech in Texas, to steal from one citizen and redistribute the loot to other citizens of his own choosing. If that’s not a manifestation of the mind of a communist, I don’t know what is. And finally, and I do mean finally as I will no longer respond to whatever you may write on this topic here, I did not mean to award your piece two stars. I thought I was awarding Tokunbo’s piece the two stars. But if you said I did, then I must have. But it was a mistake. I meant to award you the same number of star I awarded your original article: ONE!

Tokunbo February 26, 2008 - 12:54 pm

Akinola, You are right that I may not know enough about Nigerian politics however as a full blooded Yoruba myself I can lay claims to knowing Nigerian people. The state of our nation as depicted by its current failure is rooted in more than one reason, some of those reasons have been addressed by various authors on this website. I do not think Nigeria has failed as a nation because her citizens are a bunch of dependents, What are they dependents on? What adequate social services does the state provide? A lot of western European nations have very generous social programs while succeeding as a nation.

Akinola, please agree with me that our country has failed for a host of other poignant reasons like corruption, gross mismanagement, government instability, nepotism and not because of what the Nigerian citizens expect of the government. Thank you.

Reply February 26, 2008 - 5:50 am


Once again thank you for your comments.

Judging from what you have to say and the way in which you say it, I am beginning to form the impression that you are of the view that you have a monopoly over wisdom and knowledge, and are either unwilling and/or unable to accept or consider other view points at variance with yours.

I disagree with your categorisation of Tokunbo as a disciple of mine. I do not know him/her, but I do know, based on his/her responses, that he/she is an intelligent, incisive, refined and open minded person who enjoys a good article, and debate. Nothing that Tokunbo has said in his responses is contradictory or unreasonable given the assertions you make in your post(s).

It is an elementary principle of law, that whoever asserts a fact must prove it. You will have to convince me (and others I suspect) of Barack Obama being a Communist through the provision of incontrovertible proof. Having a mentor who is or was a Communist, or by attending Socialist Conferences, or delivering uplifting speeches does not in my mind constitute proof of one being a Communist. Some of my best lecturers at University were Communists, and my attendance at their lectures and admiration of their erudition, does not make me a Communist. Tokunbo is absolutely right that if Barack Obama was a Communist, the Clinton Campaign Machine would have buried him by now.

I am not illiterate regarding ideologies and their place in human development, what I am opposed to, is the slavish adherence to them and the role they sometimes play in setting people apart from one another. I am also at odds with your seemingly unwavering belief that one ideology is completely right and the other completely wrong. You make the point in your latest post, that If we fail to follow an ideology slavishly, we will end up getting lost since an ideology is a ‘road map’ designed to provide direction towards a destination. Since this is the case, should the Russians, therefore, still be travelling slavishly down the Communist road, I wonder?

Since you hold very strong views, and I imagine that you are entitled to vote in the American general election in November, I encourage you to vote according to your convictions, and leave others to do likewise.

I am confident enough to give my writing a ‘five star’ rating, which is why I shall be doing so again, and I am pleased to note that you rate my humour so highly. I am also pleased to note that your estimation of my article has gone up by one star to two.

Finally, I would like to reiterate what I said towards the end of my original response to you, that each of us is entitled to hold and expound views without being in agreement, and without conveying those views in an intolerant, dismissive, patronising or hubristic manner. Thank you for your time. And be of good cheer!!!

Akinola February 25, 2008 - 9:43 pm

Tokunbo: I don’t think you know enough about Nigerian politics or even about Nigerian peoples if you continue to believe that my assertion concerning the statist mindset of Nigerians is unfounded. WHAT EVIDENCE OTHER THAN THE STATE OF OUR NATION TODAY AND ITS HISTORY DO YOU NEED TO CONCLUDE THAT WE THE PEOPLE TEND TO FAVOR A NANNY STATE?

Just take a look at the bums we voted for whenever we had the opportunity to vote. Our elections are often cash and carry, aren’t they? We carry whoever either gives us cash or promises to give it to us later. We are a bunch of dependents.

Tokunbo February 25, 2008 - 7:16 pm

Akinola, Some of your points were fine as it conveyed a strong belief in what you wrote in addition your writing also portrayed a serious attempt at convincing the readers of those beliefs, However they were unfounded as the sources of those “fine” points could not be verified. Imagine for a moment how easy Hillary Clinton’s task would be right now if she could convince voters that her opponent is a communist, Her chief strategist Mark Penn might have not suggested to her to bring that to the voters’ attentions because it is oh well you know the answer………unfounded.

I am yet to see a formally published study that supports your statement that most of us Nigerians (formal education or not), deep down in our guts, truly do believe in statism. These are all unfounded assumptions.

Akinola February 25, 2008 - 4:44 pm

Tokunbo: How could you describe my points as “fine” on the one hand and as “unfounded” on the other?

Akinola February 25, 2008 - 4:41 pm

First, I must congratulate you on your excellent sense of humor for awarding your own article five out of five stars. I support you on that. Afterall, if you don’t toot your own horn by yourself who else is better qualified to do it for you? Way to go sister!

As you can tell by the childish way our comments here are displayed, the front page of this website is not a place for give and take responses. This is probably a shortfall in the software as it seemingly does not allow for paragraphing nor does it give the writer the capability to emphasize a point by boldening it.

In the light of that, I will suggest that you come and join us at the Discussion boards of this site to iron out our disagreements. There, you are bound to make more friends as there are more forumites there who think just like you do. And there, I am bound to retain my fame and popularity and personality which are about as desirous as a skunk in your bedroom. But it is only a suggestion.

But before we even get to that point, if we ever get there at all, let me address two points you made and which are regurgitated by a disciple of yours; Tokunbo.

Point 1: Ideology. I infer from your piece that I may be a slave to an ideology. But believe it or not, I agree with that inference. However, I am no more a slave to my own ideology than you are to your own ideology. We don’t need philosophers to get to the root understanding of what an ideology is. It is no more than a road map to a destination. It serves as a direction to accomplishing a goal. And if we fail to adhere to that direction, if we fail to slavishly follow it, we get lost. And when we get lost, we don’t get to our destination or achieve our goal.

Ideologies aren’t only meant to give directions to nations, they are also necessary in the lives of individuals who make up nations. It was on the basis of ideology that an empire like former Soviet Union was born. Ideology is what has been running and still runs Cuba. North Korea was born on an ideology, and it is that ideology that continues to run it. And similarly, the United States of America was born by an ideology. But the ideology that gave birth to America has been under assault for decades by those who reject it, its overwhelming success notwithstanding.

Amongst those who reject America’s foundational ideology is your candidate BARAK HUSSEIN OBAMA!

In my previous piece, I described your candidate BARAK HUSSEIN OBAMA as a Communist. I stand by that description. But just to be fair, I must not leave out his wife Mitchell Barak Hussein Obama. She is just as much a communist as her husband Barak Hussein Obama is.

You referred me to Barak Hussein Obama’s website. Thank you for the referral, but I have visited before. There is nothing at his website that mitigates my description of him as a communist.

Evidence number 1 in support of my description is his childhood mentor by the name FRANK MARSHALL DAVIS. Frank Marshall Davis was a known Communist.

Evidence number 2 is Barak Hussein Obama’s own books in which he admits to attending “SOCIALIST CONFRENCES”.

Evidence number 3 is his own speeches that are full of platitudes. Just last week in Texas, he made the statement that he supports Capitalism but then turned around to querry the fairness in a system where one citizen makes more in ten minutes than other citizens make in a year.

And as a typical communist that he is, he sees his role as that of a confiscator of someone’s wealth in order to redistribute it to others he deems more deserving of it. All in his attempt to make it fair! His counterpart Marxist Hillary already made similar comment concerning Exxon’s profits. Hence my position that either of them will destroy America if they ever get to the pinnacle of power.

Point 2: General nature of my assertions: You responded to my point that most Nigerians, deep down in their guts, support some sort of statism. You described that point as being general; a description that was echoed by your disciple Tokunbo.

May I ask you to spend sometime watching Nigerian Television, especially on the weekend. There, you will observe a parade of Communist Ministers in their flambouyant regalia on different shows; all of ’em asking for government help in doing X Y Z for their ministries. You will not hear A SINGLE ONE OF ‘EM suggest a Market approach to solving whatever problem their damnable ministries may be experiencing.

I can fleshen up every single point I have made so far, but this is probably not the place for it.

Read me well, sister. I am not your enemy. I don’t even know you. But whenever and wherever I read an otherwise smart and “articulate” article written by an educated person like you, I shake in my boots at the erroneous position being articulated.

And given my nature and my understanding, I do not believe in equality of rightness in diametrically opposing points. If the positions we both take on an issue are incompatible, there is a chance that we may both be wrong. But there is no chance that we may both be right. In my own effort to make that clear, my pieces sometimes do appear to be confrontational. But rest assured, there is nothing personal about all this.

Tokunbo February 20, 2008 - 5:54 pm

Sheyi, Akinola – Both of you represent some of the reasons why I come to this site daily. Intelligent and intellectually stimulating arguments, I love it. Akinola made some fine points regarding his disagreements with Sheyi’s article, In my humble opinion a lot of Akinola’s fine points are unfounded and have no factual basis and include too many generalizations; We are yet to read from any other reliable sources that Obama is a communist and why did Akinola have to repeatedly write out Obama’s full name including his middle name – Hussein, is that a sly reference to anything in particular? Sheyi showed tremendous class with her/his response to Akinola’s rebuttal. A big congratulations to Sheyi as you readily won this argument; the bottom line is we enjoy the first amendment rights to freedom of speech here in the ol’ good US of A and we are all entitled to differing views on the same subject matter.

Reply February 20, 2008 - 5:43 am


Thank you for comments.

You are perfectly entitled to your views as I am to mine. We will have to agree to disagree on our different view points.

I am not entirely sure how you have come about the notion that Barack Obama is a Communist, but each to his own. Since you think he is running on ‘hope’ alone, you may wish to check his website to discover what his intended policies for America are. I make no bones about the fact that I am an admirer of his candidacy for reasons adduced in my article. You are perfectly entitled not to support him, after all America is a democracy.

I do think that after almost 400 years of black people and white women being in America, it is not unreasonable to want a qualified representative from either of these groups to become a presidential candidate of a major party or president of America. Thankfully, the results of the Democratic primaries so far show an open mindedness on the part of voters (white, black, hispanics, asians etc.) .

If desiring a better world where all can be treated decently irrespective of their different ideologies makes me a liberal in your view, then I wear the title as a badge of honour.

You make many sweeping statements e.g. ‘I believe, because most of us Nigerians (formal education or not), deep down in our guts, truly do believe in statism…’ without providing a basis for your generalisations.

You make a valid point about Michael Dukakis, I regret my error. However, it does not take away from the main thrust of the article, which was about Barack Obama.

Finally, I’d like to say that we live in a diverse world, of which America is a fine representative. In such a world, people are entitled to express views, such as mine and such as yours, without being in agreement and without projecting them in an intolerant and dismissive manner. Whether you accept it or not, we are ultimately one race of people, who stand to gain much more from one another by working together, rather than by being set apart by artificial ideologies. To paraphrase the great Galilean – Ideologies were made for man, and not man for ideologies.

Be of good cheer!!!


Akinola February 19, 2008 - 4:35 pm

Here is one election slogan I am sure the author of this article will agree with: White Americans; to wash away your sins vote for Barak Hussein Obama!!! x3.

I am sure the author will agree with it because it is the premise of her (I am assuming that the author is female) entire piece; notwithstanding her pandering statement that “Ultimately the only race that really matters is the human race.”

It doesn’t so much matter to the author who this Barak Hussein Obama really is. All that matters to her is the supposed blackness of his skin color. That’s all that matters to her because she has turned upside down the profound statement of a truly eloquent orator: Martin Luther King Jr., (unlike the fake, phony, fraud Jesse Jackson: a divisive and destructive demagogue). She has placed skin color ahead of content of character and belief and ideology (just like Jesse).

But even if the author and her kind are bent on coronating a black person as the President of America come ice in hell for no good reason than skin color, what is it that makes Barak Hussein Obama a “black” man? There is not a single person who can answer that question without FIRST accepting wholeheartedly the definition of a black person as put forth by some white racists; the same people the author rails against!

Barak Hussein Obama is just as much a black man as he is a white one. Not only that, he is as much a populist and a socialist and a marxist and a leninist as the female in this American Presidential race is! So, does that then make Barak Hussein Obama a black woman?

The liberal author of this article is not interested in what Barak Hussein Obama brings to the political table, since she does not discuss his position on any tangible political issue in her article. She is only interested in the “blackness” of the woefully inadequate candidate Barak Hussein Obama. She wants White Americans to demonstrate to the world that they are no longer a pack of racists by electing into the highest office of the land the first black man; even if the ideology he professes is an assault on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of America. None of that matters to the author, so long as he is black.

But may I remind the author, whom I believe is a woman, that a woman has never been elected into the same office either. Therefore, maybe the author should choose to forgo skin color for gender identity a.k.a. feminism and demand that White Americans demonstrate to the world that they are no longer sexists by electing Marxist Hillary as the President of America.

But regardless of whether all White Americans decide to shed their racist or sexist belief (here, I write as the author might), by voting for Barak Hussein Obama or Marxist Hillary, the future of America will be profoundly negatively impacted by the implemented policies of either of ’em! And that is why I pray for a Divine intervention in this political race.

But no matter what happens, the political future of America in this election will be determined NOT BY BLACKS but by Whites; by white men in particular. Because even if all black voters in America decide to cast their ballots for a man they claim is black and all white voters say no, there aren’t that many black votes to put a Black man in the White House!

Why is it that it is only a particular kind of blacks that appeal to so many blacks in America? Those blacks who now scream in approval at every syllable of Barak Hussein Obama’s empty rhetorics, along with their white liberals who are nothing more than cog in the wheel of black people’s success in America, opposed the nomination of Clarence Thomas into the highest Court of the land. They drew endless negative stereotypical caricatures of a wonderful black woman Condoleeza Rice in their worthless newspapers on and off line, just because she does not believe as the BLACK PANTHERS of America do. And I never saw them rally around a wonderful black man by the name of Michael Steele in his bid to become the Senator from Maryland.

There are a lot of wonderful and successful black men and women in America. But because they are not Communists like Obama is, the American black population, by and large, rejects them in their effort to impact American political scene in a positive way. But in accepting and supporting Communists like Obama, they tell us they do so because he’s black. THEY LIE!!!!

Without turning this into a rejoinder (such would be one hundred pages long), may I comment that most black Nigerians who voluntarily emigrated to America as well as those who observe political events in America from sideline (like this author), never stop to amaze me. They amaze me with their camaraderie with most black American’s politics of liberalism, which has not worked for them despite over fifty years of having practised it. Without questioning it, the f.o.b. blacks subscribe to it probably because it is the “black thing” to do or probably because it reminds them of home. But has such politics as it has been and is being practised in our own country of Nigeria worked for us at all? The only honest answer is NO! So, why do we keep preaching it to others as if it is the only true political gospel? Why do we embrace it when it is being practised by others? Why don’t we repudiate it every chance we get?

The answer, I believe, is because most of us Nigerians (formal education or not), deep down in our guts, truly do believe in statism which manifests itself in the images of socialism and communism; political ideologies that have proven themselves to be worthless everywhere they have been tried! It is because of our practice of Statism that our nation is in the shape it is in today.

We may put our trust in any one politician and “hope” (Obama’s favorite empty word) that s/he will cater to our needs and maybe even our wants, but it will never happen. Just as many black politicians in mostly black nations of the world have sacrificed their constituents at the altar of political negotiations and realities, so also will this half-black half-white political magician if elected!

But whatever the attendant problems of our nation of Nigeria may be today, whatever our complaints and our belly aching about the condition of our own country, this author’s piece and millions like it, often remind me that our own nation of Nigeria is a true reflection of “WE THE PEOPLE”!

And by the way, I did not know that Michael Dukakis had passed on until I read your “well researched” article. I thought it was his wife “Kitty” that passed on. Thanks for the info; anyway!!!

Tokunbo February 14, 2008 - 5:07 pm

Sheyi, Thank you for a well-written article. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, it brought many smiles to my face and I look forward to reading more of your work, Thank you for a well-researched work. We need a Barack in Nigeria though, A Barack to uplift our people and give us all hope in the Nation of Nigeria again.


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