Obama, within one short week, gave a sanctimonious sermon in Ghana to continental Africans, and again, to peoples of African descent at NAACP convention in New York City, lectures that would elicit blissful chuckles from retrogrades degenerates revisionist such as Niall Ferguson, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Patrick Buchannan and David Duke. It is saddening that instead rebukes and repudiations, some Africans offered Obama thunderous applauses! American conservatives must be blushing with delight and immense pleasure!
It is the case that Africans and peoples of African descent are perceived as powerless no consequence, as Africa is unable to avenge affronts against her. Africans are seen by most, as having no clout, no cohesion and no nuclear weapons, South Africa and Libya had nuclear ambitions which have since been eliminated and extinguished through Western pressures and manipulations.
Africa has been pulverized all through her checkered history. Some now seek to engage in putrid and pungent revisionism. And unfortunately too, some Africans are not seeing these charlatans for what they really are, hence everyone take us for granted in the first place and then, scold us, insult us and ridicule us and fear no retaliations or ramifications.
Some may argue that Obama is entitled indulge in political self preservation at Africa’s expense. And therefore, no one should expect him to squander fragile political capital on Africa which he may in fact perceive as beggars and lepers. Obama was elected as an American president and his primary obligations therefore are towards Americans.
Even so, He must not allow his words or actions not to serve as accelerants and aggravate or make worse an African image which is already devastated. Obama is hot on a hot day he chooses to walk on the shaded part of the street while peering at those of us Africans in the sunny heat from his shade of comforts. Obama is our brother alright, but, he is not entitled to mock us. He is, it should be remember, a beneficiary and recipient of sacrifices of blood sweat and tears of Africans and peoples of African descent. Let Obama do nothing for Black people. But first, let him also be told what good doctors observe as a mantra, it is, first do no harm to the patient. Obama should do no harm to continental Africans and peoples of African descent with his pandering utterances! Is Obama a beneficiary of our collective past which he now cynically exploits at our expense to placate his political opponents, his statements in Ghana and at NAACP are rather strange.
Obama would not lecture the Jews over settlements in Palestine… or he can forget any dreams of re-election. Obama knows who to abuse, just as he knows who to absolve, exculpate, exonerate and most of all, Obama knows who to PANDER to and who to disrespect and shame or ridicule in public. The unreasoned, undiscerning and uncritical examination of Obama charlatan public shaming of continental Africans and African Americans for the consumption of his conservative albatrosses is exceedingly unpleasant. Africans and peoples of African descent ought to publicly repudiate Obama’s contemptuous stances on continental Africans and peoples of African descent. It should be clear that Obama is cynically engaging in these public pandering, to fit the nitwit spurious arguments by others, called post-racial
It is much easier to blame folks and talk about personal responsibility, than to talk about power arrangements, power structures which have existed and which still remains. Obama’s lecture in New York City to NAACP was full of his keywords reserved for continental Africans and peoples of African descent; take responsibility, make no excuses etc. Obama graciously referred to the disparity in unemployment numbers published by New York City candidate for mayor, Bill Thompson in which peoples of African descent are disproportionately affected. 15% of our people are unemployed compared with 9.5%, is the high rate of unemployment amongst our people because they want to sing, dance and play basketball? Rather, it is because of lopsided structural arrangements, which has historically put our people at tremendous disadvantage? And let me be the first to inform Obama that a good number of African Americans who are currently unemployed, are not trying to be Lil Wayne or Lebron James, instead, these African Americans are college educated and skilled professionals. Obama’s comedic clichés would have the world believe otherwise.
Obama ought to realize that there are reasons why some African Americans would want to pursue careers similar to Lil Wayne and Lebron James, such as the reality of racism in America, race, sadly, remains how life is lived in America. And certainly not as some would have you believe that African Americans are lazy, shiftless and without ambitions or big dreams. Obama also ought to know that he is not the first African American to run to be president of the United States! We must never underestimate the race factor in all these.
50% sports men and women in America are African Americans, but, surprisingly, only 2% of all coaches and managers are African Americans! Why is that Mr. President? It is because, in America, racism often tells you who you are and where you should be!
On the matter of why continental Africans and African Americans are where we are, Obama must have proper perspectives and contexts. There was Marshall Plan for Europe and Asia after the World Wars… and there was no such thing to steady Africa after the World Wars or after slave trade or after colonialism! First there was the Marshall Plan for parts of Europe and parts of Asia in the 1940s, and then came Asia Bailout of the 1990s as well as the Mexican Bailout. All through these, Where is Africa Marshall Plan and Bailout?
Just as there was no 40 acres and a mule for African Americans or any efforts to ready them for the slow integration into American society post slavery… imagine blaming them for their conditions now? That is called blaming the victim and that is exactly what I see in Obama willingly and carelessly giving America and Europe a clean bill of health and clearance over the horrors and brutalities visited on Africans all through history!
There are so many searing questions which we need ask of Obama, as well as many comparisons between countries with similar or worse institutional deficiency as in some African countries. Why is it that has Obama not shun these countries? Or talk-down to them in most patronizing and condescending manners as he has of countries on the African continent? Why do some Africans have this herd mentality of unreason, undiscerning and uncritical assessment of Obama abuse of all of us?
Why does Obama reserve the “truth” for Africans and African Americans? Why did he not talk down to the Pope with whom he disagrees on abortion and stem cell research? Why does Obama not talk down the truth to the Israelis with whom he disagrees on settlement expansion? Why does Obama not talk down and tell the truth to the Russians about chechen and nuclear and corruption and Puttin’s self-succession? There are persisting questions of legitimacy over Iran’s recent elections, Obama through his Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary
Rodham Clinton continue to offer an open door, widely ajar for direct, unconditional negotiations with Iran. Obama should just tell Iranian leaders and Mahmoud Ahmadenajad the “bitter-truth” and be “blunt” and scolding of Iranian charade and façade farcical election? That surely will be unproductive and undiplomatic no less.
What Obama engaged in, while in Ghana, is not leadership, nor diplomacy… He lectured, scolded and ridiculed Africans! In the end, absolved and exonerated America and Europe for their brutalities and horrors that are age-old… checkered history of slavery, colonialism and continued meddling and interference.
Let him take all that lecture, scolding and condescension to the Pope in Rome or to Puttin and Med
vevdev in Moscow and to Netanyahu in Jerusalem! And I say no poetic license for Obama! And yes, pretending that the crises in Africa, even up to today, are self-inflicted, shallow and simplistic rubbish on the part of Obama! Obama confessed liking former US president Reagan and Obama has begun to sound more and more like Reagan and I never like Reagan! Reagan’s policies toward Africa and peoples of African descent were inhuman, twisted and warped.
Blaming the victim is not only profoundly unconscionable it is actually the hallmark of acute intellectual laziness. Or a lack of courage to address issues forthrightly. Only those who live in alternate universe would pretend that there is no cause and effect or consequences of history on our people. No one should be allowed to dismiss this with a cavalier mere wave of the hand Obama makes good rhetorical presentations, rhetorical flourishes and but with very selective memory. He is aping conservatives who say we should pick ourselves up by the bootstraps, even as we have no shoes or such advice emanating from those who stole, and continues to steal our shoes and straps!
Obama must know that continental Africans, African Americans and peoples of African descent having been striving! The Mau Mau strived, the ANC strived, the Black Panther strived. Dr. King Jr. Malcolm X etc strived. The NAACP, Urban League, Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton etc have been striving and this made an Obama possible. They can tell him a thing or two about bootstraps and our condition.
Obama generalizes when he is before continental Africans and African Americans, and he is specific and very measured, delicate and respectful when he addresses others. Anyone who is familiar with my views would have to notice that I made no distinction between continental Africans and African Americans in reference to how Obama addresses our peoples. And some others have also pointed out that Obama seem to have a “penchant to talk down on any black audience in front of him while being in his best manners when the color of the audience changes” and this supposed to be called tough love?
Why equivocate in one place and then, suddenly be blunt at the other place? This is hypocrisy and double standards? Is it cynical manipulation and exploitation? Or is it fear?
Can anyone imagine Obama attend a Jewish Conference and say to Israel, tear down the Apartheid wall which Israel has erected against Palestine! This is the bitter truth. This will be courageous admonition and it will be tough love and Obama will occupy a moral high-ground. Obama’s speeches before Israelis, American Jews, his speech before Russians, so far, are a matter of public knowledge and still in the public domain. His deference is notable. Let Obama go to a Jewish Conference and lecture about Gays, Muslims etc and then, I will have no criticism of him ever again! I would applaud Obama if he becomes consistent and single-minded Patrick Henry style, “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” with all his audiences.
Obama is dared to go to Jerusalem or Telaviv next time Shrill-shout Israel to tear down the apartheid wall which Israel erected against Palestinians. Would Obama be right to appear, in cavalier manner, to tell Jews to get over the impact of the Holocaust? Demjajuk a former German American is on trial in Germany for his alleged roles in the Holocaust, and would Obama be right to chastise Jews for this or to tell them to get over it? It is a post modern world after all, right?
The US Congress has eventually passed a symbolic Act which apologizes for slavery and America’s role in it. Is reparations for slavery next and would Obama push for it?
How many Israelis have spied against America? Would Obama go tell American Jews the “bitter-truth” which is that friends should not spy against to friends? Would Obama go to Moscow and “bluntly” tell the Russians to go destroy their nuclear weapons; Would Obama to Riyadh and tell the Saudis to elect a woman president; If he does all these, would have redeemed himself! And while at it, he should demand a detailed statistical data of American foreign aid for the preceding 50 years to confirm how little aid has gone to Africa. The continent of Africa, Caribbean nations, where, unarguably, the needs are greatest.
Anyone who pays even a minimum of attention to geopolitics would be familiar with the disparity in policy, toward the economic and political crises in Haiti compared with Cuba. Or the handling of Gerry Adams, the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland and, say, similar crises in Sierra Leone, Liberia or the Ivory Coast. Any keen observer will be familiar with policy disparity between Sarajevo, Bosnia Hezergovina, and Rwanda or Somalia. Westerners have had reasons to foist two World Wars on the world. Westerners have had reasons for crises, violence in the Balkans, in Ireland, in Chechnya, Yugoslavia, but, on the other hand, Africans always have no reason to engage in mindless violence? Africans just fight petty tribal wars? Africans are more brutal than everybody else?
There is always an outstanding reason, philosophy and logic why Westerners fight civil wars or invade and occupy other nations. There is always some reason why Westerners amass all sorts of armada, weapons of mass destruction, atomic, biological, and nuclear, but the rest of us have no reason whatsoever! Obama is a brilliant man, he is not naïve. He must be told that, even in recent memory, America funded UNITA in Angola, against the legitimate government MPLA government in Angola, and that America ensured the removal of the constitutional, but imperfect government of Haiti in 2004, and that was the first America interference in Haitian matters! I await Obama American policy on Haiti, still.
American and European interference in the internal affairs of other nations is rather legendary in the most negative sense. And it is not all ancient history to Vietnamese, Panamanians, Grenadians, Congolese, Angolans, Chileans, Argentines or Iraqis etc. And if you do not trust Google or Wikipedia on these, you could stick to old fashioned way of books on these matters.
While in Ghana, Obama attempted to portray slavery and colonialism, humanity’s worst twin evils, as if these were mere blemishes or pimples on an elephant! This even despite the dramatic continuing effects and still visible negative impacts of these twin evils on Africans! Dramatic effects on culture, language, religion, unity, economic and political development etc
Obama should adhere to, and practice what a great African American lady, Ida B Wells, once advocated in Lifting As We Climb. At a minimum, Africans and peoples of African descent expected Obama to be a catalyst, to be inspire and motivate with words and actions, but instead, of lifting us as he climbs, he is stomping his feet upon our bodies while we are down! Nobody expected Obama to bring cash or materials and certainly not his abuse. Obama is beginning to sound like a cynical puppet and an instrument against our people. Continental Africans and peoples of African descent rightly expected Obama’s political ascension and climb to lift us up, at least symbolically. He should lift us up as he climbs or what is his worth or value to us?