Friday, November 07, 2008

The Obama family rushing to the White House


I'm sure like me, this image has reached many of you in the past couple of days via email, with the heading 'the Obama family rushes to the White House' or 'Kenyans rushing to the White House'.

Interestingly, I've received the image from Nigerians so far.

If a white person had sent the image, no doubt it would have been perceived as a racist slur.

Apart from the fact that the image clearly represents people of the Sahara - Nigerois, Toureg and the like and certainly not East Africans, another question comes to mind.

Given that the President-elect of the US is partly of African heritage, does that mean he is now fair game for lively commentary from Africans, in a way that stands outside of the conventional racial parameters of America?

And, could this override-principle work in reverse?

Can President Obama take a critical look at the weak governance that pervades the African continent, the posturings of the various neo-colonial elites and at the utterly ineffectual African Union, and on account of the African aspect of his heritage, have the liberty for the trenchant criticism that is needed? Can Obama stand outside of the mealy-mouthed muted liberal approach to African corruption and bad governance (muted as much of course by trade requirements - arms, geo-political influence and energy- as by principle)? Will he be able to tell it like it is?

Let's see.

17 comments:

ababoypart2 10:42 am  

"Can President Obama take a critical look at the weak governance that pervades the African continent, the posturings of the various neo-colonial elites and at the utterly ineffectual African Union, and on account of the African aspect of his heritage, have the liberty for the trenchant criticism that is needed? Can Obama stand outside of the mealy-mouthed muted liberal approach to African corruption and bad governance (muted as much of course by trade requirements - arms, geo-political influence and energy- as by principle)? Will he be able to tell it like it is?"

YES HE WILL

MissLove 11:57 am  

This is too much work load on one person and personally I think we are expecting so much from just one man!

Buki 12:33 pm  

OBAMA will do all he can for the ENTIRE WORLD, not just AFRICA. However, lets not forget his first responsibility is to Americans and rebuilding the international relations of that country especially as related to war and also reconciling the post republican government.
As per the pix...excuse Nigerians for their ribaldry.
But can OBAMA? YES HE CAN!

Steve B 12:38 pm  

"Will he be able to tell it like it is?"
He already has. Take a look at his University of Nairobi speech delivered on his last trip to Kenya in 2006.

http://obama.senate.gov/speech/060828-an_honest_gover/

"...while corruption is a problem we all share, here in Kenya it is a crisis - a crisis that's robbing an honest people of the opportunities they have fought for - the opportunity they deserve."

His speech went down very well with Kenyans - not so much with the government.

Anonymous,  1:44 pm  

Obama is an American first and foremost, so his primary responsibility is to the US.

He has shown himself to speak the truth to Africans. He gave a good one on Nigeria, where he told it like it is.

See:
http://aloofaa.blogspot.com/
Under the title:
"Obama's Speech on Nigeria"

I think people were so taken by his knowledge of the country, they missed the harsh but true statements he made about the society there.

If all that was required was harsh words to the governing elites of Africa, then the problem would have been sorted out a long time ago. It will take a lot more than that, and the real impetus for an improvement must come from within.

Jeremy 2:53 pm  

Cod Liver - can that speech be verified? I think it might be a spoof..

Anonymous,  2:56 pm  

"If a white person had sent the image..."
Yes they have. Remember the new york times cartoon and the numerous u-tube flicks? where have you been!

Anonymous,  3:00 pm  

It is a spoof...

Anonymous,  3:07 pm  

Jeremy
I'm not sure if it's a spoof or not. I don't know how to verify that I'm afraid.

You would have to ask Aloofar.

Sorry, I couldn't be more help.

Anonymous,  5:37 pm  

Obama is a hero to the world, but his first responsibility is to his country of birth - USA, not sorting out Africa's corruption etc...
Maybe African's should step up and sort out their own corruption for once.
Where is Nigeria's or Kenya's or any African nation's Obama?
Is there no one willing or able to create a similar movement to finally bring African nations into the 21st century? who are are the young, bright, moral up and coming politicians/community organizers? Where are they?

Anonymous,  5:50 pm  

whether the picture was sent by a white person or a black person, its still racist.

Anonymous,  8:01 pm  

"If a white person had sent the image, no doubt it would have been perceived as a racist slur."

You are right! On the other hand, Since Greek and Roman conquests a couple thousand years ago, the world has had a distinct European(Caucasian) bias (both economically, culturally and militarily). The price of several centuries of domination which has placed western nations in a distinctly advantageous position in the world today is that whites cant get to say nigger or send racially charged pictures like that without being labeled as racist!
Seems like a fair trade!

On the other hand, hypocrisy rankles me; But just like I can't do anything about the current inequalities that exist in the world between races, cultures and countries, I definitely cant do anything about the inequality of perception when a joke like this is said by a non-black person!

Back to the issue on hand: It is most likely that Obama would handle African policies like most of his predecessors: Indifference. Let's face it, Africa is not very relevant to most Americans.
- Obi

Boosh 11:18 am  

Dia Broda Baraks,

Congrats on your assumption to the throne of US. We your Nigerian famili are very happy for you and for ourselves. It is our turn now to chop US national cake and our enemies cannot do anything about that.

I was to come to see you personally at Wite aus but I was not allowed at the airport because of say no fisa. I told them I am Obama kosin bet they refuse me. Your new elesion is a very good news for the Obama clan in Kenya and the famili in Nigeria. When I fest went to the family aus in Kenya to tell dem we are one famili they did not agree but my pastor from my church make 3 days dry fast and give me a special sponge to baf in barbitch after this they accept me. Becos they don’t remember the sister of your granfada mother dat went to Nigeria and mari a shief live near Lagos in 1956 which is also my own personal great grandfada.

Now the famili has choose me to diskus some important matas with you. You know you have been long in Amrica and have forget our traditions but tank God we, your famili are hia to guide you to be rill African man. As a president, you must have a male son in office who will take over after you die and since ya wife Mitchell has not able to do that, we have find a wife for you from your fada village. The famili have already chose a good girl from de village not like Amrica or lagos gals who are too stubborn to obey the famili. She is a humble well behave and edicated gal who study sewing and fasion disine so she can help with sewing your suit wen e tia and also unifom for ami and soja. I hope ya waif will assept famili shoice becos we have fogif her for her winchcraft wich dont allow her to have a male son but if not, she can go back to her fada. Even my pastor has say your younger thoter may need a deliverance becos her granmoda want to give her winsh and ogbanje spirit to chop. Please don’t wori about what dis will cost becos I will do it with my own pusonal moni becos we are one famili.

I also want to tell you that I want to set up NGO for hades unfans in Kenya and I can be the leader of the NGO. I have a good standard six degree and also studied computa at Iyana Ipaja so am well qualify for dis. Please I need your help for this.

I hope you will consider my request. I will also like your personal mobile so I can call you. Please greet Auntie Minchel and the shindren for us. God bless you and may all your enemies fall down and die, in Jesus’ name!

Til I hear you, I am

Yours amiable cousin

Festus Obama

Anonymous,  12:12 am  

Personally, i don't see the cause for excitement over Obama. Just because he is a mullato? Like he is supposed to be some freak? Is that not reverse racism?

John B. 11:25 am  

I hear the Kenyans here in Milwaukee are looking forward to all kinds of goodies for their home villages back home now that Obama's in the White House.

I think they're going to be disappointed.

Chikwe Ihekweazu 10:34 pm  

....most of the comments miss the point. Dont we see the hypocrisy in depicting our only path to success as immigration. This is not about Kenyans...or Obama... it is about us.

AlooFar 10:04 am  

Hi Jeremy,

I stumbled at this post after taking some random search on google.

I wrote the "Obama Speech On Nigeria". I only intended it to be a lampoon of the Nigerian state.

Perhaps, Farafina titled it better - An Uncommissioned Speech written for Barack Obama, as published in its 15 edition. However, the published version is different from blogged version.

I hope this comment stands enough as verification.

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