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?
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