By Dikembe Disembe
Racial slurs based on the birthplace and race of President Barrack Obama will never end. Already in his second term, a senate candidate in Denver County, USA, claimed that the United States ‘already has someone from Kenya as president’, despite the fact that Obama was born and raised in the United States – and he is American, not Kenyan!
The first black US president has often received strong opposition from white extremists who believe he is not American, but Kenyan. Some call him a socialist; others a Muslim, which they ingeniously translate into a ‘terrorist’. In between, the prominent mention of Kenya by these ‘white folks’ has gained in crescendo.
But for Senate aspirant Owen Hill, his remarks came as a reflection of the events he witnessed while working as an aid worker in one of the sprawling Nairobi slums, probably Kibera.
“You spend time out there [in a Kenyan slum] and little kids are running around barefoot in these kinds of streets, and you ask them what they want to be — they want to be an astronaut, they want to be a physicist, a marine biologist, one kid even told me he wanted to be president of the United States. I held back my snarky comment that said, ‘Well, you know what, we already have someone from Kenya as president of the United States,” he told a breakfast party for his Republican bid.
Clearly, Owen thinks all Kenyan children wants to be American presidents. The larger inspiration that poor children of ‘slum dwellers’ in Nairobi or Cape Town accrue from seeing Obama as the president of the United States is too much for white racist such as Owen, yet they fill Kenya’s slums with all manner of ’humanitarian’ organizations only to go back in their country with baggages of racial slurs akin to the old colonial mindset of the pre-independence era.
It is a typical ‘white-saviour industrial complex’, where white people still think continental Africa is some savage-filled wild continent, with baboons or monkeys roving everywhere and people living precariously on trees and thick bushes so that their aid money or ‘charity’ is so essential that without it, continetal Africa would crumble.
Yet, paradoxically, the white-Savior industrial complex is also common among true African Americans. In fact, Obama’s twin tragedy has been that he is not even considered as an African American. Whether it is a TD Jakes telling his congregation how we in Kenya live off his boreholes and water wells, or a political candidate confining Obama to some slum in Nairobi, the White-Savior industrial complex rears its ugly tentacles in matters unlikely.
The white-saviour industrial complex has its famous creed on these words “whites can be friendly to you without being your friends’.
“You spend time out there [in a Kenyan slum] and little kids are running around barefoot in these kinds of streets, and you ask them what they want to be — they want to be an astronaut, they want to be a physicist, a marine biologist, one kid even told me he wanted to be president of the United States. I held back my snarky comment that said, ‘Well, you know what, we already have someone from Kenya as president of the United States,”
Americans like Owen, despite globe-trotting the world over, still suffer from the proverbial ‘American exceptionalism’ where the the rule, rather than exception, is ‘the American way or the highway’. So annoying is Owen’s statement that he better get ready for some Bensouda moment.
Already, I can hear my Pan-Africanist friends ranting, ‘funda yeye’ but that is neirther here, nor there. The facts in this age are as follows:
Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America. He has a Kenyan father and a Kenyan surname. He is married to an African American so whites like Owen can go hug a transformer!
Racism by any other phrase, however coined to win an election, is racism. It is the same old henious evil which invented slavery and colonialism and it must be fought whenever and in whichever form it is found.
The world is safer because humanity annihilated both slavery and colonialism. Sadly, gasping for the last breath in this brutal century is racism. Owen, for all his ‘humanitarian work’ here at home is unwelcome. Take your ‘American exceptionalism’ in the next Walmart store and purchase some 21st century manners, it is a global world to cry out loud. Brukenge!
Listen to Owen utter his verbiage here.