Friday, January 3, 2014

“Obama, Mandela, King and the Paradox of Progress.”





Gisele, thanks for sorting my opinion on this article[1]. I agree with the author to an extent. Let me start by laying down the basis for my thought. A paradox is anything that apparently looks false but inherently is correct. One would be pretty lucky to mention the inadequacies without you being hacked down or dragged to the guillotine for your neck to be severed from your body by the diehards of these three. Mandela spent 25 years in Robins Island and was liberated. He condemned racism and discrimination, and he orchestrated the downfall of Apartheid under De klerk. That on its self was and is a great success. In addition, Mandela succeeded in closing the gap in education when he became the president of South Africa. The hope of every South African was pinned on him.
However, Mandela was unable to take a stand against racial discrimination in America; instead he argued that that would be meddling in the internal issues of another sovereign country. The same position the Universal Declaration of Human Rights had taken before. Destroying racialism needed more than just the collapse of a government or Apartheid; it needed equitable fiscal policies which were still under the technocrats and exponents of the same white apartheid establishment. Despite the collapse of Apartheid, the resources are still monopolized by the white minority. Mandela was abreast with the penuriousness of the black South Africans, but he was contented with having the crumbs that had fallen off the table of racists like Eugene Terre'Blanche and Koos Van Der Merwe. Income inequality instead increased, poverty levels are staggering since Apartheid crumbled in South Africa.. Until today that I am writing, the white minority still owns the majority of land in South Africa. Mandela rescinded from his initial goals of nationalizing the mining industry and dismantling the white oligarchy. The Black Americans face the same thing in America. 
Living quarters in Soweto for black South Africans.
            Suffer that I call them black Americans. I don’t know why they call themselves African Americans when they were born here. What would naturalized Africans call themselves then? Anyway, let me chase the elephant.When Obama; a black American was voted as president of the United States, many thought that the racially oppressed black people in America would see their oppression alleviated. Hellas, even two of his signature achievements neither benefit the black Americans nor do they benefit the African Americans, worst still the African continent. The majority of white people lost the guilt of feeling racists even when the condition of a black American in America has not really improved because most of the white majority voted for Obama, albeit this white majority does not wear the same shoes the black minority wears.  Obama has been a hindrance of progress than a catalyst of progress in Africa and to the Black Americans. The hands of the black people are tied to march because one of theirs is the one in power. How then can you claim the government is maltreating you? On the contrary, it will be right to say that he is god to the Hispanics because he gave them a Supreme Court judge and also the Dream ACT.
Detroit a black city in Obama's home state.
 Most Africans come here as grownups and the majority of them are legal. Those who are illegal did not come here while young to benefit from the Dream Act. Therefore, touting the immigration reforms as a priority is actually a hindrance to the urgencies of poverty, unemployment, racism and other ills that truly bedevil the black Americans. Since the ascendancy of Obama to power, unemployment, poverty, the education gap and incarceration rates amongst the black people have jumped up. The same ills that affect black South Africans are the very ills affecting the black Americans at a time when each of them has power. When Jim Crow was buried in America, they did not seal the tomb to prevent his resurrection, so on the third day, he rose up from the dead as Jim Crow Jr. who now operates as a ghost. You don’t see him, but you can feel him everywhere you go as a black person. The systematic incarceration and felon statuses attributed to black and minorities make it impossible for them to overcome their doldrums. Furthermore, Obama was voted to defend the middle class, but he ended up wining and dinning with the very Wall Street that owns the Pandora Box.
The Black American has always been the downfall of the African. Perhaps because many think the blood of their forefathers are in their hands. The policies of Obama in Africa took Africa closer to the 1884 Berlin Conference rather than the 1963 Unity Conference of Addis Ababa. When Obama came to power, Africans; young and old in unison sang, “yes we can”, but his acts oblige them to sing “no, we cannot”.  TO many, he was another Moses who was going to deliver them from the colonial wilderness of the Western Pharaoh. During this time, the Africans had begun to shatter their shackles and manacles, one at a time.
Gaddafi had launched the quest of an African satellite through the creation of RASCOM. This satellite would have covered the whole of Africa and saved the continent from the darkness that colonialism had brought. Africans rented one for $500 per year, but they could buy one for $450 million for good. Gadhafi was about creating an international monetary fund that would have straightened Africa’s back that was bent from carrying the debts of IMF and the western powers. The assassination of Gadhafi by western powers engineered by USA and France saw African escheated of any progress.
Laurent Gbagbo was duly elected president of Ivory Coast. However, from the time of his election till the time he was jointly removed from power by French forces and American Special Forces, Gbagbo’s enemy: Qattara had not dropped down his weapons. He led the country into a protracted factional war. In spite that, the country did not borrow from westerners, but today it has gone back to sucking the milk from her colonial mother: France. 
Ivory Coast a  cocoa producing country in Africa.

In Egypt, he betrayed Mubarak for Muslim Brotherhood. See where Egypt is today. Had the Egyptians not taken matters into their own hands, the country would have gone the road of Libya. Obama has instead worked for the establishment of the colonial interest in Africa rather than set Africa on the path of progress. What could Africans say has been the contribution of Obama to the continent?
Nevertheless, it is difficult to include MLK Jr. into the group because he did not have time to prove himself. While Mandela had time to prove himself but failed to do so, Obama still has two more years to redeem himself. Otherwise, the Black Americans and Africans will remember his legacy as a paradox of progress. He can boast of Obamacare, but the best healthcare will mean little or nothing to a hungry man. After all, he or she will still die from the hunger trap after escaping from the disease trap that Obamacare saved him/her from.
Freedom cannot be obtained in the absence of civil rights and human rights. One thing though should be clear; if the black people cannot sleep because of what the white people are doing to them, the white people will not sleep for fear of what the black people will do to them. That is exactly what happened to Terre Blanche in South Africa. If the poor in America or the world cannot sleep because of what the rich are doing to them, the rich will not sleep for fear of what the poor will do to them. Even in marriage, it happens. If the wife cannot sleep because of what the husband is doing to her, the husband will not sleep for fear of what the wife will do to him. If the Africans cannot sleep because of what the West is doing to them, the West will not sleep for fear of what the Africans will do to them.  It is just a simple concept. We are called as humans to live together and to assist one another to live a happy life so that their peace will bring us peace too. If the oppressor leaves the oppressed in pieces, the oppressor will sleep in pieces too!

Until then, have a blessed year!

St Arrey of Ntenako.


“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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