Those blacks who still cling to the notion that they should stand in the way of a historic decision by America to elect a black president after 222 years, will be relegated to the rubbish heap of history, and will eminently deserve to be there.
Despite the fact that Senator Barack Obama has built a following among all races and genders – especially among the young people of America who are so dedicated to him that he is being likened to a “cult leader” – would you believe that some members of his own African-American community are supporting his opponent, Hillary Clinton?
Some of these people distrust white people so much that they cannot believe what they are seeing with their own eyes - that Obama is being carried aloft to the Democratic convention on the shoulders of white voters. So they say they won’t back Obama, as the whites will eventually turn against him, and if they do so and they, the African-Americans, have given their votes to Obama, they would have wasted those votes.
One African-American priest has even released a sermon on Youtube (the video channel on the internet) in which he blasts Obama to kingdom come merely because Obama has a white mother! Does that make sense? Was Obama responsible for the circumstances of his birth?
Even if Obama could be held responsible for being born to a white mother, this priest must know that if anyone were to do an analysis of African-American blood, hardly any of it would come out as “pure”. In the years since Africans were carted off to America as slaves, African blood has mixed with indigenous “Indian” blood, Asian blood, white blood, and the blood of many other ethnic groups, to produce today’s African-American.
It is true that there are many African-Americans who have retained “pure” African blood. But even in their case, the African blood is multi-ethnic. The chances of finding an African-American whose earliest ancestors came from the same African ethic group are quite remote; probably close to zero.
Therefore to denounce Obama for having a white mother is what intelligent African-Americans call “niggerism”. (Wait a minute: I do hate to use this term, but it’s the only term that can do justice to my thesis, I am afraid). It is a mentality that’s a hangover from the slavery/plantation days, when house-slaves (those who worked in the master’s house) thought they were better than field-slaves (those who toiled on the master’s cotton and tobacco farms).
A niggerism is a mindset that is devoid of logic: you are a slave; you are the same colour as the man working in the field; but because the master of both of you has assigned you different duties from that of your fellow slave, you think you are superior to him! Balderdash!
Apart from the nonsense of the alleged superiority of one slave to the other – when dogs and gun-wielding slave catchers would be set upon either group equally if they tried to escape – there is quite a bit of “something” in the psyches of some of those African-Americans, and Africans resident in the United States, who say they cannot vote for Obama for one reason or another.
Some of these believe that in order to appear “sophisticated”, they must prove to their white friends that they do not go with “the herd”. In other words, they do not want to appear to be racists who will vote for Obama merely because he’s black like them.
This is OK as far as it goes. But it ignores the historical significance of Obama’s candidature. The constitution of the United States proclaims loudly that “All men are created equal”. Yet although the 2002 US census showed that 36 million people, or 13% of the US population, are black, not once in the 222-year history of the country has there been a black president or even vice-president.
To try to put this glaring historical anomaly right is not to be racist (in reverse, if you like) but to uphold justice and equality. Why should black people vote for a white candidate to become president all the time? There is no moral or legal principle that says this must always be the case.
More depressing is the fact that what the blacks who don’t want to support Obama are saying is effectively that: “Hey, I am black. I know I am not fit to be president. So no other black is fit to be president.” And that goes from being a mere niggerism into the realms of psychosis.
You see, anyone who hates himself is not “correct”. Why? Because all men are created equal with equal propensities for good or bad behaviour. Even if a person comes to the conclusion within himself that he is not a good or worthy person, because of the bad acts he knows he commits, he must know that people can change for the better.
There is no better example of this than the story of St Paul in the Bible, who took delight in the murder of Christians like St Stephen but later became such an ardent Christian evangelist that many people credit him with being the founder of the Christian church as we know it today.
But above all, it is not correct to project one’s own inadequacies on to other people. If you cannot be a doctor, an engineer, a lawyer, a teacher or a farmer because you are too lazy to put in the effort necessary to enable you to obtain the qualifications that can make you enter one of these professions, that is no reason to deny your child the opportunity to study to become one, if the child thinks he can do it.
It is also not correct to allow the propaganda – which has accompanied the oppression of blacks by whites throughout history – that the black man can be oppressed at will because he is an inferior being, to gain ground over one’s psyche. There is ample evidence, from the achievements of black people all over the world, that given the opportunity, the black person can perform as well as, and sometimes better than, people of other races.
I once watched a black surgeon on TV talk about how he had separated Siamese twins in Zambia. This was an intricate operation of about 36 hours that demanded the most exquisite skills in surgery imaginable. But the guy had been trained to do it and he did it superbly. The colour of his skin did not arise. All that mattered was the skill in his two hands and the brain that directed those hands.
And yet, less than 50 years ago, people like himself were being prevented from attending certain schools in the US, on the grounds that they were inferior creatures who would pollute the school system if they were allowed to benefit from it. At that time, he would never have been allowed to acquire the skills that saved that baby’s life.
So, if today, that same USA has seen the light and is judging Barack Obama only by his skill as a politician, and by his intellectual achievements (characterised by being elected by his peers as president of the Harvard Law Journal against stiff competition from the legal brains in the most elite of American Universities), it is simply foolish for black people not to “cut him some slack” but to pull him down with niggerisms and other notions that arise from self-hate.
If there is to be any denigration of Obama, surely, there are plenty of people in Hillary Clinton’s camp who will do it without batting an eyelid. People like her former advisor Geraldine Ferraro who said Obama was “lucky” to be black because the colour of his skin had put him ahead. “If he was a white man, he would not be in this position,” said Ferraro, a former vice-president contender who has since resigned in shame for her comments.
Clinton's camp don’t need black people to do their dirty work for them. It was they who circulated an innocuous picture of Obama in a Somali elder outfit taken during a visit to his father’s people in Kenya.
Now, all politicians occasionally don outfits given to them on foreign trips. Senator Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton, famously wore a Kente over his shirt when he visited Ghana. Yet the Clinton campaign twisted the Obama Somali photo to make it appear as if Obama was surreptitiously associated with Somali terrorists, and even “the devil of all devils” (as far as Americans are concerned) Osama bin Laden.
How? Obama’s Somali outfit included a white turban. And Osama bin Laden almost always wears a white turban. Ipso facto: “Obama” (already often deliberately mispronounced on TV shows as “Osama” by Clinton propagandists!) equals “Osama”. This is sick propaganda, pure and simple.
The soldiers of the Clinton campaign in the American media also keep mentioning Barack Obama’s middle name, “Hussein”. In so doing, they are subliminally associating Obama with Saddam Hussein, the “greatest villain” in American eyes after Osama bin Laden. Worse, they have also been furtively suggesting that despite being well known as a Christian who worships regularly at a particular church in Chicago, Obama is a secret Muslim.
Tactics like these have given the lie to the Clintons’ claim that they are “liberal” Americans who accept people of all races and creeds. Their behaviour during the campaign against Obama has been so pathetic that people have begun to examine their record to find out what the Clintons actually did in the eight years in the White House that could be considered to have been in the interest of black Americans. Very little can be found!
Even the black writer, Toni Morrison, who famously christened Bill Clinton “The Black President”, has realised that she had very little to go on other than sentiment, and gratitude for personal flattery, when she accorded Clinton that accolade. She’s been biting her tongue in recent days and has declared for Obama.
Those blacks who still cling to the notion that they should stand in the way of a historic decision by America to elect a black president after 222 years, will therefore be relegated to the rubbish heap of history, and will eminently deserve to be there.