Kenyan commentary on Americans and race

I keep a running list of articles and posts I think are worth reading on the right – “Links of the Day.” (If you click on header, it takes you to a page with summaries – for longer articles – and an occasional note.) I’m not sure if anyone is actually looking at it, so I thought I’d pull this particular article for those of you like me, who like to keep an eye on race discussions around the world. Kenyan papers are as full of Obama.

Why Obama is black, not white (by Philip Ochieng) – The East African

WHY IS THE WHITE MEDIA SO preoccupied with Barack Obama’s race? Is it because the young Illinois senator could become the first black person to be elected president of a predominantly white country? If so, then it is a sad commentary on white psychology. . .

. . .Indeed, Richard Dawkins, the outspoken Oxford evolutionary biologist, is germane here because he shares something vital with Barack Obama Senior and myself: All three of us were born in Kenya many decades ago. . .

. . . Writes Dawkins: “People who are universally agreed by all Americans to be ‘black’ may draw less than one-eighth of their ancestry from Africa, and often have a light skin colour well within the normal range for people universally agreed to be ‘white’.”. . .

. . .But if Naisbitt is right to say that there is no such thing as a blend or a melting pot as far as the ethnic spirit goes, surely Allan Bloom, the respected Chicago educator, is also right. Fundamentally, all these European ethnic groups and other immigrants have, over a protracted period of time, become homogenised.

Yet this is correct only up to a point. Only in the liberal ideology of individualism — only in greed, in the go-getting spirit, only in the ferocity with which that quest is pursued — is it possible to become an American overnight — not in terms of essence, not in terms of ethnicity and race.

Bloom states that any immigrant can become an American the minute he or she lands on the Atlantic shores of that country. In other words, there is nothing easier than to become an American. But there is a racial element even in this. Bloom’s assertion is correct only to the extent that it refers to white individuals. . .

. . .No race, nation or tribe is ever tyrannical or chauvinistic “by inclination,” that is to say, genetically. The British Empire was tyrannical in whatever way you look at it. But “inclination” had nothing to do with it. It is not the British people who are to blame — although all classes of British society were seduced into racism by the propaganda of the upper classes.

It was the economic interests of these classes that come into play. Such interests are what propel all empire-builders. Tyranny and empire-building are attributes of civilisation, culture and opportunity.

Moreover, it is a class question: Lower-class members of the same race, nation or tribe will equally suffer from it under the illusion that they are actually beneficiaries — as Kenya’s own elite Gema grouping seduced the Kikuyu, Embu and Meru masses into believing that their interests are identical even as their Kamatusa counterparts were doing the same to the Kalenjin, Maasai and Turkana masses.

Tyranny over other nations can assume national proportions only to the extent that the ruling class of one race can turn a whole nation of a different race into a class targeted for exploitation. Racism becomes a national thought-habit only to the extent that the lower classes are deeply swayed by the prejudices, trappings, ideas and practices of the ruling classes within the same nation and race. . .

To those who are familiar with America’s racial history, none of this will be new. It’s a long article with plenty to mull over and likely a few things to disagree with. Click here for the whole article.

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