Thursday, July 30, 2009

Women, Public-Toilets & Gender Equality Agenda

Women, Public-Toilets & Gender Equality Agenda
Written by Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Inadequacy of public toilets for women, have always concerned me; as I frequently have observed the disparity between the ease with which men receive this rather most innocuous public service; and the excruciation seemingly reserved for our counterparts, the so-called weaker sex. We are talking about the hardships faced by your mother, sister, wife or girlfriend etc. Women folk, what pity!

I have always assumed public’s awareness or familiarity with the open-secret of the super-majority of women in world population. And may be nobody knows this open secret, and by extension, builders, merchants, architects and government officials who are initiator, implementers and permit issuers and inspectors of buildings into which the public is welcome, are splendidly unaware of this sacrosanct fact? My assumption that all and sundry, including professionals in the buildings construction industry, would also be familiar with or cognizant of this open-secret of women super-majority in world population and therefore, multiply amenities by this known supernumerary of women is erroneous?

This week, I, among other men, had a taste our gender neglect bitter medicine, and this, finally pushed my hand to publicly gripe about this gender disparity issue against women in the provision of public toilets. I was present in a convention conference. As usual, the men enjoyed ease of facilitation, a-speed-pass sorts of male-toilets use. Conversely, the women lined up in large numbers, waiting eagerly anxiously to use the limited numbers of toilets available to women, given their super-majority of numbers. Both days were very hot and humid and of course, people ingested more liquids, hence the increase rates of urinary visits to the toilets nearby.

My old questions arose again and quite urgently and personal this time. I was compelled to wait, as the women are used to doing uncomfortably, which of course we men folk have taken for granted for too long! And waiting to urinate, when very pressed, was not my idea of any fun. Poor pressured rod, almost to a bursting point!

This issue begs these questions. Why do designers, owners and operators etc of public buildings, such as convention conference centers, hotels, airports, seaports, train stations, stadiums, movie houses, supermarkets, shopping malls, just to name a few, never think it fit, to provide more public toilets, in direct proportion to women and to women proportional representation in our populations? Why has this neglect pattern continued in our supposed gender equality and gender parity modern world? How long must women have to wait for even the simplest of equality and parity? Even in matters of just a mere place to pee in conveniently, just as men do?

A bitter taste of my gender medicine of forlorn neglect of women came in the form of women rebellion, on the second day of our conference convention, as some women, haven suffered apparently enough disparity in the provision of toilets a day before, literally, took over some of the toilets designated for men, the ladies, printed labels, which they superimposed upon, what was male toilets signs into an all female toilets, (sua sponte), on their own! We the men deserved the rebellion! After all, men designed, constructed and operate the building! Neglect by invited the frustration and rebellion which I witnessed and “suffered” from. And some men were complaining at the rebellion and rebelling women!

As I suffered and waited for my turn, I reminded the men of a fact which we were all witness a day before; there was very likely, more than a hundred women, queuing, after breakfast and after lunch, as our convention conference went on. And in mere reaction by the women, after haven been pushed to the wall, by circumstances of a day earlier, the women invented innovative cure or solution.

Men, who made plurality of public toilets in favor of women impossible, made the women public toilet rebellion we witnessed, inevitable and we ought to deal with it with our silence and in dignity, after all, it was our deserved consequence of our gender’s neglect of women! As it turned out, most of the men understood the logic of poetic justice which I struggled to explain. All men present were middle-class professional men and they took the pressing pee which was rather stressful, coupled with my heaping the present pee pressure torture on men historical neglect of women concerns with equanimity.

It is a certainty that most men reading this have had to, at one time or another, waited endlessly, for a woman to use a public toilet. That woman is kept under pressure under her underwear due to limited public toilet space. You the man may be agitated for having to wait for her after you have been able to run in and out of the men toilets without the excruciatingly long lines endured by women on their side of the public toilets arrangements.

It is not women fault that there are more women in the world. It is neither women fault that women are not preponderate construction designs, architectural and buildings operators and facilities maintenance professions.

There are more women in the world, (an open secret) there should be more public facilities and social amenities directed towards the majority, (women) this ought to be so simple and requires no debate! Women are more meticulous and are essentially more hygienic, more particular and take longer, using toilets facilities. Women spend the first minute wiping and cleaning the toilet bowl tops or urinary aperture Women are also known to possess a rather more complicated pleasure centers or orifices of joy, hence it takes slightly longer efforts to discharge the effluents and then clean the crevices of the orifices thoroughly. Does everyone not realize this? Perhaps everyone but the architects, designers, builders, building permits issuers and sundry operators of public buildings facilities etc?

Another open secret is the incontrovertible fact that all men have women in their lives. As in mother, sister, wife or girlfriend, daughter etc. So why would any man, or woman, design a building which neglects the crucial needs of mother, sister, wife, daughter etc? And what exactly has to happen for this archaic practice to be reversed? When will public facilities, start to factor-in essential needs of more than half of the world’s population? Imagine that is my gender’s fault that my mother, sister etc have to put up with palpable inconvenience of holding it for too long due to disparity and inequality in the provision of public toilets for women?

Why would and why should it require the public advocacy of women interests groups to nudge and encourage the advent of public toilet parity for women? The world ought to, in consonance with women size and percentage in the population, just seamlessly, but quickly, undertakes this sorely needed adjustments, without a fuss.

In business practices, and more particularly so in marketing, the interests of the customer is paramount in profits calculation. Women who visit airports, hotels, stadiums, movie houses, shopping malls and public buildings or facilities, are patrons or customers, whose pleasures and conveniences must be met, in order to retain these women happy returns. But why must mere peeing be made so difficult for more than half the world’s population?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

African Americans Experience and Lessons for Africans & Caribbean Immigrants etc

African Americans Experience and Lessons for Africans & Caribbean Immigrants etc

Written by Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States

Against all odds, African Americans have reinvented themselves and remolded the world through perseverance, creativity and superb intellect. It is almost taken for granted these days that life is good for African Americans in the United States. This is assumed, even though life is still full of racial impediments and obstacles for a majority of African Americans. But so much have been achieved through persistent dodged efforts and tenacity of African Americans. African Americans exemplify prodigious endurance.

It is crucially important that the world does not forget or gloss over the Herculean tasks it have been on the part of African Americans, who through sweat, tears and blood, have remade, re-engineered and reconfigured America for America, for the world, for immigrants of all races, but in particular, for all minorities, then continental African immigrants and other immigrants of African descent. All those who come to America ought feel and see this.

This, put in proper contexts and perspectives, requires a continental African immigrant or an immigrant from the Caribbean to US who may think as tough, the effects of race as a factor in how life is live or the vicissitudes and complications which could have been much worse, were it not the case, that African Americans have for hundreds of years fought our battles, cried our tears, sweat our sweat and bled our bloods.

Having lived in America for more than twenty years, I have learned firsthand, what I had read in books in Nigeria. The consequences of slavery, segregation, discrimination, and racism are there for all to see. The majority of African Americans are frequently in the lower echelon of society. This is so in employment, education, political offices and other endeavors of life in America. This is not a choice which they made. It was imposed upon African Americans. Lest we forget, it used to be illegal for African Americans to read or be taught to read. It is also the case that African Americans were not offered money or resources to enable them integrate into the American society after slavery was abolished.

Tepid attempts were made during the so-called Reconstruction Era, post-slavery; promises were made to African Americans, promises which were never kept. Hence therefore, we have the now familiar legend of “40 Acres and a Mule” representative of hollow promises made to African Americans which never came to fruition.

African Americans get labeled with all manners of falsehoods. There are those who would call them lazy, and the others who would African Americans for wanting a piece of the “American Pie” through legitimate employment or through education. Arguments by racists in America against African Americans can be so foolish and stupidly illogical. Imagine for instance, the illogic of it all, which is so comical, except that I refuse to laugh at these most perverse comedies which are at my peoples' expense. A group of people that are without ambitions just so happens to be the same group that a speedily snatching every employment opportunities, every college admissions opportunities through the much maligned Affirmative Action Programs? How can people get away with such contradictions or speaking from both sides of their mouths? There is no logic or rationality to racism and the above is just more proof of that.

It is now fashionable for folks to mouth the nonsense also known as post racial America, subsequent to the election of Obama as president of the United States as first of African descent. But, no one concerned with equal rights for all Americans should go fishing just yet! First because we do not know if Obama has the audacity and backbone to be of value to African Americans and continental Africans, be of value, beyond the symbolism of his election. Secondly, race remains a major factor of tremendous impact on how life is live in America. It has huge impact on housing, employment, admissions, and whether you get killed, beat and brutalized, by the police, even if you are a professor at Harvard University!

There are racists in every sphere of life, and racists in the police and law enforcement agencies who are quick to see continental Africans and peoples of African descent the same negative stereotypical way, any Nigerian or African who thinks he is in a bubble, and removed or different and insulated and immune from these attitudes towards African Americans or Jamaicans... must have his head examined! For instance, in New York City alone, since my sojourn here, there have been series of cases of police brutalities involving many Africans and peoples of African descent such as Ahmadu Diallo, Abner Louimer, Patrick Dorismond and many others. And worse, African American police officers get shot by White officers who presume them as perpetrators! And thanks to the Reverend Al Sharpton an African American, the omniscient Ombudsman, and other African Americans, rallied ceaselessly and made sure the brutalities or murders of these Africans and Caribbean immigrants went unnoticed. Al Sharpton received no personal benefits in all these. Thank Goodness for the African Americans! How can we forget Reverend Al Sharpton, the undisputed ombudsman of the Action Network in New York City, who made No Justice, No Peace a famous mantra?

How dare we forget so soon Randall Robinson and other African Americans who stared down stridently law and most vociferously at Ronald Reagan and multinational corporations and racists, in Africa's fight against apartheid and minority whites rule in Southern Africa?

It is the case that continental Africans and Caribbean immigrants in America do not have the cohesion or clout and structure, whether to assist themselves, or anyone else for that matter. It goes without saying therefore, that African American formed the bulwark of the coalitions which ensured justice in the police brutalities and egregious misconduct referenced above. So in contexts, it is easy to see why some African and Caribbean immigrants sometimes come across as union bursting scabs. Scabs which benefit from historical struggles of unions, for improvements, improvements which we now benefit from without any desire to belong to the union or contribute to union coffers by way of union dues, literal and metaphorical!

Some ignorant Nigerians, nay Africans and Caribbean immigrants sometimes tell you, how they are only in America to work, because life in home country is worse, and so, they are not here to fight Civil Rights battles, but the thing to be said or knocked into these sorts of heads is, simply that, without Civil Rights battles and wars fought mainly by these same African Americans, I, you, and these Nigerians, other continental Africans, and Caribbean immigrants would NOT have had a chance here! I am of course also familiar with the counter arguments, and I know there is ignorance on both sides, i.e. ignorant immigrants and equally ignorant natives)! But what should be emphasized is the truth, which is that our fate, our destiny are united. Informed by our common origins and checkered past, our history and our current conditions. Our struggles, economic, political and cultural are identical, whether we are on the continent, or in the larger Diaspora.

We would be the wiser when we coalesces efforts for our common good. We ought to, and should stop pretending untouched or remaining aloof when our peoples are brutalized or visited with indignity, as Professor Gates was. Obama was right when condemned the action of those stupid and perhaps bigoted police officers. What happens to African Americans should be our pain too. Sooner than later, if you live here long enough, you, your family, or children etc will have to contend with these injustices and stereotypes. It is smarter and better to join African Americans in their joys and sorrows as we navigate our lives here.

Obama is at his inspiring and motivating best when he speaks of issues plainly and forthrightly, not any attempt to mock or disparage. This is why I insist that public scolding, shaming or ridiculing is no substitute for a reasoned policy, foreign or domestic, regarding our peoples. Engagement, empowerment and coalescing is more productive and sustainable.

There is just too much infighting within us. I would be richer than all billionaires if I got a dollar every time I have heard pejoratives used by persons of African descent against other groups of African descent. In New York, I have heard enough. Such as Haitians live 20 a room, or what Haitians say of themselves, they are more sophisticated than all others. Some forget that Haitians gained political independence in 1804 from a coalition and combination of White usurpers from America to France. Haitians in America are disadvantaged by language, but on the whole the do well regardless.

How about statements such as Africans don’t shower, don’t speak English and have no finesse etc? And that Jamaicans are English speaking and better than Haitians, except that Jamaicans are rough and impolite and Trinidadians are richer than all persons from the Caribbean because they have had petroleum, except that they dance too much? Those damn medieval Africans, come here to and want to tell us what to do, you will hear. These are falsehoods and asinine generalizations which I even hate to repeat here, except to drive my point home. The more maturity that attain biologically and more intellectually aware that I become, I the more that I see the direction connection through blood, experience and history. Therefore, I have awful regret for anything, which I might have said or written in the past, which in effect besmirch our peoples even in my unguarded dullest lowest moments.

Our peoples ought to listen to the positive messages in music by such notables as the late James Brown in his “Say it Loud, I am Black and Proud” and the late Peter Tosh’s “You Are An African” and Eddy Grant’s “Hello, Hello Africa these sons of ours, serve as good examples of what should be our mindsets.

No one should come away thinking that I advocate any group over the other. Or that I wish one group to rollover and allow others to walk all over them, no!

I am by no means advocating that anyone of our general groups, let others of our groups, rollover and allow others to walk all over them. NO. But we must all learn to be sensitive, be alert, don’t always harried and hurried while ignoring the elephant in the room, so to speak. Never be oblivious of the conditions on the ground, and the history of it all, wherever you live on earth. Take steps to ensure, that you are not perceived as a snub, a rough and gruff person who in ill-attuned the persisting injustices. Again, remember the reasons why a caged bird sings.

Instead, I make bold to assert that no Jew comes from Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Argentina and all the other places in between in the world from where Jews come to America, and then, practice as first order of business, disrespect for American Jews! I doubt that there is any Jew, who emigrates from some place to America, and proceed to look down on American Jews! Quite to the contrary, they forge partnerships. No usurper no usurped.

They actively cultivate each other. They form symbiotic relationships which have been mutually beneficial. So much so that American Jews might have facilitated the emigration of a Jew from Russia.

Then they ensure the quick adjustment of status and both economic and political assimilation of the new Jewish immigrant, as such, she accelerate into the increase of American Jew’s economic and political power base. This adds to empower the Jews, it strengthens them against the odds and vagaries of life in America, and they in turn, enable excellent America pro-Israel policy through AIPAC and others. And same can be said for the Irish American, or pretty much most other ethnic group of America’s so-called melting-pot.

Continental Africans, African Americans and other peoples of African descent are broadly speaking, completely disengaged. There is a seething, if unstated antagonism. There is this mutual suspicion of intents and motives. There are these misconceptions and misperception between and within all our peoples. So, they reinvent integration and acceleration into America individually, painfully and slowly.

In both private and public conversations and debates or interactions, you would come across utterances by some immigrants who sound disdainfully contemptuous of all African Americans. In recent internet example, of such encounters that I have had, some African immigrants came across as if they were scrambling to justify the humiliations and indignities Professor Gates received in the hands of certain police officers in Cambridge Massachusetts! And their fetid defense of the police behavior met with vehement rejection by some other African immigrants as well.

On the matter of showing some respect and being sensitive to the sons and daughters of the soil, think and imagine for instance, that you are in your country, where historically, you have battled your own government for your rights, battled banks, all manner of institutions, entities even nonentities! And now comes, these clueless or undiscerning recent immigrants with condescension and superiority complexes!

I can only imagine how African Americans must feel about their life in America, and I example a snippet, to wit, I am in Nigeria struggling, and here comes a snotty clueless immigrant to Nigeria. I do probably wish to wring his neck!

African Americans’ human spirit is indefatigable and tireless, and this, despite seemingly insurmountable odds which they have faced since arriving on the shores of America, upon being snatched, brutalized, bundled in human cargoes to a strange land. Stripped and deprived of all things. Became bereft of own language, religion, culture, cohesion, family ties and even still, African Americans somehow were able to survive and thrive in a society which deprived them of materials both tangible and intangible. African Americans have triumphed in the face of stark impossibilities. African Americans have managed to become triumphal, in a country which stripped them of respect, pride, dignity and basic humanity.

It is enthrallingly exciting to be witness to profound contributions which African Americans have made to America and the world. Thinking of the checkered history of African Americans has a calming effect on me especially when I face difficulties. I often tell myself to learn to be creative in confronting the challenges which I face in American daily life. As I often ask myself what would have been my plight or predicament in America say, 50 years ago? Given my arrogance, naïve and stubborn outlook, I would have been quickly roasted on a stake like barbecued pork! Lynched to the spectacle and applause of racists!

What would have been my life and plight I often wonder? And what would have been the lives and plights of minorities and all these immigrants? Especially in particular reference to continental Africans and peoples of African descent?

As a general statement African Americans are the unsung heroes of America and in fact, the unsung heroes of the world, think of their peculiarly checkered slave history and then their triumph in the face of insurmountable odds

Imagine the rejected and despised denigrated stone becomes the cornerstone of the American super structure! Think of remarkable creations by African Americans which have enriched America and the world, even as I imagine you the reader is read my thought here while you quite likely listening to your favorite Jazz or Hip-Hop tunes

African Americans in effect have been put through the fire and driven to the wall. Slaves were beaten and brutalized terrorized for doing poorly what they have never been thought to do in the first place. The Fugitive Slave Act meant that escapee slave could be recaptured into slavery and servitude Hence the rise of Harriet Taubman's Underground Railroad. African Americans have for hundreds of years endured haunting and excruciating torments, which were physical and nowadays, institutional and visceral. What African Americans have endured and continue to endure and bear, in slavery and now in freedom should be required lessons in survival and triumph and the best of human spirit

One has to constantly wonder how it must feel for African Americans who constantly barrages of accusations from a wide spectrum of peoples who are quick to blame African Americans for being lazy and happily on welfare and public assistance seeking, a la Reagan's Welfare Queens and all. While at the same African Americans are blamed for "using" Affirmative Action Programs to garner every educational opportunities as well as employment opportunities

Clearly, both charges cannot be true! It is either that the African Americans are lazy and shiftless bums and excited public assistance dependent hounds or they are always out, like everybody else, seeking the limited or few and available educational and employment opportunities. I think the two accusations are mutually exclusive. The lazy bum could not in all probabilities be the same guy who is inflicting unemployment and reverse discrimination on the other race by grabbing every educational and employment chances! It is simply disingenuous and even fraudulent to accuse a guy of gluttony and self-inflicted starvation all in the same breath or rather simultaneously!

Such is the illogicality and perversity of those who seem to excoriate African Americans, as if just for the fun of it and the perverse fun, at the expense of the African Americans of course! It should be clear to even a casual observer, how vile, the treatments of African Americans, all through history, has been; it has had the quality of being extraordinarily repugnant and reprehensible

Lessons in Perseverance tenacity persistence; Whites won't let Scott Joplin do his ragtime Maple Leaf/Elizabethan ragtime; Whites won't let Marian Anderson sing He got the whole world in his hands. Whites won't let Paul Robeson the lawyer sing practice law or sing his songs, travel and speak against injustice. Whites won't let Jackie Robinson and others play baseball until much later. Whites won't let Dr. Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X speak about race brutality oppression. Multitudes and countless African Americans have been superb innovators in science, medicine and the arts. We should proclaim acclaimed African Americans, from the real McCoy of brakes to modern day marvel of medicine, the neurosurgeon Ben Carson MD so many others. We should never allow others to say we made no contribution to build this nation and the world!

As a general statement African Americans are the unsung heroes of America and in fact, the unsung heroes of the world, think of their peculiarly checkered slave history, then segregation and racism and then their triumph in the face of insurmountable odds!

Imagine the rejected and despised denigrated stone becomes the cornerstone of the American super structure! Think of remarkable creations by African Americans which have enriched America and the world, even as I imagine you the reader is read my thought here while you quite likely listening to your favorite Jazz or Rhythm and Blues or Hip-Hop tunes.

Unfortunately, and contrary to what proponents of post-racial America would have you believe, there remains, a profound and boundless contempt for African Americans. And sadly enough, this phenomenon is no longer limited to hatreds espoused by some White Americans and recent immigrants from all continents are liable to espouse preconceived notions and stereotypes about African Americans. In places where I have lived and worked, it occurs without fail and inexplicably so, that it comes to a point in which some person would pull me aside and tell me “nicely” to be wary of African Americans and why not to bandy together with “them” And these are usually couched as if said for my best interest! Usually for my ears only! My feeling about such persons “advising” me is usually that they do not mean well, if they are working so hard to divide us. They also leave me to wonder what exactly they say in my absence!

How was it ever possible, to have been a slave-holder and terrorist, with all brutalities it required to brand a human being as if farm animal? How was it possible to burn slaves at public burn fires to thunderous applause? Why would such criminality engender applause? Why would anyone engage in such criminally inhuman spectacle and then say he is a gentleman? How can you be any sorts of gentleman when your inhuman nonhuman debased perverse ways are so warped and twisted? You are “owner” holder of another human being? That was then, how about now? We are all post racial now? Not so fast, I say!

America is deeply driven in many ways, racially, but over several hundreds of years, America has managed to project and present herself to the whole world as the bastion of equality liberty and freedom! All you need to do to understand this is to think of such terms as the so-called Christian Gentleman Slave-owner! Of the bible belt USA! Is this not the point where you were supposed to beg someone for the spelling of oxymoron? How does anyone combine in the same sentence, a Christian, a gentleman and a slave-owner with a straight-face? I guess it is the same ingenuity which gave gumption to some to erect a church atop of a slave dungeon?

We have also witnessed the exposure of the charade and façade assumed as basic American ideals or tenets of justice. Which too frequently, is replete with permanence of double standards, with negative and impact and sordid consequences for African Americans? Everyone is familiar with the disproportionate presence of peoples of African descent among the more than one million prisoners in America. Prison and incarceration is actually a growth industry; it rapidly being privatized as well. And for anyone who is conversant with the comparisons between advantages of nurture over nature, it is easy to see the implications inherent in money being poured into the criminal justice system, not for rehabilitation, but for warehousing our people. Money better spent on funding of schools or educational institutions. Most college students do not go robbing banks or picking other peoples’ pockets!

African Americans should be seen as super citizens of America and the world. African Americans stand out as role models for Nigerians and other Africans. And many have modeled struggles as such worldwide. People around the world have used methods of political struggle for civil rights employed by African Americans since abolition through Jim Crow and now, against institutional racism. Nothing has ever been handed or given to African Americans, they have had to struggle for economic, political and civil rights some of which are now reality enjoyed by me and others.

Despite an exceedingly painful experience in America, surprisingly, African Americans remain loyal, steadfast and patriotic to America, despite the hell catching experience which African Americans have had, since arriving, the shores of America. Conversely, I could not say that a majority of Nigerians are loyal, steadfast and patriotic about matters Nigerian! This despite the fact that many Nigerians in the Diaspora, most probably received free or subsidized college and professional education in Nigeria, for which they would have owed upwards of a $100,000.00 had they had identical training or education, say, in America. Therefore, as bad or unproductive as some Nigerians may think Nigeria have been, such Nigerians actually benefited something of value anyhow. But these Nigerians are not comparatively fierce about Nigeria as African Americans are about America, despite their past and continuing ordeals! As an aside; must we measure our affections through only what we receive or personally benefit?

African Americans Are Africa Responsibility Twice.

Our defeat our weakness our default in defense of our homeland made it possible or permitted or facilitated the snatching, kidnapping and the enslavement of our kits and kin Peoples of African descent who are now scattered outside African continent. There is abundant evidence of the fierce resistances mounted by continental Africans against slavery and colonialism. In the end, we could not withstand or outduel, the invaders. Nonetheless, it is the case that Africans were not docile as revisionist would have gullible persons believe. So it is, Africa failed in her guard of her perimeters. And Africans did not subsequently invade America or any country in Europe in search and rescue of our snatched cousins. The least we can do now, is to create a conducive environment in Africa, for peoples of African descent in forced Diaspora during these several hundred years. That sadly has not happened. Some Africans now voluntarily live in the Diaspora as well, and anyone would have thought we would be closer to our Diaspora cousins more than anyone else? We ought to manage to reconnect, after these hundred years. And yes, I know there are economic and all types of pressures on recent immigrants from the continent and survival is the first and immediate concern of all immigrants. Our people need to connect and reconnect. Certainly not display disdain, distrust and contempt for ourselves. We are one.

Peoples of African descent, are scattered all over the world today, not as willing immigrants. But rather, as those who were bundled, hurled and made cargoes to various destinations outside of Africa. These are non-immigrant Africans who left African involuntarily but under compulsion and extreme brutality and under horrendous conditions and worse, were some Africans who acted collusive aiding and abetting or collaborated with the invaders; Bad as it is, collaboration should only be seen as a subset and not the main event or factor in was slave trade. No African sent memos emails or twitters demanding that slave traders from America and Europe sail hundreds of miles for slaves, as revisionist are now harping happily insisting to the applause of even some unthinking Africans. Americans and Europeans were fine Christian fellows, until they receive emails from Africans who were interested in slave trade?

It must be restated here that too many Africans taken into slavery. And those Africans are the bulk of what is now the more 500 years Diaspora Africans. Our weaknesses, our lack of killer-instincts, let the enslavement of Africans be a growth industry and profitable industry for the benefit and enrichment of others. Africans did not defend the homeland then and in every sense, it is doubtful that there is that defense now in view of our leadership quandary.

Continental Africans in the Diaspora should, if anything, aspire to make whole, all peoples of African descent who are in fact our people. We should begin by showing them respect. Then form synergies, for our collective improvements in the Diaspora and on the continent of Africa. Our presence in the Diaspora should and must be valued added to our descendants who were compelled into the Diaspora before, we the recent immigrants willingly, in search of greener pastures, joined them. Value added to our descendants’ economic, political and cultural clout. We will do better, on both sides, to dump and jettison condescension.

When will Africans defend Africa and Africans in the Diaspora?

I am in complete agreement Bolaji Akinyemi’s publicly stated idea of creating stability, development and advancement in Africa, but in Nigeria in particular; which in turn will be a bedrock for continental and Diaspora Africans; I once wrote an article in which I wondered aloud as I asked why Africans are not angry with raving umbrage with Africa's historical lot! What with slavery and then colonialism or persisting disparities and injustices?

Why is it that Africans then and now, seem not to be sufficiently outraged? Why is it that African never mounted invasions against other countries over the twin-evils that were slavery and colonialism? And why were African never sufficiently angry over the impact of Apartheid on Africans? Apartheid of which Ronald Reagan's America demanded constructive engagement? Why were Africans not the Kamikazees or the suicide bombers of the world before anyone else among oppressed and conquered peoples thought of it?

In amazement, I often marvel at the persistence and tenacity of African Americans, and peoples of African descent in the Diaspora. These are people who have been stripped of their African names, stripped of their languages, stripped of their culture, religion and their dignity and much more, even still, the persevered and they are still here, striving and making quantum progress. The least that we can do is respect, enable and support them, but certainly, not to mock them. And factually, our best interests lay in corralling our energies with theirs, for uplifting all of us across the spectrum and across the literal and metaphorical oceans. Our redemption, our collective salvations depend on this global unity of continental Africans and all peoples of African descent.

We all ought to be keenly aware that there is a sort of family conflict and an existing schema of mutual suspicion. We all ought to honestly debate and address these.

These multifaceted chasms and schisms, between African Americans, continental Africans and other peoples of African descent who interact these days in America and Europe surely need to be eliminated; these are mostly misconceptions and based on misperceptions. Home grown compelled to stay in desperate bottom, perceives the new imported desperate bottom, as clueless usurpers, who are willing to ignore ground rules and the high price already paid for minimum progress, while the transplant is busily taking full advantage and benefit of outcomes of the struggles. And halting condescension is perceived by the aloofness, nonchalance, and tone deafness of it is not my fight attitude of some newcomers.

Resolving these conflicts and mutual suspicions is crucial prerequisite for our collective progress. Continental Africans and peoples of African descent have suffered enough atrocities, calamities and catastrophes. We have witnessed enough contemptuous attitudes toward Haitian refugees in sharp contrast with the welcome which have been ever readily offered to refugees from Cuba or Sarajevo. We have been witness to dramatic responses to disasters elsewhere, such as food and aid packages being dropped from 30,000 feet by planes in the air, in the former Yugoslavia, compared with the excuses made in relation to similar human disasters in the Congo, Liberia, Somalia or Sierra Leone or Haiti.

We need to return to the great ideas of our ancestors and forbears, such as Marcus Garvey. Continental Africans and all peoples of African descent need to collectively confront our forced underachievement. There is strength in numbers, united purposeful numbers. Particularly in a globalized world, numbers drive trade, investment, good governance etc.

If for any reason on earth you have not heard or read about the following names, you should do yourself the greatest favor there is, Google, Wikipedia or go to the public library nearest to you. I might add that mentioned names are by no means exhaustive a list of our greats and extraordinary peoples of African descent who serve as our exemplars.

Let the conversation start and let the healing and unity begin in earnest.

Below as accompaniments, brief excerpts culled from web, the reader is encouraged to dig deeper on own accord and beguiling delights for the willing!

Anderson, Marian was an American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century… she was denied the right to sing, this denial was particularly peculiar, for it came from women, white women, so-called Daughters of the American Revolution! Daughters of the American Revolution who did not believe in Marian Anderson’s constitutional rights!

Albernathy Ralph…was an American civil rights activist and leader and a close associate of Martin Luther King Jr. was one of Martin Luther King’s closest friends during the civil rights movement. His guidance can be seen in the Montgomery bus boycott.

Bethune Mary McCloud was an American educator and civil rights leader best known for starting a school for black students African American teacher, was one of the great educators of the United States. She was a leader of women.

Wells, Ida B. …was a fearless anti-lynching crusader, suffragist, women's rights advocate, journalist, and speaker etc

Garvey, Marcus…"Back-to-Africa" leader, was the most widely known of all the agitators for the rights of the Negro and one of the most phenomenal, in just ten years following his emigration to the United States as a laborer in 1917, Marcus Garvey rose to lead the largest black organization in history…Garvey's life and role in popular history, as well as African nationalism.

Malcolm X (Little) Fierce and fiery firebrand political activist of the most spectacular kind

If you called him uncompromising in his stances, you would be spot on!

King Jr. Martin Luther…was an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights … was a great man who worked for racial equality in the United States of America

W.E.B DuBois…Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, "history cannot ignore W.E.B. DuBois because history has to reflect truth and Dr. DuBois was a tireless explorer ... was a noted scholar, editor,

Douglass Fredrick…was an American abolitionist, women's suffragist...was one of the foremost leaders of the abolitionist movement, which fought to end slavery within the United States…galvanized the antislavery movement

Park, Rosa….the "mother of the civil rights movement" was one of the most important citizens of the 20th century seamstress, whose refusal to move to the back of a bus touched off the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama…Parks' refusal to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery (AL) in 1955 sparked the civil rights movement.. .she was described in the corporate media as a simple seamstress" no troublemaker "who was just too tired to give up her sit…Parks boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, changing the course of the struggle for equality in the South.

Farmer, James…was integral in shaping the Civil Rights movement...was a Black civil rights activist who was one of the "Big Four" leaders of the American civil a principal founder of the Congress of Racial Equality and the last survivor of the "Big Four" who shaped the civil-rights struggle

Please Google the following similar essays

1. The Way The World Works; One Thousand Years And Counting!

2. Africans Are Not Angry, But Why?

3. Planned Obsolescence For Products And Even For Nations!

4. Obama Talks Shallow Simplistic Rubbish, Scolds & Lectured Africans As Expected!

5. Obama Publicly Shames And Ridicules Us; We Are Nonetheless Overjoyed?

6. American Race-Relations Regressing

7. American African Policy & President Obama

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Obama Publicly Shames And Ridicules Us; We Are Nonetheless Overjoyed?

Obama Publicly Shames And Ridicules Us; We Are Nonetheless Overjoyed?
Written by Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Obama, within one short week, gave a sanctimonious sermon in Ghana to continental Africans, and again, to peoples of African descent at NAACP convention in New York City, lectures that would elicit blissful chuckles from retrogrades degenerates revisionist such as Niall Ferguson, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Patrick Buchannan and David Duke. It is saddening that instead rebukes and repudiations, some Africans offered Obama thunderous applauses! American conservatives must be blushing with delight and immense pleasure!

It is the case that Africans and peoples of African descent are perceived as powerless no consequence, as Africa is unable to avenge affronts against her. Africans are seen by most, as having no clout, no cohesion and no nuclear weapons, South Africa and Libya had nuclear ambitions which have since been eliminated and extinguished through Western pressures and manipulations.
Africa has been pulverized all through her checkered history. Some now seek to engage in putrid and pungent revisionism. And unfortunately too, some Africans are not seeing these charlatans for what they really are, hence everyone take us for granted in the first place and then, scold us, insult us and ridicule us and fear no retaliations or ramifications.
Some may argue that Obama is entitled indulge in political self preservation at Africa’s expense. And therefore, no one should expect him to squander fragile political capital on Africa which he may in fact perceive as beggars and lepers. Obama was elected as an American president and his primary obligations therefore are towards Americans.
Even so, He must not allow his words or actions not to serve as accelerants and aggravate or make worse an African image which is already devastated. Obama is hot on a hot day he chooses to walk on the shaded part of the street while peering at those of us Africans in the sunny heat from his shade of comforts. Obama is our brother alright, but, he is not entitled to mock us. He is, it should be remember, a beneficiary and recipient of sacrifices of blood sweat and tears of Africans and peoples of African descent. Let Obama do nothing for Black people. But first, let him also be told what good doctors observe as a mantra, it is, first do no harm to the patient. Obama should do no harm to continental Africans and peoples of African descent with his pandering utterances! Is Obama a beneficiary of our collective past which he now cynically exploits at our expense to placate his political opponents, his statements in Ghana and at NAACP are rather strange.

Obama would not lecture the Jews over settlements in Palestine... or he can forget any dreams of re-election. Obama knows who to abuse, just as he knows who to absolve, exculpate, exonerate and most of all, Obama knows who to PANDER to and who to disrespect and shame or ridicule in public. The unreasoned, undiscerning and uncritical examination of Obama charlatan public shaming of continental Africans and African Americans for the consumption of his conservative albatrosses is exceedingly unpleasant. Africans and peoples of African descent ought to publicly repudiate Obama’s contemptuous stances on continental Africans and peoples of African descent. It should be clear that Obama is cynically engaging in these public pandering, to fit the nitwit spurious arguments by others, called post-racial________________________________________
It is much easier to blame folks and talk about personal responsibility, than to talk about power arrangements, power structures which have existed and which still remains. Obama’s lecture in New York City to NAACP was full of his keywords reserved for continental Africans and peoples of African descent; take responsibility, make no excuses etc. Obama graciously referred to the disparity in unemployment numbers published by New York City candidate for mayor, Bill Thompson in which peoples of African descent are disproportionately affected. 15% of our people are unemployed compared with 9.5%, is the high rate of unemployment amongst our people because they want to sing, dance and play basketball? Rather, it is because of lopsided structural arrangements, which has historically put our people at tremendous disadvantage? And let me be the first to inform Obama that a good number of African Americans who are currently unemployed, are not trying to be Lil Wayne or Lebron James, instead, these African Americans are college educated and skilled professionals. Obama’s comedic clichés would have the world believe otherwise.

Obama ought to realize that there are reasons why some African Americans would want to pursue careers similar to Lil Wayne and Lebron James, such as the reality of racism in America, race, sadly, remains how life is lived in America. And certainly not as some would have you believe that African Americans are lazy, shiftless and without ambitions or big dreams. Obama also ought to know that he is not the first African American to run to be president of the United States! We must never underestimate the race factor in all these.
50% sports men and women in America are African Americans, but, surprisingly, only 2% of all coaches and managers are African Americans! Why is that Mr. President? It is because, in America, racism often tells you who you are and where you should be!

On the matter of why continental Africans and African Americans are where we are, Obama must have proper perspectives and contexts. There was Marshall Plan for Europe and Asia after the World Wars... and there was no such thing to steady Africa after the World Wars or after slave trade or after colonialism! First there was the Marshall Plan for parts of Europe and parts of Asia in the 1940s, and then came Asia Bailout of the 1990s as well as the Mexican Bailout. All through these, Where is Africa Marshall Plan and Bailout?
Just as there was no 40 acres and a mule for African Americans or any efforts to ready them for the slow integration into American society post slavery... imagine blaming them for their conditions now? That is called blaming the victim and that is exactly what I see in Obama willingly and carelessly giving America and Europe a clean bill of health and clearance over the horrors and brutalities visited on Africans all through history!

There are so many searing questions which we need ask of Obama, as well as many comparisons between countries with similar or worse institutional deficiency as in some African countries. Why is it that has Obama not shun these countries? Or talk-down to them in most patronizing and condescending manners as he has of countries on the African continent? Why do some Africans have this herd mentality of unreason, undiscerning and uncritical assessment of Obama abuse of all of us?

Why does Obama reserve the "truth" for Africans and African Americans? Why did he not talk down to the Pope with whom he disagrees on abortion and stem cell research? Why does Obama not talk down the truth to the Israelis with whom he disagrees on settlement expansion? Why does Obama not talk down and tell the truth to the Russians about chechen and nuclear and corruption and Puttin's self-succession? There are persisting questions of legitimacy over Iran’s recent elections, Obama through his Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary
Rodham Clinton continue to offer an open door, widely ajar for direct, unconditional negotiations with Iran. Obama should just tell Iranian leaders and Mahmoud Ahmadenajad the “bitter-truth” and be “blunt” and scolding of Iranian charade and façade farcical election? That surely will be unproductive and undiplomatic no less.

What Obama engaged in, while in Ghana, is not leadership, nor diplomacy... He lectured, scolded and ridiculed Africans! In the end, absolved and exonerated America and Europe for their brutalities and horrors that are age-old... checkered history of slavery, colonialism and continued meddling and interference.

Let him take all that lecture, scolding and condescension to the Pope in Rome or to Puttin and Medvevdev in Moscow and to Netanyahu in Jerusalem! And I say no poetic license for Obama! And yes, pretending that the crises in Africa, even up to today, are self-inflicted, shallow and simplistic rubbish on the part of Obama! Obama confessed liking former US president Reagan and Obama has begun to sound more and more like Reagan and I never like Reagan! Reagan’s policies toward Africa and peoples of African descent were inhuman, twisted and warped.

Blaming the victim is not only profoundly unconscionable it is actually the hallmark of acute intellectual laziness. Or a lack of courage to address issues forthrightly. Only those who live in alternate universe would pretend that there is no cause and effect or consequences of history on our people. No one should be allowed to dismiss this with a cavalier mere wave of the hand Obama makes good rhetorical presentations, rhetorical flourishes and but with very selective memory. He is aping conservatives who say we should pick ourselves up by the bootstraps, even as we have no shoes or such advice emanating from those who stole, and continues to steal our shoes and straps!

Obama must know that continental Africans, African Americans and peoples of African descent having been striving! The Mau Mau strived, the ANC strived, the Black Panther strived. Dr. King Jr. Malcolm X etc strived. The NAACP, Urban League, Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton etc have been striving and this made an Obama possible. They can tell him a thing or two about bootstraps and our condition.

Obama generalizes when he is before continental Africans and African Americans, and he is specific and very measured, delicate and respectful when he addresses others. Anyone who is familiar with my views would have to notice that I made no distinction between continental Africans and African Americans in reference to how Obama addresses our peoples. And some others have also pointed out that Obama seem to have a “penchant to talk down on any black audience in front of him while being in his best manners when the color of the audience changes” and this supposed to be called tough love?

Why equivocate in one place and then, suddenly be blunt at the other place? This is hypocrisy and double standards? Is it cynical manipulation and exploitation? Or is it fear?

Can anyone imagine Obama attend a Jewish Conference and say to Israel, tear down the Apartheid wall which Israel has erected against Palestine! This is the bitter truth. This will be courageous admonition and it will be tough love and Obama will occupy a moral high-ground. Obama’s speeches before Israelis, American Jews, his speech before Russians, so far, are a matter of public knowledge and still in the public domain. His deference is notable. Let Obama go to a Jewish Conference and lecture about Gays, Muslims etc and then, I will have no criticism of him ever again! I would applaud Obama if he becomes consistent and single-minded Patrick Henry style, “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” with all his audiences.

Obama is dared to go to Jerusalem or Telaviv next time Shrill-shout Israel to tear down the apartheid wall which Israel erected against Palestinians. Would Obama be right to appear, in cavalier manner, to tell Jews to get over the impact of the Holocaust? Demjajuk a former German American is on trial in Germany for his alleged roles in the Holocaust, and would Obama be right to chastise Jews for this or to tell them to get over it? It is a post modern world after all, right?
The US Congress has eventually passed a symbolic Act which apologizes for slavery and America’s role in it. Is reparations for slavery next and would Obama push for it?
How many Israelis have spied against America? Would Obama go tell American Jews the “bitter-truth” which is that friends should not spy against to friends? Would Obama go to Moscow and “bluntly” tell the Russians to go destroy their nuclear weapons; Would Obama to Riyadh and tell the Saudis to elect a woman president; If he does all these, would have redeemed himself! And while at it, he should demand a detailed statistical data of American foreign aid for the preceding 50 years to confirm how little aid has gone to Africa. The continent of Africa, Caribbean nations, where, unarguably, the needs are greatest.

Anyone who pays even a minimum of attention to geopolitics would be familiar with the disparity in policy, toward the economic and political crises in Haiti compared with Cuba. Or the handling of Gerry Adams, the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland and, say, similar crises in Sierra Leone, Liberia or the Ivory Coast. Any keen observer will be familiar with policy disparity between Sarajevo, Bosnia Hezergovina, and Rwanda or Somalia. Westerners have had reasons to foist two World Wars on the world. Westerners have had reasons for crises, violence in the Balkans, in Ireland, in Chechnya, Yugoslavia, but, on the other hand, Africans always have no reason to engage in mindless violence? Africans just fight petty tribal wars? Africans are more brutal than everybody else?
There is always an outstanding reason, philosophy and logic why Westerners fight civil wars or invade and occupy other nations. There is always some reason why Westerners amass all sorts of armada, weapons of mass destruction, atomic, biological, and nuclear, but the rest of us have no reason whatsoever! Obama is a brilliant man, he is not naïve. He must be told that, even in recent memory, America funded UNITA in Angola, against the legitimate government MPLA government in Angola, and that America ensured the removal of the constitutional, but imperfect government of Haiti in 2004, and that was the first America interference in Haitian matters! I await Obama American policy on Haiti, still.
American and European interference in the internal affairs of other nations is rather legendary in the most negative sense. And it is not all ancient history to Vietnamese, Panamanians, Grenadians, Congolese, Angolans, Chileans, Argentines or Iraqis etc. And if you do not trust Google or Wikipedia on these, you could stick to old fashioned way of books on these matters.
While in Ghana, Obama attempted to portray slavery and colonialism, humanity’s worst twin evils, as if these were mere blemishes or pimples on an elephant! This even despite the dramatic continuing effects and still visible negative impacts of these twin evils on Africans! Dramatic effects on culture, language, religion, unity, economic and political development etc
Obama should adhere to, and practice what a great African American lady, Ida B Wells, once advocated in Lifting As We Climb. At a minimum, Africans and peoples of African descent expected Obama to be a catalyst, to be inspire and motivate with words and actions, but instead, of lifting us as he climbs, he is stomping his feet upon our bodies while we are down! Nobody expected Obama to bring cash or materials and certainly not his abuse. Obama is beginning to sound like a cynical puppet and an instrument against our people. Continental Africans and peoples of African descent rightly expected Obama’s political ascension and climb to lift us up, at least symbolically. He should lift us up as he climbs or what is his worth or value to us?

Some of us are quite ready for the much touted post-racial world in which Obama lives. But post-racial world is still merely a figment of wild imaginations it is not a reality yet! Obama should be reminded of the fact that his triumphal entrance into the American presidency is only a mere chance out of 44 former American presidents since the republic, in fact, it is one half of a chance, considering that Obama is biracial! And Obama should be told that there is a reason why no person of African descent has been president of the United States. And that there is a reason why the current American unemployment rate is almost 15% among African Americans and just 7% among Whites. Obama should be informed that there are reasons why African Americans received the brunt of the foreclosures induced by the financial meltdown in America. Obama should be warned not to be quick to absolve Westerners of all the details which created theses circumstances.

There is a correlation between slavery, racism and sundry discrimination against African Americans AND, their current economic and political conditions in America... from higher than average unemployment rate to higher than average incarceration rate to the fact that African Americans are charged higher interest rates by banks for mortgages. And anyone who is willing to dismiss this available empirical data is a fool or a racist!

Similarly, there is a correlation between Africa's current political conditions and the after effect of slavery, colonialism and continued meddling by America and Europe in the internal affairs of Africa! Africans by themselves are certainly not perfect, are the Americans and Europeans perfect?

African Americans are the most vulnerable economically, politically and there are reasons why this is historically. Women are in majority in every country’s populations, there are reasons why women are however not at the top notch or top echelon of the world’s political system. And there are women who are like Anna Nicole Smith, Paris Hilton and other frivolous women, shall we, because of some airhead women’s public behaviors, dismiss historical gender inequality endured by women, and say to women, get over it, move on already? Obama should be told the title of one of Maya Angelou’s great works; paraphrased, there is a reason, why, the caged bird sings!

There are structural arrangements of inequality and circumstances in America, which ensures that African Americans remain at the bottom wrung of the society and its economy and political ladder, these are similar in nature and causal in connections and effects, with continental Africans. These are the vexed matters of slavery, colonialism and continued outside interference in African internal affairs. Obama should be made to realize that his cavalier attitude in absolving and exonerating Westerners stinks to high heavens! Why has Obama chosen to overlook these mountains of evidence?

Why Are Conservatives Suddenly Praising Obama, Over Scolds in Ghana and at NAACP?
It is remarkable how American conservatives praising Obama and saying that his sermons in Ghana and at NAACP will be remembered for the next twenty years! Or perhaps, these will be how his presidency is remembered? He “stood-high moral ground?

We ought not to dismiss arguments without a critical examination of comparisons made between Obama condescension in Ghana and at NAACP versus Obama’s politesse and superb diplomacy with the Pope, the Russian, Iranians and Israelis, all, with whom he disagrees? What is so wrong in demanding that in all of this, he remains intellectually honest? He should be blunt to every audience and on every issue. Not just issues concerning African Americans, continental Africans and peoples of African descent.

If Obama wanted to act as one of us, or as our brother, he could have done one of several things. It bears repeating that would have convened an all Africa conference in Camp David, with a precedent, as has been done for the Middle East (Israel and the Arabs) more than once; Or in the alternative, Obama would attend an African Union Summit and channel his concerns. How many African leaders has he contacted? What led to Obama nonsensical outbursts in Ghana, when he has no precedent or history of engaging African leaders unsuccessfully?

How many African leaders has he tried to advice? What efforts has he made regarding Africa; which failed? Obama has been in office for barely six months! This means that he has had barely time to try any ideas with these leaders. It can be argued that he had fore knowledge of the issues. But it must be pointed out that he has not in the past had a podium and pedestal, similar in nature and extent to the sorts he now has. How many African leaders has he met? How many African leaders have rejected or refused his advice or counsel? How many summits of African leaders has Obama attended?

Clearly, it would have been more productive, polite, respectful and even diplomatic, for Obama to attend African Union Summit as a son of Africa and then make an intelligent presentations?
Obama is like a doctor who claims strong belief in prochoice or women right to abortion services and he goes to Ghana, give a sermon on abortion rights and anti abortion or prolife agitators are offering praises, this ought to make Obama deeply concerned or suspicious, if he is really a prochoice doctor.
Conditions and situations in countries on the African continent are not thrilling or enthralling. The trite which states the obvious to the effect that Africa’s redemption and salvation depend on Africans should be seen for what it is. It is neither poignant nor profound. It is actually old, tired and recycled garbage.
Speaking solely for myself, it was never my ambition to live abroad and it is still not my preference. I cowardly fled Nigeria as an economic refugee. I am not oblivious to the conditions in Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Nigeria or Africa remains where my heart is; even in this globalized world and so, a Google of key phrases such as pillage, plunder, corruption, looters, rule of law, the death penalty etc with my surname, would quickly reveal my strong views on the effect of corruption on development. Corruption’s debilitating effects are worse than the impact of terrorism!
There are assuredly challenges facing countries on the African continent. Imploring action and beseeching Africans to act quickly while the furnace is still hot is fine and decent, through meaningful engagement. And it is doubtful, in any event, that anyone would have a counter argument against such, otherwise, such counter would be tantamount to an argument against decency. I have no argument against decency.
My umbrage at Obama is driven by the fact that he spoke in Ghana as if he is unencumbered by thought process. He spoke unwilling to critically examine the causes and effects of crises in Africa. He spoke in Ghana as if Africa is unredeemable or beyond redemption. Whereas Obama uses a holistic unconditional engagement approach; what I may describe as Obama’s unconditional reboot and reset idea fixe diplomacy. I suppose Obama chose not to apply reboot reset to Africa? But why the harsher and damning rule for Africans?
The late Honorable Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court, it was, I think, who once said that a snake is a snake, regardless of the snake’s color! Obama is biracial and by American standard, Black period! Some therefore expected him to be kindle-gentler. Some also expected him to summon some gumption for an improved an American African policy. Obama, even before becoming president of the United States, enumerated clearly, what would be his policy on Afghanistan, Israel, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Palestine, Cuba to name a few. On Africa, he was fuzzy, floozy, inarticulate and generalized.
Obama is our brother, family, and it is as if our mother has some issues… challenges which have internal and external accelerants … which in turn compound our mother’s wayward ways… Obama at a family reunion, chooses to publicly shame our mother, his mother too… ironically, Obama has friends of his, who are not members of the family, but are similarly afflicted with our mother’s wayward ways!
Why does a guy who patronizes prostitutes, and, has prostitutes as best buddies, then hypocritically shrill-shout in the most public way, at a family member who is a prostitute as well?
Why does Obama who would negotiate with North Korea, Iran etc be the same guy who prefers to publicly shame and ridicule Africa in place of well reasoned, well-thought policy? Why is that all that Africa deserve from Obama? Those who have nothing good to say about Africa should hold their tongue! Obama caused my furor by using a double standards and hypocritical doublespeak replete with significant aberrations, contradictions and inconsistencies. The tremendous disparity between his self-avowed unconditional engagement with the Axis of Evil a la George Bush, compared with Obama’s public shaming, ridicule and eternal damnations for Africans, is quite glaringly dismaying.
There is enormous discrepancy in treatment between reserved for Africa on the one hand, and the different better treatment for the rest of the world on the other hand; this, even on matters in which there are identical or similar circumstances or details. Obama is our brother, and even when he indulges himself in rude behavior in public, we should just roll-over?
It is my view that image devastation is a major obstacle or impediment in the path of Africa’s progress. It is also my considered view, that it is easier to overcome poverty and illiteracy in comparison with overcoming intractable public shame and ingrained embedded ridicule. Africa has been shamed, pilloried, caricatured, demeaned, lampooned and denigrated for far too long! And Obama has to understand that there is something hugely wrong in the fact the American conservatives and ultra right-wingers are praising his public shaming, ridicule, abuses and tirades which Obama directed Africa during his few hours flyover Ghana. It is like living long enough to see David Duke praise the Reverend Jesse Jackson or the Reverend Al Sharton! If you are a continental African or a person of African descent, and you manage to receive thunderous applauses from the KKK, you must ask yourself searing questions and then, look at yourself in the mirror!
Attackers of my criticism directed at Obama framed their reactions as if believing cocksure, that I am blissfully unaware or perhaps complicit in the human condition in countries on the African continent. My attackers refuse to offer me a modicum of credit merely reminding Obama that scolding, shaming, ridiculing is no substitute for what should be a reasoned sustainable foreign policy wrapped in diplomatic finesse directed at Africa. And there is no time like now, than now, while Obama is president of the United States. It is my sincere hope that my concerns or misgivings are unjustified and wrong. And that Obama’s sermons and approaches to our peoples, produces positive effects and I will be happiest!
Obama is our brother, and our mother has some issues… challenges which have internal and external accelerants … which in turn compound our mother’s wayward ways… Obama at a family reunion, chooses to publicly shame our mother, his mother too… ironically, Obama has friends of his, who are not members of the family, but are similarly afflicted with our mother’s wayward ways!
Why does a guy who patronizes prostitutes, and, has prostitutes as best buddies, then hypocritically shrill-shout in the most public way, at a family member who is a prostitute as well?

He can engage North Korea, Russia, Iran, Israel etc but, when it comes to Africa, he should abuse us, before he meaningfully engage us in productive policy?
He is willing to engage the whole world endlessly and gingerly, but he can ridicule my continent? I say nonsense! Obama could embark in constructive engagement and give it time to work before his public lecture and Damnations

Obama has been in office as president for a mere six months. A bare six months which is not long enough for him to have had any meaningful impact, positively or negatively. It will be unfair and even disingenuous for anyone to blame him for any policy failure, foreign or domestic. As a corollary, he cannot already be irritated or frustrated before getting into policy trenches, through meaningful contacts, robust engagement and diplomatic prodding through back channels.
Obama may be unable or unwilling to recognize the continuing impact of slavery, colonialism, racism on continental Africans and peoples of African descent. Obama must get off his messianic Whitehorse and lofty mountain of condescension!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Obama Talks Shallow Simplistic Rubbish, Scolds & Lectured Africans As Expected!

Obama Talks Shallow Simplistic Rubbish, Scolds & Lectured Africans As Expected!
Written by Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Finally, Mr. Obama’s much publicized and much debated visit to Ghana has come and to pass and the world can now return to normalcy! Obama LECTURED the Africans, Africans will snap out of their old ways!

All major American television networks reported Obama stop-over for a few hours in Ghana, using words or terms which are usually reserved for truant children. Mr. Obama is reported as being stern, scolding and blunt to people in Africa. Obama is showing Africans tough love? Who need this type of love?

Are these what that all that Africans deserve from a native son? We are not kids! Obama was undiplomatic by choice, he knows how to be delicate with the Russians, he knows how to be measured with the Iranians and he knows not to be his polite best with Israel despite Israel violations of United Nations resolutions regarding Israel's land-grab in Palestine!

Obama was not blunt, stern or scolding when he genuflected in discussions with Pope Benedict XVI in Rome over issues of stem cell research and abortions, issues in which Obama the Pope are at opposite side of the spectrum!

Obama would have been more successful and impressive across the board and he would have shined and come across smelling like fresh flowers if he had visited Ghana, Kenya, South African commencing such well-thought out African visits accompanied with specifics of policies and programs, sundry initiatives and Nigeria as first prong of course.
Additionally, such African visit ought to be coupled with revamped, reinvigorated and more robust American African policy which does not exist presently within the Obama administration.

Better yet, Obama could have attended an African Union summit and engage all African leaders in brotherly conversation and corralled them on how to press the reset button on democracy, good governance, institutional reforms, prosperity and advancement on the continent, instead, Obama chose the simplistic and voyeuristic public shaming and ridiculing of Africans, as if he was a member of the Klu Klux Klan and that is what some are courageously spinning and labeling tough love? I am dismayed!

Obama surely followed a script, otherwise, he knows or ought to know that he would have been more effective at nudging, imploring and engendering reforms, instead of appearing to backhand whack Africans while force-feeding them with archaic and mundane platitudes to which every person on any African street is keenly familiar!

Obama delivered the script of his masters and his handlers! A script written and orchestrated by African “experts” and Obama delivered the script in the form of scolding in stern blunt words which Obama could not use in talks with the Russians, the Pope and the North Koreans etc Obama was at his most condescending mien best when he was in Ghana! And this was mislabeled tough love and I say, Nonsense!

Some Africans already predicted that Obama would lecture Africans, and expectedly, he did to his heart content. He LECTURED democracy, human rights, corruption etc. Mr. Obama’s is that of appeasement and placation of all others, but, he just has made Africa the exception to his appeasement rule?

Obama did not scold or chastise Russia for her war in Chechnya and Georgia... and Russia for corruption and frequent murders of its journalists... and Russia for organized crime and Mafia way of business deal and Russia for preferring business deals with Iran over election matters and nuclear matters which Obama "so care about"

Obama did not scold or chastise Italy, where Obama was for several days... Italy with Prime Minister Berlusconi whose media empire is synonymous his other tools of corruption... in fact, Mr. Berlusconi has faced repeated charges of corruption and there is the Italian Mafia in there... but Obama went to Italy and he did not lecture Italians

Obama did not scold or chastise Israel, despite all that America does for Israel, Israel's current Prime Minister adamantly refuses to listen to Obama "gentle prodding and request" that Israel vacate occupied territories of Palestine and desist from expanding Israeli's land-grabs! Despite United Nations resolutions to this effect and despite the so-called "International Community" urging of Israel to comply

Obama says he will negotiate with Iran and North Korea UNCONDITIONALLY, and these are "supposed" to be the Axis of Evil ... American enemies per Mr. Bush....

Nigeria, no enemies of America or anyone, is being visited with diplomatic slaps and whacks in the face by this undiplomatic Obama? Obama is a tool in the hands of someone's agenda I was waiting for his apology for slavery and colonialism Ghana and Obama did not seize the moment. I am almost ready to write him off as another Mr. double standard leader of a western nation, preaching to Africa, what they do not practice in dealing with other nations. For his lectures and condescending manners towards Africans and peoples of African descent, I am jumping off this Obama bandwagon!

Obama has a knack for making the platitudinous sound poignant and profound!
He repeated this feat again while addressing the parliament of Ghana, he made banal and meaningless embellished statements to come across as if inspired for Africa.

Imagine when Obama state the obvious, the pedestrian and the rather mundane, such as, “Africa’s future is up to Africans” I would hope so! And in retort, I thought it a fitting response to Mr. Obama’s trite public proclamation in Ghana, I would hope that the future of America is in the hands of Americans, and not in the hands of China, the Chinese who have of course been and still are currently shoring up America’s economy by spending trillions and trillions of dollars for the upkeep of the economy of the United States

Obama came to Ghana empty handed! He arrived Ghana without a program or policy tailored in its specificities toward Africa and Africans. But instead, he made empty speeches, which were replete and loaded with innuendoes which seem reserved for when Obama addresses Africans and African Americans and peoples of African descent.

Obama, during his inauguration speech used the Bill Cosby code-word of “take-responsibility” “taking responsibility” is the same he used while addressing Ghanaians, and even by Obama’s own admissions, he was in effect, exponentially addressing all 900 million Africans, as he ordered American diplomatic outposts to broadcast live and facilitate the spread of his inanities while in Ghana.

During Obama’s inaugural speech as president, I expected him to focus and harp on America’s checkered past and then, state the fact that he stood on the broad shoulders of those who fought his wars, his battles and that he is now stepping into their big shoes comfortably, after those courageous heroes have leveled the playing field through hard work and endless sacrifices, but, all that he pronounced was why some of us should take responsibility. Those who fought liberation battles from slavery to colonialism to Jim Crow on the continent of Africa and in the United States made Obama presidency even thinkable. Obama should not benefit and be repaying them with insulting platitudes.

Clearly, Obama certainly knows who to insult and who to be rude to and when to be cavalier to and I think he has been rude to Africans and peoples of African descent too frequently, in particular, with his pedantic pedagogical preachment of taking responsibility.

Apart from diagnosing African problems and challenges, Obama in Ghana was pure bland blah for a few hours! He came to Ghana to insult Africa, to criticize and to be purposely undiplomatic.

Africa has about 900 million people and Israel has less than 6 million people... what is the amount/quantum of American aid on yearly basis to Africa with a population of 900 million versus Israel of less than 6 million people... So, before some of you here .... suffer burst arteries and cardiac arrest over your perceived amount of aid to Africa do some fact checks... do some reality checks... contact US State Department and US Department of Defense and enquire and compare American aid to Israel compared with Africa during the last fifty years and self for yourselves!

All is agreed, arguably, that the need is greater in Africa, BUT, Africa is not where the greatest amount of foreign aid from America and Europe goes! These are verifiable!

Again, it must be stated that everyone in America and Europe are already familiar with very mundane method to which Obama resorted. It is the case that quite often, anyone and everyone, individuals, institutions and governments are quick to loudly and ostentatiously diagnose African challenges and then, they promptly proceed on their merry way to do nothing about the human conditions in Africa!

What is the point of relevance in loud diagnosis when you have no plan for relief in sight? What is the value of public criticism when you have no specific policy or program which addresses your “eloquent” diagnosis?

How about mutual responsibility? Parts of Europe and parts of Asia received Marshall Plan to enable reconstruction and rehabilitation of parts of Asia and Europe, after the self-inflicted World Wars, Africans and African Americans have not been so lucky, because after slavery, after colonialism, and yes, after the World Wars in which Africans fought as conscripted soldiers on behalf of America and Europe, Africans received no Marshall Plans or any such thing to put us in good stead, we were left to sink or swim, to fend for ourselves. And Obama glosses over, waves all these profound impact away with his left hand? Please!

On the important matter of slave trade history, of horrors and brutalities, Obama only made tepid terse and tired statements full of generalities about human capacity to do good and evil, evil that still exist in the world - blah, blah, blah.

And Obama acclaimed the extraordinary progress between Blacks and Whites; and such efforts which led to the abolition of slavery to his election I suppose. He used the statements again to take swipe at the locals as he spoke about oppression and cruelty wherever it appears. Lectures for primary school pupils?

In all this, Obama came across as suddenly lacking patented and trademarked oratorical skills, he suddenly pretended to lack all his usual fervid luster and manner of speaking, except when he referred to the irony of slave traders having a church erected right atop slave dungeon, the White slave traders exhibited outward manifestations of piety, even as they dealt in death, murder, maiming and shackling of their human cargoes of Africans as slaves. Slave traders with human cargoes treated worse than farm animals, exported out off of their entire familiar.

On the whole, Obama failed miserably, to seize the moment. Obama manifested a complete lack of interest, he suddenly appeared tongue-tied and inarticulate, as if in a loss for words. Obama’s comments at the slave dungeon, were surprisingly very short, he sounded tired, distracted, and he sounded as if needing coffee or as if overdue for an expresso-strength coffee-break!

Obama, whether when he addressed the parliament of Ghana or at his one minute statement at the slave dungeons, failed, refused or neglected to outline or layout his policy for Africa, and yet, every buffon-African is supposed to have been appeased Obama’s fly-over stop-over for a few hours, with the ensuing lectures and pronouncements?

Some are hoping, that Ghana can somehow maximize “benefits” from Obama’s quick-stop in Ghana, but what exactly are those benefits?

I guess some feel as if Obama’s stop-over in Ghana is to endorse Ghana as “a country with democratic spirit” is therefore seen as certification of Ghana as a nation fit as destination for investments, trade and tourism by America and Europe. And I am hoping that Ghana gets so good soon, after Obama’s prattling and tattling tales, so good in fact, that the 8 million people who are currently out of work or unemployed in America due to financial meltdown, will mill or troop to Ghana and I for one will gladly follow them to Ghana! As I am happy for Kwame Nkrumah and Jerry Rawlings’ Ghana. This is good for Ghana; our West African neighbor.

Obama’s display of his lack of diplomatic finesse is selective, so this talk about Obama showing tough love through his condescending lecture and diplomatic slap to Kenya, South Africa and notably for me, Nigeria; Obama’s brief foray into Ghana and the preachments afterthoughts wrapped in spin doctoring of Obama’s inept and undiplomatic approach to Africa.

It must be remembered and borne in mind that Obama has a track record of making impassioned and vociferous speeches with rhetorical flourishes, as he did at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, and in Philadelphia during his speech on race in America and Rev. Wright, then Obama’s speech in Berlin, Cairo, Buchenwald, Normandy, etc, it begs the question as to what changed in him in Ghana?

America through Obama has an ulterior and unhidden motive in Ghana even amidst Ghana’s modest gains. Ghana is said to be open to hosting the American military armada as headquarters for Pentagon’s so-called African Command or AfriCom and Ghana is suddenly now and exporter of petroleum and Ghana is seen as amenable and pliable by the Americans.

Obama knows where not to offend his hosts. And Obama knows those who could put his reelection in jeopardy or at risk, Obama also knows where to be a glib talker who speaks obliquely about injustices of the past, present, while sermonizing about responsibility, good governance and corruption redundantly avec sanctimoniously! What Obama parroted in Ghana, are things the average African already knew, and have dissected and digested for more than fifty years. I can only add that Obama is a smart man, who knows all these things.

A commentator in The New York Times wrote: he, (Obama) failed to acknowledge the role the United States played in getting Africa to where it is today. Ms. Susan Rice, the United Nation Ambassador, an undersecretary of state for African Affairs during the Clinton administration should have primed the President a lot better on the United States’ role in undermining democracy and promoting violence in Africa.

For the record, the trajectory of modern African history was shaped by the actions of United States, Belgium and France in today’s Democratic Republic of Congo in 1960, which was then known as the Belgian Congo. Who killed Patrice Lumumba and why?

The overthrow and murder of Patrice Lumumba by Belgium mercenaries radicalized Nkrumah, the leader of Ghana, pushing Ghana closer to the USSR. If an elected African leader could be overthrown and murdered by mercenaries from a country allied with the United Sates who was safe? Nkrumah followed that by funding armed liberation movements to challenge the white settler governments in southern Africa. This introduced an element of violence, unlike Ghana’s transition from British rule. The path taken by Nkrumah had a negative influence on his contemporaries.

Whereas in the affairs of Europeans the United Sates’ role was that of a guardian, nurturing democracy in Eastern Europe, the reader must be reminded that in Africa the U.S. favored any government, so long as it claimed to be pro-Western. Here is a partial list of U.S allies in Africa (and their fates in brackets) between 1960 and 1990: Liberia (civil war), Nigeria (civil war), Zaire (civil war), Sudan (need I say more), Kenya, and yes Somalia! How does anyone explain U.S funding of UNITA in the Angola Civil war? When the military overthrew Nkrumah’s government, the United Sates rewarded the junta by sending food aid and other consumer goods.

So the reader must note the irony that crestfallen Black-Star, Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana, the final resting place of WEB Dubois, the NAACP pioneer, is still the best example of Africans managing their own affairs and the hope of the race in Africa.”
Above links where Mr. Clement Ikpatt wondered about Obama’s redundantly mundane speech in Ghana
Above links where Mr. John Iteshi wondered if Obama is fraud on the Black race

Obama knows where not to mince words. Or defer to diplomatic politesse and labored, tortured deliberate over-calibrated message, in which Obama seek to avoid unproductive confrontations and unnecessary loggerheads, his only exception so far, is Africa!

Obama certainly knows when to be a superb diplomat and an expert at delicately balance or even obfuscate through parsing of words, when the feelings of others are involved; It seems as if, in Obama’s view, he has some sorts of poetic license to be rude and undiplomatic especially when world issues relate to Africans, because, some percentage of the blood which runs through his veins is of Africa? Obama used this pedestrian but emotive line, to cloud and shroud his condescension with which he lectured Africans

As we kept hearing during Obama’s brief stop in Ghana, that Ghana is being REWARDED! Rewarded with Obama’s quick stop, but Ghana is being rewarded with what exactly? You would think Ghana is Israel which receives billions of dollars in American aid every year, and does not care what the US think! Israel has a population of less than 6 million and Ghana, America’s new best friend, has a population of 24 million people and what was America’s aid to Ghana last year compared with Israel? Ghana rewarded with what?

Obama announced in Ghana, that he will support nations which make democratic commitment, and shun other nations who do not, fine! So, what ever happened to unconditional talks with nations previously designated, rightly or wrongly, as enemies of America? Is this where candidate Obama meets President Obama in reality check? There is tyranny in Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and for some unstated reasons, other than known facts, Obama is not shunning these nations?

Obama seem to conflict, contradict and confuse his own policies! He visited Russia to ask for a reboot, reset of relations between America and Russia. He failed to criticize Russia’s corruption, Russian Mafia way of doing business through organized crime. Obama failed to criticize Prime Minister Vladmir Puttin’s self-succession, from president to prime minister while handpicking President Medvedev akin to former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo favoring President YarAdua to succeed him, but, at least in the case of Nigeria, Mr. Obasanjo has no official post or role in current Nigerian government!

It is okay to acknowledge the fact that Obama did put his undiplomatic foot in his mouth when flippant Obama tactlessly accused PM Puttin of have a foot in the past! But on the whole, while in Russia, Obama conducted himself in a very measured manner, nonetheless. Just as he faked neutrality in the post election protests in Iran. Obama seem to know when to wring his hands shyly, as when he gingerly begged Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu on Israel’s land-grab settlements in Palestine and Israel’s usurpation of political and economic oxygen in Palestine.

Let us repeat for emphasis here again, Obama did not visit Kenya, his ancestral homeland, nor visit South Africa and more importantly, Obama overlooked visiting Nigeria. He shunned these nations with commitment to democracy!

What commitment to democracy does Egypt and Saudi Arabia reminds anyone reading this of? These are the same nations which Obama visited during the preceding 30 days before his trip to Ghana! Egypt for instance, has a president for life, endorsed by every American president since Ronald Reagan, Hosni Mubarak has been president of Egypt since 1981. Under President Mubarak, Egypt has violently cracked down on political opposition and in particular, the Islamic Muslim Brotherhood. Mubarak has been extreme in his violent repressive measures, including detention without trial, and I guess this fit perfectly with America’s phobia for Islam? Detentions without trial in Guantanamo is really not different from detention without trial in Egypt or is it?

Anyone can say, arguably, that democracy is not perfect in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria and indeed, the rest of the world! I make bold to say that the imperfect democracy in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria, is better day compared with the non existence democracy night in say, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. When was the last election in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait? And when is the next election in both nations? Is Obama shunning these nations? Why isn’t he? Looking at Obama, I can now say that the beautiful ones are not yet born!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Palestinian Freedom & Iranian Democracy; A Causal Connection

Palestinian Freedom & Iranian Democracy; A Causal Connection

Written by Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States

The entire world, during the better part of June 2009, saw, what appeared to have been a choreographed, orchestrated and carefully synchronized post election protests from the streets of Tehran Iran. And despite ostentatious efforts, on the part the United States government at managing a proclaimed neutrality, there was no neutrality to be had. Perhaps the only semblance of neutrality was a very nuanced, buffed and embellished neutrality.

There were actions and pronouncements which contradicted any pretense and protestations of neutrality. Actions and proclamations which were undertaken with a view of influencing the direction and outcome of the post election protests in Iran.

There was an instance in which the government of the United States felt the need to contact a private entity, the owners and operators of Twitter, to urge and implore the company to postpone its scheduled maintenance, in order not to interfere with the ability of Iranian protesters (and their handlers overseas) to communicate with and between themselves and the rest of the world, as these protesters organized and coordinated their activities.

It is not debatable whether Iranians, and for that matter, anyone else, have legitimate right to demonstrate or protest elections in Iran or across the world, if and when elections are had, and there are legitimate reasons to believe that such elections fraught with regularities, fraud and an outcome is determined not have been free or fair or questionable

However, it will be helpful to use the same standard, the same vehemence and the same steadfastness, to oppose governments which are engaged in election frauds and governments which engage in the use of brutal force or violence to oppose popular agitations, demonstrations or protests. Such as the government of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, in power for decades, and a friend of America and Europe who does no wrong in their eyes.

It is quite amazing to watch how there was what appeared to be some sorts of righteous indignations about perceived electoral frauds in Iran, and the subsequent violence which culminated in the death of a young lady, Neda. Neda was instantly martyred in the western world, a part of the world usually suspicious of martyrs what they connote. Just as westerners are of Islamic details, and just as Nicholas Sarkozy deplores head coverings by Muslim women. As much as I grieve for the family and friends of Neda over her needless death, it must be mentioned that there is no clear determination as to who perpetrated her murder.

Additionally, the violence and death of Neda during the election protests in Tehran were minor, infinitesimal and insignificant when compared to the death of 1400 Palestinians in January 2009 just before President Obama was sworn in as US president. There were no martyrs in Palestine! There were no democrats and fighters for freedom and liberty, there were no reformers and heroes in Palestine, there struggles are deemed violent and unreasonable by the west. There were no Facebook coordinated protests and Twitter tweeting demonstrators, there were no all day, every day CNN, BBC, VOA coverage for the 1400 dead in Palestine, among them, children, women and senior citizens.

Since his inauguration as president of the United States, President Obama have made major policy pronouncements among which is the US Middle East policy and in this, the US president outlined his policy thrust, similar to what his predecessor called the Road Map to peace in the Middle East. The current Israeli government has loudly rejected Mr. Obama’s request or suggestion (note that I did not say demand) to Israel to freeze settlement expansion at the expense of Palestinians. Settlement expansion is a slap and spit in the face of all those interested in a negotiated peace process between Palestine and Israel! Where is the pressure on Israel to comply with UN and US settlement freeze etc?

President Obama subsequently appointed an envoy, specifically to achieve American policy objectives in that region of the world. US former president, George W. Bush, bungled peace efforts previously pursued by the Bill Clinton administration. Mr. Bush’s neglect of the peace process during his tenure, worsened the intractable enmity and animosities between Palestine and Israel. These efforts may not go anywhere, in the face of Israel’s persistence in course of conducts, which have been condemned by the United Nations, Europeans and the Obama’s administration.

President Bush gave Israel any and everything which Israel wanted. Mr. Bush did not use the so-called Road Map, perhaps he lost the map or got lost on the road? The much talked about two state or two nation solution, in which Palestine and Israel will coexist as two politically, economically and socially independent nations would have been the preferred outcome. The idea or concept was touted loudly, but without any action.

As a consequence, the peace overture now being made are rather green and virgin. So much time have been lost in the interim, due to the inaction of the Bush administration on the Middle East peace initiatives.

It is rather trite to restate here, that any policy directed at the Middle East peace and security or toward the Arab world, which does not frontally tackle Palestinian conditions, plight and predicaments, must be seen as a nonevent nonstarter policy. When there will be a World War III, it is in all likelihood, start in the Middle East and be as a consequence of neglecting to act, do the right thing to ameliorate the abject human conditions in Palestine. I see a connection between the plight and predicament of Palestinians, the popularity of Hezbollah, HAMAS and their Iranian supporters and I quite understand why a blow struck against Iran is a direct attempt at Hezbollah, HAMAS and vice versa. America and Europe seem to have no ambitions to democratize Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Dubai or the Emirates, Egypt etc but why? Could it be because these monarchies, the dictatorships and tyrannies are docile in their constipated contentment and complacencies about the average citizens in these countries and care not a hoot about Palestinians?

Even by the longest stretch of the imagination, there is no democracy or western type reforms in Saudi Arabia or Egypt etc. There is no human rights or gender equality in these countries. There is nothing at all in these other Arab and Middle Eastern countries that resembles a modicum of western democratic prescriptions. And if truth be told, Iran is more modern, more western, more plural and more 21st century-like, in a western sense, in comparison with the countries in Middle East which are in the pockets of westerners and in which westerners are blind to and deaf to pervasive evils of oppression and abuses.

It is rather an open secret that governments and institutions outside the Middle East or the so-called Arab world, have sought to influence the election outcomes and internal affairs of Palestine, Lebanon and Iran. And it turns out, that there is a causal connection between the aspirations of Palestinians in Palestine, and their supporters and sympathizers in Lebanon and Iran.

The world ought to therefore make known, the conflicts of interest and self-interested dealings, and the curious interests which have been exhibited by certain governments and institutions in local elections in Gaza Strip, in the West Bank, then in Lebanon and most recently, the elections in Iran. The west seem to scorn HAMAS, Hezbollah and Iran for their imperfections, while cuddling Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, countries which are not even making any pretensions about reforms, democratizations and human rights! Why is it unreasonable, far-fetched or illogical to see a connection between the pressure being mounted on Iran by America and Europe regarding Iran's nuclear power, and nuclear weapons and the exaggerated western interest in seeing free and fair elections or democratization in Iran?

I will like to state for the record that I join everyone is wishing the finest ideals of democracy, liberty, freedom and human rights upon Palestinians, Israelis, Lebanese, Iranians etc. The democracy, freedom, liberty and human rights we wish upon the Arab world or the Middle East, should be the type which fits local conditions in those countries and in those lands.

These fine tenets and ideals as they, must be managed by the people for the people, the people should constitute the source of greatest political authority. In recent years, the world have witnessed a selective acceptance or rejection respectively, of democratic processes, depending on the particular perception of hegemonic interests of government and institutions outside certain countries, countries who are grappling with teething and tethering democracy. In the past several years, the world have been witness to how arguably free and fair elections which were won in Algeria and Egypt, were cancelled, excoriated and repudiated with the support, wink and nod, by same countries who are liable to extol democracy louder than everybody else, and the reason given for the railing against these free and fair election in Algeria and Egypt was solely limited to the fact that the candidates preferred by these outsiders were not the winners at the polls.

In a true democracy, the greatest political authority or supreme authority resides in the electorate, and for me, this means that a free and fair election outcome should be accepted and applauded whomever the winner is, the candidate and party that is better able to canvass and convince the voters should prevail at the polls and lead, until the next elections.

What have happened instead is that, Americans and Europeans have tended to move the goal post during the game of democracy, as was the case in Algeria and her Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria in 1990, or in Egypt in the 2002 elections, Palestine and more recently, in Iran. In Lebanon, Hezbollah led at the polls, but, there were these concerted and coordinated campaigns, visits and loud promises made by foreign government officials, who all sought a role in the defeat of Hezbollah in favor of a pro-west political leader and perhaps a puppet? How happy or thrilled will Americans and Europeans be if any group of foreigners, governments or foreign institutions seek to directly alter elections outcomes on their soil?

I did not like Mr. Bush’s policies, but, I did not want Canada or Mexico to invade the US to orchestrate the ouster of Mr. Bush as the American government under Bush did in Iraq and to Betrand Aristide of Haiti, it was particularly egregious in the case of Haiti, as the government there was duly elected and the constitutionally constituted government of Haiti at the time, whatever anyone thought of Aristide’s policies or credentials, another election or some constitutional measure by Haitians, remained the best way to have resolve such imperfections.

And for Saddam Hussein Iraq, a former bosom friend of America, and the entire west, and a tyrant, dictator and abuser of human rights etc, invading and occupying Iraq, was still unjustified and contrary to all tenets of international laws, treaties, conventions and established protocols. Iraq remained entitled to political independence, her sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In the particular case of Palestine, the word on the street and on the ground in Palestine is that, HAMAS is and has been the only symbol of authority, order, and service to the people. HAMAS is popular, it have perennially spoken and poignantly addressed the concerns of the average Palestinians notwithstanding the castigations and labeling which HAMAS have received over the years by outsiders.

There may be some legitimacy in the criticisms of HAMAS regarding its methodologies and aggressive enforcements of its will, but nevertheless, HAMAS is popular with a large segment of the Palestinian population and HAMAS activities and public conducts resonates with the average Palestinians, hence the electoral victories which HAMAS recorded. And it did so through, core preachment mission of religious proselytizing through preaching and social services which Palestinians appreciated, enjoyed and rewarded HAMAS at the polls for.

Despite victories at the polls, HAMAS was viewed with so much contempt and ridicule by the American and European governments and institutions at the behest of Israel, and this in effect, clearly demonstrated a double standard and extreme hypocrisy in the definition and application of true democracy by these self-acclaimed American and European advocates and champions of democracy. These double standards and false pretense is what have wrought endless generations of crises borne of cultivated animosities and disdain by various parties to conflicts, mutual hatreds by opposing parties and supporters and enablers on both sides

And the Arabs of course seen through these shenanigans and doublespeak democracy and human rights. Or Palestinians preference for HAMAS and the imposition and preference of Mahmoud Abbas as “leader” of Palestine preferred by non-Palestinians outside of Palestine. Democracy ought to be allowed to evolve and grow to maturity, and without outside manipulations and manipulators outside of Palestine. Humans do not like impositions from outsiders. Palestinians should be allowed to feel ownership of their democracy. And that does not include a version imposed from the outside or a puppet from within, subject to the whims of those who do not have Palestine best interest!

All those who support true democracy should want answers to why HAMAS is deemed not to be entitled to HAMAS victory at the polls in Palestine? Why is the Islamic or Muslim Brotherhood not entitled to it’s electoral victories in Egypt? This Brotherhood was formed in 1928 and it is the main opposition the ruling party government party for almost one hundred years. And in 2002, the Brotherhood over the years have won increasing membership in the Egyptian parliament, this, even though the Brotherhood remains officially banned by the Egyptian government.

Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party NDP, in power since 1978, Mubarak is in power for almost 30 years since the assassination of Anwar Sadat, NDP uses aggression, violence and acts of thuggery against the Brotherhood and others opposed to the ruling government party. Many members of Islamic/Muslim Brotherhood are in detention in Egypt, in detention without trials or prosecution by the government of Egypt, and where are the uproarious reactions to this persecution, and bludgeoning of the opposition the government in Egypt? Where is the outcry, hoopla and indignations in the west?

Western silence and complicities in on Egyptian repression absence of democracy, there is this palpable fear by the westerners of Islamic fundamentalism in politics in Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia etc but how about ultra right Christian Fundamentalists who shoot or encourage the shooting of doctors who provide abortion services? I am as wary of Christian extremists as I am wary of Muslim extremists. Extremists are what they are, extremists! Whatever denomination or label that we may affix to them, they are fanatical and can be murderous!

There are extremists in all organized religions and there are extremists among nonbelievers. Extremists are violent, an extremist Jew, Yigal Amir
assassinated Prime Minister Rabin of Israel in 1995, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by extremist Hindu, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by a Sikh extremist in 1984 and Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by Tamil Tiger extremists. Rabbi Kahane was a notorious extremist Jew. Those who killed him were extremist Muslims, so were the participants in the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. How about the ethnic extremists in Bosnia Herzegovina and Hutus and Tutsis? There are in fact, extremist unbelievers here!

As I think of the choreographed sympathy for Iranian demonstrators and I think of abandoned and neglected suffering and hardship in Palestine and I think of why pretty girls always receive unsolicited assistance to carry their 10 pounds weight luggage, while ugly girls are left to struggle with their 100 pounds weigh luggage and crying child, This is the difference between Iran and Palestine, as far as the America, Europe and some others are concerned, Palestine is the ugly girl who really needs help, which no one offers! Male suitors have ulterior motives and expected benefits for offering unneeded and unsolicited assistance to the pretty girl.

The governments of America and Europe have sought variously to unduly influence the election outcome in Palestine, Lebanon, Iran respectively, this desire to manipulate election outcome exposes a lack of confidence in the superiority of ideas or the supremacy of democratic tenets and fine ideals.

America and Europe have persistently put expediencies over and above letting the best candidate and political party win elections in Haiti, the Congo, Chile, Iran etc. This arrogant uncontrollable desire to directly influence elections and choice of leadership for nations, is the hypocrisy and laughable force-feeding of “democracy” in hypocritical condescension, these actions in pretending to know what is best for other nations, regardless of the idiosyncratic specificities of local conditions and cultures, is the source of all the troubles in the world.