Opinion: US racial hatred mirrors our ethnic bias

Posted: August 5, 2015 in News, Opinion
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It is outrageous that it took Obama, a foreigner, to tell us the obvious: that our ethnic driven politics is tragically ruinous and that it smacks of lack of imagination.

Ironically, the only Kenyan leader who routinely and consistently spoke against ukabila was Daniel arap Moi. Not surprisingly, much as Kenya’s economy and democratic space must have greatly improved after Moi’s departure, Kenyans felt more united as a people under him than during Kibaki or Uhuru.

Our fragmentation along ethnic lines is not just evident in our politics. It is in our schools and universities, in professional associations, in the media and even in church and sports. That it has woven itself into the very fabric of society and become ‘normal’ – like corruption – can be seen in the puerile and offensive exchanges on social media.

But Obama’s visit, and the offensive comments that some Americans made online about him, offer Kenyans a measure of comfort. That some American citizens passionately hate Obama is not news. That this hatred stems solely from the colour of his skin is no secret.

What is horrifying is how a people can be so blinded by hate that they choose not to see one of the most transformative figures in American and world history. The man they scorn literally pulled them from the jaws of economic ruin and stopped their nonsensical penchant for poking their noses into every little war. Instead, they chose not to see a great leader, but to hate a black man.

Kenya is no different. President Kibaki laid the foundation for Kenya’s economic and democratic transition. But he received nothing but bile for his achievements in extremely difficult circumstances. His ‘haters’ were too blinded by ethnicity to see the obvious.

The same hatred, and a shocking amount of ignorance, permeates American society. And if a country peppered with such an appallingly shallow and ignorant human resource can rise to greatness, then there is hope that Kenya, too, will one day be a great nation!
Read more at: http://www.sde.co.ke/thenairobian/article/2000171715/opinion-us-racial-hatred-mirrors-our-ethnic-bias

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