|Wartime President Wins Peace Award As The Blackman In The White House|
|Thursday, 31 December 2009 14:27|
BY OBLITEY COMMEY
It may sound a contradiction in terms but such is life. No one has mastery of all the principles that drive this cosmos forward. That is why great expectations can metamorphose over night into unbelievable depressions and highly valued personalities sometimes cannot even find the muddy doldrums a refuge enough, spreading panic and consternation everywhere. Doctors sometimes have to administer a treatment regime that initially causes more pain than the original disease.
To the present, that is the public posturing of President Barak Obama, the first African American President of the United States of America. There is always a first for everything and it was just a matter of time before someone anchored it, but this guy who is turning out to be someone who wins every challenge placed in front of him, did it in promontory style, winning the prestigious Nobel Peace Award way before the end of his first year in office and at a time when he was committing more troops to the killing fields of Afghanistan. Does war win peace?
Up to the end of the Second World War, the Black race was a dispensable and disposable quantity. In America, they were consigned to be farm laborers. In South Africa, they were in the sub human category not daring to walk in the shadow of the white man. The Black race was therefore looking for a leadership that could catapult it into contention with the white man. It needed the chance to prove that it was human and intelligent enough to rub shoulders with the rest of humanity. The Jews suffered the Holocaust that spanned the 2nd World War, but for the Blacks that crass humiliation had seen the better part of a century. Subservient servitude was thereby forced into the genes of the Black race, but it could not stay there forever.
The color black as a nominal color is a despicable apparition to most cultures. The devil is black and so is Hell; every misfortune is colored black, and white, the opposite of black is exalted everywhere as transparent and illuminating. The color set up the divide. Apart from crude oil, black as dark as soot or coal of all the resources of this earth, is a thing to avoid even if it is garbed in gold. Were it not for the economic importance of crude oil as the life blood of the global economy, it would have remained as it was discovered- just crude. To be a black man therefore was not to be the toast and celebration of anybody but to be hoisted as an object of scorn on tilts. The white skins of the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Arab world had a field day pressing their advantage especially as they seemed to have monopolized science, economics, politics and academics generally. The world belonged to them.
Out of that frustration and indignation were born men like Dr. Martin Luther King and Dr. William Du Bois in America and Dr. Kwegyir Aggrey and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in Africa to drumbeat and ventilate the African cause right across the globe. To cuddle up the thought of black freedom and liberation in those days was definitely to swim against the tide. It had to take men of steel to adopt black emancipation as a way of life and damn the consequences. We owe a lot to these brazen faced forbears.
In other disciplines blacks were advancing to the top of science and the arts. In the US, Andrew Young as the first African American UN Ambassador made headlines. His achievement was capped with the exultation of Busumuru, Kofi Annan, as the first two terms African Secretary-General of the United Nations, the world’s most important diplomatic and civilian job. His exploits on the global stage were matched by Nelson Mandela imprisoned in South Africa for a quarter of a century, who taught liberation and political fighters how to win victory for a political cause by stooping to conquer, without firing a shot or killing and maiming innocent people.
These achievements by Africans and African Americans were snowballing and gathering as a storm until it found a vent in Barak Obama, the first African American President of the most racially discriminative country on the earth. With him the ambition of the black race for recognition as being capable of rising to the challenge of leadership and respect has come a long way to fulfillment. There have been casualties and pitfalls along the way but all those were in the nature of a struggle or a fight. Out there in the White house, this black man is carrying us all with him.
Upcoming blacks should better take a cue from this cheerleader that it takes quite a lot to carry the whole race on your shoulders. It is not a fickle or careless business and it does not fall like a coconut from the skies, ambition must be marked with dedication.
Today’s African political landscape is a sorry spectacle indeed being studded with octogenarian leaders who have nothing else to prove but staying power to the sadistic and arrogant detriment of their peoples. Their terminal exploits lend credence to the widely held notion that Africans are incapable of self or democratic governance even though pound for pound there is hardly much to choose between us and them. Good governance and acceptable civil behaviour is not an ingredient that can be injected into the DNA of an individual. It is for us as Africans to realize how much is at stake and how much we can gain by raising our total image before the world and condemning unreservedly those dragging us into the spinning doldrums with them.