Monday, October 13, 2008



By Jerry Okungu
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
October 12, 2008

African journalists; this is your turn to invade the United States at this historic moment. Get there in droves and report through your lenses what truly happens in America during elections. Now is not the time to rely on doctored wire stories from the American press. Be there and be an eye witness and see if there is real democracy as we have been told over and over again.

I was pleasantly surprised to read a dispatch from veteran journalist Macharia Gaitho of the Nation reporting from Obama’s campaign trail. We need more journalists from the Star, Sunday Times, Sowetan, the African and the East African in America right now. We need This Day and Tell of Nigeria to give us eye witness accounts.

The reason African journalists should cover the American elections is to pay back what the American press always does. Western journalists always descend on an African country during elections not to report democracy at work but rather in expectation of chaos, vote stealing and subsequent violence. The moment they realize there is no violence, they pack their cameras and leave. Nothing to report!

The reason Africa needs its own observers in the US elections is because there are so many things rumored to be going wrong already. There is too much racism if not ethnic tribalism going on in America right now. This racism is so naked that a fifty year old woman can stand in the crowd and call Obama a dangerous Arab! If there is anything that White supremacists will not stand; it is the possibility that a black man in the person of Barack Obama can become the next president of the United States of America.

To show how revolting this idea is to some of them, especially to John McCain supporters; they are urging McCain to “get him!” Now, getting some one in the United States only means one thing and we are all aware of what that means. However the paradox of Obama candidacy is that he is probably the most race-blind black American today. He is at home among White Americans as he is among blacks. His support cuts across all races and all classes, yet this is the man the supremacists want McCain to “get”, what irony!

Like in 2000 when Florida votes were rigged in favour of George Bush, there is widespread report that electoral registers in many States across America are being doctored for all manner of excuses. It would appear that in democratic America, you can be expunged from the voter’s register without your consent. You only get to know it when you turn up to vote. According to the latest reports, most of the voters affected are likely to democrats. Now this is a good story for this continent. We would like to know whether the United States Electoral Commission has any similarity or resemblance to Kenya’s or Nigeria’ Electoral Commission!

Because of Obama candidacy, the whole world is watching America’s every move. For historical reasons, Obama winning the presidency will upset many establishment operatives.

For white Americans, the United States is a white man’s country and any minority groups such as African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans will always be second class citizens. Worse still, any African American is viewed as a descendant of a former slave that does not deserve the oval office; hence Obama’s resentment among White supremacists.

In deciding to run for president, Obama has gambled everything including his life. Such charismatic leaders don’t come by that often. When they do, society never gives them a chance to blossom. Because of their wits, they generate more resentment than love. They make the majority of us look foolish in their presence. We hate them simply because they are better than us!

In relating to the multitudes, Obama has his place beside Martin Luther King, the Kennedy brothers, Malcolm X and Mahatma Gandhi. Back in East Africa, he reminds us of Tom Mboya and JM Kariuki. These were crowd pullers whose lives were cut short in senseless ethnic and racist murders.

The reason the whole world is watching America’s every move is because this year’s presidential elections have turned ugly. McCain’s slogan of “Country First” has been tossed through the window. In its place now is “Politics First”. The gentle American war hero has become the racist George Wallace of the 1960s! Very scary indeed! The more things change; the more they remain the same!


Anonymous said...
October 13, 2008 at 12:13 PM  

First of all Africa has no business in our elections in America because there is an african running for president. Just the idea that Barack Obama would someday become president is absolutely disturbing and I am a black woman of American decent, forget that nonsense African American. This is the country I was born in and that is all the geneology I need to know for now. Obama is a dangerous man that he can incite such hatred and racism from blacks around the world who look at the white man with hate only because deep down inside they really want to be him. There is the real root to this evil. Mccain '08!!!