Friday, October 10, 2008



Daily Nation
Nairobi, Kenya

October 9 2008 at 18:36

ARE WE SUPPOSED TO cheer the fact that the Government threw out the anti-Obama author, Jerome Corsi? Boo to the person who made that decision. Whoever you are, you have proved once again that this country is the bedrock of intolerance.

The book is a hatchet job, by most accounts. Corsi probably knows it, hence his attempt to sneak up to us with it. But that is no reason to hound the man out of town. The Big Brother mentality went out of the window ages ago.

You could simply have asked him to apply for the right visa and let him try to convince us that the man from Kogelo is evil personified. There’s no reason to underestimate our intelligence – though you can never be too sure about that when the issue is political.

Instead, you fell into a predictable trap. The man must be crowing to high heaven. Now the discredited Corsi has yet another reason to flog his book to the masses of people who want to see a conspiracy in everything under the sun.

The legend is that Corsi went against the terms of his visa, which indicated that he and a friend were here simply as visitors eager to see the best of our wildlife and game parks.

Launching the book on the man he loves to hate was officially a commercial agenda, and supposedly enough, reason to put him on a midnight flight out of Nairobi.

But there are times when our actions can be hopelessly counter-productive, and we must be on the lookout for such pitfalls. Negative publicity is the last thing we want hanging over our heads right now, no matter how justified the response to provocation.

And that is precisely what Corsi’s business was all about. He must be laughing his head off, wherever he has taken his malicious propaganda. Now he has material for a second book, if he is up to it.

The antidote to people who lie and seek cheap publicity is not to play the game by their rules. Deporting him definitely fits in that category.

Obama Nation is hardly worth the aggravation, going by every account I have come across. We have made a victim of a nondescript writer of a book that has been trashed elsewhere for its inaccuracies.

The knee-jerk reaction to people, things and situations we do not like will be the undoing of this country. We saw it in January. There is no blood on the floor this time round, but the co-ordinates are the same.

Yet there is an undeniable feel-good sentiment about his eviction in many of the people I have met since. There is a good basis for that, if you have a traditional outlook on life.

In this scenario, letting Corsi loose on the Kenyan public would amount to rolling out the red carpet for a guest only for him to turn around and hurl insults at you and your family. You would be a lucky guest if you came out of that homestead unscathed.

INDEED, THE JOKE DOING THE rounds is that the immigration guys need not have done anything more than approve the launch, the only condition being that it would be held at the biggest stadium in Kisumu and advertised widely.

This is the point at which you are supposed to laugh until the tears come to your eyes. But we cannot even afford to smile. Corsi was here for only a handful of days. We have to live day in, day out with the same kind of mindset that his book pushes.

Scare-mongering and deliberate efforts to fire up ethnic tensions is the staple of our politics. In the US, the bogeyman is communists. Here, communities are demonised wholesale because it is politically convenient for the other side to work up fury and tribal tensions in order to cheat their way into power.

Entire communities are fed daily propaganda that they can only survive and do well in Kenya if one of their own is in the top seat. To achieve that, they must stick together and find one “vehicle” that will champion and protect their interests. We are never told how different those interests are from those of other Kenyans, and why those concerned want to hoard the goodies.

We sing and dance to this kind of music virtually every weekend, yet I have never heard of an official reprimand from anyone in Government. Whenever the “incitement” charge is made, it is very selective and soon fizzles out. This is why the action against Corsi rings so hollow.
The political climate we live in is silly, when you think of it, and a greater threat than anything that is happening in America now. But you are more likely to find people who go along with hate speech rather than those who will disagree and ask the authorities to lock up the culprit.

Yet when you buy bread, milk and sugar, you do not instinctively check the label to see where it came from and whose hands processed it.

You can entrust your treasured car to a mechanic from the dreaded community and rush your ailing child to a doctor from the region made up entirely of greedy people, but unquestioningly retreat into a tribal cocoon when it comes to politics. It doesn’t make sense. But then prejudice never does.

I have my doubts about Corsi’s prowess as an academician and researcher, but it is not anything to do with Obama. He was either unusually daring or congenitally foolish to try his latest stunt. The verdict is yours.

Submitted by mikegitonga
Posted October 10, 2008 08:45 AM

Hey Lucy!spot on.i totally agree with you on this one.101%.We honestly have a very long way to go!Congratulations and i dont think i would have said it better!Happy Holidays!

Submitted by jasheme
Posted October 10, 2008 02:23 AM

I am writing from Australia and would like to inform my good sister that if an African(by the way they only know one country called Africa here where all Blacks come from)tried a similar stunt, he would not go as far as booking a venue. The plain fact is, Corsi breached the terms of his visa, period.

Submitted by obelix27
Posted October 10, 2008 02:01 AM

Okay Lucy, here is the truth. It may have looked bad throwing Corsi out, but not in the eyes of law-abiding Americans. I agree with the decision to throw him out. Why? Becoz he broke the immigration laws of another country. Do you think the US authorities would have forgiven any national for knowingly violating its visa laws?

Submitted by SJ502
Posted October 10, 2008 01:42 AM

It is said that if there was a strange commotion at the end of a dark tunnel... the Americans would go to investigate as all the black people take to their heels in the opposite direction. Corsi would have launched that book in Kondero Stadium if anyone had dared him to... hahahaha for that’s the way some people are wired, they can dare the devil himself! That was very funny Lucy.

Submitted by kenmare69
Posted October 09, 2008 10:26 PM

Corsi’s idea to launch his book in Kenya wasn't an after thought that sprung up in his head while he was already in the country. It was pre-meditated. So why didn’t he comply with immigration requirement to obtain a temporary work permit before kicking off the launch? Was he being blatantly disrespectful of our law, or was he hiding something? Immigration authorities worldwide reserve the right to exercise discretion in admitting visitors in their respective countries, and clearly, that’s what Nyayo House did based on the dubious nature of Corsi’s visit.