Hmm, you’d think Africans would be happy about a black US president

We’re almost one year into the presidency of Barack Obama, the son of an expatriate African college student, and one thing we can definitely agree upon is his prescience about how long the novelty of his heritage would last. He predicted about 24 hours.
A given was that his tenure would produce almost immediate improvements in relations with the African continent.
The news that a Nigerian recent graduate of a British university has been arrested for attempting to blow up an airliner over Detroit, one of the blackest cities in the country, is the latest evidence that supposition is far too shallow a reading of people, culture and international affairs.
Kenyan politicians continued their squabbles; Somalian pirates continued hijacking ships, including an American flagged vessel that required a rescue by U.S. Navy Seals; Congo’s civil war continued to pile up refugees and victims, Sudan’s fragile cease fire continued to disintegrate and Zimbabwe’s descent spirals downward.
The fact that the ticket for the flight upon which the attempted bombing occurred was bought in Ghana, the one African country the President has visited is an irony that should make the point that none of those crisis lend themselves to immediate or magical solution.
In a broader sense, it points out the uselessness of race as a predictor of behavior.
As we reflect on the commonalities of the African experience worldwide during Kwanzaa, we should also appreciate the differences which send individuals and nations in often different directions.
To understand, motivate and inspire people, one must reach a lot deeper than skin color.

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