August 4, 2009
Avoiding the Next ObamaBy L.E. Ikenga
In times like these, it is tempting to focus only on the issue at hand. But if you do, you do so at your own peril. As I watch what is happening to this great country, I find myself just shaking my head more and more while thinking, Mark Twain was absolutely right: "history does not always repeat itself, but it does often rhyme."
My Igbo parents came to this great country from Nigeria. They arrived a few years after Nigeria's independence from Great Britain. In Nigeria, it was a time of unprecedented cultural and political turmoil, which allowed politicians very much like Barack Obama to continue to seep into Nigeria's political system. These politicians all promised a change from the past. And unfortunately, they ended up fulfilling their promises. What these politicians ended up changing was the very fabric of the African societies, which they had been taught to see as unsophisticated and inferior.
I call these men, who appeared all over Africa in the wake of independence, African Colonial politicians (ACP's). They were the direct offspring of the European Imperialists, imposing radical European leftist political theory on tribal cultures. ACP's and their unscrupulous followers were able to almost completely destroy many African cultures.
For the most part, these ACP's were intellectual frauds, completely unworthy of the honors bestowed upon them. But they sounded and looked good; so the people listened to them. With their fancy Oxbridge degrees, grandiloquent speeches given with perfectly accented "Queen's English", finely tailored European suits, and fabled family histories, ACP's took the masses by storm.
ACP's convinced their constituents that they were as dumb as baboons and did not have what it took to make good decisions for themselves and for the future. They made Africans feel embarrassed about their entire histories and conservative values. They persuaded Africans to follow the "European way" of doing things, and assured that this blueprint for progress was one that could not fail.
The people believed them. And so, over the course of many decades, and by means of the standard instruments of cultural indoctrination that included liberal education, elite professional career paths, and new religious and political paradigms, Africans began to consume ideas and theories that implicitly alienated them from their own roots. Today, many of those Africans and their respective cultures are well on their way to being nothing more than topics for discussion at some freshman anthropology seminar at some elite university.
Colonialism in Africa ended but the ACP remained. He is now a touchstone in African political culture -- and so are his imperialist policies. The ACP will never go away. He dominates all politics, all of the time. His presence is ubiquitous. He is being cloned by the thousands everyday at universities in Africa and in other parts of the world. Marxist mentors rear him in his professional and private life. Thus, he has been taught to see himself as a benevolent Pan-Africanist. Instead, he is an uncontrollable cancer, steadily pushing African cultures to the point of extinction.
This all happened because African conservatives lost their way, took their cultures for granted, and underestimated the cupidity of their wanton politicians. They failed to make adjustments that would have helped to preserve their necessary values. The challenge for any culture is knowing when and how to make these adjustments, because if you do not, you die.
Africans allowed themselves to be hoodwinked by smooth-talking elitist charlatans; they are now paying a very dear price for this.
Politically speaking, most of Africa is now the laughingstock of the world with little to show for all of the progress that was once so intensely promised. In his 1947 essay, Path to Nigerian Freedom, Chief Obafemi Awolowo declared that,
Chief Awolowo, where is that development now?
It is a very painful thing to know that something that you hold dear will soon cease to exist. It is even more painful to know that you are only one of a small few who can actually see that it is happening. This is what I am faced with. My Igbo heritage, passed down especially by my mother, has become a very precious thing to me, particularly because it is something that will soon cease to exist. I am sure that my great-grandchildren's children will have to go to some Museum of Natural History to know who I was, and so I continue to fight to make sure that they have something to see.
All of this is because my ancestors did not make the necessary adjustments. And most importantly, they never saw that there was always a large troupe of African colonial politicians, each impatiently waiting in the wings for the chance to audition for the role of a lifetime. (Obama's 2004 DNC speech was an audition.)
The Barack Obamas of the world helped to kill off so many cultures throughout the African continent. He is now here, with his Bacchic attendants, working hard to kill (conservative) American culture. He is killing everything that this country stands for. He is doing it under the guise of altruism. However, there is nothing altruistic about Obama. Instead, what we are witnessing is the greatest comedy of fateful errors that the world has seen in quite some time. The gods must be laughing like crazy.
The move towards the Euro-style imperialist socialism that has taken over this country has been a long time coming. For decades, oblivious youth have been indoctrinated at American universities to sympathize with far-left values; the entertainment industry is filled with leftist blowhards who wear the mask of intellect; liberals of all stripes have become unselfconscious in mocking (Christian) religious customs, and the juggernaut that is the left-stream media has been sealing the deal for years, helping to make this Republic increasingly vulnerable to demagoguery and despotism.
During the campaign, there was a reason why Obama's handlers kept telling him to say, "We are the ones we have been waiting for!" So many are waiting in the wings for their chance to audition. Obama is now the playing the lead role. But new faces will come and take his place when he is done.
This is why our nation is under siege with "all Obama, all the time". They want you to focus on him so that you do not see what is coming. As difficult as it may be to believe, Obama is probably not the worst that this far-left faction will use to win future elections. There will be others who will be more "eloquent", more charismatic, more racially mixed, more (once) oppressed by "the man"...
In closing, I offer a wish list. If I could go back in time and meet some of my ancestors, here are a few things that I would tell them to watch out for and consider. And to my fellow American Conservatives, here are a few things to help us avoid the next Obama:
Brand name market academics: the killers of common sense
I cannot emphasize enough how these types of people continue to destroy cultures throughout the world. I have seen it happen; I am seeing it happen. Most of their ideas are based on book theories and not reality. They cannot relate to everyday people. Bottom line: if someone needs to tell you where they went to school in order to explain why they voted a certain way, change the subject, or better yet, if you can, just walk away.
Spread your message, especially to the young
One of the biggest mistakes that many Igbos continue to make is not teaching their kids about their ancestry and culture. In the West especially, some of those kids do not speak the language, understand any of the traditions, nor do they have the desire to visit the land of their forefathers. By default, these children have become Igbos in name only. A person without knowledge of their history and culture is like a tree without roots-a shell of a thing that can be easily blown away. Ironically, irreverence towards one's culture and history is always part of a tradition that is passed down from one generation to the next. Be the one to put an end to this tradition.
In praise of patriarchs
The whole truth, not half of it. The Igbos are a patriarchal people, and I grew up listening to fantastic tales of how my great forefathers lived impeccable lives. I understand why this was necessary but some of those tales just bordered on the absurd. I might as well have been reading the Aeneid. Patriarchs are people, and it is equally important that we learn from their successes AND their failures. Avoiding talk of their failures leads to a loss of trust from those who really want to learn. The reality is that many Igbo patriarchs made crucial mistakes, which allowed the Imperialists to gain access and power; this must be acknowledged. The American Founders achieved tremendous goals. The United States Constitution is the Crown Jewel of Western civilization. The Founders paved the way for liberty and justice for all; this was no small feat. But mistakes were still made, and the legacy of some of those mistakes still haunt us today. Telling the whole truth is what sets people free.
The Imperialists let the genie out. It is now up to you to put it back in the bottle. The Igbos allowed many things to be redefined for them by Imperialists who then took these new definitions and ran with them in order to make the Africans feel inferior. One of my favorites is how the Imperialists began calling African medicinal herbalists, "witchdoctors". (I always crack up when I hear this word!)
Something similar is starting to happen with the word racism. The far-lefties are now using this word willy-nilly to defame innocent people. Racism, in my opinion, is something very specific: an assault -- of any kind -- that attacks the humanity of a specific ethnic group. A racist is someone who believes in and sees the good in these attacks. And then there is bigotry; and there are bigots. By thoughtlessly throwing around the word racism we truly dishonor the memory of those who, throughout human history, actually went through the real thing. Imperialists and their liberal offspring, have no real intellectual integrity. They will stoop to any low to get their message across. Do not let these fools tell you what is and what isn't.
African Colonial Politicians and Black Liberationist Preachers: Best Friends Forever
This point is more for future African and American generations. ACP's and BLP's go together like peanut butter & jelly. Black Liberation Theology (and all of its strange offshoots) is wreaking havoc in Africa and it will soon do the same here. The pastor and politician work like a tag-team to rob people of their dignity, culture, and political capital. Both teach their congregants/constituents to wear their (imagined) victim status like a badge of honor. By using all sorts of hocus-pocus and mumbo-jumbo techniques, they exact votes, cash, and "AMENS!" from lost and impressionable people. The less of a real history that people have to "cling to" the more they will seek these soothsayer/snake oil sales people out.
Countries like Nigeria most definitely have what I call a "pastor problem", and it looks like America is starting to have one too. As many have already figured out, the Obama-Wright relationship was no chance coincidence. Despite the Showtime at the Apollo theatrics in which they engaged the nation during the election, right now, both are laughing all the way to the bank.
Chukwu duwe anyi (May God be with us).
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