14 Sep 2008

That Race Card - A Joker

Kelley’s misleading article “Race card could hurt Obama” and the comically vicious abuse of John McCain repeated by Mutuma Mathiu (Sunday Nation 14 Sept) go beyond the understandable desire most Kenyans have to see Obama win the US Presidency. The media have a duty to inform but the blatant partisanship on display is likely to leave Kenyans none the wiser if Obama, whose campaign is faltering, does not make it.

There is no evidence whatsoever that McCain’s campaign has made any derogatory remarks about Obama’s race. Like him or not, McCain is acknowledged even by his enemies as a true American hero, and a veteran maverick politician of considerable personal honour. Are all the voters in Central Province tribalists because they never voted for Mr. Odinga? Are the Germans racist because they have not a single non-white senior cabinet minister and the same for most Western European countries? Are the people of Nyanza ethnicists because they refused to vote for Mr. Kibaki? What nonsense – yet Americans are threatened with being branded “racists” if they do not elect Mr. Obama. This is plain anti-American bigotry, holding Americans to standards that are not even asked of others. Perhaps Mr. Kelley can inform us if Kenyans vote, on the whole, for tribal personalities or for parties?

Mr. Kelly was better served informing Kenyans of various facts of American politics: that the USA historically votes for Republican presidents most of the time, that there are almost equal numbers of Republican and Democrat party members who vote for their party above all, that Obama made a huge blunder in not taking Hilary Clinton as his running mate and that he is, however brilliant, fresh and eloquent , the most inexperienced person to ever run for US President, against a veteran Republican who has cunningly chosen a woman running mate.

If Kenyans do not vote based upon whoever Ugandans or Chinamen might like to see in State House, why should Americans take the least notice of what foreigners want? Obama is not standing for President of the World, which he might win – first he has to convince US voters.

Some 87% of US voters are non-black. Obama could never have got where he is on their paltry votes. True as Mr. Kelley states, only a few black Republicans attended their convention – most vote Democratic since 1945 and they are free to have that choice. President Bush put more blacks into positions of power than any President to date, as see Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, to name two. The idea the Republicans are against blacks is a smear.

As for Mr. Mathiu gleeful reprinting of McCain’s convention speech as basically being delivered by a senile, out of touch old fool addressing a despicable bunch of cronies ( who only happen to represent about 0% of American voters!) he should keep it up if he wants Obama to lose. Americans reading it might feel so insulted as to vote for McCain.

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