|AR Articles on Elections|
|Nationalist Politics in America (Part I) (Sep. 2002)|
|Nationalist Politics in America (Part II) (Oct. 2002)|
|It’s Race, Stupid (Jan. 2001)|
|Republican or Third Party? (Dec. 1999)|
|We Should Not Support Patrick Buchanan (Feb 2000)|
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On the eve of Super Tuesday, the whole world watches to see who will emerge as the Democratic front-runner, and possibly the next president of the United States. Here in Kenya, people are especially excited, given Barack Obama’s family roots.
“He’s one of us,” they would tell me. “He’s a Kenyan.”
But in the last month, something has changed. Since the ethnic violence that has gripped the nation after the disputed presidential election in December, not everyone I speak to supports Obama. I now hear surprising comments such as, “A black man will never be president.” I meet Kenyans who say they support Hillary, but can’t articulate why.
“I don’t think Kenyans have supported Obama so much,” Evans K. Kamba, a businessman from Nairobi, told me. “I think it’s only one tribe that supports him here, but not other tribes.”
Kamba is a Kikuyu, and even though he didn’t vocalize it, the rabid tribalism that has spawned the ethnic violence that’s killed nearly 1,000 people, and left hundreds of thousands more displaced in Kenya, has crept its way into the debate over American politics.
Obama’s father was a Luo, the tribe of opposition leader Raila Odinga. But the animosity exhibited today between the Kikuyu and Luo, two of Kenya’s biggest tribes, is as old as Kenya’s independence, over 40 years ago. When the country gained independence from the British, Jomo Kenyatta, a Kikuyu, and Kenya’s first president, named Oginga Odinga (Raila Odinga’s father) as his vice president. But differences in how the country should be led resulted in a split that became so nasty, at one point, Kenyatta had Odinga arrested and detained.
The stereotypes that were established more than 40 years ago Kikuyus are thiefs, they steal land, they are corrupt; Luos are wild, uncivilized, unclean are words I am hearing, sometimes subtly, and others blatantly, today.
There are reports that, in Kikuyu strongholds prior to the election, ethnic propaganda went out flyers and talk radio, in the local language, warning, “We will never be ruled by a Luo,” and “Raila will kill all Kikuyus if he wins.” Last weekend, Kikuyu gangs went on a rampage of revenge attacks in two major Rift Valley towns, and in the Nairobi slums.
In the Rift Valley, where most of the worst ethnic violence has taken place, it’s not Luos targeting Kikuyus in the area, but a tribe called the Kalenjin, who have land grievances also dating back to independence.
The tribalism exploited by Kenya’s leaders throughout history the militias, the propaganda have exploded in the leaders’ faces and left the country spinning out of control. Endless tales of hacking next door neighbors with machetes, of mobs chasing innocent people of different tribes into churches and homes, and burning them alive, and clashes using poisoned bows and arrows, are almost daily headlines.
Even this reporter has to be careful. Though I am black American, I am constantly mistaken for a Kikuyu. I have to always wear press credentials (which have been checked by rioters before), and scream that I am American, with my accent, to get people to believe me. I don’t even say “asante sana” “thank you” in Swahili, the national language of Kenya for fear someone will mistake me as being Kenyan from the “wrong” tribe.
(Posted on February 5, 2008)
‘The stereotypes that were established more than 40 years ago Kikuyus are thiefs, they steal land, they are corrupt; Luos are wild, uncivilized, unclean are words I am hearing, sometimes subtly, and others blatantly, today.’
I think both “stereotypes” are probably true.
Posted by Conrad R. at 6:46 PM on February 5
Most likely Hilary promised them free healthcare…
Posted by Tom D at 9:49 PM on February 5
The race realist will say about this situation that the people can’t get along with each other and haven’t been able to for years. Nothing anybody can do will improve the situation. Their society is constantly on the brink. The least bit of difference between them could well cause internecine clashes, as is happening now. The only sensible thing is to have separate but equal societies. Separate them and keep a close watch that they do not intermingle or an explosive situation will again occur. Separation is the ONLY answer. It is certainly what the people want and segregating them would cause an IMMEDIATE end to all hostilities.
The liberal radical will say about the same situation that integration and sensitivity training will correct the volatile problem. Teaching love and tolerance, especially to the youth, will create an eventual population that will be kinder and gentler toward one another. Making hate crime laws to assure a perpetrator is punished for thinking, verbalizing, or acting on anything that has to do with their differences will also aid in helping to eliminate hostilities. Viciously condemining the attitudes that do not conform to an integrationist agenda will assure that such attitudes will soon be eliminated.
The race realist knows that it isn’t possible to change human nature for any appreciable length of time and making contentious elements behave can only be done by holding bayonets to their throats, as Tito of Yugoslavia proved and also Stalin of the Soviet Union, as well as Mao of China, plus others down through history. But he knows just as well that the threat of force cannot continue uninterrupted forever and as soon as it is lifted for whatever reason old rivalries spring anew with more mayhem and murder than before. Manipulative integration is at best a temporary fix if the power is there to enforce it. The undercurrent of hate will always be there ready to spring to action the moment the restrictions are lifted.
The radical liberal believes against all evidence to the contrary that he and his ilk alone can make all peoples of whatever stripe all hold hands and sing in perfect harmony with just the right amount of physical and mental coersion, along with the proper training, designed by them of course. He can’t stand the thought of people wanting to live apart from one another, because they just don’t like each other, even if it means a more peaceful situation. He wants universal togetherness himself and he won’t allow anyone to entertain any kind of separateness. If he had a motto it would be, “Support love and tolerance or I’ll kill you.”
So if you think the race realist is indeed a realist, more mature and intelligent, and quite milder than the radical liberal, who exhibits some serious signs of mental and emotional disorders, you would be right.
And, if you believed the world, and especially this country, is in a sorry state of affairs because the radical liberals have control, you would be right again.
Yes, the inmates are in charge of the asylum. That’s where nearly ALL the problems lie.
Posted by Robert Kelly at 9:56 PM on February 5
Frankly, I can understand their fears. I am not looking forward to being ruled by a Luo either.
Wild, uncivilized, unclean … .
And who should know better than the Kalenjin and Kikuyu,anyway? Far be it from me to impose my white male hegemony on their true salt-of-the-Earth native beliefs.
Posted by Big Bill at 11:10 PM on February 5
It seems we need to have large groups of Luos and Kikuyus emigrate to America. Diversity is strength. Maybe we can put them all together in the same city. Coming soon to a neighborhood near you.
Posted by El Derbo at 11:17 PM on February 5
“Kenya’s first president, named Oginga Odinga”
I thought Oginga Odinga was the bass player for Oingo Boingo.
Or maybe the drummer…
Posted by Right-Wing Rocker at 8:47 AM on February 6
Free trade: one Hillary for 3 shrunken heads. But they have to take the pantsuits too.
Posted by gg at 8:59 AM on February 6
Sounds like the Luos and Kikuyus could use some risk assessment and crisis intervention therapy. When she becomes president, maybe Hillary will send some of her liberal sisters toting copies of Roberts’ 7-Stage Crisis Resolution Handbook over to Kenya to end the violence. After all, “it takes a village!”
Posted by Francis at 10:05 AM on February 6
Hillary Clinton is better for white people than Barak Obama. Obama’s advisor, Jeremiah Wright, is very anti-white and anti-American. If we are going to have a democrat is charge of this country, it is very important that it not be Obama. The media has coddled Obama because he is black while Hillary has at least taken more than her share of punches and is a white mother.
Posted by Angry White Father at 1:29 PM on February 6
I wonder if Hillary can dance to tom-tom drums???
Posted by lydia at 5:13 PM on February 6
Posted by Angry White Fath: Hillary Clinton is better for white people than Barak Obama. Obama’s advisor, Jeremiah Wright, is very anti-white and anti-American. If we are going to have a democrat is charge of this country, it is very important that it not be Obama. The media has coddled Obama because he is black while Hillary has at least taken more than her share of punches and is a white mother.
I agree! People love to bash Hillary (she is a dem AND a woman! twice the pleasure), and some around here might even say she is as bad or worse than Obama.
If Obama gets in then those people will find out what BAD really is.
Posted by Sonya at 8:17 AM on February 7