As sent to us from Julius Awafong. Listen to Chuck read this on the show on April 28th or listen to Awafong read it in the player below.
A Letter to President Barrack Hussein Obama – 44th President of the USA
Dear Mr President;
November 4th 2008: most Africans, especially blacks, woke up from bed in excitement and tension. Why? They were anxious to see a black man becoming the boss of the White House in the USA for the first time in history. In beer parlours, street corners, market squares, taxis, buses, schools and offices, everyone had one name on their lips – Barack Hussein Obama.
I downloaded most of your campaign speeches and the one that really carried most of us away was the November 3rd Campaign Trail speech in Virginia. After listening to the speech, my friend, a veteran journalist, referring to you, said: “This guy’s voice sounds like that of an angel! People like him appear only once in 50 years. It will take us half a century to get someone like him again, someone that can move the world with hope!” Many people who learned that I had your biography and campaign speeches on video came begging, one after the other, to know more about you.
On the 4th-5th night of November 2008, most of us in my neighborhood didn’t sleep, since we decided to meditate and call on God to do us good by pushing all Americans to cast their votes for you – Mr President. I stood up the whole night watching the TV, and 30 minutes before the results were declared, I fell into a nap because of fatigue; I woke up due to a great shouting, as if Cameroon had won the football World Cup. I jumped up and turned my eyes to the TV, and discovered you had won the Presidential elections in the USA. That was about 4 a.m., a risky time to stroll at night, but even the “men of the underworld” forgot about their illicit jobs and were in jubilation for your victory. Peter Essoka, a veteran journalist in Cameroon, said in one of his radio reflections: “It has actually not dawned on me yet, that a Black man, or ‘what-cha-call-it’– African American, coloured, etc.–is going to take residence at the White House. You must be joking, right? You know, it is like drama, what Shakespeare described as ‘A Comedy of Errors’ and the best shocking joke of the 21st century.” Mr. President, black men were proud to be black.
Mr President, Africans, in their majority, thought Africa would be saved from the exploitation and manipulation of their former colonial masters, who had a longstanding tradition of dictating and imposing their own leaders in most African nations. The name Obama is first and foremost an African name, a family name in Cameroon, but it was immediately transformed into what we call a Christian or given name; it was given to many children who were born that night. The name Obama was made equal to Christian names like Joseph, Peter, Paul, and others from the Bible, just because of you, Mr President. All this excitement was because we thought Africa would be saved by its own son, the son of a father who abandoned his family in the blessed land–the USA—to come back and help build Africa.
Mr President, in the year 2000, most people who were against George W. Bush and the Republicans agreed that he lost his election against Al Gore, but that did not stop the USA from accepting the ruling of the Supreme Court; no president of any country of the world, no leader, uttered a word, because they respected the USA and its institutions. Yet today, in the Ivory Coast, most people who are against President Laurent Gbagbo have refused to recognise his victory over his opponent Alassane Dramane Ouattara, and you, Mr. President, openly took sides. You spit in the face of a whole nation, you spit on a constitution put in place by hard-working, intelligent and vibrant citizens.
Mr Obama, you once said you are opposed to wars that are ideologically driven and based on power and politics instead of reason and you regretted the fact that the USA is mired in a tragic and costly war that should have never been waged because you certainly value the lives of your soldiers. American parents just like African parents have the same love for their children and none of them want a war in their territory or senseless wars out of their territory that will take away the lives of their children, which they suffered to raise. You didn’t think about this, Mr Obama, because it was not a war fought on the American soil. It’s easier to provoke war on some people’s land but difficult to do same on your own land because you value you children and close ones.
Mr President, the consequence of your ‘lack of foresight’ is that innocent children — just like your girls, pregnant women, parents,—have lost their lives; they are still dying today. The list of orphans has drastically increased and many people, through their inhuman acts, have bestowed curses upon themselves just because you want somebody – Ouattara, to earn the title “President of the Republic”. When this same disputed elections happened in the USA in 2000, nobody died, and we did not hear your voice calling on Democrats to take guns and remove President Bush from the White House so that Al Gore would earn the title “President of the USA”. On the contrary, in your speech during the “Take Back America Conference” on June 14 2006, you qualified President Bush as “a good man who loves his country” and said that his administration was “full of smart folks.” Your reaction on the Ivorian crisis makes us understand that President Gbagbo and his administration is completely the reverse of what you think of the Bush’s – what an insult on Africans.
Mr President, I do not understand where you get the guts, without an iota of respect, to ask an elected president of a sovereign nation, older in age than you, who holds a Ph.D. like you, to step down from power. You claim you are trying to promote democracy, but do you really think democracy, which basically means the wellbeing of the majority of people, is achieved through a change of presidents?
Please do not get me wrong. I am not putting the entire blame on you. I simply blame the short-sighted Africans who rely on your words—words that bring disunity and hatred—to destroy their nations and kill their brothers and sisters. Today, you and your cohorts (the so-called international community) have connived to destroy a country, a country that poor and miserable Africans have taken decades to build. I blame Africans who do not want to see that you were voted in by Americans and not by Africans. I blame Africans who think that Barack Obama is acting in the best interests of Africa.
Before I end my appeal, I want to let you know that some Africans have started wondering if the Barack Obama of today is the same Barack Obama they were anxious to see as the boss of the White House in 2008. In reference to the attack on Libya and the violence in Ivory Coast, one of my journalist Facebook friends made this statement that I translate literally from French: “I have withdrawn my support for Barack Obama, who is working hand in glove with a nation like France that has always been working to destroy and destabilise Africa.”
Some comments made on this Facebook posting by some Africans are:
“It’s been long I earlier saw this individual of Obama as a danger to Africa”. “Obama, if you want, win all elections, but that will never remove the shame and disgrace you’ve bestowed on us”. “I travelled from Cameroon to Washington just to take part in his inauguration. I bitterly regret what I did”, “Obama is an incarnation of deception and shame…”.
Nevertheless, fighting for better governments is not a bad idea. It becomes bad when we use unconstitutional and unconventional means to fight for good governments, like encouraging a rebellion—a heavily armed rebellion–to take over a government.
So, please, Mr President: Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Libya, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, and many others are blessed with intellectuals, hard-working citizens and children who do not want to die because of a war driven by greed and, who have the same love for their countries that Americans have for the USA. We have our own cultures, customs, and traditions that do not need missiles and bullets to solve our misunderstandings. Please listen to the clarion call of Africans around the world, and respect our institutions just like we respect yours.
In God, we Africans too trust.
Awafong Julius Teneng
Vote Sizing Institute
In case it is beyond your comprehension, President Obama is an elected official who is here to serve HIS county — his country is the United States of America, not Africa. How dare you chastise our President for any slights you think he has in failing to take up issues for Africa? His job is to look after America. You owe him and the American people an apology. Barrack Hussein Obama is an amazing man, a consummate humanitarian and a brilliant global diplomat. He will help you when he can but he has a few pans on the fire at the moment.
Your criticism is unfounded and ignorant in the extreme.
“President Obama is an elected official who is here to serve HIS county
— his country is the United States of America, not Africa.” is exactly what Julius reminding him. African presidents are also elected official who are elected to serve Africa and not to be the teacher to Africa’s presidents. Please kindly call him to look after America and not after Africa.
Look, Sparky. We are Americans, do you understand that? A melting pot of races, cultures, nations, religions and ethnicities. “Obama” may very well be an name of African origin and that is fine, well and good and I am sure my President is proud of his heritage and lineage– HOWEVER– my maiden name is Higgins and I’m happy for my Anglican ancestors but I AM an American. You cannot get more British than Cynthia Higgins but I drink coffee, not tea and sing “God Bless America” not “God Save The Queen”. President Obama is NOT AFRICAN, what about that is so complicated and difficult for you to comprehend? Are you so blindly racist that you think our American President owes homage, loyalty, his support, his soul to Africa over and beyond his own country simply because of his color?
Our President gave his opinion. You may not like it, and that’s fine, America supports and encourages dissent (we built a nation on it) but to verbally berate the man for what he thinks? This shrieks of a sophomoric, myopic small-minded and belligerent attitude that does a disservice to your compatriots. We have a little thing going on over here called “Freedom Of Speech” and guess what? WE ALL HAVE IT. And surprise, surprise, so indeed does our President.
How evolved and cosmopolitan of you that you in your benevolent wisdom do not blame President Obama of the USA for the multiplicities of strife that has befallen your people.
“I blame Africans who do not want to see that you were voted in by
Americans and not by Africans. I blame Africans who think that Barack
Obama is acting in the best interests of Africa.” Did I miss something in grade school? US history? Was there some loop-hole that evades me? Really, that part about Africans voting in an American President flew right by me, I must have been out with the measles. You’re surprised that an American President was voted in by Americans and not Africans.
Jesus Christ. Our Black citizens, sweet-cheeks, are AMERICANS. They may have been Africans at one point — I was Native American a century ago- but no matter what our skin color, o matter where we came from, WE ARE AMERICANS.
Obama is trying to help you as best he can. If you disagree, fine. I have issues with decisions he has made as well. That having been said, I caution you. Your anger is misdirected and impotent. You need not come after a generously decent, kind and good-hearted man because you’re feeling pissy about his policy and/or diplomacy with regard to your nation. Take it up with your own damned people and step OFF my President.
How generously decent is this president who:
1. ran for office based on promises to change America but instead produced more wars, more lies, and no more help for Americans or anyone else?
2. failed to prosecute the previous corrupt administration
3. kept up the same huge spending on the same immoral plan for world domination
What kind of help is Obama performing in Africa? The INVASION kind. Just the same sort of thing he has going in a half dozen other places.
Storm828, You got me wrong. I am writing from Africa, and explaining how narrow-minded some of us, here in Africa, who were so excited about Obama’s victory, thought Africa’s problem will be solved because an African’s son is president of a great nations and was going to help Africa from the exploitative tendencies and unorthodox manouevres of some western powers, including America itself.
Talking about apologies, I think America owes more apologies to Africa than the other way round. I’ll give you some facts later.
Contrary to Storm828, I think the American Government owes Africa an ocean of apologies.
encounter with the Western world materialized with the European invasion of
America as labor became the focal commodity in international trade. The
Atlantic Slave Trade which started in the 15th century and developed
until the 19th century introduced Africa into the world market as
net provider of slave labor and cheep raw materials. Between 10 to 16 million
Africans were exported as commodities in the Americas between 1451 and 1870.
The population of slaves was estimated to include 60 percent male and 40
percent female. (Zeleza, 1993). As Zaleza observed many Western scholars tend
to minimize the impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade on Africa’s present social
situation and industrial retardation. Western development specialists often shy
away from the human rights violation and crime against humanity. They have
managed to reverse responsibility by transferring to Africans the guilt feeling
of discussing slavery and presenting it as a global economic problem. These
Western experts are projecting corruption which has infiltrated all strata of
the African States and leaders as the only factor responsible for the level of
poverty and despair the continent is experiencing. The real issue is to know
how can forty years of state mismanagement and corruption erase and annihilate the
impact of 400 years of slavery? (Zaleza 1993). How can we forget this costly
and tragic experience when analyzing Africa’s integration into global trade?
Fall, “Globalisation, Its Institutions and African Women’s Resistance in Africa: Gender, Globalization and Resistance,
No matter getting your point so well, you will for ever be the most stupid person one has ever come across on earth.If I may ask, what have you done for your own country as a Cameroonian?My friend please it was better you had shut-up your.You wanna remove the speck in some ones else eye while you forgot the log of wood in yours.
Please refrain from the personal attacks. However, I’m glad to see you post a comment even if I disagree completely. Julius appeared as a guest on Thursday’s NAD show, and I urge you to listen to it to see what he is doing for Cameroon…the recording should be available shortly.
If you read my letter well, you will understand that I am simply calling on Obama to stop trying to solve African problems for Africans with missiles. America is made up of mothers and fathers just like Africa and I don’t American parents (Obama and Co.) have lessons to give African parents. If an American President in the 50s did bomb Kenya, Obama might not have existed today to make you proud. So if you really love Obama, ask him not to bomb his father’s continent.
Hey Julio,I would like to know what you think about other African head of states who openly challenged Gbagbo to step down?? do you know there were talks of forcefully evicting gbagbo by a union of Afican forces? When shall Africans learn to do things the right way to avoid others from doing it for them? Obama gave his opinion,just as you and others were of the opinion that Bush junior did not make it in the elections. Just to remind you that those who bought slaves,and those who sold slaves,were equally guilty. Africans sold Africans to the whites,and turn around to blame them.
Ntamcharles, it’s Julius not Julio…but you have asked interesting questions. ‘When shall Africans learn to do things the right way to avoid others from doing it for them?” I respond, “When shall people stop interfering in other’s lives? When shall people stop being convinced that they know the only right way for everyone else to live?” It’s unreasonable, pretentious, and incredibly self-centered for Americans to think they should dominate the world.
I agree with you but my problem is the killing of many African children bcause of a leader. Visit next month and read an article of mine on the change of presidents.
Slavery was a curse for Africa and may be a blessing for America. If a blessing for America then I think America should respect the lives and cultural believes of the children of Africa, especially Obama whose dad hailed from Kenya. Missiles and bombs only help destroy that to construct. Thank you Ntam.
For those who think Julius’ letter is worthless, please ask yourself the following questions:
Are UN decisions above the American Constitution?
Are UN decision above the French Constitution?
Are UN decisions above the Canadian Constitution?
Why should UN decisions be above the Ivorian Constitution?
Is there one set of rules for some and another set of rules for others?
Is everyone equal, but developed countries more equal than developing countries?
Do you really believe that your laws are fine so far as they are approved by developed countries?
Do you really believe that you are a human being so long as the developed world says so?
Is it why the developed world can kill or cause the deaths of scores and children in Africa without any outrage?
Wake upmy friend. Before anyone can take you seriously, you have to start taking yourself seriously.
Good points here! Thanks for sharing.