An African Immigrant, Reverend Wright, and Obama


I traveled recently to the beautiful African nation of Tanzania with my daughter, an extraordinary and memorable journey that I would recommend to anyone.  We went on safari to the Serengeti, visited Masai villages, and then scaled Mount Kilimanjaro, the “roof of Africa,” nearly 20,000 feet, an arduous but richly rewarding experience.  The icy scenery was spectacular, the snows and glaciers towering over us like bright monuments, and (unhappily for global warming faithful) showing no signs of receding.

My interactions with the locals were completely enjoyable; the Tanzanians were as friendly and gentle as could be.  In my discussions with my guides, I was intrigued to learn that, as in almost every country I have visited including Islamic nations, little animates the young and ambitious abroad more than the hope of someday visiting and perhaps living in the US - not Europe, China, or Russia, mind you, nor Saudi Arabia, but the US. 

As this was my first sub-Saharan nation, I did not know what to expect given our nation's racial past.  Yet in this unscientific survey, at least, it seemed to matter not at all, the allure of the American dream more than trumping other considerations.

In my own travels, I have found that far from hating the US, as we hear so much of in the media, many around the world think only of someday living here, as profound an expression of admiration of our oft-maligned nation as can be. 

But, one cannot deny, of course, the phenomenon of anti-Americanism (both within and without our borders), and whether it has moved up a notch under the helmsmanship of President Bush is perhaps immaterial.  It is there regardless of who inhabits the Oval Office. 

So one may ask who the haters of America are?  I would venture the following list and draw comfort knowing that such as these despise us: assorted leftists, socialists, media types, Moslem extremists, radical environmentalists, academics, transnational bureaucrats (such as are found in the UN or EU), certain NGOs, and then various and sundry predatory dictators (and associated hangers on and elites) that populate such dismal regimes as North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and others. 

Many of those not consigned to these smallish, oafish, but influential cliques, in other words, the vast, silent majorities everywhere, would probably be willing to donate an arm, a leg, or other vital organ for the chance to count themselves as Americans.   

I also learned during my visit that the founder of my tour company is a Tanzanian who came to the US seven years ago to pursue his ambition to become not a hyphenated African-American but an American.  Armed with the optimism that has inspirited immigrants coming to our shores for two centuries, he went on to establish a successful US based tour company specializing in travel to Tanzania, precisely the sort of immigrant we need. 

One can play a thought game and imagine the confusion that would have arisen in our intrepid pilgrim had he, early in his effort, fallen under the sway of one of our better known merchants of racial grievance, say, a Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or, even better, a Jeremiah Wright at the Trinity United Church of Christ. 

For in such a church, amidst such a group and congregation, he would have heard not the inspiring story of a nation that has welcomed immigrants from every corner of the globe, all of whom (save black slaves) arrived voluntarily, often against great odds, for the chance to partake in the freedoms and opportunities this country uniquely offers. 

Rather, he would have received a nine-course meal in the politics of hatred. 

And how might it have affected him (or any other young African-American) to have learned, for example, that his adopted nation oppresses its minorities, and that blacks are helpless victims that require state assistance?  What loss of “hope” would have occurred if taught that the US is a terrorist state and deserved 9/11, that our government is intentionally spreading AIDS, and that white racists control our capitalist system?  How would he have reacted to hearing of black separatism, “black” Christianity and black power, or to be advised by one's spiritual mentor to reject American society and the whole notion of bettering oneself? 

Such would have been the message our entrepreneur might have heard, had he fallen into the wrong crowd, the same message the sainted junior Senator from Illinois, Barack Hussein Obama chose to hear for the last twenty years. 

Had a white pastor ranted as Reverend Wright had, his career would be finished and properly so, as would that of any white politician foolish enough to associate with him.  But Obama, his skin color perhaps inoculating him, has instead been elevated by today's Democratic party to be their champion in November. 

Had our African immigrant been schooled in such a curriculum of contempt, would he have abandoned his aspirations, as perhaps so many others have already, to take up the banner of bitterness and rage?  If he had resisted such a message, would he have been labeled naïve or foolish or, even worse, a “traitor” or a “Tom?”

It is a long way from the snows of Kilimanjaro. 




  • Elisha Sterling

    June 29, 2008


    As usual, you have written a most fascinating and enlightening article. I enjoyed reading about your trip to Tanzania and certainly your insight that the article provides.


  • William Bodle

    June 29, 2008

    A well written article with much truth.
    I am a friend of Sam Dearment and would
    like to forward this article to some friends. Thank uou

    Bill Bodle

  • G.A.Huggins

    June 30, 2008

    We too are buddies of Sam ........w/forward this article to all on my email


  • Steve

    July 3, 2008

    ...the truth be heard!
    Need to see some pictures.

    Take care

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