Obama’s African Adventure

Written by Elie Mystal on . Posted in Politics, Posts.


Just in time for the holiday season, presidential candidate Barack Obama is coming out with a DVD that features him in Africa exploring some of the troubled countries on that continent and retracing his roots to Kisumu, Kenya, his father’s hometown.

On its face, a candidate releasing a DVD about themselves a month before the first primary is hardly surprising. If this were an Italian going to Palermo, nobody would pay it much note. However, you might have heard that Mr. Obama is African American. And that Kenya is a country populated largely by black people. So I expect this will touch off another round of “Obama and the black vote” debates. Critics will say he’s not doing enough, or doing too much, sometimes in the very same article.

New York City Councilman Charles Barron has already said the only relevant thing about Obama’s race: “He said he supports the black community. He said he’s been black all his life.”

Presidential candidates sometimes release holiday DVDs. People who have been black all their life sometimes have family and ancestry that can be traced back to places Kenya. If you are black and running for president, sometimes you come up with this.  It’s as American as apple pie.

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