africa

Obama’s plans for Africa: Racist colonialism?

obama_salute1After renewed efforts to push his autocratic climate change agenda in the U.S., President Obama finally made his long-heralded trip to the African continent. Though his reception in some countries was celebrated, in others it was somewhat frosty; in an instance or two, Obama managed to turn a warm welcome into a sub-zero sendoff.

Obama’s visit to Senegal was more or less boilerplate for a powerful head of state. The most noteworthy event was probably a magnificently sappy photo-op with Obama staring wistfully from a stone doorway at Gorée Island, the “Door of No Return” through which Africans bound for slavery in the New World are reported to have passed.

On June 29, Africa Tour 2013 took a nosedive. In Johannesburg, South Africa, police were forced to fire rubber bullets and stun grenades into crowds of protesters before the president arrived at the University of Johannesburg. Hundreds of South Africans turned out to protest U.S. drone strikes, Mideast policy, support of Israel and Obama’s foreign policy in general.

It was in South Africa where Obama began putting his foot in it with reckless abandon. Speaking on climate change and economic growth at a town hall event in Johannesburg, President Obama claimed that “the planet will boil over” if everyone has access to air conditioning, automobiles and big houses unless the world finds “new ways of producing energy.” Those in undeveloped nations have been complaining for decades that the demands of developed Western nations with regard to environmental concerns serve to stultify the economic growth of Third World countries. Yet there was Obama, rubbing it in and demanding more compliance. Africans can ride bicycles for another 50 years; we’ll tell them how to grow.

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Posted by Erik Rush in Columns, Obama