When it comes to places, the affection that I have for my hometown, Lagos, is matched only by a sort of nostalgia that I harbour towards Tampere, the Finnish city I’m from, which shapes many of my memories but in which I’ve never lived.
Yet, my being Scandinavian feels like a secret. Not from anyone, I write about it herequite often, for instance, but from Finland itself. When I am in Tampere I take pleasure in my visit inwardly. I go for long walks alone. During such walks, I imagine my feet kissing the earth which is “mine” and I wander in the echoes of Finnish poetry. Without Finns meddling into my “Finnishness”, or lack of it for that matter, I can appreciate Finland for what it is – a country of wondrous natural landscapes, exciting mythology and a palpable sentiment of kaiho(longing).
What I am doing with my Finnish identity is bargaining. If life were a services contract mine would say Finnish** (**terms and conditions apply). The same goes with my Nigerian “contract”, of course. Bargaining. Negotiating. Winning here, loosing there. I quite possibly find myself in London to avoid too much haggling, it’s hassle-freer to be Scandinavian-African here.
Obama is bargaining too. It can’t be easy being the first black president in a traditionally, stubbornly white-patriarch empire.
In a sense we all are bargaining with our identities and it’s a complex, messy business full of paradox.
However, paradox, as I wrote on my facebook page a few days ago, leads to discussion and dialogue is always progress.
Yet, much of the commentary on Barack Obama is black or white, no pun intended, and this is dangerous. It disengages with paradox and therefore progressive conversations. It views Obama either as a warmongering imperialist villain or as a heroic symbol of racial hope and equality. We need more nuance in our conversations about this historical character. In return, a holistic approach gives validity to both the work of Obama’s that we may appreciate and that which make us shudder.
Who knows what the next four years of Obama’s presidency will bring. Of course it’s reasonable to predict continued hegemonic, military advances around the globe. It’s simultaneously also plausible that Americans will see stricter laws on gun ownership, forward-thinking action on gay rights, fairer immigration laws and dare one hope for engagement with racial and ethnic injustices? What do you think the major issues in American foreign and domestic policy will be?
More than anything, I think it would be great if Obama’s second term reveals much more of the bargaining that he has to do to fulfil his role as US president. No doubt it’s that precise negotiating that awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize and that also enables him to sleep at night despite US drones killing innocent people. We should avoid a one-sided narrative so that the complexities can emerge. We should aim to make the best of the historicism in his presidency, after all who knows what in the world we might need to deal with next.
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Filed Under: Decolonisation, Social CriticismTagged With: decolonisation, identity, mixed race, politics, stereotypes
|Barack Obama having a meeting with Indonesian Pres (http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/us-president-barack (Agence France Presse))|
My hero is Barack Obama Jr. He is helpful, hardworking, and determined. Barack Obama became president in 2007 and has been our president eight years in a row. He was born August 4, 1964 in Honolulu Hawaii to his parents Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham. Barack Hussein Obama's nationality is African American and had eight siblings named Maya Soetoro-Ng, David Ndesandjo,Abo Obama, George Obama, Malik Abongo Obama, Auma Obama, Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo, and Bernard Obama. Now Barack Obama has two children named Malia, and Natasha Obama, and his spouse is Michelle Obama (America's first lady). Barack Obama and his parents lived in Hawaii for 5 years then they moved to Indonesia for another 5 years and then back to Hawaii. When Obama returned to Hawaii his father didn't come with him and his mother because Barack Obama's parents were divorced. His father had gone to Kenya. When his father left, he wanted his Barack to become something great and that is when Obama started taking his education seriously so he got his education at Punahou School. Barack Obama is my hero for so many different reasons.
The first characteristic about Barack Obama is determination. Barack Obama is determined because while he was president he never said that he couldn't do something, he never gave up. Another reason Barack Obama was determined was he was always optimistic about everything before he even starts to do it. Lastly, Barack Obama is determined because even when he was a child, he was driven to be great because when he was little he wanted to make a change in the world. He knew in order to do that he would have to excel in school and every school grade he knew the grade would be great. These are all the reasons why Barack Obama is determined.
Another characteristic about Barack Obama is he is helpful not only for our country, but to the whole world. He is helpful to the world because even though he is President of the United States he is helpful towards people on Earth who are in need. Another way he was helpful is before he was president he still helped our country. His first job was as a community organizer in Chicago's largely poor and black South Side, he helped the Chicago communities. His second job was as a senator for Illinois so he helped both Chicago and Illinois for a while. Obama is still helpful even as president because every year he goes to a school in need and gives a special visit and speech to all the kids about working hard and achieving your goals. Lastly, Barack Obama is helpful because of his health insurance program named Obamacare. Obamacare is a program for sick, or hurt people in America to heal, and get great health. This programs is for Americans who don't have insurance and can't pay for a hospital or a doctor so they go to the Obamacare program for healing. These are all the reasons why Barack Obama is helpful.
The last characteristic about Barack Obama is he is very hard working. He works hard not only for America, but for the whole world. An example for how Barack Obama is hard working is when we have a wrong law or he sees something bad is happening he quickly realizes there has to be a change, so he works hard to make something that's wrong something right. An example was in 2014 Barack Obama changed the immigration law and made it right. Another example of how he is hard working is when he first became president he had a bad image people thought he was untrustworthy, didn't care, and was lackadaisical but he worked to change the way America thought about him. Lastly, Barack Obama is hard working because he worked diligently to become president even when he was a child, his father wanted him to become something great when he grew up, so when his father died he worked hard to become what his father wanted him to be. These are all the reasons why Barack Obama is hard working.
In conclusion Barack Obama is an awesome president and an awesome hero. He is helpful to the whole world, and its people. He the best president we've ever had in all these years because he is kind, fair, and is a great role model for everyone in the world. He is also my hero because of his determination. Barack Obama is like a superhero to me and like every superhero his power is being a great role model.
Page created on 5/18/2016 12:00:00 AM
Last edited 5/18/2016 12:00:00 AM
Facts, Obama Care. "ObamaCare Facts: Facts on the Affordable Care Act." [Online] Available . .
Nelson, Michael . ""Barack Obama Life before Presidency." [Online] Available