The next stop on the President's Lame Duck? F*ck You! tour was the home of his father and, as some claim on the Right, the place of his birth. He made his first presidential visit to Kenya and today, spoke along with President Uhuru Kenyatta, the fourth President of the East African Nation.
Addressing the issue of inequality, President Obama made his feelings abundantly clear:
'When (governments) you start treating people differently, not because of any harm that they're doing anybody, but because they are different, that's the path whereby freedoms begin to erode, and bad things happen. And, when a government gets in the habit of treating people differently, those habits can spread. And as an African-American in the United States, I am painfully aware of the history of what happens when people are treated differently, under the law.' I'm unequivocal on this. If somebody is a law-abiding citizen, who is going about their business and working at a job and obeying the traffic signs and doing all the things good citizens are supposed to do, and not harming anybody, the idea that they are going to be treated differently because of who they love, IS WRONG. Full stop... The state does not need to weigh in on religious doctrine, the state just has to say, we are going to treat everybody equally under the law. And everybody else can have their own opinions. Alright?'
Kenyatta, first off, addresses our common issue of effectively dealing with terrorism and our 'love' for democracy, entrepreneurship, and for our families. But there's always a but.
'There are some things that we must admit we don't share... It's very difficult for us to be able to impose on people that which they themselves do not accept. This is why I repeatedly say, for Kenyans today, the issue of gay rights is really a non-issue...this is an issue that is not foremost in the minds of Kenyans.'
He did claim he wants better rights for women, improvement in education, infrastructure, but gay rights, no way. The culture is too restrictive, or at least that's what he wants to believe. Our president is trying to get him to understand that our society said something similar years ago, and it turned out to be so very wrong. Slavery and Jim Crow could provide a very valuable lesson to President Kenyatta, yet the obstinance ingrained in the upbringing of many Africans will be difficult to overcome. At least President Obama has opened the door to consideration of the issue, which is more than any other U.S. President has done on equal rights.
President Obama said when he returns, he won't be wearing a suit and he won't be so guarded, which means, he will speak his mind, a LOT more freely. He will be dressed in more comfortable clothing and plans to bring Michelle along with him next time, and neither will hold back that they are firmly on the side of equality for all, no matter who they love. Lame duck, my ass.
H/T for Lame Duck? F*ck You! tour to Bluegal.