Edited By Flocel Sabaté
Multi-culturalism or Many-colours-ism The ‘Colours’ of the Presidents Obama and Khama: Maria Saur
University of London
Shortly after I arrived in Kachikau a small town called “a village” in Northern Botswana / Southern Africa, I was “put in charge” of all children considered to be of so-called mixed heritage “because they were white like me” so I was told. I smiled then, the “I know better”, arrogant smile. Today I know they were right – these children were just as white as President Obama is black.
The USA pride themselves in having their first black President – although he is just as white as he is black given his ancestry and heritage. In short why is Obama black? Why does he mostly describe himself as such? Why does the non-silent majority agree with him?
Although President Obama himself and most of his compatriots perceive him to be their first black President I will show that this is not the case everywhere. He is seen as white in many – less vocal – parts of the world; white as all people having his skin tone and of mixed origin are perceived there. The President of Botswana Ian Khama for example, who like President Obama has an Anglo-Saxon mother and an African father, is seen by many Batswana (the people of Botswana) to be the “first white African President” of their black African country. Some therefore fear he might be destroying their culture.
The question I am trying to address is: What informs our perception, our colour...
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