London Mayor slammed for Obama anti-British label due to Kenyan roots

April 22, 2016 4:57 pm
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Johnson opened his op-ed by stating that Obama’s position on a Brexit may not be based on the logical but the illogical given his Kenyan ancestry/AFP
Johnson opened his op-ed by stating that Obama’s position on a Brexit may not be based on the logical but the illogical given his Kenyan ancestry/AFP

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 22 – Trump lookalike and London Mayor Boris Johnson on Friday blasted “part-Kenyan” US President Barack Obama for opposing a Brexit – an exit from the European Union (EU) by Britain.

In an opinion piece published by The Sun, Johnson accused Obama of taking a “downright hypocritical” position on the proposed exit given, “the US guards its democracy with more hysterical jealousy than any other country on earth.”

Overview
  • Johnson opened his op-ed by stating that Obama’s position on a Brexit may not be based on the logical but the illogical given his Kenyan ancestry.
  • “Something mysterious happened when Barack Obama entered the Oval Office in 2009. Something vanished from that room, and no one could quite explain why. It was a bust of Winston Churchill. On day one of the Obama administration it was returned, without ceremony, to the British embassy in Washington. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British Empire - of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender.”
  • The op-ed has drawn sharp reactions several Labour MPs including that for Hayes and Harlington and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell who said Johnson’s ill-advised decision to bring President Obama’s heritage into the debate was a demonstration of “dog-whistle racism.”

“It is not just that the Americans refuse to recognise the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court,” he submitted. “America is the only country in the world that has so far failed to sign up to the UN convention on the rights of the child, or the UN convention on the emancipation of women.”

“For the United States to tell us in the UK that we must surrender control of so much of our democracy – it is a breathtaking example of the principle of do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do.”

A legitimate argument by any standard but it is Johnson’s launching point that many a Kenyan may take exception to.

Johnson opened his op-ed by stating that Obama’s position on a Brexit may not be based on the logical but the illogical given his Kenyan ancestry.

“Something mysterious happened when Barack Obama entered the Oval Office in 2009. Something vanished from that room, and no one could quite explain why. It was a bust of Winston Churchill. On day one of the Obama administration it was returned, without ceremony, to the British embassy in Washington. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British Empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender.”

The op-ed has drawn sharp reactions from several Labour MPs including that for Hayes and Harlington and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell who said Johnson’s ill-advised decision to bring President Obama’s heritage into the debate was a demonstration of “dog-whistle racism.”

“Mask slips again. Boris part-Kenyan Obama comment is yet another example of dog whistle racism from senior Tories. He should withdraw it,” he tweeted.

Another Labour MP Julie Cooper tweeted in response to Johnson’s op-ed: “Boris Johnson suggesting that President Obama is anti-British because his father is Kenyan. Disgraceful should be ashamed #StrongerIn.”

During his last visit to Kenya, President Obama told Capital News that he was proud of his Kenyan heritage and described as ignorant, Donald Trump’s questioning of his ‘American-ness’ when he first took up office, on account of it.

“I am very proud of the connection that I’ve got to Kenya. I wrote a book when I was very young talking about it and the truth of the matter is that the American people see themselves as a nation of immigrants. That’s been our history. Most people arrived from someplace else and that continues to occur and my own history is a reflection of what makes America great.”

In an op-ed of his own published by the Telegraph on Thursday, Obama supported Britain’s continued stay in the European Union.

“In today’s world, even as we all cherish our sovereignty, the nations who wield their influence most effectively are the nations that do it through the collective action that today’s challenges demand,” he wrote.

The British cast their votes on the matter on June 23 and soon thereafter UK Prime Minister David Cameron is expected in Kenya.

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