Meanwhile, Kenya is in chaos, there has been an earthquake in Rwanda and Congo, extreme weather has threatened billions in the Far East, and American politicians have become the new celebrity culture—replacing Britney Spears and Lindsay Logan in the national lexicon of who’s who. Oprah-Obama is the new Brangelina.
In Kenya, 300,000 people have been forced from their homes since the recent elections. The Peace Corps has pulled out.
AllAfrica.com posted an opinion piece one hour ago suggesting that Kenya was on the “brink of collapse.”
I venture that the writers on these pages have not been physically in the presence of the candidates they write about. If nothing else, where is the accountability of the candidates to address world issues?
My newly elected Senator from Minnesota has failed in pre-election promises made to me, and to people from Africa that she met personally, to do something about press freedoms there. I don’t care if Amy Klobuchar is a junior Senator. She is an extremely bright woman with a tremendous amount of drive, whom I have seen accomplish anything she puts her mind to.
The following comments appeared in a letter to the editor in Nairobi’s Daily Nation. A friend and colleague who lives in the UK emailed it to me.
I am shocked, but not surprised by what follows. It is impossible to have a voice in central Africa these days. I know, firsthand, what the muzzle of censorship feels like, but I have the almighty blue American passport to wield as my shield when reporting from Africa.
Read this letter,weep, and then do something about it.
"I write this letter as my final mortal action upon this earth.
"I have determined to collect email addresses of prominent people that I know and my friends and send it to them from an anonymous email address for two reasons.
"First, to spare them the distress of knowing beforehand what I am doing, therefore saving them from culpability, and second, because my identity and future is now irrelevant—it could be any of those men around the country who feel as I do.
"So you might guess from my style of writing, I am a well-educated man. I am a graduate of Nairobi and Strathmore universities. I have been privileged to be educated around the world.
"I have worked in Berlin, Stockholm, London, New York and many other places. I speak six languages fluently.