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Back To White House On Springy Strides 

By Azore Opio

CameroonPostline.com — When you see Barak Obama walk, you will see a spring in his steps, a spring ever so slight but a spring all the same. It is the kind of bounce lazily and somewhat carelessly, but intentionally charged into the balls of the feet with a swing to the hips and a jig cut by the buttocks along with a dangle of the shoulder.

You will see this big-headed combination thrown into the gait of the Denzel Washingtons, the Samuel Lee Jacksons, the Danny Glovers, Morgan Freeman’s, the Richard Roundtrees, Eddy Murphys, Wesley Snipes, the Will Smiths; not because they are movie actors, but because they are Black Americans of African decent. The key to getting their dignity right is getting the spring straight into their steps. And in what they say. And do. Big time.

When Obama won the US elections back in 2008, he put that spring into his strides right into the White House. He didn’t give the spring rest as he stepped on the great depression cast by the Republicans, as he exposed corporate frauds, shamed wealthy tax evaders, kicked Wall Street back to life and gave Bin Laden and Khadafy the bloody boots. What could Obama possibly not do? And when the brand new curiosity called Meat, no, Mitt Romney, surfaced on the campaign platform, Obama acquired more sting and lustre as Mr. Meat’s shine faded.

Indeed, Obama and, Romney, who padded his speeches with more beef than necessary, demonstrated a great deal of political razzle-dazzle in their campaigns, but Romney had a queer way of reminding one of the Wild West where the hero was the same, the storyline was the same, the setting, values, and the actions were the same. Romney easily transported one back to the Westerns; movies and novels. In there, the Red Indian was almost always depicted and treated abominably as the villain. He was ridiculed, humiliated and eventually killed, ever so casually, in cold blood.

The Red Indian was always a joke, not a character. He was and functioned as a cheap prop, and provided bits of local colour and wildlife to the movie or the novel in which the “White” American was always the nationalist hero. And the Indian, the mean murderer. And that is how Romney wanted Obama to look like. Romney kept on reminding us of the Indian who was often cast as the scoundrel after the wagon train, pillaging the stage-coach or threatening the cavalry detachment – the buffoonish old Indian man.

Indians as a people did not exist. They did not count. Indians don’t seem to figure significantly in the American society. To our surprise, Romney, even Obama, never even told us a great deal about whether Indians were going to vote. And how? When Romney talks, he reminds one of the Wild West days.

He is a man of fine words and vocabulary only expensive education can buy. And he surely has a way of saying some things to hold himself together in the hearts of an audience. Romney skilfully brought out the much-needed contrast in US presidential elections. He spouted words, while Obama seemed to act. Romney attempted at every possible moment to harangue Obama, but Obama’s laconic discourses informed by real-time facts just cut Romney’s meat at the knees.

Relentless, somewhat contemptuous, Romney harassed Obama’s achievements, sometimes, accidentally endorsing them. But each time he launched his verbal darts, you knew he was going to get shot full of Obama’s lead and copper. It is Obama, the man who doesn’t clip out words between clenched teeth, who took out Romney; the loquacious guy whose words often seem to fall on barren ground.

US democrats are a likeable lot. They are level-headed and think before shooting, not the gun-slinging city slickers riding horses with pounding hooves, their guns thundering – shedding blood and death. America, and the rest of the world, needs more Obamas and fewer Romneys.

First published in The Post print edition no 01390

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