Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A wild update from my mom, who lives in Kenya

wild update from my mom, who lives in Kenya:
Talk about weird happenings!   I had to remove my car’s Obama bumper sticker because two friends independently warned me that it might be perceived as support for the presidential opposition candidate here in Kenya, Raila Odinga.  Since Raila claims to be a kinsman of Obama (Obama’s father was a Luo), my bumper sticker could therefore be construed as supporting Raila.  As you may know, there has been increasing tribal violence here due to Raila’s assertion that the incumbent, President Mwai Kibaki, an ethnic Kikuyu, cheated on the voting tallies and stole the election.  In sum, since I live in a Kikuyu area, I could be in danger if my bumper sticker was perceived as supporting the Luo tribe!!!   Egads, it’s really bad comedy.

   To add to the Obama factor in Kenya, there are some who believe the rumor that Obama is sending money to support his “relative”, Raila Odinga.  All of this is fostered by the reality of Obama telephoning Raila and urging him to settle differences in a non-violent way – of course, the fact that he also called Kibaki to urge the same action is quite lost in all the hostilities.  In fact, Obama also sent an open letter to the largest newspaper, The Nation (editorial page on 23 January), again urging a peaceful resolution to the political situation.

   Anyway, I have now peeled off my hard-won bumper sticker (had to elbow my way through New Hampshire crowds to get it) and stuck it to wax paper in the hopes that I can resurrect it after the problems here are hopefully resolved.


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