A recently released video of a trip President Obama took to Kenya in his 20s is offering insight into his perspective on race relations at a time when the United States is besieged by racial violence.
The nearly 20-minute video, purportedly recorded by Obama’s sister, Auma Obama, was recorded in 1990 on a trip the president took to Kenya with Michelle Obama during his college years, according to the YouTube video description provided by the crowdfunding platform WeSearchr, which uncovered the video.
“It makes me frustrated to see the blacks in Kenya don’t have more confidence in the possibility of shaping their own fate and their own destiny,” Obama said as he stroked his chin in deep contemplation.
“I’m deeply saddened by a sense that whites are still superior in this country, in some sense, that if you sit at a restaurant, they’re served before a Kenyan is served,” he continued. “If you go through customs, a white person is going to have an easier time going through customs.”
Obama claimed to have experienced the discrimination first hand.
“I’ve experienced, probably, the Kenyan side of it because there’s been times when I went … without my sister, who is obviously Kenyan, to a restaurant where we’d have problems getting served, or the waiters would be rude,” he said.
“If you look around at Kenya, and when I look around at Kenya, you get a sense that although on the surface things are relatively tranquil, right beneath the surface things could explode at any point,” Obama said.
“Because you have all these young people, not just now coming from the countryside, but simply from population growth, who are going to school, who have high expectations, but the engine for growth that is going to be able to employ these young people may not be there.
“And that’s a dangerous situation, when you have rising expectations, and young bright people who are frustrated in their ambitions,” Obama said. “You see a lot of that taking place in Kenya and you would think that would be more of a source of concern for the government, that they might change policies as a consequence of that.
“But so far, that doesn’t seem to be taking place,” he said.
— WeSearchr (@wesearchr) September 18, 2016
In another clip, Obama is seen smoking something hand-rolled as he mused about his father’s homeland.
“When I look at Kenya I think this is a land of great promise,” Obama said, as his smoked with one hand and took pictures with the other. “And the potential for a strong black country is here. I think that if you can build a strong black country in Kenya, that sends a message out to Africa, it sends a message to black Americans, it sends a message to blacks in the Caribbean. It sends a message that we can build.
“So I have a lot at stake in this.”
The comments are interesting considering the current status of race relations in America after nearly 8 years with Obama as president. The YouTube description points to a deteriorating situation for blacks under Obama that’s characterized by frequent rioting – in places like Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, Maryland and Charlotte, North Carolina – over police-related shootings of blacks.
“Obama’s remarks in the video will provide further ammunition for his critics, who claim that the president has used his office to stoke racial division, especially given his sympathies towards ‘Black Lives Matter,’ a group whose ideological inspiration is a convicted cop killer on the FBI’s ‘Most Wanted Terrorists’ list,” the description reads.
The video’s release is the product of a crowdfunding campaign on the recently establish Wesearchr site, which raises money to expose political issues proposed by the site and others. The project, “Obama’s Africa, A Journey in Black and White,” raised $10,113 from 52 contributors to pay for a private detective to unveil the video, according to the site.
“Barack Obama has sold himself to the American public as a racial Jesus Christ, here to remove America’s sins and usher in a new era of race relations. This image could not be further from the truth,” Wesercher states in the project description.
“As Obama exits the White House, we want to make sure that no one forgets his legacy of identity politics, racial division, and race baiting,” it continued. “This bounty will prove, on video, that, in his own words, the young Obama saw the world in black and white and his conduct in office proves he never stopped seeing it that way.”