Prescient or Racism?

Again, a UK paper carries a story no U.S. media outlet would touch.

In his three years as U.S. president, Barack Obama has been dogged by claims he is not patriotic enough.  …

Now it emerges that similar fears were expressed about his father, who was categorised with others as ‘anti-American and anti-white’ when he moved to the United States in 1959.

A memo … released today by the National Archives in West London …  sets out their concerns about the young Kenyans.

Dated September 1, 1959, it says: ‘I have discussed with the State Department.  They are as disturbed about these developments as we are.  They point out that Kenya students have a bad reputation over here for falling into the wrong hands and for becoming both anti-American and anti-white.’  …

Mr Obama Snr was among 100 or so Kenyan students brought to America by the African American Students Foundation.U.S. and British officials were deeply suspicious of this outfit, observing that the AASF – though backed by singer Harry Belafonte and actor Sidney Poitier – had links to a Kenyan nationalist leader.

‘The motives behind this enterprise, therefore, seem more political than educational,’ warned a letter from the British Embassy in Washington.

It added: ‘The arrival here of these students, many of them of indifferent academic calibre and ill-prepared for the venture, is likely to give rise to difficult problems.’

Mr Obama Snr, who died in 1982, is not singled out for concern in any of the documents.

via Mail Online.

My first blush at this is that it’s nothing more than racism.  A bunch of upper-crust government types don’t are much for a bunch of African kids polluting their fine universities.

Further though makes me wonder though, we know what kind of life Barack Sr. (and Barack Jr.) made for himself.  But we don’t know how any of the other students did.

The comparison I’m thinking of is where a law school (or other academic institution) will let in a student based on race who’s not performed well in the past  (i.e. affirmative action.)  It is sad but true that some (not all but some) of these students simply cannot handle the rigors of law school and end up dropping out.  Sometimes affirmative action is education is just setting someone up to fail.  That’s not helpful to anyone.

So maybe it’s not racism, it’s a sense that having these African kids is not helpful to anyone.  It’s not helping them do anything in Kenya.  It’s not helping us with any issues we’re having.  And further it denies the spot to someone who could really use it to make the world a better place.  i.e.  It’s not serving the greater good.

But then maybe… just maybe…  these government types back in the 50’s weren’t like the fools we have today.  Maybe the government knew that these kids were really up to no good.  That they were just biding their time, working the system, until the moment was just right when they could make their play.

Maybe it would have been better to not allow students selected by a national socialist political leader into our system if for no other reason than to separate politics from higher education.  We know locally that when politics and higher education mix it’s with bad consequences.

We may never know what motivated the memo back in ’59.  But it is odd that not one U.S. media outlet covered this story.