In March “well-behaved African heads of state ... (were) rewarded by Barack Obama with a chance to meet with him
in groups of four and have their picture taken with him,” reported Africasacountry.com. “It’s like meeting Beyonce, but you get to call it a state visit.”
And what made matters worse is that they just sat there with folded hands like American subjects, beaming as the president read their accomplishments. “The wider symbolism was unmistakable,” wrote Elliot Ross, “These guys, Obama is saying, work for me. African visitors (unlike other heads of state) can be received in groups, as, they’re all Africans, don’t need to be spoken to individually. Politics? Negotiations? They’re just happy to be here.”
The Brookings Institute says these selective meetings with African leaders “not only served to advance American interests in Africa, but also to tacitly communicate the administration’s expectations.” Read more...