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In Obama's State Of The Union, Africa Is A Place Of Terrorism, Hunger And Disease

In last night's State of the Union, Obama described Africa as a place of terrorism, hunger and disease. We can do better.

Obama in Kenya last year. Creative Commons photo courtesy of The White House
If you’re like me, you listened to Obama’s State of the Union speech last night entirely by accident, on the radio, while reheating leftover beans. I usually don’t have much patience for this kind of political theater, but Obama’s foreign policy section gave me shivers.

The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It’s not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. Our troops are the finest fighting force in the history of the world. No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin.

The disembodied roar of the crowd from my subwoofer as he said it, gave Obama’s words an extra edge. The great uniter has really perfected his tough-guy routine over the years.


Africa got three shout outs. First, as a space to defeat ISIS and other terrorist groups, second as the place where “we,” the United States, militarily defeated Ebola and third, the place Americans are saving from the scourge of HIV and famine.

While most foreign policy wonks rightfully jumped on his description of Middle Eastern conflict as dating back millenia, African politics Twitter just seemed bummed. In a world of social media outrage and posturing, most people seemed authentically disappointed in Obama’s characterization of the continent:

 

 

 

Everyone, of course, except for The Times’ Nick Kristoff who seems to think the Ebola comment was accurate:

Interview

Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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