President Obama’s loud support for multiculturalism and his condemnation of Western colonialism have never stopped him from seeking to spread liberal ideology in foreign lands. When it comes to his own agenda, he eagerly plays the unwanted missionary and colonialist. This created a moment of embarrassment on his recent trip to Kenya when he attempted to lecture his hosts on the “rights of gays and lesbians.”
He implicitly compared his hosts to racists, connecting his support for LGBT ideology to his support for civil rights. As a black man, he said that he is “painfully aware of the history when people are treated differently under the law.” A country that treats sexual activity differently than skin color, he said, is on the “path whereby freedoms begin to erode and bad things happen.”
Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, was unimpressed by this lecture. To applause from the crowd at the joint press conference, he politely rebutted Obama’s remarks, noting that for Kenyans facing poverty, disease, and violence LGBT ideology is a “non-issue” and “that is a fact.”
It is clear that Obama’s legacy will not include liberalizing African nations on this issue. This is the second time his gay activism has been rebuffed. During his 2013 visit to Senegal, he made similar pro-LGBT noises, which resulted in considerable backlash. “No, We Can’t,” ran one mocking headline in the Senegalese press. Even some gay activists in Africa found his comments dismaying, complaining that they were too “blunt.”
As America’s first black president and the son of an African, Obama evidently thought that he could influence Africans on this issue. He appears to have had none. If anything, his presumption has hardened African opposition to gay ideology. It has also given African leaders a political boost, making them look resolute against an arrogant Western leader hostile to the traditional culture within their countries.
Obama likes to present himself as a careful student of world cultures, but his presidency has been more notable for its indifference to them. The only culture in which he takes any real interest is his own, a liberal culture that preens about multiculturalism even as it seeks to suppress conservatism outside the West. Liberalism’s high regard for Islam is one of the few exceptions to its imperialistic tendency. One can’t imagine Obama delivering a lecture on LGBT rights to the mullahs of the Middle East. Typical of this double standard is that while he lifts sanctions on Islamic countries he imposes them on African ones, such as Gambia and Uganda, for tightening restrictions on homosexuality.
Obama sees African nations as easier to push around than Islamic ones. He has created a position at the State Department for a roving gay activist, called the nation’s “first special envoy for the human rights of L.G.B.T. persons,” to meddle abroad. Obama has dispatched that envoy to Africa but he wouldn’t dare send him to an Islamic conference, say, in Riyadh.
Should Hillary Clinton win the presidency, such positions will multiply. She was the first Secretary of State to declare gay activism abroad to be a “priority of our foreign policy.” She instructed State Department diplomats to act as busybodies in the affairs of others countries, not for the sake of American citizens, but simply for the sake of her ideological vision. One would think GOP candidates might make such an outrageous abuse of the State Department an issue in the campaign, but they probably won’t. In America’s advanced state of decadence, radicalism within the government has come to be accepted by both parties.
It is laughable that Obama would lecture African countries on the loss of freedom that accompanies “inequality” even as religious freedoms in his own country are extinguished in the name of equality. His bogus definition of equality culminates in license eliminating liberty. African countries recognize that the “path” to which he is calling them ends not in any equality worthy of the name but in moral decay and marginalized religion.
It is ironic that a president who inveighs against the colonialism of the past would find himself spurned by African nations that prefer their colonial-era laws to his liberalism. He sees himself as morally superior to the missionaries and colonialists of old, but Africans don’t see him in that light. They see him as just one more obtuse paternalist. They desire American exports, but his gay ideology isn’t one of them.