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Pulse Opinion Chimamanda Adichie's statement belittles Obama's achievement

The famed novelist's statement about Michelle Obama's hair degrades Barack Obama's unprecedented win in 2008.

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Chimamanda Adichie play

Chimamanda Adichie

During an interview with Channel 4 on August 9, 2016, Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie, 38, said that President Barack Obama wouldn't have won the US general elections in 2008 if his wife Michelle Obama had natural hair.

Boom! Talk about dropping a keg of gunpowder in a pit of flames. Chimamanda Adichie for as long as I have known her has been a supporter of women rocking natural hair which is fine. Not every woman loves Brazilian weaves, to each his own.

Chimamanda Adichie's success as an internationally respected author has given her a pedestal to speak about her opinions on race, feminism and the Nigerian government. Being the bold and confident woman that she is, Adichie's opinions are hard hitting and mostly unfiltered.

 

Calling a spade a spade, her opinion that if Michelle Obama had 'nappy hair' Barack Obama would have been a footnote in history as an ambitious senator from Chicago who thought he could become the first black President of the United States of America is wrong.

Sorry not sorry but Chimamanda Adichie's statement belittles Obama's victory in 2008 when he made history. At that point in US politics, Americans were crying for change, a shift from the old way of doing things. Barack Obama, the skinny black man with roots in Kenya was the man who did just that.

His message of 'change' and his rallying cry of 'Yes We Can' are mightier and weightier than the texture of his wife's hair or Rapunzel's hair as a matter of fact.

January 8, 2008: Michelle wrapped her husband up in a big hug as he addressed attendees at a primary election results rally play

January 8, 2008: Michelle wrapped her husband up in a big hug as he addressed attendees at a primary election results rally

 

The French poet Victor Hugo once said "No one can resist an idea whose time has come." The Good Book in Ecclesiastes 9:11 says "The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all."

In 2008 Barack Obama's time had come. Eight years of George Bush's administration had left many Americans jaded and disillusioned about the old political system. Obama gave Americans hope and many of them for once forgot about racism and voted for the man who promised them a new day. I don't think at that time Americans would have been concerned if Michelle Obama was rocking shuku or patewo (Shuku and Patewo are traditional hairstyles popular among Yorubas).

To trivialize Obama's great achievement to the texture of human hair is borderline insulting. Barack Obama would have won the US election in 2008 irrespective of Michelle Obama's hair. He won it because it was his time and he took his chance. He had the audacity of hope to do the unthinkable.

Yes I know the texture of a black woman's hair is a big deal in God's own country but when he was running for President, Americans did not care about that. They were more concerned about the economy and the recession they were going through and not hair.

Michelle Obama rapping with Missy Elliott on James Corden's carpool karaoke show play

Michelle Obama rapping with Missy Elliott on James Corden's carpool karaoke show

(Us Magazine )

 

Chimamanda Adichie's statement almost sort of questions the blackness of the Obamas. Michelle Obama was just rapping along with Missy Elliot a few weeks ago. I mean Barack Obama smoked crack and enlisted the rap services of Jay Z for his 2008 campaign. How black do you want him to be?

Smoking crack and flirting with Jay Z who was described as a 14-year crack dealer on FOX this year would have scared any white person from voting for him. Unfortunately it didn't. I don't think Michelle having nappy hair would have made any difference to be honest.

Obama and Jay z play Obama and Jay z

 

What Chimamanda Adichie is basically saying is that if Patience Goodluck had gone to school her husband would have won his second election term bid. If you find that funny, then our great author's view is ludicrous to say the least.

Why must Barack Obama's historic achievement be tied down to race, (yes nappy hair is about race)? Why can't Chimamanda Adichie admit that he won because it was his time and he was the best candidate?

For all her brilliance with words, Chimamanda Adichie's statements about race and feminism feels like a misguided laser moving round aimlessly to find a target. On this issue she has missed whatever target she was aiming for. There is one thing to be 'woke' and it's another thing to shoot the ball over the bar.

P.S if Chimamanda Adichie is so concerned about natural hair and all that then she shouldn't have allowed Beyonce use her words on her album. Oh well going by her logic if Beyonce had nappy hair she wouldn't be as successful as she is because her hardwork and talent don't matter.

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