I just viewed the movie 2016 about the life of President Obama. I wonder how much his father’s attitudes affectedt him? His Kenyan father was somehow privileged to attend Harvard, but while there he took part in a communist group on campus. He resented whites, America, missionaries and all that he felt Kenyans had suffered under colonialism. Our president only met his father once, but he left an indelible impression on his life. I don’t believe the President holds the same views his father did, but his book, Dreams From My Father, indicate that he missed having a father figure in his life, and he undoubtedly still respects him.
In less than three weeks I’ll be in Johannesburg. I remember the attitudes of distrust and dislike on both sides of the color line. Have hearts really changed in the thirty-five years since Al and I left South Africa? Both white and blacks had more than a day to experience the effects of Apartheid. How long will it take to remove its stains?
One man who worked hard to bring blacks and whites together is Desmund Tutu who led the Truth Commission. Tutu will be in Denver in November as part of an Erickson (the group that owns my community, Wind Crest, and fifteen others like it) event in combination with other organizations in Denver. I hope I’ll be able to go to hear him, especially after having just spent two weeks in South Africa myself.