Most Africans viewed Ghadhafi as a benefactor, even martyr. From the AP;
Moammar Gadhafi’s regime poured tens of billions of dollars into some of Africa’s poorest countries. Even when he came to visit, the eccentric leader won admiration for handing out money to beggars on the streets.
“Other heads of state just drive past here in their limousines. Gadhafi stopped, pushed away his bodyguards and shook our hands,” said Cherno Diallo, standing Monday beside hundreds of caged birds he sells near a Libyan-funded hotel. “Gadhafi’s death has touched every Malian, every single one of us. We’re all upset.”
Compare that reaction to the reaction of African-Americans, a view largely articulated by the following comment from Black America Web;
President Obama’s approach was the perfect approach. To all, stay abreast of all the events that transpire in the Arab world, because they are acts and actions, mirroring MLK’s approach to taking a stand.
Ghadhafi was supportive of Mandela’s ANC even while Dick Cheney was trying to have the organization vilified as a terrorist group. Folks haven’t forgotten. Although it is true that Ghadhafi wasn’t all good, it is just as true that he wasn’t all bad.
But to Africans, he was their hero regardless of any alleged wrongdoing. And to African Americans, Barack Obama is their hero. It’s as if we’re unable to look our leaders squarely in the eye and say, “you were doing great up until now” or, “we’re with you, but not on this one.” For us, it’s all or nothing. Thus, the real problem here, with blacks here in America and on the continent of Africa, seems to be one of hero worship.