Updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
New York (TADIAS) – As we extend our best wishes to President Barack Obama for a successful second term in office, we also urge the White House to pay more attention to the diverse voices in our community and to engage the Diaspora as the U.S. formulates better policies towards Africa in the next four years. After all, as citizens, we are voters and taxpayers, and therefore stakeholders in what the United States does in Africa.
Influencing U.S. foreign policy also requires a culture of respectful political discourse among ourselves, which has not been the hallmark of the Diaspora during Obama’s first term, particularly by Ethiopian pundits in the United States.
In one of the many memorable lines delivered at his second Inaugural Address this week, President Obama said: “We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect.”
It is a message that political leaders, activists and scholars in our community should take to heart if they are to be effective moving forward in communicating on behalf of a wider constituency and in shaping future U.S.-Africa and U.S-Ethiopia relations.
Obama Stresses Unity in Second Inaugural Speech (VOA News)
Video: Sights and Sounds from the 2013 Inauguration (NBC)