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If you ask me, I prefer the French model, that allows you to speak freely and use the words you and Le Pen are so enamoured of. I know you. I know Le Pen. I know what to expect. I don't have to try to decipher what you think of the Other. In America and Canada, it is very difficult. Neocons are not allowed to say what they really think. Everyone is smiling. If you are an Other here on account of race or sexuality, every waking day is a guess game. Al Sharpton can only try to guess the sort of names Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh would call him when there are no microphones nearby. In your France, they would be free to call him what we already know they really think of him and they won't have to flash that frustrating American smile - which hides a lot of things - every time they encounter him in a public event. So, it is better to know what to expect. All lizards lie prostrate, how can you tell the lizard that has bellyache? That is a proverb of my people in Africa. It explains my frustration with the North American system. In the République, the lizard with the bellyache is free to come out for who it truly is.

I have so many other things to advise you about but this letter is getting too long and my name is not Mariama Ba. Besides, you're holidaying in Malta after your victory and I should be mindful of your time. I do hope you get to take this letter to beach and read it. Perhaps, Cecilia could read it to you? I include my CV in case you need a new Monsieur Afrique. I believe Omar Bongo and Paul Biya are the only two remaining life presidents in Francophone Africa. The landscape has changed and you will need a young, dynamic man like me to handle young minds like Yayi Boni in Cotonou and Faure Yassingbe in Lomé.


Your African Brother


Pius Adesanmi, Ph.D
Associate Professor
Dept. of English Language & Literature
Director, Project on New African Literatures (PONAL)
Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada


PS: I realize it may be necessary now to withdraw your troops from Cote d'Ivoire to help out with George Bush's "war ron terra" in Afghanistan and Iraq. Tell your men to learn to pronounce the names of those places before they deploy. When my Iraqi friends hear Airak, it hurts their feelings that Americans won't even bother to learn how to pronounce the name of a country they have stolen and are plundering in broad daylight.


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