Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Day I Nibbled Obama's Ear (and Auntie Cheered at the Cinema)

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Day I Nibbled Obama's Ear (and Auntie Cheered at the Cinema)

Article excerpt

People are so excited about Obama becoming president that they've started naming things after him, like a school and a mountain. My local bakery has named a Black Forest gateau after him. They've called it the Obama Black Forest gateau. It has four layers of chocolate, topped with Obama's face and surrounded by cherries. I asked the baker how he made the face. He promptly replied: "Would you like a lick? I'm letting everyone have a taste of the face; the ladies are loving it. I've sold 260 this week." I bit a part of his ear: it tasted great.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

There are no end to the celebrations for the first black man in the White House. I don't remember anyone making a "Thatcher Irn-Bru gateau" to celebrate the first woman in No 10.

I took part in Obamalama, a celebration comedy show on the night of Obama's inauguration. The audience consisted of a hundred very happy black people wearing Obama T-shirts. Some wore T-shirts with Obama on the front, and Oprah Winfrey on the back. The pair are obviously the Cagney and Lacey of the black world--here to save us all.

How good does Obama have to be, to be considered good? Well, if that old man had won, the expectations would have been much lower; all he would have had to do is turn up and stay awake. He would have got a standing ovation for each Senate meeting he didn't fall asleep in.

I know from my own experience, I have to be twice as funny as my white male counterparts to be given half the credit. And any time anyone is racist to me, my manager advises me to keep a dignified silence. If we all kept a dignified silence, black people still would not be allowed a seat on the bus, gay people would all be in the closet and chefs would never have made it on television.

At least in America they're upfront about their racism. In England we are sly, conniving and cunning. …

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