"If they could observe us why cant we observe them too. Why is what is
good for the goose not good for the gander?"
Response by Pius Adesanmi, Penn State University
These pertinent questions suggest a one-word answer: power. The gaze is never just about the gaze. It is always about who has the power to gaze. The US has, Africa doesn't and that's the plain truth on the ground.
What is good for the goose is always exclusively good for the goose in the field of power. The gander comes into the equation only when it is useable and serviceable ( as in weightless African countries struggling to be seen to be fighting W's "war ron terra", capturing Al-Qaeda and
Talibans all over the place). The US has used its intimidating military behemoth to build a racial-supremacist society in which national
self-imagining rests on the dual notions of essential goodness and essential infallibility. If we are essentially good and essentially infallible, why should we allow some funny people from the third world to come and observe/scrutinize an electoral process that is as perfect
as we are as a people? As things are, an African or a Latin American country trying to monitor elections in the US falls in the province of what the Yoruba call "ikoja aye". Allow them that latitude and next they'll start getting ideas about the possibility of subjecting our
marines to some funny international laws managed by some funny international tribunal in Holland. Essential goodness, essential infallibility: two poles of a theofascist order posing the most dangerous threat to our collective humanity. It monopolizes the reins of meaning and reinforces the weightlessness of the gander. What can the
gander do about it?