Jonathan Zimmerman: Why Ghana Doesn't Love Obama Anymore

Roundup: Historians' Take

Jonathan Zimmerman is a professor of education and history at New York University. He is teaching in NYU’s study-abroad program in Ghana this summer.

Here’s a quick quiz culled from the opinion pages in Ghana, where I’m teaching this summer: Who is the imperialist race traitor waging war on Africa?

The answer, of course, is Barack Obama. The reason is the bombing of Libya, which is immensely unpopular over here. And so is President Obama, who now stands accused of betraying his own African heritage.

That’s a big change from the last time I taught in Ghana, during Mr. Obama’s state visit in 2009. His smiling face was everywhere, from T-shirts and soccer balls to billboards and murals. Gripped by “Obama Fever,” as Ghanaians called it, massive crowds lined the streets to welcome the first African-American US president to Africa....

Astonishingly, some Ghanaians also have a soft spot in their hearts for Mr. Qaddafi. “Does Obama know what Muammar-al Qaddafi means to Africa?” one Ghanaian columnist asked last month, citing Qaddafi’s generous aid to poorer African countries....

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