News / USA

Nigerian Americans Offended by Senator's Joke

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) answers questions during the Reuters Washington Summit in Washington, Oct. 24, 2013.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) answers questions during the Reuters Washington Summit in Washington, Oct. 24, 2013.
VOA News
A comment made in jest by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has offended some Nigerians in the United States.

During an appearance in his home state of Texas this week, the Republican Party lawmaker referenced what he called "Nigerian e-mail scammers."

Senator Cruz was speaking about technical glitches on a new U.S. government web site that have prevented Americans from buying health insurance under the Affordable Health Care Act, or "Obamacare."

Cruz, who has voiced opposition to the measure, jokingly said "You know the Nigerian e-mail scammers? They have been a lot less active lately because they have all been hired to run the Obamacare web site."

The Nigerian embassy in Washington has called Cruz's remarks "unguided." In a statement, the Deputy Chief of Mission, Ambassador B.E. Archibong, said the embassy views the comments as a "very expensive joke that was taken too far."

Senator Cruz's comments have also been criticized by the Nigerian-American Leadership Council.

In a VOA interview, Executive Director Sam Okey Mbonu said Cruz should issue a "clarification."

"It is certainly not the most responsible statement from a United States senator," he said. "We believe that partisanship has its limits and one does not establish credibility on a national platform by running down a section of the American community."

Okey Mbonu said some Nigerian Americans would consider the joke offensive.

"It is certainly insensitive," he.said "For a senator who perhaps has some medium-term plans for being in the public for a long period of time, we think that those kinds of comments should be well thought out."

The Texas-based KTRK broadcast station says a spokesman for Senator Cruz reacted, saying the senator was "making a joke based on the official term of a commonly utilized type of scam."

He said the senator did not mean to be offensive.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lanre.azeez from: Dallas's
October 29, 2013 12:58 PM
That is an expensive joke.not all Nigeria criminals we have criminals offenders all over the world why mention nigeria.dont let any one fool you with e mail scan with free money nothing is free don't get scan. And don't be greedy looking for free money on the net.and don't do biz with the person you don't know.


by: barbBland
October 28, 2013 7:21 PM
Mr cruz, your cuban father bribed himself Into canada illegaly. Married a us citizen also illigal. You are not a legal in usa. Go back to canada. Better yet Cuba


by: Bearman from: U.S.A.
October 24, 2013 1:55 PM
Offended? Really? I receive email scams from Nigerian email scammers all the time. THEY OFFEND ME! Just what is the Nigerian-American doing to stop these scammers?

I am also tired of everyone wanting to be politically correct so someone won’t be offended. You know what I find offensive? Not being able to speak freely. If you happen to be offended, maybe the problem is with you, not me.

In Response

by: TOBA LaCrown from: NYC
October 26, 2013 12:13 PM
Bearman should understand that his rejoinder is totally off. As a former cop with the city, it was confirmed that not every of such emails actually came from Nigerians. A whole lot of people hid in disguise and send those emails. One thing I have always told people in my years of working with victims of such cries is that such individuals are fraudsters themselves. If not, it would not have been easier to defraud someone with a honest dealings. To know if some of us are doing sth is to research the frequency of such emails. Do not write out of ignorance

In Response

by: Bayor from: Canada
October 26, 2013 7:56 AM
Fraud or e-mail scam knows no colour, neither does it resides in a geographical entity. So are also the victims. It fosters within the global network of collaborators (black/white/pink/red/brown/yellow) and only thrives wherever there is a strange harmony between a pathetic liar and a greedy imbecile. Anyone who has got common sense should be able to read 'in-between' the lines and see that all these mails don't make any intelligent sense. It is so loud and clear. There is no free dollars anywhere! Government agencies have done a good job in creating much awareness about this and if people are listening, these fraudsters should be out of business by now. Hence, for a senator to play such an expensive and insensitive joke and to use a 'paint-brushed' statement and to 'pin' this crime only to a geographical entity simply tell of his level of thoughtfulness.... just a little below zero... I mean negative. It also shows how fast he is loosing touch with the reality of the world we live in and the kind of 'leader' he is. I guess his IQ balance must be reading into 'RED' after loosing a 21hrs battle against OBAMA CARE. He is, perhaps, operating on a completely depleted reserves .... He needs to be quiet for a while. Silence sometimes is golden. Just calling a spade 'a spade' and no insult intended....


by: dee from: d.c.
October 24, 2013 1:39 PM
what a complete non-story. i'm of Nigerian ancestry and am not offended. What's to be offended about? He reference a known group of scammers- the Nigerian 411. What did he lie about? In fact, the article couldn't even validate that the "Nigerian American community" or whatever was offended. Just because one ambassador from Nigeria voiced a slight displeasure with the comments doesn't mean "Nigerian Americans are offended".
Maybe this is an attempt of the pro-Obama media to blast another Republican with a non-story...

In Response

by: Axeman777 from: london
October 28, 2013 5:15 AM
If u were of nigerian ancestry, u would know itz called 419 NOT 411...

Would it also be okay if i said americans are terrorists and criminals by killing innocent men women and children with drones???


by: Felix from: Texas
October 24, 2013 1:12 PM
The man has, so far, proven to be an idiot and a joke. Maybe, because he is still finding his footing in DC, or he is just one of those that close doors after they walk through it, I don't know.

The truth is,I have never regretted voting for this man.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid