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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid