I keep noticing that whenever Obama delivers these "tough talks" or messages of "tough love" the recipients, most of them to people of color, are generally cheering. I watched Obama's Ghana speech, and by the lights of my limited knowledge of African affairs, it seemed pretty basic, and I suspect a large number of Africans agreed with him. I'd also suspect that a large number didn't. My point isn't that Obama "represents" opinion in Africa, as much as it's that he represents one side of it. To go to Ghana and demand working, credible democracies just doesn't strike me as much of a stretch. But from the headlines, you'd think Obama had given his speech in Zimbabwe.
I don't think this is about race, per se, as much as it's about how we in the press see conflict--it's generally easier to report out a two-sided conflict than a multi-facted one. It's also about a kind of journalistic laziness that sees the world like this: Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are black leaders. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson believe that racism is responsible for everything wrong with black America. If Obama says, "Be a father to your child," he's challenging black people. Likewise for Africa the calculus is something like: Africans think all their problems were caused by colonialism. If Obama says it's corruption, then he must be challenging Africans.