And instead of dismissing it as a non-issue, a little humility would have forced some acknowledgment that some Kenyan citizens — it does not matter how many — may be impacted by Mr Obama’s call, but that the government remains committed to full equality for all Kenyan citizens, including those who may be adversely affected by current laws and practices.

Does Mr Kenyatta seriously believe that human rights depend on popular preferences? Does he sincerely believe that Kenyan homosexuals are, one and all, misbegotten and deserving of whatever mob “justice” is meted out to them in the name of a received civilisation, Christianity, which is now naturalised as African in order to justify mayhem on a vulnerable segment of the citizenry over which he presides?

When African leaders play to the gallery, when Africans decide shamelessly to play the racism-inflected “Africa is different” card, when we tell the world that we really do not care for or about significant segments of our citizenry, we perform our penchant for moral abdication.

It is an abdication that makes us worthy of scant respect from the rest of the world.

At a minimum, our leaders should do better than the rest of us. Mr Kenyatta just disappointed this simple expectation.