A Tale Of Two Obamas: Lives & Legacies of Two Vastly Different Brothers
Despite his unearned Nobel Peace Prize, former President Barack Obama earned the veneration of the masses who looked past his record of civil and human rights abuses and policy of never-ending war, deportations and drone strikes. Barack Jr. is celebrating the anniversary of his My Brother's Keeper initiative. Despite his loftily titled "brother's keeper" charity, his brother shares details that poke holes in the slick, carefully cultivated veneer of a kind, caring and thoughtful soul. The Washington Post pointed out how between 2002 and 2005 Obama's charitable giving amounted to between 0.4% and 4.6% of his total earnings, something less than half a penny per dollar. In 2012, while lecturing the rest of us on how "we are our brother's keeper," Barack ignored the plight of his own brother George and aunt Zeituni as they suffered through abject poverty.
Which brings us to Malik. Mr. Malik Obama is the elder son of Barack Hussein Obama Sr. and half-brother of the former president. Born in Kenya, Mr. Obama decries the unfortunate truth that lies just below the surface of the carefully cultivated facade that so many Americans fell for.
Despite being close years ago, (Barack was best man at Malik's wedding and vice versa,) Mr. Obama has broken off contact with the former President. The rift began, he told The Goldwater in a recent interview, in the early 2000s when Barack was still just a freshman legislator. Despite having promised that he would always be there for him, Malik, along with other members of the extended family, found himself left high and dry.
"And another thing I told him, was that your aunt up in Boston is having a really hard time. This is your father's sister! She's the one who welcomed you in 1988 when you came to Kenya and that Volkswagen that you all see, that my sister and all talk about, being used to get him from the airport and so forth... that belonged to my Aunt Zeituni and she loved him so much, but he abandoned her. He wanted nothing to do with her and she was having a hard time in Boston and I told him, so I chewed him up. I told him off and all that and I think that's where he started now not, we disagreed and our relationship started deteriorating from there. It wasn't like he ever called me. I kept on trying to reach out to him throughout his term and I would be going to the White House."
In Malik's own words, he felt that his younger sibling thought of him as "just a bad pill."
'Cause I'm the elder one and so forth and he's my brother, I didn't abandon him but I kept on reaching out all throughout his term. Afterwards and I said to myself this is a waste of time. This is nonsense. Having to do all that. If he's not gonna want me, you can only reach out to somebody that much and then you get the message. I said okay, fine, if that's it then I'm gonna just let it go. And that's when I realized that I was in the wrong place with the wrong people."
Mr. Obama sees little hope for any sort of reconciliation with the younger Obama. "He's the one that won the Nobel Peace Prize," Malik grinned. "He should be able to make peace with me. He's the leader, he's supposed to be the kind of person who could do that," his smile widens. "I'm just Malik."
The elder Obama tells us how he had done his best to keep up appearances, primarily for Barack's sake: "I supported him all that time, for eight years and so forth, and I'm just telling the truth, how he is. It's not that I hate him. It's not that I don't want him and so forth and so on but I'm not going to go around; I don't like to lie."
And, in truth, Malik Obama doesn't seem to be the sort to pull punches, sugarcoat his words or resort to fabrication or prevarication. When asked juicy questions related to Obama's possible parentage by Frank Marshall Davis as per author and documentarian Joel Gilbert, Mr. Obama answers, "I don't know about that" explaining that when his father was alive Barack Sr. had shared pictures with him and told him that he had a younger brother in the United States. Without some conclusive DNA evidence, he says, it's hard for him to support that theory.
When asked about the prevailing theories that Barack might have been a Muslim, Malik doesn't hesitate to poke holes in that theory as well.
"He's not a Muslim," Mr. Obama relates matter-of-factly. "Because his stepfather. He was raised up in Indonesia. He was raised in Indonesia and his stepfather Soetoro was a Muslim. It's hard to say what he is because when I knew him and I wound up in Chicago at his wedding, he had a Christian wedding. It's hard to say. I don't know but he says, it's hard to say. People could say that he's Muslim at birth because his father's a Muslim but my father didn't practice Islam and I became a good Muslim in 1989 when I stopped drinking and they told me to find a god of my understanding and I thought the best god that I could think of was my grandfather's god so I became a good Muslim."
In fact, according to Malik, he was the first practicing Muslim in his immediate family. Saying that after his personal religious experience he "brought them back to Islam."
"Barack, I don't see him practice. He doesn't pray, he doesn't do all that. I would think okay, his origins are Muslim, he's Islam, but he's not a Muslim. He's married to Michelle," he laughs, "and definitely is not gonna be a Muslim with Michelle."
Speaking of Mrs. Obama, as far as Malik sees it, she wears the pants in the family. "Michelle has him under lock and key."
The fissure that had begun while Barack was still in Chicago, purportedly denying his older brother a bit of shelter from the cold and rain was upon Michelle's urging. This fracture only grew as the years wore on. By the time a brash real-estate tycoo Donald Trump emerged on the campaign trail a few short years ago, the damage was already done. Despite what the press, many fellow Kenyans (some of whom apparently cursed at him, others of which literally tried casting curses on him) and his younger brother might say, he had found the man he wished to support for president.
Unlike the slick, image-conscious entity that accidentally won a Nobel Peace Prize, here was a man who spoke his mind despite what anyone thought.
"I admire Mr. Trump because of that. He's not into all this media stuff, image stuff, all that. He's a businessman. He's got a goal. He's focused on achieving what he needs to do and I like that. I like those qualities in him. He's not a pussy," Malik beams, laughing again.
Trump, according to Malik Obama has the proper qualities of a good leader.
"He's tough. And I like that in a man. I like that in a leader because he's a leader. He's supposed to lead. Not have to be worried about what the media says, what this person says, so-called, so on and so on."
Mr. Obama also highlights some points of the paradox of The Donald.
"Mr. Trump, the first thing he did, he went to Saudi Arabia. Just imagine. Just imagine. That's the first thing he did. He went to Saudi Arabia. And everybody's talking about he hates Muslims and all that."
Barack make nice with the Saudis immediately after his inauguration. He even managed to finagle Toby "Boot Up Your Ass, It's The American Way" Keith to accompany him and share a stage in Riyadh with Saudi musician Rabeh Saqer.
As Mr. Obama puts it, "That's mind-boggling."
If there is any complaint Malik Obama has with the artful dealmaking 45th President, it's that he hasn't yet found some way to put him to use.
I’m sure Mr. Trump appreciates everyone’s support. But most importantly we Trump supporters appreciate your support Malik, keep on going.
"Mr. Trump is a great man, he's okay. He could just maybe write me, acknowledge me, just a tweet or something. Call me over. I could help him a lot also with the African American community, maybe in Africa, things like that. I could do that for him and make sure that he's successful in what he needs to do and he will be somebody remembered in history as a great president. I would do that for him."
When asked if he would accept some role or position in Trump's administration or Cabinet, Obama doesn't hesitate in his answer.
"Oh yeah, in a heartbeat. In a heartbeat. Just imagine. When I told my brother when he was elected that I would like to assist him, he told me I was not a citizen of the USA. He forgets that I was in the United States in 1985 and I've been working in the USA since 1985. Legally. I got a green card. He could have used me in many ways. In many ways. And he decided, he's thick as far as I'm concerned, to use that word."
For Mr. Obama, it's not a question of a white president or a black president. Considering the havoc that his younger brother unleashed on brown folks all across the world from Latin America, to the Middle East, Africa on through South Asia it seems that perhaps Martin Luther King Jr. was correct regarding how the content of a man's character (and by extension the actions and consequences that result thereof) trump that of the color of a man's skin. So for these reasons, Malik Obama sees more of an ally in the man who the mainstream media labels a bigot and racist than in the smooth-talking figurehead who appears at times to be no more than a puppet.
He hints at such when mentioning the assassinated Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who he refers to as a good friend. Asked if he thinks that his brother was interested in destabilizing the region in order to plunder Libya of its gold, he points a finger to "Hillary Clinton and her people, 'cause I really feel that there's some network. Something deep state. People who actually have been there for a long time and they set up the, what do you call it?"
Malik continues. "The tone. They control what's going on there and maybe they are the ones who set up or put Barack where he was because he used to be nothing, he was nobody. And from nobody all of a sudden he became the president of the United States. He was nobody and all of a sudden he's the president. So there had to be some kind of somebody or something that set him up for that and I think Hillary Clinton was part of that. So they're the ones who set up the situation with Gaddafi."
Regardless of whether the relationship was a case of hand in glove or hand in puppet, Libya, like Syria went from being a reasonably peaceful, modernized nation to a pile of rubble and wreckage. A lasting monument of our intervention there are the slave auctions that have sprung up since. It's ironic to think that so many white, college-educated liberals concerned with the oppression of minorities were so gung-ho to elect a woman whose gleeful actions led to a resurgence of chattel bondage.
And in the end, the majority of the people who cast their ballots for BHO in 2008 and 2012 by and large were, according to the statistics, college educated, white liberals.
"They were white Americans because the black Americans, they're not enough to elect the president. They should stop talking about all this race stuff. It's got nothing to do with race. White America elected Barack Obama. They should stop that. Whatever it is that they're talking about, that is history now. It is history. Now people should get down to work. All these leftists people, they're dragging a dead horse. It's finished now. You got people in the cabinet, even the ladies. You've got the spokesman for the White House is a woman. She's a tough woman. [...] And even in Trump's cabinet there are many women and so forth. Obama was the president of the USA, he's a black man and so forth. All these people should stop all that and get down now to the business of building their lives, on making their lives better. I don't believe in all that anymore. It's nonsense. Maybe in the 60s, yes, but now it's over."
Barack Jr.'s race is far less important than the results of decisions he made in office that curtailed civil and human rights both at home and abroad. Puppet, pawn or projection, he appeared to be what people wanted him to be. For folks who wanted him to be a socialist, he appeared to be a leftist out to destroy the free market. All this despite exposing a cozy relationship with Wall Street, bailing out the banksters during the housing bubble of 2008 that led to the recent recession. For folks who wanted him to be a Muslim he was an undercover agent for Sharia law despite the massive harm he dealt the Muslim world at large. For those who wanted him to be a beacon of change for racial equality, he was a latter-day Martin Luther King Jr. despite leaving the White House with America's race relations more precarious than they have been in decades. For those who wanted him to be our greatest president, he was unparalleled in history despite several liberals and even more progressives pointing out how problematic he really was when you took a peek at the man behind the mask.
The more you investigate what lies below the surface, the more the cracks appear in that visage, specter or window dressing that passes for the past president.
For instance, what of the larger white lies or embellishments from Barack's memoirs, Dreams Of My Father? He relates in that book, and elsewhere, his grandfather's supposed torture at the hands of the British. Vox refers to "interview after interview to often-British reporters" about how Hussein Onyango Obama, Malik and Obama's father's father, had been beaten, even had his testicles squeezed by metal rods and much more. When we asked Mr. Obama what he knew of these supposed events, he dismisses this tidbit with the same shake of the head that accompanied the question about Barack being Muslim.
"No, that I think is somewhat fabricated. Obama's book, he wrote it, he sent me a manuscript. I was supposed to look over it and see if everything was okay and some parts, it's a long book so some of it, I didn't even bother. I just read it and I was just happy that he was writing a book. He sent it to me and he acknowledges me as his elder brother to look it over. There were some parts that were not really true because I know my grandfather and I was close to my grandmother and she would tell me a lot of things but I never heard anything about him being jailed. Okay, he was a cook, he went to a war, he was one, World War II. He went to Burma. He was over in Zanzibar. He was all these places. He was a soldier, an African soldier in the war but I never heard that he was jailed, never, never. So I don't know about all that. And I was just skipping through the book and so forth. If I had started to ask about them, I was lazy, I think I was lazy at the time so I just let it go and I said okay, it's a book. Whatever was really, really, really out of place, I'd change it and so forth but some of that stuff, I don't know. I think it was just the things that he made up."
His claims are corroborated in an article from the UK paper The Telegraph which cites a biography by David Maraniss who spoke with five associates of Hussein Onyango Obama who doubt the man was ever jailed, much less subjected to sado-sexual torments. Quintessentially ironic when you consider the ACLU and other groups have brought the junior Obama to task multiple times for allowing actual torture to take place on his watch.
Whatever it was in Barack Obama Jr. that has made him such a media darling has also kept him shielded from criticism. Who knows how long that glossy surface of respectability that still seems to coat the younger Obama may last before it begins to tarnish fully. Perhaps as more facts come out, as more consequences, intended and unintended, arise from the domestic and foreign policy faux pas, the image of Barack as a Kennedyesque political superhero may fade away entirely.