There are a number of reasons to be intrigued by President Obama’s father, the late Barack H. Obama, Sr.
With a background that includes but not limited to involvement in the Kenyan independence movement, becoming the University of Hawaii’s first African foreign student, a return to his native country for work as an economist for the government that ultimately ended in his banishment, his story is certainly worthy of further exploration.
If one has read his junior’s memoir, Dreams from My Father, your interest is likely especially piqued about a dad who had so little to do with his history making son’s life.
Yet, the more reporters begin to sift through the life of Obama Sr. the more it becomes apparent that for some this research is nothing more than a means to a political point making end.
Take for instance, a report from the U.K.’s Daily Mail published back in April that assailed the character of Barack’s father and then declaring, “With a father like this, it is little wonder President Obama did not want to release his full birth certificate.”
Before you ask, yes, the comment is as stupid as it sounds the first time and each time thereafter.
Last time I checked, the identity of President Obama’s father and a long list his flaws have long been made public — at least to anyone who read Obama’s book. As for that birth certificate, for all the brouhaha about it the state of Hawaii released his legal birth certificate back in 2008. Maybe a few details about Obama’s dad’s life are still unknown, but are works themed on rampant accusations about him and somehow trying to relate those to his son he barely knew necessary?
The article quotes a memo from a University of Hawaii foreign student advisor that states Obama’s dad had “been running around with several girls since he first arrived here and last summer she cautioned him about his playboy ways.” Apparently, he said he would “try” to stay away from the girls.
In other words, he was a horny college student with a student visa. Are you overcome with shock yet? If not, allow charges of him being a womanizer and a polygamist who “had an eye for the ladies” move you.
A commenter on the site wrote the piece was nothing more than “veiled racist nonsense masquerading as political analysis” with the attempt to “feed the notion that our first black American president has somehow got ‘impure’ and degenerate blood.”
Considering the charges’ leveled against Obama Sr. and their irrelevance to President Obama’s character it’s hard not to give the allegation some level of consideration.
This week the Boston Globe printed an expose on Obama Sr. that claims that he once contemplated putting his son up for adoption. The story is written through the context that such a move would have very likely changed American history. It is a valid point, but upon reading the article in full the charge seems to be much ado about nothing.
You know, considering Obama’s father probably said that to protect his immigration status given the laws against interracial marriage at the time. That along with the fact that it’s probable he was also hoping to spare his son the charge of being an “anchor baby” — a derogatory term used against children of American citizens who can later act as a sponsor for other family members.
Besides, the writer herself quotes several family members of President Obama’s mother who says she never spoke of giving up her son for adoption. In the end, these kind of stories along with more tales about polygamy and womanizing may help sell her new book, The Other Barack, The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father. But outside of that, what is the growing preoccupation about Barack Hussein Obama Sr.?
Is it to try and gain clues about the president’s psyche by exploring that of his father’s? Most of us have heard the adage, “The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the sons.” To that I say, “Life is like a bunch of chocolates…you never know which one you’re gonna get.” And: “blah, blah, blah.”
We aren’t always our parents — particularly not ones we know very little about. President Obama is his own man. Stories about the guy who helped form him biologically might be okay for a random read, but as far as means of political analysis: give it up, turn it loose.