“What I saw was he was the kind of person that wants people to worship him. He needs to be worshiped and I don’t do that.”
That was Malik Obama in an August 1 interview with the New York Post. Obama, 62, was promoting his new book, Big Bad Brother from Kenya, and his interview proved enlightening on several fronts.
Malik managed a foundation named after his father, the Kenyan Barak H. Obama. In a telephone call shortly before the 2009 inauguration, the American president-elect “insisted I shut down the website and not continue with the foundation.” If Malik continued with the idea, the president threatened “to cut me off.”
In 2015, Malik Obama made an appeal on behalf of Aunt Hawa, living in poverty and working as a charcoal seller. The president told Malik he was “broke.” Aunt Zeituni Onyango died penniless in 2014 and Malik Obama appealed for $20,000 to transport her remains back to Kenya. The president said that was “too much” and ponied up only $5,000.
As Malik Obama explains, “I don’t understand how somebody who claimed to be a relative or a brother can behave the way that he’s behaving, be so cold and ruthless, and just turn his back on the people he said were his family.”
Malik Obama also charged that Dreams from My Father, was inaccurate and freighted with “embellishments.” For example, Malik’s grandfather was not detained and beaten by British troops in 1949, and that is hardly the book’s only problem.
The author cites a “useful fiction,” in which the Kenyan Barack Obama is “an image I could alter on a whim or ignore when convenient.” In the Dreams account, the Kenyan “bequeaths” his name and by the end the Kenyan is a nameless “Old Man.” In the 2017 Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, David Garrow expanded the revelations.
“Dreams from My Father was not a memoir or an autobiography,” Garrow wrote. “it was instead, in multitudinous ways, without any question a work of historical fiction. It featured many true-to-life figures and a bevy of accurately described events that indeed had occurred, but it employed the techniques and literary license of a novel, and its most important composite character was the narrator himself.”
In his New York Post interview, Malik Obama did not address Rising Star, nor the archive housed at the Harlem-based Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. In all his documents dating from 1958 to 1964 the Kenyan Barack H. Obama makes not a single mention of an American wife and Hawaiian-born son. This material was first made available in 2013 but the president declined several invitations to review the archive.
In 2015, filmmaker Joel Gilbert asked Malik Obama if he saw any resemblance between the president and the Communist Frank Marshall Davis, named only as “Frank” in the Dreams account. “There’s a great resemblance,” said Malik, who was willing to take a DNA test. Malik also he didn’t know what he would do if the president turned out to be “a fraud and a con.”
In October of 2016, Sean Hannity of Fox News asked Malik Obama who he was voting for in November. “Donald Trump,” said Obama, without the slightest hesitation. Four years later, as he told the New York Post, he’s “110 percent still with Trump. He’s not fake. He tells us the way he sees it. He’s bold and fearless and he’s tough.” As for Democrat opponent Joe Biden, “I don’t think he’s going to make it,” Malik Obama said. “His teeth are falling off. He looks like he’s going to drop dead.”
According to the Post, Malik Obama’s Big Bad Brother from Kenya isn’t generating much of a buzz. On the other hand, a forthcoming book by POTUS 44 is already grabbing attention.
“The former president has been writing the book himself, handwriting a first draft on legal pads, the same technique he used for numerous White House speeches and his first best-seller, Dreams From My Father,” USA Today reported in May of 2019. The book is part of a $65 million deal with Random House and release has reportedly been postponed until after the 2020 election.
As David Garrow noted, the president had “strong” disagreements with Rising Star, most likely over the pronouncement that the book was a novel and the author a composite character. So no surprise that the former president should put out the narrative he wants. Former First Lady Michelle had a ghost writer, he says, but POTUS 44 claims to be writing his own account by hand just as he did for Dreams from My Father.
Before that book emerged in 1995, a ballpark figure for the author’s number of publications was zero. Even so, the former Barry Soetoro got a book deal and in 2008 gained election as president of the United States. In 2020, he acts like he’s still president, hailing the “peaceful protesters” attacking police and torching buildings nationwide.
He “wants people to worship him,” Malik Obama says, but there’s more to it. With no apology to John Goodman in The Big Lebowski, this is what happens when a composite character in a fictional narrative becomes president and sets out to fundamentally transform the United States of America.
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