Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Does Barack Obama Really Care about the Poor?

If President Obama really cares for poor – why has he never lifted a finger to help the poor in his own family?

Here is a telling personal peculiarity about Obama: some of his closest relatives are living in desperate poverty, yet he refuses to help them in any way. His father’s sister is Hawa Auma. This is how she describes herself: “I am the daughter of Hussein Onyango Obama and the sister of Barack Obama senior and the aunt of the president.”

Hawa Auma is a widow in her seventies, and you can find her on the streets of a small town in Kenya called Oyugis. There she sells charcoal by the side of the road, making barely enough to live on. She says she would like to get her teeth fixed, but she doesn’t have the money.6

Then there is George Obama, the president’s half-brother. George is the eighth and youngest child of Barack Obama Sr., a son he conceived with his fourth wife, Jael Otieno. Dinesh D'Souza first encountered George during the 2008 presidential campaign when he came across an article in a London newspaper saying that “George Obama, Barack Obama’s long-lost brother, was tracked down living in a hut on the outskirts of Nairobi.” In the article, George was quoted saying that he lived on a few dollars a day. He was reluctant to use the name Obama. “If anyone says something about my surname, I say we are not related. I am ashamed.” A subsequent report on CNN showed George’s six-by-ten-foot hut in the Huruma slums of Nairobi. One of George’s neighbors, Emelda Negei, told CNN, “I would like Obama to visit his brother to see how he is living, to improve his way of life.” But Obama never has, nor has he provided a penny to help George. 7

Finally, there is the case of the Barack Obama Schools in the Kenyan village of Kogelo, where Obama’s father grew up. Obama visited Kogelo as a U.S. senator in 2006, and he was given a hero’s welcome. There are two schools in Kogelo, and both were renamed after him: Senator Obama Primary School and Senator Obama Secondary School. One third of the students there are orphans. Obama toured the secondary school and saw its dilapidated classrooms that lacked electricity, sanitation, and running water. He told the people gathered there, including the Kenyan president, local politicians, and the press, “Hopefully I can provide some assistance in the future to this school.” Later he assured Principal Yuanita Obiero, “I have said I will assist the school and I will do so.”

Two years later, in July 2008, Obiero told the London Evening Standard, “Obama has not honored the promises he gave me. He has not given us even one shilling. But we still have hope.”8

Dinesh D'Souza visited the school in mid-2012 and was told that Obama has yet to contribute anything to help. One local resident told him, “We have completely given up hoping that he is going to do anything for us.”

Most of the American press simply refuses to report this kind of information about President Obama. This is bizarre in itself, because the stories are both interesting and relevant. Obama’s own conduct in these situations is odd, not only because Obama is a multimillionaire and the most powerful man in the world—it would take so little for him to help—but also because his entire political agenda seems to be based on asking people who are well off to pay more to assist those who are not so well off. Obama wants to force the rich to pay more taxes in order to benefit the poor and the middle class (or so he says). Yet in situations where Obama is in a direct position to contribute and one would think has every reason to contribute, because many of these are family; where even a little assistance would go a long way. Yet -  he doesn’t provide any assistance whatsoever.

Notes & References

6 Peter Firstbrook, The Obamas (Crown Publishers, 2010), p. 169; Sally Jacobs, The Other Barack (Public Affairs, 2011), p. 25.

7 Nick Pisa, “Barack Obama’s ‘lost’ brother found in Kenya,” London Telegraph, August 20, 2008, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/2590614/Barack-Obamas-lost-brother-found-in-Kenya.html;
David McKenzie, “Behind the Scenes: Meet George Obama,” CNN, August 22, 2008, http://articles.cnn.com/2008-08-22/politics/bts.obama.brother_1_half-brother-kenyan-father-barackobama?_s=PM:POLITICS.

8 David Cohen, “Barack Obama’s Broken Promise to African Village,” London Evening Standard, July 25, 2008.

Excerpt from - Obama's America: Unmaking the American Dream by D'Souza, Dinesh  (2012-08-13). Perseus Books Group.

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