News & Politics

'Dreams From My Father,' but Son Uninterested in His Actual Words

(AP Photo/Dennis Rivera) - Puerto Rico OUT

This Father’s Day, the First Family is happily vacationing in Yosemite on your dime, but Barack Hussein Obama II can’t be bothered to take a short trip up to Harlem’s Schomburg Center to catch up on a little of his own father’s history:

The archivist stumbled across the file in a stack of boxes on the second floor of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. The yellowing letters inside dated back more than half a century, chronicling the dreams and struggles of a young man in Kenya.

He was ambitious and impetuous, a 22-year-old clerk who could type 75 words a minute and translate English into Swahili. But he had no money for college. So he pounded away on a typewriter in Nairobi, pleading for financial aid from universities and foundations across the Atlantic. His letters would help change the course of American history.

Much for the worse, one might observe. America’s first anti-American president, so contemptuous of the land he presumes to lead, shows his disdain in just about every word and deed. But, having achieved some measure of manufactured renown via his (ghostwritten?) fictionalized “memoir,” Dreams From My Father, how can it be that he has shown zero interest in this story?

“It has been my long cherished ambition to further my studies in America, ”he wrote in 1958. His name was Barack Hussein Obama, and his dispatches helped unleash a stream of scholarship money that carried him from Kenya to the United States. There, he fathered the child who would become the nation’s first black president, only to vanish from his son’s life a few years after his birth.

In 2013, the Schomburg Center invited President Obama to see the newly discovered documents, which included nearly two dozen of his father’s letters, his transcripts from the University of Hawaii and Harvard University, and references from professors, advisers and supporters. Nearly three years later, as Mr. Obama celebrates his last Father’s Day in the White House, the center is still waiting for a response.

Yes, you read that right. The man at the center of the “birtherism” controversy (first raised by the Hillary Clinton campaign during the 2008 primary season, lest we forget), whose own literary agent claimed he was “born in Kenya,” can’t be bothered to care?

Read the whole thing, which is a fascinating portrait of an admitted bigamist, deadbeat dad and all-around grifter who spent a good deal of his time begging suckers for money.

It was while pursuing his undergraduate degree at the University of Hawaii in 1960 that Barack Obama Sr. met Ann Dunham, a classmate. Although he already had a wife and two children in Kenya, he married her the following year, after she became pregnant. Their son was born on Aug. 4, 1961. But Barack Obama Sr. never mentioned his new wife and son, not even in his scholarship applications.

In 1963, as he applied for a grant to help cover his graduate studies at Harvard, Barack Obama Sr. was asked on a financial aid form about his marital status and number of dependents. He left the section blank.

Relatives have described Barack Obama Sr. as a complicated man, brilliant and imperious, charming and brash, who began to drink heavily as his dreams of becoming one of Kenya’s leading government economists foundered. He died in a car crash at age 46 without ever fulfilling his early promise.

BHO I may be gone, but the Narrative will never die.