BTR News: Obama’s Manufactured African-American Political Identity

Pulitzer Prize-winning David J. Garrow, an American historian and author of the book Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, has a new biography about Barack Obama that could be titled “The Obama Deception”.

Excerpts from the book paint a picture of a young man, who made a conscious decision in his twenties to transform himself into an African-American, which he did not identify as until he decided to get into Chicago politics.

“The white woman Obama first proposed marriage to said, “In the winter of ‘86, when we visited my parents, he asked me to marry him,” she told Garrow. Her parents were opposed, less for any racial reasons (Barack came across to them like “a white, middle-class kid,” a close family friend said). After his proposal was rejected, it was then during that relationship, that Obama set his sights on a political career and decided to seek a Black wife to help him attain his political goals.”

A review of the book reads, “Maraniss’s 2012 biography describes Obama’s conscious evolution from a multicultural, internationalist self-perception toward a distinctly African-American one, and Garrow puts this transition into an explicitly political context. For black politicians in Chicago, he writes, a non-African-American spouse could be a liability. He cites the example of Richard H. Newhouse Jr., a legendary African-American state senator in Illinois, who was married to a white woman and endured whispers that he “talks black but sleeps white.” And Carol Moseley Braun, who during the 1990s served Illinois as the first female African-American U.S. senator and whose ex-husband was white, admitted that “an interracial marriage really restricts your political options.”

For some, the revelations explain Obama’s disconnection with Black issues and why he was so emphatically against reparations for the descendants of enslaved Africans. For others, denial is a river running through their minds.

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