Barack Obama

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"Magical negro" Barack Obama

Barack Hussein Obama II (b. 4 August 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is an American politician and served as the 44th President of the United States from 20 January 2009 until 20 January 2017.[1] The first mixed race president, often described as Black, he was extremely popular among politically correct supporters before being elected, and was quickly given the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, after being president for only nine months.

Early life and family

Obama as a young man
Obama and roommate Sohale Siddiqi

Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to a Muslim, African father from Kenya, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., and a Caucasian American mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who is of Anglo-Saxon and German descent. According to divorce records they were married on February 2, 1961 in Maui. However, no guests attended the "ceremony" and there were no witnesses to the alleged marriage.[2] Also no marriage certificate has yet to appear. Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle, said Obama's mother was “very young and very single when she had him.”[3] Barack Obama himself has questions about the alleged marriage. In his memoir, Dreams From My Father he states, “How and when the marriage occurred remains a bit murky, a bill of particulars that I have never quite had the courage to explore.”[4] There is no evidence Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham ever lived together or shared a common residence. Barack Obama Sr. never financially supported his ‘wife’ or his son.[5]

Fifteen days after Barack Obama’s birth, Ann leaves Hawaii and moves with him to Washington state where she enrolls in extension classes at the University of Washington in Seattle on August 19, 1961.[6] By April 1963 Ann returns to Hawaii--after Barack Obama Sr. departed to study at Harvard-- where she enrolls again at the University of Hawaii.[7] Barack Obama Sr. would see his son and Ann only once in 1971. From Harvard, Obama Sr. returned to Kenya and went on to engage in numerous relationships, fathering several children. In 1982 he died in a drunk driving accident.

In January 1964, Ann Dunham filed for divorce citing "grievous mental suffering."

Indonesia and the influence of Islam

Stanley Ann Dunham would go on to marry an Indonesian Muslim, Lolo Soetoro, and moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where the family lived for four years. She later gave birth to a daughter, Maya Soetoro.

While in Indonesia Obama attended two different grade schools. The first one was the Franciscan Asisi Primary School where he claimed he became fluent in the Indonesian language in just six months. His first grade teacher however disputes this and said he struggled with the language and his studies. Although the school was Catholic, Barry Soetoro as he was known then, was registered at the school as an Indonesian citizen born in Honolulu, Hawaii and whose religion was listed as Islam.[8]

Barry attended this school for three years until the family moved and he was enrolled in Besuki Primary School which was predominately Muslim. It has mistakenly been described as a Madrassa, however the school did teach the usual subjects including the Quran.

Private schooling and communist mentor

Ann, Barack and his sister Maya moved back to Hawaii and enrolled him in Punahou School an elite private high school.[9] His mother returned to Indonesia leaving Obama to be raised by his white grandparents. In high school Obama played basketball and admits in his memoir that he drank alcohol and used marijuana and cocaine. He made poor grades in his final high school years due to his drug use.[10] He found part-time employment working at a burger chain and at Baskin-Robbins.

At the time one of Obama’s acquaintances and close friend of his grandfather was Frank Marshall Davis, a communist party member. Davis and Obama had something of a father-son relationship.


After graduation from Punahou, Obama attended Occidental College (September 1979 - June 1981) a small liberal arts college in Los Angeles, California where he continued his drug use and played basketball. Several of his close friends and roommates were Pakistani Muslims. At Occidental, Obama became involved in the anti-apartheid movement and divestment in white South Africa.[11]

In the summer of 1981 after graduating from Occidental, Obama and a Pakistani roommate traveled to Asia. They first visited Obama’s mother and sister in Indonesia. From there, Obama and his companion traveled to Karachi, Pakistan and stayed with a friend’s family for three weeks. They later visited Hyderabad in Southern India.

Later Obama moved to New York City to attend Columbia College, claiming to have studied political science and international relations. The Obama campaign declined media requests to release his transcript at Columbia or name anyone he knew who could give an interview concerning his college days. Few seem to have remembered him at Columbia which has led to speculation he rarely attended classes.[12] One person Obama knew in New York was Sohale Siddiqi, a drug addict and illegal immigrant from Pakistan. Obama and Siddiqi would become roommates, living several blocks from the university.

Questions concerning Obama’s "thesis" at Columbia have remained as much of a mystery as his transcripts. On professor during his senior year claims the "thesis" or a paper written by Obama exists but has been lost. Michael Baron a former professor at Columbia’s political science department and an Obama supporter remembers the paper to have been on the topic of Soviet nuclear disarmament. A New York Times article claims his "thesis" was on the North-South debate concerning international trade.[13] The university has said at the time no thesis was necessary for graduation.


Directly after graduating Columbia, Obama joined the corporate world and worked for one year at Business International Corporation as an editor in their business information division. Business International (BI) was a newsletter publishing company assisting businesses operating abroad. Obama discussed his time at Business International in his memoir in which he exaggerates his position at the firm. Co-workers found him to be condescending.[14]

In January, 1984 he joined the New York Public Interest Research Group a government reform organization started by Ralph Nader. Obama became an organizer for City College in Harlem working with student volunteers.[15] He was a campus organizer focused on waste management working to promote recycling instead of incineration of solid materials. He worked for three months in Harlem and moved on to Chicago as an organizer for the Industrial Areas Foundation.[16]


In Chicago he worked as director for the Developing Communities Project, a church-based social action group.[17]

Harvard Law School

After four years in Chicago as a community organizer, Obama entered Harvard Law School in the fall of 1988. At Harvard he was elected the first Black president of the Harvard Law Review and received his first national recognition.[18] Until the 1970s, the choice of president of Harvard Law Review was based upon grades and achievement. The selection process was changed and entered the arena of politics and popularity to ensure minority participation.[19]

Even for a liberal university like Harvard the choice of Obama was controversial. The student editors of the Review deliberated behind closed doors from 8:30 a.m. until early the next day. Eventually they chose their first Black president of Harvard Law Review making their political statement. They were continuing an affirmative action tradition; Obama as president would be replacing Peter Yu the first Chinese-American president of Harvard Law Review.

Barack Obama never contributed an article to the publication he supposedly edited. Also he failed to become a Federal Appeals Court clerk which would have been routine for any Harvard Law Review president.

Political activism

From New York, Obama went to Chicago and became a community organizer. Politically he moved in black militant and leftist circles. He joined Trinity United Church of Christ, a radical black power church.

He became a state legislator for Illinois from 1997 to 2004, an office held by former radical Alice Palmer. He won the office with no opposition having his supporters to disqualify others who were on the ballot.[20]

Many of Obama’s successes as a state legislator were pushed by Senate President Emil Jones, Jr. a powerful African-American member of the Illinois Senate who added Obama’s name to proposed legislation. Jones became the “king maker” and prepared Obama for a run at the United States Senate. A record 26 bills were passed giving Obama credit for progressive legislation he would later use to propel himself to higher office.[21] Many of the bills were passed in the final year of Obama’s term as Illinois state legislator.

Later Barack Obama ran for US Congress against former Black Panther Rep. Bobby Rush. Rush would claim Obama was an elitist and not black enough to represent the district. Rush won with a 30 percentage point vote margin.[22]

Barack Obama ran for the U.S. Senate and won the election after several Republican candidates dropped out of the election due to scandals. Obama’s final Republican opponent was Alan Keyes, a Black religious conservative who once suggested Jesus Christ himself would vote against Obama.[23]

Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention while still an Illinois state legislator. He went on to win election to the U.S. Senate in November 2004 with a landslide 70% of the vote in an election year marked by Republican gains.

As a member of the Democratic minority in the 109th Congress, Obama co-sponsored the enactment of conventional weapons control and transparency legislation, and made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

2008 Presidential election

Obama with his wife Michelle at his victory speech in November 2008
Obama speaking to AIPAC
Barack Obama with family, Twitter, May 2022

On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois. Throughout the campaign, Obama emphasized the issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and providing universal health care.

During both the primary process and the general election, Obama's campaign set numerous fundraising records, particularly in the quantity of small donations. On June 19, Obama became the first major-party presidential candidate to turn down public financing in the general election since the system was created in 1976.

A large number of candidates initially entered the Democratic Party presidential primaries. After a few initial contests, the field narrowed to a contest between Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton, with each winning some states and with the race remaining nearly tied throughout the primary process. On June 3, with all states counted, Obama passed the threshold to become the presumptive nominee. On that day, he gave a victory speech in St. Paul, Minnesota. Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed him on June 7. From that point on, he campaigned for the general election race against Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee.

On August 23, 2008, Obama selected Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate. At the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, Obama's former rival Hillary Clinton gave a speech in support of Obama's candidacy and later called for Obama to be nominated by acclamation as the Democratic presidential candidate. On August 28, Obama delivered a speech to the 84,000 supporters in Denver. During the speech, which was viewed by over 38 million people worldwide, he accepted his party's nomination and presented his policy goals.

After McCain was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate, there were three presidential debates between Obama and McCain in September and October 2008. In November, Obama won the presidency with 53% of the popular vote and a wide electoral college margin.

Presidency (2009–2017)

Foreign policy

He was given the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, after being president for only nine months.

Obama ordered military involvement in Libya in opposition to Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed by NATO-assisted forces, contributing to the civil war in Libya and mass immigration from and through Libya to Europe. He withdrew American forces from Iraq, but supported the uprising in Syria, contributing to the Syrian Civil War, the rise of ISIS, the invasion of Iraq by ISIS from Syria, and mass immigration from and through Syria and Iraq to Europe.


On May 9, 2012, shortly after the official launch of his campaign for re-election as president, Obama said his views had evolved, and he publicly affirmed his personal support for the legalization of same-sex marriage, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so.

During his second inaugural address on January 21, 2013, Obama became the first U.S. president in office to call for full equality for gays in USA, and the first to mention gay rights or the word "gay" in an inaugural address.


Obama's presidency ended on January 20, 2017, upon the inauguration of his successor, Donald Trump.

Obama acquired a lavish celebrity lifestyle after ending his presidency.[24] He spent much of his time vacationing in exclusive and elite locations around the world.[25]

He spent much time with celebrities, such as in 2017 on a $300 million yacht with celebrities such as Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks, and Oprah Winfrey,[26] and in Italy in 2019 with George Clooney.[27]

In 2017, Obama accepted a $400,000 speech backed by Wall Street,[28] something that stunned even many liberals.[29] Despite the criticism over the speech, Obama gave another $400,000 speech shortly afterward.[30]

Obama the Magic Negro-Gate

David Ehrenstein, a liberal writer with a secular Jewish father with Polish ancestors and a half African-American mother was, wrote an opinion piece on 19 March 2007 in the Los Angeles Times called "Obama the 'Magic Negro.'" He argued that whites, according to sociologists, stereotype blacks as "dangerous." But whites consider Barack Obama accessible, likeable and "benign." This, according to Ehrenstein, explains Obama's "crossover" appeal. The article insults whites, by accusing them of voting for Obama merely to assuage their own guilt. The article produced virtually no outcry.

"But it's clear that Obama also is running for an equally important unelected office, in the province of the popular imagination—the 'Magic Negro.' [...] He's there to assuage white guilt over the role of slavery and racial segregation in American history [...] The senator's famously stem-winding stump speeches have been drawing huge crowds to hear him talk of uniting rather than dividing. A praiseworthy goal. Consequently, even the mild criticisms thrown his way have been waved away, "magically." He used to smoke, but now he doesn't; he racked up a bunch of delinquent parking tickets, but he paid them all back with an apology. And hey, is looking good in a bathing suit a bad thing? [...] Like a comic-book superhero, Obama is there to help, out of the sheer goodness of a heart we need not know or understand. For as with all Magic Negroes, the less real he seems, the more desirable he becomes. If he were real, white America couldn't project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on him."[31]

The column received world-wide attention and discussion, especially in the news media and in talk radio. Rush Limbaugh aired a song parody called "Barack, the Magic Negro", sung by Paul Shanklin impersonating Al Sharpton and based on the Peter, Paul, and Mary song "Puff, the Magic Dragon". Limbaugh also referred to the 2008 presidential candidate as the "magic negro" several times during his radio broadcast, each time prefacing the reference by explaining that the title came from Ehrenstein and/or the LA Times.

Chip Saltsman, a candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, sent the song on a CD with 40 other songs, in a Christmas mailer to committee members. Doesn't the mailer, asked several cable news programs, expose the Republicans -- yet again -- for their tone deafness on the issue of race? CNN host Anderson Cooper asked about the term "Negro." Isn't it pejorative? Never mind the parody actually satirized Al Sharpton. The song implies that Sharpton hoped against an Obama victory, for it crushes Sharpton's argument about America's alleged institutional racism, a force so potent in a country so racist that Obama could not win. An Obama win threatens to reduce the significance of Sharpton-like black leaders. And never mind a black liberal -- who started the whole thing -- called Obama a "Negro." When will the GOP -- on the issue of race -- go on the offense? After all, for 100 years, the Democratic Party showed its tone deafness to the rights of blacks. Democrats opposed the 13th Amendment (freeing the slaves), the 14th Amendment (making ex-slaves citizens) and the 15th Amendment (that, on paper at least, gave blacks the right to vote). Democrats founded the Ku Klux Klan -- some even call it the "terrorist wing of the Democratic Party." And a greater percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Alabama Gov. George "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" Wallace was a Democrat. Georgia Gov. Lester Maddox, who as a restaurateur, left pick handles hanging on the walls to provide customers recourse in the event an uppity black tried to enter his restaurant. He was a Democrat. Arkansas Gov. Orville Faubus attempted, in 1957, to prevent the integration of Little Rock High School. He was a Democrat. Bull Connor, the commissioner of public safety for Birmingham, Ala., turned water hoses and dogs on civil rights activists. He was a Democrat.[32]

The Less And Less Magic Negro

Back in March of '07, black LA writer David Ehrenstein wrote a now-famous piece called "Obama the 'Magic Negro'." In it, he likened Obama to a favorite media "figure of postmodern folk culture..." that needs to be added to the canon of media caricatures immortalized in Donald Bogle's Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies & Bucks. This new figure provides "yeoman service to his white benefactors." It is a character seen as selflessly serving white people--with his life if necessary. Think Scatman Crothers in The Shining, who sacrifices his life to save the white hero. Think the semi-retarded "magical" creature in The Green Mile, who uses his healing Negro powers to save the lives of white people associated with his false imprisonment. [...] But now a change is coming, and Ehrenstein predicted it. "For as with all Magic Negroes," he wrote, "the less real he seems, the more desirable he becomes. If he were real, white American couldn't project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on him." David Brooks' recent New York Times column bore the title "How Obama Fell to Earth," and it reads like a primer on Ehrenstein's thesis. "But the fact is," Brooks wrote, "that voters want a president who basically shares their values and life experiences." The unspoken here is "white" before the word "voters." Why would he believe that a half-black man born of a Kenyan father and raised in Malaysia and Hawaii who went to Ivy League schools would share "values and life experiences" with the average white American man? Only the Magic Negro could do that. Brooks admits as much when he writes: "When Obama began this ride, he seemed like a transcendent figure who could understand a wide variety of life experiences." Translation: "He seemed pretty white." Brooks tries to remove the racial tinge by saying that Obama now seems too much like "my old neighbors in Hyde Park in Chicago." Please. Obama never presented as anything other than an Ivy League intellectual. He has never seemed anything other than Hyde Park. However, the Magic Negro glamor allowed whites like Brooks to project upon Obama their Fantasy Black Man. To them, he was one who sympathized with white southerners who abandoned the Democrats during the civil rights movement. He was one who sympathized with whites who crossed the street when they see a black man walk toward them. He was Magic.[33]

See also

External links


  1. Barack Obama served as the 44th President of the United States
  2. The Story of Barack Obama's Mother
  3. Michelle: barry’s mom was “very young and very single when she had him”
  4. Secrets of Obama Family Unlocked
  5. Old photos, new questions about Obama nativity
  6. Old photos, new questions about Obama nativity
  7. New doubts revealed in Obama's nativity story
  8. Tracking Down Obama in Indonesia - Part 3
  9. The not-so-simple story of Barack Obama's youth
  10. Punahou left lasting impression on Obama
  11. Oxy Remembers "Barry" Obama '83
  12. Did Barack Obama go to Columbia?
  13. Is (His) Biography (Our) Destiny?
  14. Barack Obama Embellishes His Resume
  15. Obama’s Account of New York Years Often Differs From What Others Say
  16. Becoming Obama: "Frighteningly Coherent" in New York
  17. Barack Obama's Law Personality
  18. Obama's women reveal his secret
  19. First Black Elected to Head Harvard's Law Review
  20. Obama knows his way around a ballot
  21. Obama the Screamer
  22. Obama the Screamer
  23. The Opportunistic Rise of Barack Obama
  24. Hobnobbing Obama raking in the cash post-presidency -- while still dabbling in politics
  25. Barack Obama is probably lying on a beach in a deserted paradise right now
  26. Good Friday: Obamas Join Winfrey, Springsteen, Hanks on David Geffen’s Yacht
  27. Jet Setting Obamas Seen Hobnobbing with the Clooneys on Ritzy Lake Como
  28. Obama spokesman defends reported $400,000 Wall Street-backed speech
  29. Obama's $400G Wall Street speech leaves liberal base stunned
  30. Obama reportedly pulls in another $400G for speech
  31. David Ehrenstein: "Obama the 'Magic Negro'", Los Angeles Times, 2007
  32. Obama the Magic Negro-Gate
  33. Obama The Less And Less Magic Negro