Barack Obama’s promotional materials, as late as 2007, said he was born in Kenya. Read about it here and then, come back.
Why would he do this? It seems crazy.
Imagine you’re a hippie kid. Your dad is some Kenyan big wig. Your mom is a self-important sociologist doing such important work that you, Barack Obama, must be left home with grandma and grandpa.
You are boring.
You are a mixed race kid on Hawaii in the sixties which is not a big deal because everyone has Hawaiian blood and has mocha skin. You are relatively wealthy and end up at a prep school with other wealthy kids.
You have to justify your existence.
No mom. No dad. Rather provincial, if privileged, Hawaiian life, but lots of questions from peers.
What do you do?
Well, nothing, other than smoke dope, do cocaine (expensive – but no big deal for rich kids), and hang out acting like a badass.
And then, there’s privileged college which you navigate by being mundane and calculated.
You don’t find yourself there. You just find out how you don’t want to self-identify.
Like Elizabeth Warren, it’s really not enough to be a white, privileged kid. Or even a mixed-raced privileged kid.
It takes some resume juicing to be legit in the diversity crowd.
So, you lie.
You pretend you’re a man of the world. You tell people you were born in Kenya. You brag about your time in Indonesia.
You don’t talk about Hawaii.
You don’t talk about your white mother.
You don’t talk about your white grandparents who raised you and gave you a conventional, privileged upbringing.
You pretend you’re part of the victim class.
You pretend you’re worldly wise.
You idealize your Kenyan roots and lie about having tight ones.
You create a whole tapestry of falsehoods about yourself — not only does it make you feel better about being abandoned, it gives you credibility with those who judge not on the content of your character but the color of your skin, the exotic nature of your past, the superficialities of diversity.
Hippie lefties, it turns out, are kinda biased against people with conventional upper middle class American backgrounds.
Barack Obama wasn’t born in Kenya.
Barack Obama didn’t have some tortured, hard-scrabble youth.
Barack Obama was a materially indulged, emotionally deprived typical American child of divorce.
It’s his conventionality that embarrasses him.
And that’s why he lied.
MORE QUESTIONS. Bookworm says:
Normally, in the years since the Civil Rights movement, the answer would be “Yes, being half-black (not half-white, but half-black) should have given Obama the leg-up he needed to parlay mediocre grades and a drug habit into a shiny diploma from one of America’s best institutions of higher education.” Obama’s problem, though, was that he came of age at a very specific time in the annals of affirmative action. To appreciate this, you have to know that Obama, who graduated from high school in 1979, must have started looking at colleges in 1978.
When it comes to college admissions, 1978 isn’t just any year. It’s a very special year. It was the year that the Supreme Court decided Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978) 438 U.S. 265.
Allan Bakke was a young man with an excellent academic record, who nevertheless got turned down by 12 medical schools. When he applied to the medical school at UC Davis, and was again rejected, he learned that he had almost certainly lost out on the opportunity to attend that medical school because UC had set a quota for admitting non-white people in order to meet the University’s “diversity” requirements. Bakke sued. In a deeply fragmented decision, the Supreme Court held that this race-based admission process was unconstitutional.