Thursday, March 29, 2007

Barack Obama makes up story about a black man who had tried to whiten his skin

Richard Cohen:

In his memoir, "Dreams From My Father," he recounts a watershed moment of his own -- a "revelation," a "violent" awakening, an incident that "permanently altered" his "vision." Twice he tells how as a 9-year-old he went to the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia (a country where his mother had taken him to live) and came across a Life magazine article about a black man who had tried to whiten his skin through some sort of chemical process. The result was a disaster.

"I felt my face and neck get hot," Obama wrote. "My stomach knotted; the type began to blur on the page."

The child had, for the first time, confronted racism and its hideous consequences.

Only there is no such issue of Life magazine. So says the Chicago Tribune, which has gone through the Obama memoir with commendable thoroughness. The newspaper conducted "more than 40 interviews with former classmates, teachers, friends and neighbors" from Obama's youth and found both trivial and substantial differences between the stories Obama tells and those recalled by others. What emerges from the Tribune's reporting is a man who seems much less fixated than he insists on finding his racial identity.

When the Tribune told Obama that Life magazine historians could find no such story, Obama suggested it might have been Ebony -- "or it might have been . . . who knows what it was?" (The Tribune says Ebony's archivists also could not come up with such an article.)

Obama skepticism spreading

Obama: Insincere or not-all-that-bright?

Obama as the postmodern John Cheever of Honolulu


At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Marj said...

My gosh, the young man (about 33, I think, when he wrote the memoir) was reminiscing about something that occurred when he was 8 or 9! Who cares what the name of the magazine was -- the memory imprint is still very valid!

At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Hank said...

the memory imprint is still very valid

Not if he made it up.

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Scott said...

It was Time magazine.,9171,899347-5,00.html

Guess this is just another silly attempt to create a scandal out of thin air.

At 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry but a one sentence reference in a much larger Time magazine article doesn't add up to photos and a profile of a disfigured Black. Plus, the Time magazine article was published in 1966. Obama didn't arrive in Indonesia until a year later and wasn't nine until 1970.

Obama invented one of the key events in his life.

Why would Obama lie? It's not hard to figure out - put two and two together. He wrote the book when he was looking at running for political office. And he was a young man with limited ties to the community.

How does a politician whose mom was white, went to Harvard Law School and grew up in Hawaii get accepted by the black community of Chicago, many of whom faced discrimination throughout their lives? You claim that you too have experienced prejudice. Obama sought to convince voters that he shared in their pain and was himself a victim of discrimination.

And Obama continues to lie, claiming the story that was never published was in another magazine.

Silly story? No it goes right to heart of Obama's character and fitness for President.


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