“You been misled. You been had. You been took…”
– Malcolm X, 1964
During their debate at Hofstra University, Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton accused Republican opponent Donald Trump of perpetuating a ‘racist myth’ that America’s ‘first black president’ – Barack Hussein Obama – was not, in fact, an American. In the process of levelling this false charge Mrs Clinton laid bare her own mendacity in a manner that took the breath away.
Since launching his bid for the White House, both Mr Obama and the Democratic Party have perpetrated a fraud on the world by suggesting that Mr Obama, who is biracial, is a ‘black man’ and that his 2008 presidential election was a tribute to the ‘inclusiveness’ of the Democratic Party and represented a milestone that would have been impossible were Mr Obama to have sought nomination by the ‘racist’ Republican Party.
At no time has anyone explained just why it was that a biracial individual like Mr Obama, who was abandoned in childhood by his black Kenyan father and wholly raised by his white American mother and grandparents, would later perform a bizarre volte face as an adult and embrace his father’s heritage as a mode of self-identification. What possible explanation could anyone offer for Mr Obama’s decision to throw the white heritage to which he owed his upbringing under the bus in adopting the ethnicity of a father who was not only absent from his early life but was reportedly abusive towards his mother?
The only explanation for this conduct lies in the basest and most calculating of political expediency. Mr Obama long ago figured that by self-identifying as a ‘black man’ he could ‘make history’ and command the global stage (and the history books) in a way that would never have been possible were he to have done so either as a ‘white man’ or as a bland ‘biracial’. For only by being ‘black’ would it be possible for him to craft the false narrative that he would later ride all the way to the Oval Office in order to assume his place in history as ‘America’s first black president’ given that a certain George Washington had already foreclosed any possibility of his ever becoming America’s first white one.
Mr Obama has since spent the last eight years passing himself off as something he, in fact, isn’t. The truth remains that America has yet to elect its first black president in the person of a candidate both of whose parents are not just black but are also descended from slaves. But such has been the desperation with which America has sought to overcome its racial past that the country has been willing to embrace Mr Obama as a symbol of that overcoming no matter how false that was. And the eight years of his presidency, far from putting the country’s painful history behind her, has rubbed salt into its wounds and brought it to a perilous climax.
Mr Obama is not now nor will he ever be a ‘black American’ in the same sense in which those who are descended from slaves are. And just as few would claim that an Irish-American of Western European origin shares the same history of genocidal victimisation (at Turkish hands) as an Armenian-American of Eastern European extraction, the suggestion that a half-Kenyan, half-Caucasian of East African lineage somehow shares a common heritage of racial persecution with the Black American descendants of West African slaves is an ahistorical fraud of the first order. West Africans have no more in common with their East African compatriots than do Western Europeans have with their Eastern European counterparts.
Ascribing anti-black racist motivations to Mr Trump for his quest for the birth certificate of the biracial son of a Kenyan immigrant and white Kansan (as Mrs Clinton sought to do during their Hofstra debate) is therefore every bit as absurd as imputing anti-Armenian prejudice to someone investigating the bona fides of an Irishman. Especially since no ‘birther’ movement ever arose in response to the presidential candidacies of the four black Americans (Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Alan Keyes and Herman Cain) who preceded Mr Obama and whose White House bids were wholeheartedly embraced by Mr Trump.