The Italian edition of Vanity Fair has recently tracked down George Hussein Onyango Obama, half brotherof the presumptive Democratic nominee, living in a two by three meter shack in a small town near Nairobi. The man’s income amounts to about one dollar per day, and the neighborhood he lives in is extremely dangerous. During the recent disturbances following the disputed presidential election Obama’s town saw extensive rioting in which six people were hacked to death. This in turn provoked severe police brutality.
In case you’re wondering, George Obama’s famous brother is aware of him and his circumstances. Barack Obama mentions his half brother in his autobiography, and he met him during his last visit to Kenya in 2006. For his part, George Obama says he is too ashamed of his circumstances to even admit to most people that he is related to the famous U.S. Senator. Of course, this begs the question: what exactly is Barack Obama doing for his Kenyan relations?
If this were the only example of the junior Senator from Illinois allowing a close relative to suffer in penury, we might be able to over look it. But just last year, during the Democratic primaries, Obama himself made a point of discussing his Kenyan grandmother’s impoverished condition:
“It’s that experience, that understanding, not just of what world leaders I went and talked to in the ambassadors house I had tea with, but understanding the lives of the people like my grandmother who lives in a tiny hut in Africa,”
Now, in the interest of objectivity, it’s important to note that by the standards of her own village Grandma Obama is living a fairly decent life, and some bloggers have raised serious questions about the actual extent of her penury. Nevertheless, the point is that Barack Obama himself, according to his own statements, believes that his grandmother lives in impoverished circumstances. Fine. So, what is he doing about her living situation? And for that matter, what is he doing for his half brother, who clearly does live in a “hut” and barely survives on about $1 per day?
Some people may argue that this is irrelevant to the real issues that should be the focus of this campaign. I disagree. This is a real issue, because the American people need to know that their president shares their values. One of the preeminent American values is family responsibility. Most Americans get up and go to work every day to take care of their families. Most Americans help their needy family members if they have the ability, and Barack Obama, who made four milliondollars last year, clearly has the ability to help Sarah and George Obama if he wanted to do so. The fact that he does not, despite the high level of publicity that these cases have garnered, says something very unflattering about him.