My new VDARE.com column: An excerpt:
While few in the media appear to have read Obama's bestselling memoir all the way through, his press coverage has gotten less rapturous in recent weeks.
Why? Winter. To flee it, numerous big city reporters have convinced their editors to send them on expense-account junkets to Obama's old tropical haunts in Hawaii and Indonesia. The articles they wrote to justify their trips have begun to undermine Obama's carefully crafted façade.
The next credibility problem for Obama's persona: Chicago is a great place to visit once the snow stops falling. As spring arrives, more investigative reporters will head to the Windy City to find out more about Obama's spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah T. Wright Jr., who was one of the organizers of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan's 1995 Million Man March.
In Sunday's Chicago Tribune, Kirsten Scharnberg and Kim Barker report from Honolulu and Jakarta, where Obama spent his first 18 years:
"More than 40 interviews with former classmates, teachers, friends and neighbors in his childhood homes of Hawaii and Indonesia, as well as a review of public records, show … several of his oft-recited stories may not have happened in the way he has recounted them, sometimes making him look better in the retelling, and sometimes skipping over some of the most painful, private moments of his life." [The Not So Simple Story of Barack Obama's Youth, March 25, 2007]
Obama described Indonesia in the late 1960s as idyllic for a small mixed-race boy, while Hawaii in the 1970s was a nightmare of racism. The Tribune reporters found the opposite was closer to the truth.
They interviewed Southeast Asians from his Jakarta neighborhoods:
"All say he was teased more than any other kid in the neighborhood--primarily because he was so different in appearance." He was frequently attacked by three Indonesian kids at once, and one time they threw him in a swamp. "Luckily he could swim."
Conversely, Obama's account of his supposedly oppressed and angry 5th-12th grade years (at Honolulu's most prestigious prep school) make Hawaii sound like Alabama in the 1950s—rather than a state where whites didn't hold any of the top three elective posts at the time. However, the Tribune correspondents note,
"Much time is devoted in Obama's book to exploring his outsider status at Punahou. But any struggles he was experiencing were obscured by the fact that he had a racially diverse group of friends--many of whom often would crowd into his grandparents' apartment, near Punahou, after school let out."
Obama exploits his typical reader's ignorance of Hawaii's very different racial rules. For instance:
"Obama described having long, heated conversations about racism with another black student, 'Ray,' who once railed: 'Tell me we wouldn't be treated different if we was white. Or Japanese. Or Hawaiian.' The real Ray, located by the Tribune, is actually half black and half Japanese. And according to a close friend from high school, that young man was perceived and treated as one of Punahou's many mixed-race students." [More]
The downside for Obama in these Hawaiian articles is twofold: First the vast majority of Americans have no idea that his autobiography is stuffed full of racial resentment. That's the opposite of the image he's trying to project. Second, these investigative reports make him look hyper-sensitive and disingenuous