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Venting: Why Question Obama’s Citizenship?

Updated on March 23, 2019

When I was a child I had no clue that I had to register for school. My parents took care of that for me. Recognizing this simple fact of my childhood caused me to wonder if Obama’s parents and guardians were any different?

I received an e-mail back in 2008 the gist of which said that Obama’s right to be president was to be challenged in Arizona court January 10, 2009. At the same time I got another e-mail that offered evidence that, as a child, Obama claimed foreign citizenship (of Indonesia) to go to a foreign school and used an assumed name to do so.

My reaction, ever so slowly, was, so what?


Consider the Times

Consider that Obama was born and went through his earliest formative years in the 1960’s. Back then, violence was an everyday occurrence on many city streets here in the United States. We were exposed to video broadcasts on new technology televisions that showed us the horrors of the war in Vietnam, showed us the political demonstrations, and showed us the racial violence that was rampant across the country. It was almost normal to hear of the latest assassination, whether it be Jack Kennedy, Malcolm X, Bobby Kennedy, or Martin Luther King.It was the decade of the beginning of desegregation, and to a child it looked like the hatred was extending to the assassination of leadership representatives. Blacks were being bused to white schools, and (lesser publicized) whites were being bused to black schools. Other races and nationalities were being mixed in. We were taught to fear communism, and regard with suspicion anyone who had spent time in another country, or who showed sympathy for other countries. Radical groups of various sorts abounded, some groups focused on religion, some groups focused on race, and some groups focused on the war. Violence was an everyday occurrence. Everybody wanted to show how strongly they cared about their view of the world, and they were willing to resort to violence to provide the emphasis.

Consider the Situation

Now, consider the situation. Think about it. Picture yourself in this situation if you can. A white mother separated from a black husband, with the mother left alone to raise a mixed race son, alone in the United States of the 1960s. In fact, the laws in the United States criminalizing interracial marriage were not ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court until 1967. To many of the people of the United States, such a thing was regarded, by both races, as a sin.

Divorce was also a rarity rather than the norm. Divorce was generally frowned upon by the society of that time. Bigamy was also illegal in the United States, but was legal in other parts of the world. In an environment of religious hatred, racial hatred, changing schools environments, and nearly casual day-to-day violence, how can you fault a mother for finding a way to safely raise her son?

The times were a sad and changing time of growth and maturation for the people of the United States. And yet, it seems the growing and general acceptance of that change was not yet complete.

Resolution & Thank You

"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother" - Abraham Lincoln

Now, look at how it was resolved. The mother found a new father and moved away from the violence to allow the child to survive and be schooled in Indonesia; away from the hatred, away from the violence, and in a more controlled protective environment. My guess is the child did not do that, the parents did. Children, no matter how smart they are, just do not have the capacity to force a move to a new country or a new situation. Children also are not usually savvy enough to create new names for themselves, no matter the reason. That is what parents are for.

I think about this, and I ask, why try to fault that child now, decades later? Instead, we should thank the parents and grandparents and others who raised him.

Responsible parents do what they can to protect their children. What the parents do is not a fault of the child.

Additional Information Learned AFTER this Commentary was Written.

The book "Dreams From My Father" talks about Obama Sr. returning to Kenya after his student Visa was revoked. It is plain that when his father returned home at direction of the US government, that his father left behind a wife (apparently one of two wives at the time), and a child who was to become future President of the United States.


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