I got an email the other day, listing 50 lies about Obama. Actually, there seem to be variants of this list. The one I got was called “Obama’s Not Exactlies” but, in searching the internet about it, I saw variants called “Obama’s Lies”. The list was a compilation of supposed claims by Obama that the author deemed false, with the truth about each lie. The list contained such claims as:
- Father Was A Goat Herder – NOT EXACTLY, he was a privileged, well educated youth, who went on to work with the Kenyan Government.
- My Grandmother Has Always Been A Christian – NOT EXACTLY, she does her daily Salat prayers at 5am according to her own interviews. Not to mention, Christianity wouldn’t allow her to have been one of 14 wives to 1 man.
- I Was A Professor Of Law – NOT EXACTLY, you were a senior lecturer ON LEAVE.
And so on. Most of the claims in the list are either false, or intentional misreadings of Obama’s words, or misinterpretations. For example, for the items listed above (this information is from Snopes.com, which is a great site for debunking urban legends and internet hoaxes; I strongly recommend that people check this site out before forwarding any email):
- Father Was A Goat Herder – LIAR, he was a privileged, well educated youth, who went on to work with the Kenyan Government.
These attributes are not mutually exclusive: Barack Obama’s (biological) father was all of these things at different times in his life, as Obama described in his book, Dreams from My Father:
[My father] was as African, I would learn, a Kenyan of the Luo tribe, born on the shores of Lake Victoria in a place called Alego. The village was poor, but his father — my other grandfather, Hussein Onyango
Obama — hadbeen a prominent farmer, an elder of the tribe, a medicine man with healing powers. My father grew up herding his father’s goats and attending the local school, set up by the British colonial administration, where he had shown great promise. He eventually won a scholarship to study in Nairobi; and then, on the eve of Kenyan independence, he had been selected by Kenyan leaders and American sponsors to attend a university in the United States.
- My Grandmother Has Always Been A Christian – LIAR, she does her daily Salat prayers at 5am according to her own interviews. According to the New York Times: “I am a strong believer of the Islamic faith,” Ms. Obama, 85, said in a recent interview in Kenya.’ Not to mention, Christianity wouldn’t allow her to have been one of 14 wives to 1 man.
The author seems to be unaware that Barack Obama, like most people, has two sets of grandparents. Obama was speaking of his maternal grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, not his paternal grandmother.
- I Was A Professor Of Law – LIAR, you were a senior lecturer ON LEAVE.
Barack Obama was indeed a professor at the University of Chicago’s Law School, a fact verified by that institution itself:
The Law School has received many media requests about Barack Obama, especially about his status as “Senior Lecturer.”
From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School’s Senior Lecturers has high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined.
I don’t mind that people don’t like Obama. If they don’t like his policies, that is fine. Even if they don’t like his personality, that is fine. That is part of the American system. That is why there is a choice. They can vote for John McCain. But, to base their views of someone like Obama on what seems to me to be fear and hate goes too far for me. The reasons for choosing one candidate vs another should be based on analysis of the policies of those candidates, of who they would choose as advisers, and of who they are. Not based on a list of distortions and falsehoods about the candidate. We, as Americans, have a responsibility to do better than this, and deserve better than this as well.