Another Black Mark Against Obama
by James Glaser
October 30, 2008

I hope you don't think the title of this column is racist, because people have been referring to a "black mark" as a bad thing my whole life. People are pretty touchy though, and they look for reasons to find fault in stories they don't like.

A few months ago there was a report that Barack Obama's brother, a man he wrote about in his book, was living in a mud floor shack on the bad side of a town in Africa. This brother was living on about a dollar a day.

Yesterday, The Times on Line reported about two other Obama relatives, an aunt and an uncle, who are both living in public housing in Boston.

Barack Obama has lived one version of the American Dream that has taken him to the steps of the White House. But a few miles from where the Democratic presidential candidate studied at Harvard, his Kenyan aunt and uncle, immigrants living in modest circumstances in Boston, have a contrasting American story.

Zeituni Onyango, the aunt so affectionately described in Mr. Obama's best-selling memoir Dreams from My Father, lives in a disabled-access flat on a rundown public housing estate in South Boston.

A second relative believed to be the long-lost "Uncle Omar" described in the book was beaten by armed robbers with a "sawed-off rifle" while working in a corner shop in the Dorchester area of the city. He was later evicted from his one-bedroom flat for failing to pay $2,324.20 (£1,488) arrears, according to the Boston Housing Court.

If I were a multimillionaire like Barack Obama, would I be helping poor siblings, aunts and uncles? I don't know. I would like to think that I would, but I don't think I'll ever be put in that position to find out. Barack Obama is in that position. Barack Obama is a multimillionaire. Barack Obama does have some very poor relatives, and he knows about them.

Barack Obama is also running in an election to be President of the United States, and we should hold any candidate for that office up to a higher standard. Obama does not rise to that standard. If a man or woman cannot feel compassion for blood relatives who are in trouble, will they have compassion for people to whom they don't have any connection?

We just had eight years of a President who talked about his compassion, (compassionate conservative) and we never did see any of it. I for one am not ready to have another President with no compassion.

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