Saturday, January 31, 2009

The perils of being an Obama

The story about Obama's half-brother in Kenya getting busted for smoking pot has gotten a lot of play, but the Guardian's article is the first I've read where the author had enough sense to ask why rather than just who, what, where, and when:

Although Kenya is strict about drug possession, there does not appear to be any current police campaign to crack down on usage. The officers who arrested George did not disclose why they searched him, although they are often conducted in the hope of extracting a bribe.

And this certainly isn't the first time that George Obama's been used for his fame:

Last year, during the election campaign, the Italian edition of Vanity Fair claimed to have "found" George Obama, after meeting him at his step-grandmother's home in Kogelo, western Kenya. The report claimed - controversially - that he lived on a dollar a month, and that he was ashamed to be an Obama.

While he is poor and lives in ramshackle accommodation, George is in the same position as well over a million other people who live in Nairobi's slums. Before the US presidential election, he said that he saw no reason why Barack Obama should support him financially; he was content with his life and could provide for himself. That did not stop Jerome Corsi, the right-wing US author of The Obama Nation, from travelling to Kenya in the hope of presenting a $1,000 cheque to George. Fortunately for Corsi, whose stunt was unlikely to have gone down well in Huruma, he was quickly deported.

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