By Nicolas Sanchez, PhD
AMC Framingham 16 has been showing the movie, 2016: Obama’s America. For some, this documentary is a misleading movie; for others, it is proof of the evil intent that drives the President’s policies. I do not find myself in either camp. If anything, it has forced me to read parts of the President’s book, Dreams from My Father, which I found in line with one of the two main arguments made by the movie. I found a gem of a quote in the President’s book, which I will cover first.
Wow! Does this allude to Obama’s mother being three months pregnant when she married a man who left her soon after the baby was born? The Old Man was in trouble with the U.S. Immigration Service, and marrying an American girl was quite convenient. When Obama’s father went to Harvard (from Hawaii) the father became involved with another woman, Ruth Beatrice Baker, from Newton, MA. She was Jewish, pursued him to Kenya, became his third wife and bore him Mark; they later divorced. The paternity of the President has been claimed by a black man named Francisco Cundo—a simple DNA test could resolve this foolishness.
The reason I mention the above quote is that understanding President Obama requires more than learning about his politics. His autobiographical book, when it covers Kenya, is full of the anti-colonial sentiments that “2016” claims motivate Obama’s policies. But it should be clear to those who read the autobiography that his African family is in desperate need of psychological healing, and that Obama’s policies might reflect the need to help those who are personally devastated by the lives they have led, whether in Africa or in America.
Obama’s youngest half brother, a highly educated man, almost makes that claim in the movie: He does not need the financial support of his half-brother, but he is delighted that the President has followed policies that make better the whole world. He even disagrees with President Obama about colonialism, and feels that South Africa is better off because it did not expel the white minorities.
A defender of the President and critic of the movie (Bryan Henry in “Obama’s America: 2016 Review”) makes the following statement: “Honestly, I do not doubt that President Obama’s political views are somewhat informed by anti-colonialism or that he was influenced by Marxist professors in college. Interestingly, the film, and most of the audience, assumes that anti-colonialism and Marxism are inherently anti-American…Leninism (revolutionary Marxism) and Stalinism (totalitarianism) are certainly at odds with democracy but Marxism, itself, is not."
For those of us who have lived under Marxist regimes, we beg to differ: Marxism is inherently anti-American. Yet, President Obama may be motivated by other concerns. After all, his economic policies have not been too different from those of the Bush II Administration, at least with regard to government interventions and bailouts, as the movie makes quite clear towards the very end.
The second main thesis of the movie is that the people who voted for President Obama did so because they felt guilty about their racial prejudice and were satisfied that he was not an angry black man. This may or may not be true, but it is psychobabble, to say the least. Personally, I find that people in some parts of the country (such as Texas) admit to their prejudices and realize that they must change their behavior. People in California are the least prejudiced; while people in New England are extremely prejudiced but claim not to be prejudiced at all! Yet, my personal experiences do not prove any facts, and I believe that Dinesh D’Souza, the Indian writer and director of the movie, and also President of King’s College in New York City, failed to prove the movie’s second thesis.
Before I conclude, it is important to address colonialism. First, there is no doubt that colonial policies have been a scourge on mankind. Africa, possibly the most diverse continent in the whole world, has been devastated by colonial policies. President Obama misses a great opportunity to make this point in his autobiography when he visits a national park in Kenya. Most of the wild animal reserves in that part of the world were created by the English after the animals had been eliminated by the pastoral people of the region long ago, in the nineteenth century. These reserves were truly a reversion to backwardness, promoted to satisfy the tourist interests of Europeans. Regrettably, this is a story that is not well known in America, where the liberal class (including President Obama) adores these animal reserves.
But on the other hand, one has to recognize that black Africa could hardly defend itself against the colonial powers, because the population lacked sufficient numbers (yes, black Africa has been historically way under-populated, despite popular perceptions) and the technologies (including writing scripts) needed in modern societies. It is really a pity that populations as different as one finds in Kenya today have to live under a single and colonially invented nation.
Hence, there is nothing wrong with advocating anti-colonialism. What is remarkable, if we are to believe the movie and the autobiography, is the possibility that an anti-colonialists like our President, may be basing his economic policies on something that is irrelevant to the modern society we live in.