This is the first of two articles on an interview with President Obama's half-brother Abongo "Roy" Malik Obama conducted via Skype with film director Joel Gilbert. The first article focuses on Malik Obama's charge that Barack Obama exploited the family in Kenya for political purposes and now has abandoned them. The second article examines the family foundation Malik helped established in Barack Obama's name and allegations Malik managed funds for the Muslim Brotherhood.
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NEW YORK – After making "a very big deal" of them in his autobiographical book and in his first campaign for the White House, President Obama has cynically abandoned members of his African family, charged half-brother Abongo "Roy" Malik Obama, who was the best man in the president's wedding.
"He says one thing and he does another," said Malik Obama, speaking from his home in Kisumu, Kenya, via Skype with filmmaker Joel Gilbert.
"He's not been an honest man, as far as I'm concerned, in who he is and what he says and how he treats people," Malik said of his half-brother, noting their relationship was once "very close."
Gilbert, producer of the documentary "Dreams From My Real Father," which presents a theory that Obama's mentor Frank Marshall Davis, who was a member of the Communist Party, was the president's biological father, asked how that made him feel, as the oldest brother in the family.
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"Disappointed, disappointed, used and also betrayed," Malik answered.
"In the beginning, I didn't think he was a schemer. His real character, the real personality, the real him, is coming out now."
Malik said the way his half-brother "has turned and become a different person with the family is the same way that I see him behaving politically."
"Do your other family members feel the same?" Gilbert asked.
"Yeah, a lot of them do," Malik answered. "We may be putting a good face forward, (but) deep down inside everybody is really disappointed and upset and angry I guess.
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Obama made his African roots the focus of his autobiographical "Dreams from My Father" and his introduction to the nation in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention. At the DNC in Boston, Obama told of being the son of a "foreign student, born and raised in Kenya," who "grew up herding goats" and went to school "in a tin-roof shack."
Malik recalled meeting Barack for the first time in 1985 on a trip to Washington, D.C.
"We had a couple of days we shared together, and I was just really overwhelmed and happy," he said.
Malik said he was the one who encouraged Barack to visit Kenya in 1988. Malik confirmed that he took Barack to visit the grave of their father, as told in "Dreams from My Father."
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"We were together and were really tight at the time and you could talk to him, and we just took everything for granted," Malik recalled. "I loved him unconditionally, and I felt, I thought, he loved me and the family unconditionally."
See excerpts of Obama's 2004 DNC speech:
He remembers when Barack, then a community organizer, gave him a tour of his work in Chicago.
In 1992, when Malik was best man at Barack's wedding, their relationship was still very positive.
"We were very close," Malik said.
Malik confirmed that Barack served as the best man in his wedding one year later.
Gilbert noted having the impression that the African family formed "the basis" for Barack's political career.
"Yes, that unusual story contributed greatly to what he is right now," Malik said, showing Gilbert an early copy of "Dreams from My Father."
Malik explained the original title of the book was "Where My Father Lies Buried," a title later changed to "Claims of Inheritance" before it was published as "Dreams."
Malik said Barack sent him a copy of the pre-publication manuscript that included Barack's handwritten edits, because "he felt like as a representative of his dad, his only elder brother, I should go through the book just to make sure that everything was OK."
"It was a tedious process, and so I just did the best I could," Malik said.
Malik said the problems with his relationship with his half-brother began when Malik attended the first presidential inauguration, Jan. 20, 2009.
Gilbert asked him if he felt treated with honor.
"No," Malik answered. "I didn't feel like we were actually welcome and treated well. I didn't feel that we were really a part of his program.
Gilbert commented that the way the family was treated sounded "very awkward."
"Yeah, not even then, even up til now, it's like that," Malik answered. "If I need to see him, then I have to really make an effort and when I go, I do go, then I go in through the back door or at night. This last visit when I went my aunt died in Boston, I really was crushed and broken."
In "Dreams from My Father," Barack Obama explained that he first learned his father in Kenya had died when he was attending Columbia University in New York City and his Aunt Zeituni called him from Kenya with the news.
Gilbert asked Malik if he had asked President Obama for some funds to help bury Zeituni in Kenya.
"Yes I did," Malik responded. "I told him that she's our aunt, she's your father's sister, she loved you very much, and we need to do something for her. We need around $20,000, and he said that was too much and that it seemed like she deserves what she got.
"And I was saying in my mind, 'What kind of person is this?'" Malik said. "And I told him, 'You say you're your brother's keeper; I don't feel it, and I don't see you living up to what you say.' She had really been good to him when he came. I felt really sad that he would just abandon her like that. I just left. She was stuck there for a month. People were trying to raise money, and we finally got her back."
Zeituni Onyango, half-sister of the father of the president, died in her sleep in a nursing home at the age of 61 in Boston on April 8, 2014. She entered the U.S. on a temporary visa, moved to South Boston in 2000 and lived illegally in the U.S. until she obtained asylum in 2010.
Malik said the Obama extended family in Kenya is living in impoverished conditions.
"Extreme hardship, poverty," Malik said. "In Africa people are really hard up. Infrastructure is poor; there's no electricity."
Malik expressed disappointment that as president, Barack has not done more to help the relatives he made the centerpiece of his autobiography, explaining that as far as he was concerned, Barack "doesn't want anything to do with me anymore."
"How does that make you feel?"
"Hurt, crushed, it's just hard to really imagine," Malik answered. "I don't understand how somebody who claims to be a relative or a brother can behave the way that he's behaving, be so cold and ruthless, and just turn his back on the people he said were his family."
As WND reported in 2011, Malik Obama was a major character in "Dreams from My Father."
A key passage in the autobiography features Barack Obama's reactions to his half-brother when Malik is the best man at his wedding to Michelle Robinson.
Noting that Malik had converted from Christianity to Islam, Obama wrote that Roy had "sworn off pork and tobacco and alcohol."
Obama continued: "Abongo's new lifestyle has left him lean and clear-eyed, and at the wedding, he looked so dignified in his black African gown with white trim and matching cap that some of our guests mistook him for my father."
Obama observed that Malik was "prone to make lengthy pronouncements on the need for the black man to liberate himself from the poisoning influences of European culture."
Obama was featured in a family portrait taken on a trip to Kenya in 2006 as a U.S. senator.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Malik surfaced in a widely published photo in which he can be seen dressed in African garb, holding up for the camera a photograph of his half-brother, also in African garb.
Born in Kenya to Kezia
Born in Kenya, on March 15, 1958, Malik was the first child of Barack Obama Sr.
The son of Kezia, the Kenyan Barack H. Obama's first wife, he was only 18 months old when his father arrived in Honolulu in 1959 to begin undergraduate studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
According to the narrative in "Dreams From My Father," the Kenyan Barack H. Obama abandoned Kezia in Kenya and subsequently married Stanley Ann Dunham in Honolulu, where the couple had Barack H. Obama II on Aug. 4, 1961.
In September 1962, the story goes, Barack H. Obama Sr. left Dunham and Barack Obama Jr. and headed for Cambridge, Massachusetts, to study economics at Harvard University.
However, WND found that Dunham left Hawaii with Barack Obama Jr. in August 1961, just three weeks after her son was born, and there is no evidence she ever lived with Obama Sr.
As WND reported in 2011, Barack Obama Sr. filed an Immigration and Naturalization form on Aug. 17, 1962, requesting to extend his temporary stay in the United States that listed Malik as his only child. There was no mention of Dunham or Barack Obama Jr.
In the Skype interview, Malik Obama acknowledged he had watched a DVD copy of Gilbert's documentary, "Dreams From My Real Father," which the filmmaker sent to him.
In the film, Gilbert posits his theory that the "Frank" mentioned 22 times in "Dreams from My Father," now known to be Communist Party agitator Frank Marshall Davis, is Barack Obama Jr.'s biological father.
Gilbert says the emphasis of his film is Davis' influence on the young Obama as a mentor, but he maintains there is strong evidence to support his theory that Davis was the real father.
Gilbert's circumstantial evidence for a Davis paternity – including intimate magazine photos he believes Davis took of Ann Dunham and mention of Davis' reference in a novel to a sexual relationship with a teen – has been challenged, but Gilbert contends the theory still is plausible.
He argues further that "the body of my entire film is about many pieces of evidence."
Regarding the nude photos, he disputes the contention that the model in the photos was published before Ann Dunham came to Hawaii. Davis' photos appeared in many titles of vintage men’s magazines throughout the 1960s, he said, and publication dates listed in a 1998 retrospective collection are inconsistent with original magazine dates. He argues further that Ann Dunham’s front teeth and recessed teeth are a match to the magazine model.
Regarding the reference to an "Anne" in Davis' novel, "Sex Rebel," hand-written letters have surfaced in which Davis confirms the book was autobiographical "non-fiction."
In the interview, Gilbert asked Malik if he believed Barack Obama Jr. had a resemblance to Davis.
"There's a great resemblance," Malik agreed. "I think Frank Marshall Davis and Barack do look alike."
Malik referenced the facial moles and pigmentation spots that appear to indicate a genetic link between the two men.
Gilbert then asked Malik if he thought Obama Jr. resembled Obama Sr.
"Not really, I don't," Malik replied. "Your movie definitely puts a lot of questions in my mind."
Gilbert asked Malik if he would "like to see or do a DNA test one day to know for sure."
"That would really prove whether we are related or not," Malik responded. "Yes. I would be willing to do that. I don't know how I'd deal with it, if it really came out that he is a fraud or a con."
"It might be the reason why he made such a big deal about you politically, but personally he doesn't feel the bond," Gilbert suggested.
"I'm agreeing," Malik said. "Yeah, I agree with that, because it's hard to understand how somebody can make such an about turn and make a big play about where he comes from and then once he gets what he gets, wants nothing to do with that place anymore.
"We need an explanation, and if you can provide the explanation, it would be better for all of us so we won't be hanging, hoping for nothing," Malik continued.
"That's what I really feel for my people … because they keep hoping. Maybe they're hoping for nothing," he said. "Because he doesn't mention it [his African family roots] anymore, where he comes from or who his relatives are. He doesn't say any of those things anymore.
"It's really disappointing, Joel, but that's life. We live with it and move on, and we wait for the truth to come out."
Gilbert asked Malik what he would like to see happen next in his relationship with President Obama.
"I'd like to see him be for real, not be so deceptive," Malik answered.
"He should live up to his word and be the leader that we expected him to be," he said. "If he truly is my father's son, then he needs to behave in a way that if my father was back, was alive, he would be proud of him, because although my dad went through what he went through, he would never abandon his family."