Mirages from my president

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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A new “Vanity Fair” story highlights an inconsistency in Barack Obama’s backstory. In “Dreams From My Father,” Obama describes a fight with his white New York girlfriend, after which she asks him why “black people were so angry all the time?”

But it turns out, the event did not happen — at least, not with the person he said it happened with. What is more, this isn’t the first time such a discrepancy in the memoir has emerged.

As the Chicago Tribune reported in 2007, in his memoir, Obama noted that a Life magazine article and “the two accompanying photographs of an African-American man physically and mentally scarred by his efforts to lighten his skin” inspired his “racial awakening” at age nine. But as the Trib noted, “[T]he Life article and the photographs don’t exist, say the magazine’s own historians.”

In a follow-up to the story, Politico noted,

When asked about the discrepancy, Obama said in a recent interview, ‘It might have been an Ebony or it might have been … who knows what it was?’ (At the request of the Tribune, archivists at Ebony searched their catalogue (sic) of past articles, none of which matched what Obama recalled.)”

Matt K. Lewis