Who was Obama’s father?

It’s become a common claim in some parts of the conservative blogosphere that Obama’s real father was the Communist poet and pornographer Frank Marshall Davis. There is some evidence suggesting that this could be true. Also, at the Drudge Report right now, there is an ad for the movie, Dreams From My Real Father, which alternatively juxtaposes a photo of Obama with Barack Obama, Sr., whom Obama does not resemble in the slightest, and with Frank Marshall Davis, to whom Obama arguably has some resemblance:


However, I don’t think the Davis fatherhood claim is true, and here’s one reason. In Dinesh D’Souza’s movie, 2016: Obama’s America, D’Souza goes to Kenya and interviews Obama’s much younger half-brother George Obama, who is non-leftist and pro-American in his views, and also a likeable, charming fellow. But the thing that struck me most about George was that he had a resemblance to Barack Obama Jr. and a resemblance to Barack Obama Sr. If Davis were Barack Jr.’s real father, George would have no resemblance to Barack Jr. Since he does, he is evidently his half-brother, and since he also has a resemblance to Barack Sr., the latter must be Barack Jr.’s father.

This was extremely interesting to me. While Barack Jr. has zero resemblance to Barack Sr., making it plausible that someone else could be Barack Jr.’s father (especially given the lack of almost any documented relationship between Barack Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham), George establishes the physical link between the two Baracks.

- end of initial entry -

Daniel T. writes:

I have yet to see that movie, but every time I’ve heard that allegation thrown out, (that Frank Marshall Davis is Barack Obama’s real father), it has been made in the sense that Obama Sr. had little to do with Obama’s upbringing in any direct sense, while Davis basically took on the role of father. Hence I don’t think the point is that Barack is not Obama Sr.’s biological son.

LA replies:

Not true. The assertion is that Davis is Obama’s biological father.

Daniel T. replies:
From all the picture comparisons on the movie’s site, it’s difficult to imagine they meant what I thought they meant. Count me corrected.

Paul K. writes:

To me, Obama looks like neither Barack Obama Sr. nor Frank Marshall Davis. He might have gotten his racial characteristics from either one, but he most closely resembles his mother and maternal grandfather. Sometimes a child takes after one side of the family.


LA replies:

Of course Obama looks like his mother, but I’ve never seen this photo of his maternal grandfather Stanley Dunham as a handsome young man before. Obama’s resemblance to him is even more striking than Obama’s resemblance to his mother. It’s remarkable—the whole shape of the face is Obama’s. Offhand I don’t remember ever seeing such a strong resemblance between a grandfather and a grandson.

So now we know that Obama’s good looks, his refined quality that made the world go gooey over him because such refined qualities are not normally seen in blacks, came mainly from his white grandfather. As Biden said of Obama, he was “clean,” implying that most blacks are not, a clearly “racist” statement for which Biden, being a liberal Democrat, paid no price. But that “clean” look came from his white grandfather.

But really, everyone looked so much better in the Thirties, the best decade for fashion in history.

Lisa F. writes:

I don’t see the resemblance between Frank Marshall Davis and President Obama. I don’t buy the idea anyway because I just can’t see why Stanley Anne Dunham would have lied about this. Why would having a child with Frank Marshall Davis have been any more scandalous than a child with Barack Obama, Sr.? Was having a child with a black man even scandalous in Hawaii? From what we know about her she would not have had any shame. There is the possibility that Davis demanded this arrangement, but why would he have been ashamed either?

Anyway, Obama favors his mother. He famously has her eyes but I think he has her mouth and the shape of her face as well.

Buck writes:

I just watched the first third of Dreams from My Real Father on Netflix. So far, it’s compelling. It makes a strong case, by timing, circumstance, and a series of events and reporting, involving the seemingly well documented relationship that Davis had with his mother. The nude photos that he took of her and his seeming admission that it was he who had sex with her at her young age, as this story is told, all takes place before Barack Obama Sr. is involved. When it is discovered that she is pregnant, Barack Obama Sr. in chosen by Gramps to stand in as her husband and father of her son. Gramps is career CIA and can not have it discovered that he has a known Communist in his family. [LA replies: What? Stanley Dunham, an out-and-out lefty, was CIA?] Barack Sr. just happens to be available and is agreeable. He is rewarded with his education.

That, at any rate, is the way the movie presents it. There are a great many photos and newspaper stories and other footage that makes it compelling.

I’ll finish watching it tomorrow night.

October 16

Joshua G. writes:

If you check Google images for Mark Obama, you will see a man who could not be anyone other than Barack Obama’s brother. The family resemblance is even more striking than with George Obama. I think you will agree, the case is closed. I do not know how the Frank Marshal Davis-paternity supporters explain that.

Also, the CIA was packed to the gills with non-Stalinist lefties.

LA replies:

Could it be a lack of visual intelligence—that they simply don’t see the resemblance? I know a very smart person to whom it had not occurred that Obama looks like his mother. He was telling me of some theory that Stanley Ann was not Obama’s mother, and when I replied that that was impossible, because there was an unmistakable resemblance between them, especially about the mouth and chin, he accepted my word for it, but he hadn’t seen it and didn’t see it himself.

I know there were left-leaning people in the CIA, but not all-out leftie weirdos and malcontents like Stanley Dunham, who among other things named his daughter Stanley out of disappointment that she wasn’t a boy and was personal friends with a card-carrying Communist pornographer whom he asked to be mentor to his teenaged grandson.

Joshua G. replies:

Would you consider, say, Cord Meyer a leftist? He was part of United World Federalists, and married Amos Pinchot’s daughter (later a JFK mistress). He to me to have seems the typical early CIA biography.

The CIA’s strategy during the Cold War seems to have been to coopt leftist movements both at home and abroad that were not explicitly loyal to the USSR. Operation Mockingbird seems to have coordinated a number of influencial American media leftists such as Drew Pearson, Edward Murrow, and founder of the New Republic, Walter Lippmann. According to some recent revelations, the CIA is even responsible for funding extreme left-wing artists of the abstract expressionist school, hard to imagine these fellows were not personal friends with Communists. Even the “father of the New Left” Herbert Marcuse did some work for the agency. Perhaps Stanley Dunham was an asset and not an agent or perhaps she was nothing at all (though in the 1960s it is difficult to tell where the Ford Foundation leaves off and the CIA begins), but her CIA connections cannot be ruled out on the basis of her leftism alone.

LA replies:

Ok. This is not something I’ve known much about, but I take your word for it that the early CIA focused on winning over non-pro-Soviet leftists and also employed them as agents.

I believe there was a discussion at VFR ten years ago by John Carney about the CIA’s promotion of abstract expressionist art as a way of appealing to cultural forces that were not pro-traditional America but could be won over to anti-Communism. Carney identified this effort as a kind of proto-neoconservatism.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 15, 2012 07:47 PM | Send

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