SIBLING RIVALRY

Obama’s half-brother says he’s voting for Donald Trump

Obsession
2016
Quartz africa
Obsession
2016
Quartz africa

Not all Obamas are with Hillary Clinton. At the Democratic National Convention, First Lady Michelle Obama threw her support behind the party’s presidential nominee in a moving, personal speech. President Obama officially endorsed her in June.

But Obama’s half brother, Malik, a US citizen living in western Kenyan, says he supports Donald Trump and will be voting for the Republican candidate come November.

“He appeals to me and also I think that he is down to earth and he speaks from the heart and he is not trying to be politically correct. He’s just straight-forward,” he told Reuters.

Even Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric hasn’t been enough to deter Malik. “I’m a Muslim, of course, but you can’t have people going around just shooting people and killing people just in the name of Islam,” he said.

Malik, who was Barack’s best man at his wedding, said he was disappointed by his half-brother. Malik claimed the president did little for his extended family in Kenya and failed to further US-Kenya ties. The president did not visit Kenya, the homeland of the father that he and Malik share, until last year.

Malik’s comments reflect a general disappointment in Obama’s contribution to the continent. During his tenure, most African countries have seen more cooperation from China and India than the US.

Previous American presidents are seen as having done more. Bill Clinton established the African Growth and Opportunity Act in 2000, allowing African producers duty free access to the US. And George W. Bush launched a billion-dollar fund to help reduce HIV and malaria on the continent.

Malik may have a particular axe to grind. He said he is angry his brother did not use his star power to help his failed bid for governorship in the county of Siaya in southwestern Kenya. He has also said that the president didn’t support his charity, the Barack H. Obama Foundation based in Virginia.

“He wanted me to shut it down when I set it up,” he told the New York Post. “He hasn’t supported me at all.”

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