Obama's Half Brother Sells 1995 Letter from the President Revealing His Hesitations About Entering Politics
In the 1995 letter, the president wrote that his potential position as an Illinois state senator would only be "a part-time post"
Barack Obama‘s half brother has auctioned off a handwritten letter the president wrote in 1995 that reveals his apparent qualms at the time about forging a career in politics.
“Some colleagues of mine here have talked me into running for the Illinois State Senate (like being an MP for a province),” the president wrote to his half brother Malik Abongo “Roy” Obama one year before he was elected to the Illinois senate. “I have agreed, since I have an interest in politics to deal with some serious issues blacks face here.”
“Of course, it involves a lot of campaigning, going to meetings and so on, which I don’t find so attractive,” he added, per The Grio . “Anyway, if I win it will only be a part-time post, and I will continue my work as a lawyer.”
According to the New York Post‘s Page Six, Malik sold the letter to a collector, along with a manuscript for the president’s first book, Dreams from My Father. The price the collector paid was not disclosed, but Malik, who lives in Kenya, also sold two other handwritten letters from his half brother for nearly $30,000 in 2013, Page Six reports.
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In the note dated July 23, 1995, the president also wrote about his wife and his mother, Ann Dunham, who died of uterine and ovarian cancer later that year.
“Michelle is fine, also busy with her work,” he wrote. “My mom’s health has been stabilized for now, but she is by no means cured and continues to undergo extensive treatment.”
The president and his half brother were reportedly once close, but in an interview for a documentary called Dreams from My Real Father, Malik said he was “disappointed, disappointed, used, used and also betrayed” by his half brother, Fox News reports. “In the beginning, I didn’t think that he was a schemer. His real character, his real personality, the real him, is coming out now.”
Of course, the president eventually overcame the reluctance he referenced in his letter and is now addressing issues facing African Americans on an even larger scale. On Friday, he delivered a moving eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine people killed at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in what authorities say was a racially motivated attack. The president sang “Amazing Grace” to conclude his speech, in which he memorialized the pastor and called for Americans to reflect more deeply on race relations and gun control laws.
That same day, he also joined millions of Americans in celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states. He took to Twitter to say, “Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins.”