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  1. 07 May '17 21:36 / 3 edits
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/07/obama-biography-stirs-controversy-with-tales-of-politics-sex-and-a-rising-star

    "Obama biography stirs controversy with tales of politics, sex and a rising star."

    "Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, by the Pulitzer prize winner
    David J Garrow, is no ordinary addition to the annals of political biography.
    It took nine years to produce and runs to a doorstopping 1,461 pages.
    Its unusually candid disclosures about Obama’s sex life and drug use
    have generated clickbait headlines. In particular, it contains extensive
    interviews with Sheila Miyoshi Jager, a former girlfriend who claims
    Obama twice proposed marriage."

    "The new book by Garrow, who describes himself as “essentially a
    Bernie Sanders democratic socialist”, offers a taste of how Obama’s
    legacy is likely to be contested. Its attention-grabbing element is Jager,
    now a professor of East Asian studies at Oberlin College in Ohio, who
    declined to be interviewed for this article."

    "The book claims that even after Obama met Michelle Robinson, a law
    firm colleague, he continued to see Jager irregularly for a year
    (“I always felt bad about it,” Jager says). And it strongly implies that his
    preference for Michelle, an African American, over Jager, who is half-Dutch
    and half-Japanese, was politically motivated.

    “Barack’s prior relationships had been with women who, like himself through 1985,
    were citizens of the world as much as they were of any particular country or city,”
    Garrow writes. “But if Barack truly believed that his destiny entailed what
    he thought, he knew full well the value of having roots in one place and
    having that place be essential to your journey. And who more than Michelle Robinson
    and her family could personify the strong, deep roots of black Chicago?” "

    Here's Sheila Miyoshi Jager's home page at Oberlin:

    https://new.oberlin.edu/arts-and-sciences/departments/east_asian/faculty_detail.dot?id=20867

    Sheila Miyoshi Jager's married to Jiyul Kim (of Korean heritage), another professor at Oberlin.
    Here's his home page:

    https://new.oberlin.edu/arts-and-sciences/departments/history/faculty_detail.dot?id=0733483e-04fd-4121-8286-2270e2f7ef34
  2. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    07 May '17 23:09
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/07/obama-biography-stirs-controversy-with-tales-of-politics-sex-and-a-rising-star

    "Obama biography stirs controversy with tales of politics, sex and a rising star."

    "Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, by the Pulitzer prize winner
    David J Garrow, is no ordinary addition to the annals of political ...[text shortened]... arts-and-sciences/departments/history/faculty_detail.dot?id=0733483e-04fd-4121-8286-2270e2f7ef34
    The discovery that a healthy male was sexually involved with a healthy female is not earth shattering. Turning banal life events into lurid headlines is the stuff of the gutter press.

    "And it strongly implies that his preference for Michelle, an African American, over Jager, who is half-Dutch and half-Japanese, was politically motivated."

    I just wonder if this is intrinsically a bad thing for someone who was clearly committed to politics. I met my wife on a local election night, where we were each sitting with different candidates waiting for the count. We started out by good humouredly mocking each other and soon turned out to have more in common politically than our two candidates had with each other. I can't easily imagine marrying someone with divergent political values, though I recognise this happens.
  3. 07 May '17 23:44
    Originally posted by finnegan
    The discovery that a healthy male was sexually involved with a healthy female is not earth shattering. Turning banal life events into lurid headlines is the stuff of the gutter press.

    "And it strongly implies that his preference for Michelle, an African American, over Jager, who is half-Dutch and half-Japanese, was politically motivated."

    I j ...[text shortened]... asily imagine marrying someone with divergent political values, though I recognise this happens.
    If this biography is factually accurate, then Sheila Miyoshi Jager was an important woman in
    Barack Obama's life, but he, presumably for political reasons, never mentioned her in his memoirs.

    I don't know of evidence that Barack Obama and Sheila Miyoshi Jager had 'divergent political values'.
    His biographer implies that Barack Obama (who's half-white) made the cold political calculation
    that a black wife would be more advantageous than a Eurasian wife to his political career.
    Marrying Sheila Miyoshi Jager could not enhance Barack Obama's 'street cred' in a black community.

    I note that the French did not make an issue out of the fact the President Macron is married
    to a woman (his former teacher) who's about 25 years older. She has said that he was
    17 years old when he pledged to marry her someday.
  4. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    07 May '17 23:56
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    If this biography is factually accurate, then Sheila Miyoshi Jager was an important woman in
    Barack Obama's life, but he, presumably for political reasons, never mentioned her in his memoirs.

    I don't know of evidence that Barack Obama and Sheila Miyoshi Jager had 'divergent political values'.
    His biographer implies that Barack Obama (who's half-white) ...[text shortened]... t 25 years older. She has said that he was
    17 years old when he pledged to marry her someday.
    Describing a choice in his private life as "a cold political decision" is a speculative intrusion way too far for my taste.

    I strongly disgree with O'Bama's politics - and worry about his future influence for that reason - but while the evidence shows him to be a decent parent and faithful husband that ought to be more than enough information on the subject.

    The fact is that American racism will not rest without trying to trash his achievement as America's first black president. This is only one of many expressions of that typically American obsession.
  5. 08 May '17 00:15
    Obama's biography stirs controversy?

    I could think of something else I could use it to stir with. That is, if I don't have a toilet brush handy.
  6. Subscriber karoly aczel
    Fortnite Kid
    08 May '17 00:34
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Describing a choice in his private life as "a cold political decision" is a speculative intrusion way too far for my taste.

    I strongly disgree with O'Bama's politics - and worry about his future influence for that reason - but while the evidence shows him to be a decent parent and faithful husband that ought to be more than enough information on the su ...[text shortened]... irst black president. This is only one of many expressions of that typically American obsession.
    I naively thought that him being the first black president would be his most enduring legacy (not that much to hang your hat on, but it's something in a largely racist country ), but was joked at and thumbed down by quite a few.
    I'm only speaking from an outsiders POV but surely Americans have to realize that just because they're the most powerful and wealthy nation in the world that they need the rest of the world (especially the allies of freedom, the 'west' ) just as much as the world needs them. It's a symbiotic r'ship.
  7. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    08 May '17 08:40
    Originally posted by karoly aczel
    I naively thought that him being the first black president would be his most enduring legacy (not that much to hang your hat on, but it's something in a largely racist country ), but was joked at and thumbed down by quite a few.
    I'm only speaking from an outsiders POV but surely Americans have to realize that just because they're the most powerful and ...[text shortened]... e allies of freedom, the 'west' ) just as much as the world needs them. It's a symbiotic r'ship.
    "Freedom" is just a code word for something different- unregulated capitalism and white supremacy being the core of the American value system.

    Externally, America is no ally of political freedom. By all means an opponent of the USSR and communist China, it was a protector of dictatorships and fascist regimes and a destroyer of democracies. One culmination of its weird racist policies has been the heavy investment America makes in aparthied Israel and systematic destabliisation of the surrounding Muslim world. Throughout Latin America, the CIA and US corporations have been openly or covertly committed to wrecking democracies and sustaining instability in the interests of US corporations.

    Internally, to the extent that the US endorsed New Deal policies for wealth redistribution and economic opportunity, after capitalism collapsed in 1929 and for the next 20 years, this was systematically crafted to protect white supremacy and exclude black Americans from as much as possible of its benefits. When it came to a choice between progressive policies and segregation, racism routinely won. I am fairly confident that if you analyse opposition to Obamacare, you will find that those tens of millions of Americans who will be excluded from healthcare by Trump and the Republicans will be largely (I never said exclusively - that is too difficult to achieve) black Americans.

    So let's hear less about "allies for freedom" and more about the truth.
  8. 08 May '17 09:27
    Originally posted by finnegan
    The discovery that a healthy male was sexually involved with a healthy female is not earth shattering. Turning banal life events into lurid headlines is the stuff of the gutter press.

    "And it strongly implies that his preference for Michelle, an African American, over Jager, who is half-Dutch and half-Japanese, was politically motivated."

    I j ...[text shortened]... asily imagine marrying someone with divergent political values, though I recognise this happens.
    Very true. Someone's sexual relationships prior to their political careers have nothing to do with it, and I would that people wouldn't dig that far into people's private lives.
  9. Standard member vivify
    rain
    08 May '17 09:52
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Describing a choice in his private life as "a cold political decision" is a speculative intrusion way too far for my taste.
    I concur. This is a tactic straight out of tabloids. My only comment on this excerpt is that if Obama "twice proposed marriage", this likely means he was rejected twice. If this is true, I'm sure this has more to do with moving on to Michelle than a "political decision".

    The fact is that American racism will not rest without trying to trash his achievement as America's first black president. This is only one of many expressions of that typically American obsession.

    Sadly true.
  10. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    08 May '17 10:27
    Originally posted by vivify
    I concur. This is a tactic straight out of tabloids. My only comment on this excerpt is that if Obama "twice proposed marriage", this likely means he was rejected twice. If this is true, I'm sure this has more to do with moving on to Michelle than a "political decision".

    [b]The fact is that American racism will not rest without trying to trash his ach ...[text shortened]... t. This is only one of many expressions of that typically American obsession.


    Sadly true.[/b]
    1400 pages? You know who will be buying this, consuming it? His fans, those that voted for him.
  11. 08 May '17 12:05
    Originally posted by finnegan
    [b]The discovery that a healthy male was sexually involved with a healthy female is not earth shattering.
    It is for a left winger
  12. 08 May '17 21:12
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Describing a choice in his private life as "a cold political decision" is a speculative intrusion way too far for my taste.

    I strongly disgree with O'Bama's politics - and worry about his future influence for that reason - but while the evidence shows him to be a decent parent and faithful husband that ought to be more than enough information on the su ...[text shortened]... irst black president. This is only one of many expressions of that typically American obsession.
    First of all, _Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama_ has not been released yet to the the public.

    I note that Sheila Miyoshi Jager has no apparent reason to lie about her relationship with Barack Obama.
    If she had craved fame or fortune, then she could have sold her story to the tabloids long ago.
    Evidently, she's now pursuing a quiet academic life, and she and her husband have declined interview requests.

    "The fact is that American racism will not rest without trying to trash his achievement as America's first black president."
    --Finnegan

    In the context of Barack Obama's marital choices, what 'achievement' is that? Marrying a black woman? Tough, eh?
    I know of no evidence that David Garrow has 'trashed' Barack Obama's achievement in
    becoming elected as the first US President of (at least half) recent black African ancestry.

    "Describing a choice in his private life as "a cold political decision" is a speculative intrusion way too far for my taste."
    --Finnegan

    Most Westerners today like to act as though there must be something morally wrong if a person
    marries (or, worse yet, is honest enough to admit marrying) for reasons other than pure romantic love.
    In reality, many marriages are arranged for many reasons other than pure romantic love.

    If a much older unattractive rich man marries a much younger attractive poor woman, then
    is it a 'speculative intrusion' to conjecture than more than pure romantic love may be at work?

    Barack Obama was a highly ambitious politician. A politician's choice of a 'running mate',
    a political spouse, may be important to one's political career. Not blind to such reality,
    Barack Obama must have taken this into serious consideration. Having a white mother
    and having hardly grown up embedded in a black community, Barack Obama was aware
    that his 'authenticity' as an African American politician could be challenged.

    We don't know to what extent Barack Obama may have come to love MIchelle Robinson
    more than Sheila Miyoshi Jager for her personal qualities. I expect that Barack Obama
    developed sincere love and affection for MIchelle Robinson. But, given the reality of
    American racism, it was clearly more advantageous for Barack Obama to have a political
    wife who appeared like MIchelle Robinson than Sheila Miyoshi Jager.

    I have many relatives in racially 'mixed' marriages or relationships in the United States.
    I know that everyday racism influences how people perceive these marriages or relationships
    or the children from them. Many of my relatives are almost always treated as racial stereotypes.
  13. 08 May '17 21:22 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Ashiitaka to Finnegan
    Very true. Someone's sexual relationships prior to their political careers have nothing to do with it,
    and I would that people wouldn't dig that far into people's private lives.
    Barack Obama's undeniably a public figure. Moreover, Barack Obama has described his
    personal life at length in his memoirs (e.g. _Dreams From My Father_) when his carefully
    self-selected accounts of his personal life seemed advantageous to his political career.
    Barack Obama's not in any position to complain loudly when a reputable biographer turns
    his attention to his life and emerges with a different narrative than Barack Obama's

    "Someone's sexual relationships prior to their political careers ..."
    --Ash

    Does Ash insinuate that Barack Obama regarded Sheila Miyoshi Jager as only a convenient sexual outlet?

    Given the realties of American racism, I expect that many Americans would be uncomfortable
    or upset by Barack Obama's romantic intimacy with a non-black woman (who could pass as white).
  14. 08 May '17 21:27 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by vivify to Finnegan
    I concur. This is a tactic straight out of tabloids. My only comment on this excerpt is that if Obama "twice proposed marriage", this likely means he was rejected twice. If this is true, I'm sure this has more to do with moving on to Michelle than a "political decision".

    [b]The fact is that American racism will not rest without trying to t ...[text shortened]... t. This is only one of many expressions of that typically American obsession.


    Sadly true.[/b]
    Does Vivify regard mentioning that Barack Obama (who's half black and half white by ancestry)
    had an affair with and proposed marriage to an American woman (who's half white and half Asian)
    as an attempt to 'trash' Barack Obama's achievement as the first US President of black African ancestry?

    If so, then why? Personally, I think neither significantly better nor worse of Barack Obama
    after learning that he apparently loved a woman who was not a suitable 'political wife' for him.

    Would Vivify prefer a 'whitewashed' history in which Sheila Miyoshi Jager has been completely erased
    and everyone believes only Barack Obama's carefully self-selected narratives of his personal life?
    Would Vivify prefer that JFK"s biographers write that JFK loved (and made love to) only
    his wife, the First Lady, and ignore JFK"s many reported affairs and mistresses?
  15. 08 May '17 22:13
    Some writers here seem to be insinuating that David Garrow must be a racist for writing a
    book that Barack Obama may not like. He earlier wrote a biography of Martin Luther King Jr.