President Barack Obama places “politics before family,” his Kenya-born half-brother Mark Obama Ndesandjo said in an exclusive Newsmax interview.
And when the two men first met, the man who went on to be president appeared to be acting “too black” for his African-raised sibling.
“When we met in ’88 he was very much influenced by African nationalists and also at the same time had strong opinions about the roles of independence,” Ndesandjo said on “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.
Ndesandjo, whose book “Cultures: My Odyssey of Self-Discovery” explores the complicated relationship between the brothers, said the first time he met Barack, “it was a very powerful meeting.” We had very different views about a couple of things… there was a cultural clash because I mentioned in my book that I felt that he thought that I was too white and I felt he was too black.
“He had been raised in white America and I think he was looking for his African roots as a cultural journey.
“I, on the other hand, had been brought up in Africa – in Kenya – and I had identified with my mother and her western culture. I wanted to explore my western roots.
“I felt at that point, we had different points of view. I tried to talk, for example, about Chopin and Beethoven because I play classical piano and Barack rolled his eyes.
“He had his own goals and I had my own goals. But it was a cultural journey. As the only two mixed race kids in the Obama family, I think it was a powerful experience.”
Ndesandjo said his book describes the Obama family “and also my relationship with my brother” reflecting their different upbringings and attitudes despite having the same Kenyan father.
“We both have white American mothers,” he said. “We’re both Americans. We’re both mixed race. We also were born just a few years apart and we have a lot of similarities and also a lot of differences.”
Read more at NEWSMAX.