A resurfaced biography on Barack Obama details how the former president allegedly refused to condemn antisemitism and black nationalism during an argument with his then-girlfriend.
On Thursday, Tablet Magazine’s David Samuels published a lengthy expose based on a question-and-answer interview with David Garrow, a longtime civil rights historian who authored a biography on Obama in 2017 titled Rising Star. (Garrow has also penned a biography on civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr). While largely overshadowed due to legacy media’s obsession with covering the Trump presidency, Garrow’s book contains insight into an exchange Obama had with his then-girlfriend in which he purportedly refused to condemn antisemitism and black nationalism.
According to Samuels, the argument in question involving Obama and his longtime Chicago girlfriend, Sheila Miyoshi Jager, was allegedly sparked after the couple visited “an exhibit at Chicago’s Spertus Institute about the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann,” a Nazi who played a major role in perpetuating the Holocaust. It was during this time, according to Samuels, that Chicago politics was engulfed in controversy after Steve Cokely, a black mayoral aide, “accused Jewish doctors in Chicago of infecting Black babies with AIDS as part of a genocidal plot against African Americans.”
The incident occurred while Cokely was speaking at a lecture series organized by Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam.
“In Jager’s recollection, what set off the quarrel that precipitated the end of the couple’s relationship was Obama’s stubborn refusal, after seeing the exhibit, and in the swirl of this Cokely affair, to condemn Black racism,” Samuels wrote. “While acknowledging that Obama’s embrace of a Black identity had created some degree of distance between the couple, she insisted that what upset her that day was Obama’s inability to condemn Cokely’s comments.”
“It was not Obama’s Blackness that bothered her, but that he would not condemn antisemitism,” Samuels added.
In his 2007 memoir, Dreams from My Father, Obama painted the couple’s argument in a different light. According to Samuels, Obama’s version of events insists “he was the particularist, embracing a personal meaning for the Black experience that Jager,” the “white-identified liberal” universalist, “refused to grant.” The argument is said to have preceded the couple’s split. It’s worth mentioning that Obama had reportedly proposed to Jager at least twice before they separated.
While it’s unclear whose version of events is true, it is a documented fact that Obama has fraternized with notable antisemites such as Farrakhan. A few years ago, a photo surfaced showing Obama and Farrakhan — the latter of whom has claimed Judaism is a “gutter religion” and that Adolf Hitler “was a very great man” — smiling together during a 2005 Congressional Black Caucus meeting.
Journalist Askia Muhammad, who took the original photo, later admitted he “gave the picture up at the time and basically swore secrecy” because he thought it “absolutely would have made a difference” to Obama’s political career, specifically his 2008 presidential campaign.
“But after the nomination was secured and all the way up until the inauguration; then for eight years after he was President, it was kept under cover,” Muhammad said. As National Review noted, Farrakhan endorsed Obama during the 2008 Democrat presidential primary and later claimed he met with Obama before the latter launched his campaign.
Of course, any attempts to dig into Obama’s past as a community organizer has been met with attacks from America’s propaganda press. As conservative radio host Larry Elder noted shortly after the Obama-Farrakhan photo was released, “Obama’s longtime association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ would likely have derailed his candidacy had media pounced on this as they did the Trump ‘Access Hollywood’ tape.”
Wright, who once claimed “them Jews” were keeping him from seeing Obama during his time as president, is Obama’s former pastor.
“But for Fox News’ coverage of Wright and the videotapes of his fiery sermons, the other major media would have avoided or downplayed Obama’s 20-year association with a pastor who gave fiery sermons critical of America and who had a longtime friendship with Farrakhan,” Elder wrote.
Read the rest of Samuels’ expose on America’s 44th president here.