George Hussein Onyango Obama, half-brother of presidential candidate Barack Obama, declared to Vanity Fair last month that “no one knows I exist.” When strangers inquire about his surname, George denies his relationship to the famous Obama: “I say we are not related. I am ashamed.” Why? George Obama lives in a delapidated hut outside Nairobi, earns less than one dollar a month, and, as he says, “I have scars from defending myself with my fists.”
Fortunately for George, Minnesota resident Tim Anderson has launched a Web site, HelpObamasBrother.org, to raise money for him. The site declares its mission on the front page: “If Barack Obama won’t send his brother George a few bucks for rent, we can step up and help a brother out.”
“We want to help George finance an apartment and college tuition,” said Anderson, who launched the site after seeing a report about the younger Obama on CNN International. “He needs a hand up and we are going to give it to him. The first step, though, is getting him into sanitary living conditions.”
According to Vanity Fair, George currently lives without electricity or running water. However, he hopes to move to a safer part of the city and enroll in a technical college.
Anderson said he is skeptical of Obama’s commitment to ending poverty in America and abroad, given his treatment of his relatives.
“I question why he won’t help his own flesh and blood,” he said. “If a family member of mine was impoverished, I’d help. I’d let them move in with me. Obama says he wants to save Africa, but he can’t start with his own brother?”
Anderson, whose site has raised a few hundred dollars so far, said he hopes to travel to Kenya and deliver the money to George in person.
“Some Obama supporters appear to be upset by this organization,” Anderson said. “One called and told me I don’t really care about Africans. I said, ‘I can only save one hut at a time.’ I don’t understand why they don’t like it; I’m just trying to help their candidate’s brother.”
Barack and Michelle Obama have an estimated net worth of $1.3 million. Barack received a $1.9 million adance for his autobiography, in which he makes one reference to George, describing him as “a beautiful boy with a rounded head.”
Anderson said his organization is simply doing what the older Obama ought to be doing for his brother.“Charity should begin at home,” he said.
As for anyone who questions his sincerity, “I ask them, ‘why are you offended?’ Are you mad that I’m trying to help Obama’s brother, or are you mad that your candidate isn’t?”