By Allan J. Favish
Usually, children's books do not scare me. But I just read a children's book entitled "Barack" by Jonah Winter, with illustrations by AG Ford, published on September 30, 2008 by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. "Barack's" dust jacket states that it is for children ages 4-7. This book scared me very much.
I am scared because of what this book will do to my daughter and other children who read it. My little girl is six and a half years of age. I will not allow her to read this book or have it read to her without my being able to explain to her what was omitted from the book. I will be checking with her school teachers for the next five years or so to make sure that she is not exposed to this book without the material that was omitted. To do otherwise would allow my child to become a victim of political deception.
The entertainment value of "Barack" through an inspirational and abbreviated account of Barack Obama's life leading up to the Presidential election cannot justify the false impression it conveys. "Barack" will create another battle for parents to fight against a culture that teaches their children so much that is wrong.
The dominant media treated the voters like children by omitting and obfuscating significant information about Obama that would have caused him to lose support. Ronald Kessler of Newsmax.com offers some examples. Mark Halperin of Time magazine stated: "Media bias was more intense in the 2008 election than in any other national campaign in recent history . . . . It's the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war. . . . It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage." The Washington Post's Ombudsman stated after the election:
The Post provided a lot of good campaign coverage, but readers have been consistently critical of the lack of probing issues coverage and what they saw as a tilt toward Democrat Barack Obama. My surveys, which ended on Election Day, show that they are right on both counts.
It is wrong for the dominant media to treat the voters like children, but at least some of us have the time and skills to find the truth that is buried out there in less popular media outlets and original sources. Our 4-7 year-olds do not have those skills. They are helpless against political propaganda. It is up to me to protect my child. To help protect your child from "Barack" I present some of the information missing from that book. If your child's school has "Barack" make sure that this missing information accompanies it.
"Barack" states that "no matter where he [Obama] was, the world was his home. And who he was could be summed up in one word: lovable." "Barack" does not tell its little readers that "lovable" Obama voted against state legislation that would have protected newborn infants who had survived abortions from being left to die without food, water and medical care, and then lied about his reasons for doing so. The legislation was adopted at the federal level and finally in Illinois after Obama left the state legislature in 2004. The legislation was called the Born Alive Infant Protection Act and resulted from heroic work by Chicago nurse Jill Stanek who helped to publicize this barbaric practice and the need to get it outlawed.
"Barack" does not tell its little readers that on December 21, 1997 "lovable" Obama wrote a short review in the Chicago Tribune of William Ayers' book "A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court", which had recently been published. Ayers is an unrepentant domestic terrorist who participated in the bombings of New York City Police Headquarters in 1970, of the Capitol building in 1971, and the Pentagon in 1972. Stanley Kurtz reported on September 23, 2008 in "Obama's Challenge" in National Review Online, and in "Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism on Schools" in the Wall Street Journal, that Ayers and Obama worked together for several years funding anti-American educational programs.
"Barack" states only this about Trinity Church:
[H]is journey had led him to Trinity Church, surrounded by the people from his neighborhood, including many he had helped. And there, swept up in the waves of their singing, with tears on his cheeks, he knew why he was there. He knew who he was, and he knew where he belonged.
"Barack" does not tell its little readers that Trinity Church has long promoted a message that is anti-American and anti-Israel, as reported here by Ronald Kessler of Newsmax.com. Trinity's pastor for over 20 years until 2008 was Jeremiah Wright, whose sermons were videotaped by Trinity and sold to the public until they were publicized in March 2008 by ABC News here and FoxNews here and here. "Barack" does not tell its little readers that Trinity Church promotes anti-American ideology through its magazine, Trumpet, as Stanley Kurtz wrote about in "Jeremiah Wright's ‘Trumpet'" in The Weekly Standard on May 19, 2008 and in "Left in Church: Deep inside the Wright Trumpet" in National Review on May 20, 2008.
"Barack" does not tell its little readers that Trumpet, gave Louis Farrakhan a lifetime achievement award in 2007 as reported here by Ronald Kessler of Newsmax.com on January 14, 2008, who wrote:
Farrakhan has repeatedly made hate-filled statements targeting Jews, whites, America, and homosexuals. He has called whites "blue-eyed devils" and the "anti-Christ." He has described Jews as "bloodsuckers" who control the government, the media, and some black organizations.
"Do you know some of these satanic Jews have taken over BET [the Black Entertainment Network]?" Farrakhan said in a speech on Nov. 11, 2007. "Everything that we built, they have. The mind of Satan now is running the record industry, movie industry, and television. And they make us look like we're the murderers; we look like we're the gangsters, but we're punk stuff."
"Barack" does not tell its little readers that Obama admitted in his 1995 book "Dreams From My Father" that the first sermon he heard from Wright, which made him want to join Trinity Church, was a sermon in which Wright approvingly used the phrase "where white folks' greed runs a world in need . . . ." (Mickey Kaus discusses this a few screen scrolls down here where the discussion begins with "Page 293 (paperback edition) . . . .").
"Barack" does not tell its little readers that Obama did not state specific disagreement with anything from Trinity Church, Wright or Farrakhan until after this racism and anti-Americanism was given publicity during Obama's presidential campaign. Moreover, as reported by Fred Lucas in "Despite Campaign Claim, Obama Told Paper He Attended Trinity Church ‘Every Week'" for CNSNews.com on November 13, 2008, Obama claimed during his presidential campaign that he did not attend the church frequently despite having stated in an interview in 2004 that he attended services at Trinity Church every week.
Assuming that Obama had no knowledge of Wright's anti-American sermons when they were given over the years, we know that in February 2007 Obama learned that Wright stated: "Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!" "We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God. . . . We care nothing about human life if the ends justify the means!" . . . . "And. And. And! GAWD! Has GOT! To be SICK! OF THIS SHIT!" We know this because these quotes from Wright were published in "Destiny's Child" by Ben Wallace-Wells in the February 22, 2007 Rolling Stone. At the April 16, 2008 Democrat presidential candidate's debate Obama admitted he was aware of the Rolling Stone article when it was published. Obama's reaction upon learning this was not to leave Trinity Church or denounce Wright, but to think that the comments "would be a distraction [from his presidential campaign], since he [Wright] had just put them forward." Obama's problem with Wright's comments was not their substance, but that they would distract from his campaign. Also, according to Obama, the comments were a distraction because Wright "had just put them forward". Obama did not say that the comments were a distraction because of their substance. For Obama, the problem was Wright's timing, not his message.
"Barack" quotes Martin Luther King's statement: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." "Barack" then states: "And on the horizon, at the dawn of a new age, there appeared a man who would be the embodiment of King's dream-a presidential candidate whose very being was a bridge that joined nations."
"Barack" does not tell its little readers that in addition to Obama's participation in Trinity Church, Obama has made statements and adopted positions that contradict King's dream. Obama stated in an interview for the December 8, 1995 article "What Makes Obama Run?" by Hank De Zutter in Chicago Reader that he has a "sense . . . that white Americans couldn't care less about the profound problems African-Americans are facing." Obama made a racial generalization about whites that did not limit his characterization to some white Americans. Moreover, his generalization imputes a morally repugnant callousness to "white Americans" because it would be wrong for any American, white or otherwise to not care about problems facing African-Americans.
"Barack" does not tell its little readers that, as Ward Connerly wrote in the Wall Street Journal on June 13, 2008, Obama was opposing ballot initiatives that would have inserted the following language into several state constitutions: "The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin, in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting." King fought long and hard for virtually identical language to be in the federal 1964 Civil Rights Act. Obama's position turns King's dream into a nightmare.
"Barack" describes what was happening in 2005 when Obama became a United States Senator: "He arrived here during a dark time in American history. All across America, people were losing their jobs, losing their houses, losing their sense of hope." It was not as dark as "Barack" states. According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual unemployment rate for the country was 5.5% in 2004, having decreased one-half percent from 6% in 2003. The decrease continued throughout 2005 which had a rate of 5.1%.
"Barack" further states that when Obama became a United States Senator: "Many people were tired of a war that had gone on too long." "Barack" does not tell its little readers how wrong Obama has been about how to win the war. "Barack" does not tell its little readers that in a January 2007 CBS News interview Obama stated that he supported a phased withdrawal and opposed the significant change in strategy and increase in troops known as the "surge", that has significantly reduced violence in Iraq and made it possible for the United States to sign an agreement with the Iraq government that calls for American troops to leave Iraq in 2011 under conditions that are expected to leave the democratic government of Iraq in place with the capacity to provide individual liberty to its citizens and defend itself against those who murder in the name of Islam. In a November 2006 speech Obama opposed increasing troop levels in Iraq. "Barack" does not tell its little readers that in addition to opposing the surge, Obama stated in a January 2007 MSNBC interview that the surge would make the situation in Iraq worse, the opposite of what it has done. "Barack" does not tell its little readers that in a July 2008 NBC "Nightly News" interview Obama falsely stated that at the time of the debate about whether to do the surge he stated that the surge would have "an impact," implying that the "impact" would be positive. Obama also falsely stated in a July 2008 NBC "Meet the Press" interview that he had stated during the debate over the surge that "additional U.S. troops could temporarily quell the violence." "Barack" does not tell its little readers that in an ABC News interview in July 2008 Obama stated that even after knowing what he now knows about how the surge has reduced violence, he still would have opposed it.
You can contact the publisher of "Barack" at harpercollinschildrens.com.
Allan J. Favish is an attorney in Los Angeles. His website is allanfavish.com.