Barack Obama’s half-brother in Kenya has reportedly responded to the former US president’s effort to promote the inclusion of LGBTQ-themed books in school libraries by suggesting that his half-sibling is homosexual.
“This man is definitely gay,” Malik Obama purportedly said on Monday in a since-deleted Twitter message. The post, which was reported by multiple media outlets, came in response to a letter in which Barack Obama denounced the banning of controversial books in children’s libraries, including at least one that features graphic illustrations of gay sexual acts.
The former president praised librarians in his Twitter post, saying they were on the “front lines” of an everyday fight to “make the widest possible range of viewpoints, opinions and ideas available to everyone.” He added, “Today, some of the books that shaped my life – and the lives of so many others – are being challenged by people who disagree with certain ideas or perspectives.”
Obama went on to promote a campaign called Unite Against Book Bans, an effort by the American Library Association to confront increasing demands to censor content that critics deem inappropriate for children.
Parents have targeted books that allegedly include pornographic or pedophilic material. For example, one title defended by US media outlets as “the most banned book in America,” called ‘Gender Queer’, features graphic images and descriptions of children engaged in homosexual relations.
“Michelle and I want to thank these librarians for their unwavering commitment to the freedom to read,” Obama said. “I hope you’ll read my letter to them, and join me in reminding anyone who will listen — and even some people you think might not — that the free, robust exchange of ideas has always been at the heart of American democracy.”
Malik Obama, who has the same father as the ex-president, visited the White House several times during his brother’s first term in office. However, he later claimed that Barack Obama was “cold and ruthless” and blasted him for abandoning his Kenyan family. “What I saw was the kind of person that wants people to worship him,” Malik Obama told the New York Post in 2020. “He needs to be worshiped, and I don’t do that. I am his older brother, so I don’t do that.”