Displaying the ugliness in her soul, Michelle Malkin used her latest column to attack a woman who just died of cancer. The fact that she was President Obama’s aunt apparently made that okay. Malkin’s column is full of half-truths, misrepresentations and lies. But, hey, she knows her audience. And the haters likely ate this up.
Zeituni Onyango was the half-sister of Obama’s father. He mentions her in his memoir, Dreams From My Father as “Aunti Zeituni,” even though he didn’t meet her — or any of his father’s side of the family — until he was an adult. She came to the U.S. in 2000, looking for political asylum. Since then, she spent a lot of time in and out of immigration court. In 2010, she finally became a legal resident. During that time, she was fodder for right-wing conspiracy theories and disdain. She died on April 7, 2014 from breast cancer.
It took Michelle Malkin only 3 days to produce her hate-filled rant about Onyango. She must have spent half of it using a thesaurus to look up synonyms for “lazy” and “dependent.” As one would expect from the anti-immigrant Malkin (whose own parents were immigrants), the insults flew fast and thick:
Auntie Zeituni had no job skills, no special talent, no compelling reason to keep her here in America as an asset to our culture or our economy. She didn’t value the American Dream. She was a dependency nightmare. She collected $700 a month in welfare benefits and disability payments totaling $51,000. Somehow, Auntie Zeituni also drummed up money to apply for asylum and finagled her way into both federal and state public housing in Boston.
Onyango was granted asylum to this country four years ago. She, her attorneys and doctors spent five hours with Immigration Judge Leonard I. Shapiro on May 17, 2010. They must have made a convincing case, because Shapiro granted Onyango legal residency and permission to work in the U.S. Yes, she was on disability but that doesn’t automatically make her a “dependency nightmare.” In fact, she did volunteer work for several years before her illness forced her to stop. But I guess that’s not good enough for Malkin. Onyango did not “somehow” get the money for attorneys, it was provided by friends and family in Cleveland’s Kenyan community when Onyango was staying there in 2008 to escape from the hounding of the media.
Onyango also did not “finagle” her way into public housing. She spent two years in a homeless shelter before she was granted an apartment. In exchange, she volunteered as a health advocate for the Boston Housing authority. But, again, Malkin turns her nose up at mere volunteer work.
Malkin also mocks Onyango’s struggle for asylum and her ordeal in fighting deportation:
Auntie Zeituni’s illegal activity and ingratitude were rewarded time and time again. She got multiple bites at the immigration court apple, where it ain’t over till the alien wins. Despite twice being ordered to go home, the feds allowed her bogus case to be reopened. After breaking visa laws, campaign finance laws (she donated illegally to Obama three times), deportation rules and judicial orders, she was allowed to have yet another hearing.
Onyango ‘s travails are well-documented and were brought up during the 2008 campaign in an attempt to smear then-candidate Obama. As stated, Onyango came to the U.S. in 2000, requesting asylum. As she is of the Luo tribe of Kenya — a group described as under “sustained political persecution” — that is not unreasonable. Her initial request was denied and she was told to leave the country but she did not. This is not unusual. Many immigrants who have been denied asylum continue to stay. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement is aware of this but their orders are to “target suspects with criminal records before they go after simple immigration violators.” Since she was not a criminal, Onyango’s case was not terribly important. She was disabled due to back surgery and an auto-immune disorder and, since she had been issued a Social Security card in 2001, her case was not a priority.
As for the donations to her nephew’s campaign, Onyango did contribute five times, all of which amounted to a grand total of $65. When the Obama campaign were advised of this, they returned the donations. Obama did not know all the particulars of his aunt’s immigration status and spokespersons could only confirm that Onyango was, indeed, his aunt. When he was apprised of her situation, Obama said that the applicable laws should be applied no matter who the subject was. Interestingly, reporters who dug into Onyango’s private information — which included her immigration status — were in violation of privacy laws set down by the Department of Homeland Security.
In conclusion, Malkin wrote off Onyango’s life and death because she was Obama’s aunt and, consequently, the wrong color to be deserving of the largesse she was granted by America:
Auntie Zeituni’s story is a disgraceful reminder that the only thing worse than the ingrates thumbing their noses at our immigration laws are the people in power on both sides of the aisle enabling them.
The implication, of course, is that President Obama cleared the way for his aunt to stay in this country. That he not only shielded her from deportation but made sure that she was provided for. Honestly, if that were the case, Onyango surely would not have spent 2 years in a homeless shelter nor be living on less than $700 month. But logic isn’t something Malkin possesses. Not when it comes to President Obama. She, like most on the right, suffers from Obama Derangement Syndrome, so facts and logic fall by the wayside. As Ben Cohen of The Daily Banter rightly observed about Malkin’s “eulogy”:
Onyango was someone’s mother, sister, aunt and friend. She had a hard life and died before her time of an awful disease only four days ago. But fuck her… she was Obama’s aunt.
Here was a woman whose husband abused her, who came to this country for protection due to political persecution and had to fight for 10 years to find relief. She had medical problems, disabilities and, finally, cancer. She was hounded by the media during the 2008 campaign and continued to be the object of scorn by those who hate her nephew even after her death. But, to Michelle Malkin, she was a scapegoat. To Malkin, Onyango was the distillation of all the immigrants who came to this country under circumstances different from her own parents (a work visa). Malkin despises anyone not like her, especially if they are darker than she is. She makes no secret that she thinks blacks are lazy and undeserving. Never mind that the majority of welfare recipients are whites in red states.
Malkin’s vile attack on Onyango should be condemned by every decent American. It was uncalled-for, racist and repugnant. But what can one expect from someone who is so full of hate? Malkin should really heed the words of Coretta Scott King: “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” But then, Mrs. King was black. And we all know how Malkin feels about “those people.” What a shame.