(UPDATE March 30, 2008: More here.)
When 2008 Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) was in Selma, Alabama holding forth, he happened to mention that his father came to America via the ‘Kennedy Airlift’ in 1959. Some bloggers scoffed at that assertion since JFK didn’t become the POTUS until 1961.
However, it is indeed true that the Kennedys were responsible for Obama’s father being in the US, since, in 1959, the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation provided most of the funding. (Roughly 250 Kenyan students were selected by Kenyan legend Tom Mboya to come to America and receive an American education. The senior Obama and the senior Ochieng—my father, Philip-- were among them. Later, when the two married American women, did the deeds that brought about Obama Jr’s and my births, divorced, received their degrees and returned home, they became friends. Obama Jr. and I are
fourteen twenty-five days apart in age.) In Kenya, the airlift is known as the ‘Tom Mboya Airlift.’
And, yes, it is slightly disconcerting to know that I owe my existence to the Kennedy family. Good thing that I believe in God’s providence. :-)
(Thanks to Hot Air, which worked with me and corrected its error about the ‘Kennedy Airlift.’)