Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Donald Trump has been called many things but arguably the most bizarre is “the white Malcolm X”, a title inexplicably bestowed upon him by President Obama’s half-brother, Malik.
The 58-year-old Muslim from a small village in western Kenya was a late but loud convert to the Trump cause, aping his preferred candidate’s social media style with the liberal use of capital letters, misspellings and discourteous epithets.
Malik, who made a disastrous run for local political office in Kenya in 2013, has bad-mouthed Barack for years accusing him of dishonesty and abandoning his Kenyan relatives. At the same time he has reportedly earned tens of thousands of dollars by auctioning off 20-year-old handwritten letters from the man who would become president.
Recently Malik upped the ante, changing his Twitter profile picture to show him wearing a red “Make America Great Again” cap, accepting a Trump invitation to the presidential debate in Las Vegas and posting a picture of himself — a joint Kenyan and US citizen — voting for Trump.
In the last days of Trump’s campaign, Malik enjoyed a surge in followers eventually reaching 62,000 but complained in one tweet that: “I must have over 100,000 followers but Twitter is suppressing my follows folks!!!”.
His 140-character missives closely resemble those of his political idol, with repeated references to “CROOKED HILLARY!” and calls for her to be jailed. He has described his half-brother as “arrogant”, offered his services in helping to “#BuildTheWall” to keep Mexicans out, lambasted “CORRUPT MEDIA!!!” and warned against the “Bad Hombres out there folks!”
The tweet calling Trump the “reincarnation” of legendary black rights activist Malcolm X is remarkable only for its strangeness.
Upon hearing the news of Trump’s victory, Malik tweeted: “CROOKED HILLARY HAS CALLED PRESIDENT TRUMP TO CONCEED!” (sic).
The social media sound and fury aside it remains to be seen what Malik’s longer-term game plan might be, besides venting his personal grievances.
However, among Obama’s Kenyan relatives Malik is the black sheep.
In the family’s ancestral village of Kogelo, where Barack and Malik’s father was born, the president’s step-grandmother Sarah Obama said Trump should seek to emulate the current occupant of the White House.
“It is upon him to develop America and the whole world like Barack,” she said.