Hawaii was made a state in 1959 as a Cold War strategy to create a showcase state with nonwhite and mixed race political leaders, such as the war hero and future Senator Daniel Inouye. A goal was to persuade nonwhites around the world to accept American imperial leadership by demonstrating that leadership ranks would be open to nonwhites.

LBJ got Congress to put up a lot of money to make the East-West Center at the U. of Hawaii, the home base of President Obama’s mother for most of her career, the American equivalent of Moscow’s Patrice Lumumba University. At the East-West Center, Third World students from leadership backgrounds, such as Lolo Soetoro from a well-connected Indonesian family (Lolo’s father was the top indigenous petroleum geologist in Indonesia), mingled with and married American students.

1950s Hawaii’s extreme racial liberalism (some 30 percent of marriages were interracial) doesn’t fit in well with contemporary prejudices about America’s racist past.

“Stanley Ann Dunham-Obama-Soetoro’s predilection for marrying natives reflects a female version of an old WASP pattern that goes far back.”
Yet when Obama’s 17-year-old mother arrived in Hawaii in 1960 and quickly became pregnant by an exotic black man, Hawaii was of obsessive interest to the liberal mainstream imagination as the leading symbol of America’s new post-colonial empire.

“It turns out that the strange life the President’s mother forged for herself by marrying men of other races brought to Hawaii by Cold War initiatives wasn’t just driven by this adventuress’s own idiosyncratic desires, as an embarrassed and annoyed Obama discussed in Dreams from My Father. She was also following (in an extreme fashion) the messages being transmitted in the 1950s by the most respected voices of mainstream culture about what progressive, patriotic Americans should believe—and even do—in order to ensure the triumph of the free world.

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