Saturday, May 03, 2008

Obama Identifies The Problem

Our next stop was the local Chamber of Commerce, located on the second floor of what looked like a pawnshop.

Inside, we found a plump black man who was busy packing boxes.

“We’re looking for Mr. Foster,” I said to the man.

“I’m Foster,” he said, not looking up.

“We were told that you were the president of the Chamber-”

“Well, you right about that. I was the president. Just resigned last week.”

He offered us three chairs and talked as he worked. He explained that he had owned the stationery store down the street for fifteen years now, had been the president of the Chamber for the last five. He had done his best to organize the local merchants, but lack of support had finally left him discouraged.

“You won’t hear me complaining about the Koreans,” he said, stacking a few boxes by the door. “They’re the only ones that pay their dues into the Chamber. They understand business, what it means to cooperate. They pool their money. Make each other loans. We don’t do that, see. The black merchants around here, we’re all like crabs in a bucket.” He straightened up and wiped his brow with a handkerchief. “I don’t know. Maybe you can’t blame us for being the way we are. All those years without opportunity, you have to figure it took something out of us. And it’s tougher now than it was for the Italian or the Jew thirty years ago. These days, a small store like mine has to compete against the big chains. It’s a losing battle unless you do like these Koreans-work your family sixteen hours a day, seven days a week. As a people, we’re not willing to do that anymore. I guess we worked so long for nothing, we feel like we shouldn’t have to break our backs just to survive. That’s what we tell our children anyway. I can’t say I’m any different. I tell my sons I don’t want them taking over the business. I want them to go work for some big company where they can be comfortable….” [130]
From Obama's Book Dreams From My Father [pdf].

So there you have it. - Because my ancestors were slaves I'm not going to do what it takes to get ahead. Because we were slaves you owe me. - Of course with an attitude like that no matter how much is given nothing will get accomplished, the resents will fester forever. There will never be enough. Such an attitude is what the Buddhist call Pretas or Hungry Demons.

I think Obama has bought into the resenters. His 20 years with the irreverend Wright and Black Enslavement Theology are a very good indication of that. If he was into true Liberation he would understand that only the fruits of your own labor can liberate you and you must work as hard as required to get those fruits. Even 16 hours a day seven days a week. My father was one of those Jewish merchants. He owned a small grocery store at the edge of the black ghetto in Omaha at 33rd and Lake St. He worked those 16 hour days. Until I was about 10 we lived behind the store so we could save money and be near the work. We were slaves. My mom was telling me the other day that she figured out that she and my dad worked for twenty-five cents an hour. Money was worth more then. But still the minimum wage was something like $1.50 or $2.00 an hour. The help earned more than the owners did.

So does Obama preach that kind of self reliance? I have never heard it from him.

H/T Gregory Chang

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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Foobarista said...
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