Monday, January 16, 2012

Scenes from an Elitist Upbringing

I've read too many comments from internet conservatives complaining about elitist Barack Obama never having worked a day in his life and owing his success to affirmative action. Barry Obama had more than a glimpse of real poverty and elitism when he lived in Indonesia. By fifth grade, young Barack Obama probably knew as much or more about the "real" world as the loudmouthed birthers and truthers who accuse him of being a pawn of the socialist Islamo fascist conspiracy.

My stepfather Lolo said, "Men take advantage of weakness in other men. They're just like countries in that way. The strong man takes the weak man's land. He makes the weak man work in his fields. If the weak man's woman is pretty, the strong man will take her. Which would you rather be? Better to be strong. If you can't be strong, be clever and make peace with someone who's strong. But always better to be strong yourself. Always.
Source: Dreams from My Father, by Barack Obama, p. 37

My stepfather Lolo said, "Guilt is a luxury only foreigners can afford. Like saying whatever pops into your head." Mother didn't know what it was like to lose everything, to wake up and feel her belly eating itself. She didn't know how crowded and treacherous the path to security could be. He was right, of course. She was a foreigner, middle-class and white and protected by her heredity whether she wanted protection or not. She could always leave if things got too messy. That possibility negated anything she might say to Lolo; it was the unreachable barrier between them.
Dreams from My Father, p. 42

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Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. -Margaret Mead