Hemingway Jersey Shore Thriller

Past Twilight the back story

Spring 2011

Vote for your Obama

Twitter Point: Race, it is the color of a skin. It is good, bad and boring and everything in-between.  It is what people see or refuse to see and finally, it has nothing to do with the real person under the skin.

   Allan was clearly upset. A sick ego crushed was a terrible thing to waste if it didn't explode in anger. I wasn’t disappointed.  

     “You’re always sticking up for them!” he shouted at Hanlon. “Niggers, they’re nothing but niggers. You have to watch them every second or they’ll steal everything you have. Did she also tell you I slapped her hard? That’s how you treat a nigger. You got to show them whose boss.”  From Past Twilight

   Some of my characters are pretty nasty and talk just as nasty. They say write what you know, and I have met enough bigots to know what they are like when they are operating outside of the public glare. Some politicians like bigots because as long as they toss them a few coded bigot words, their bigots won't be asking them questions about the important things that are happening in this country. To paraphrase Kathleen Turner in the movie Body Heat: "You're not very smart, but that's okay, I like that quality in a voter."

A little history

   My own feelings about race started after my family moved from Washington DC to a quiet little suburb in Prince Georges County Maryland. Around the time my parents moved and for several years afterwards many white families were fleeing DC for different reasons but one reason was the influx of one or two black families in their DC neighborhoods. At this time, some banks and insurance companies were doing something they call reverse red lining by marketing to minority consumers who had previously been denied financial services because they lived in a specific neighborhood that had been marked on a map with red pen circling the area where they lived because most of the people in the area were either a minority or poor. Of course, the people giving loans to people from a redline district were of course over charging them in mortgage and insurance fees. At the time, I remember hearing people say that the only reason they were doing this was to have white people flee the area and then after the area went totally down hill they could swoop in and buy most of the houses for practically nothing, so that they could resell the property back to professional people who at the time were mostly white. Certainly, they were also going to screw the white professional people by over-valuing the property - I think they called that 'Gentrification'. These money people aren't racist they are just people looking to get filthy rich at someone else's expense.

   As I grew up in this environment, I neither knew nor thought about minorities. Even in High School there was only one person who I thought was a minority, but he turned out to be Italian. The only exception was some of the things I heard about in what was known as the eastern shore of Maryland. At least, according to what I heard every owner of a general store in this area had a shot gun that they would point at any minority that wanted to do business in their store. One time I went with my family on a labor day weekend to a popular beach on the Chesapeake Bay. My brother who was in his late teens at the time had a Japanese friend who he invited to join us at our family outing. When we got to the entrance of the beach, a guy who had a law enforcement badge, but clearly worked for this beach, yelled at my brother the following: "You know boy, you're not suppose to bring these type of people here. But since this is the last day of the season, I'm going to give you a break, but don't do it again." He was referring to my brothers friend. I later found out that this was a Christian white only beach, even Jews weren't allowed at this beach. Today, this beach is still in operation, but as the world changes and prejudice are no longer fashionable or profitable in this area, anyone who can pay to enter - will be allowed on their beach.

   When I went to NYC to live and started working for the Health and Hospital Corporation and later the city's welfare agency, I also experience some discrimination, but it was a lot more subtle than some guy with a shot gun. It went pretty much like this. Whoever was in charge of an agency or local hospital favored their color for a lot of the important job positions. If someone of the wrong color were to get a key position, they would have to be several levels better than a person of the right color or politically connected with someone more powerful than the local chief. Of course in NYC public agencies you also have civil service and unions that make sure most of the people get their positions by merit(ie taking a civil-service  test and getting a high enough score to be hired or promoted.) Political types like a Mayor have many reasons for getting rid of civil-service  tests but putting their people in jobs would have to be the number-one  reason that they would never cite.

   Eventually, though the civil-service  system I was promoted. Pretty much most of the people I supervised were minorities. If I wanted to succeed as a supervisor, I didn't have the luxury of being prejudiced. I had to evaluate my subordinates and find a find a way to get each of them to contribute whatever they could to the goals of the organization. When I took a look at my subordinates, I found that some no matter what their race were parasites - they wanted all the benefits the organization could give without doing the work. These types of people I looked to get rid of after I had tried everything I could to get them to do anything to fit into the organization. Fortunately, this group was a minority, not of race but a minority of people you don't want working for you. The next groups of people were easier to deal with, just find a little niche within the organization where they could contribute to the organization, and problem solved. They never would be your stars but as a group they were the backbone of the organization. The last group were the stars, every organization has potential stars but few organizations really develop their stars. This groups also comes in all colors and shapes. As I person who likes to see people develop their potential, this is my favorite group to be around.

   So there you have it, my concept of race was developed throughout  my years of working for the Health and Hospitals Corporation. The first thing I learned from this experience is that racial prejudice is not confined to white people. The second thing I learned from this experience was that being prejudice was very unproductive. If you as a person want to do something with your life other than fill up space, you must learn things and get help from many different types of people. To limit your help to just one race is stupid. In my novel race is one of the central issues. I can't say more than that, otherwise I might reveal one of the major plot twists in the book.

   But I will say something about our current president. When President Obama started running for president, he had very little support from the black community. Some black leaders questioned whether he was black enough. After he won the Iowa caucus of mostly white voters, he became the number-one  'African American' in the black community and the media. This bothered me because I don't understand why someone would call him a 'African American' or black.  If you look at his parents: one was black and one was white. So at the very least he should be called a mixed-race  individual. Unless you are saying that any percentage of a black race makes a person black or the political correct term 'African American'.  President Obama was raised by a white woman and also raised by his grandparents who were also white. It is true that he had a black father, but this father abandoned his family when Obama was around two years old. It's true that the father showed up several years later when Obama was ten. But he didn't stay long, and nobody has stated that this was a bonding experience. And finally,  Obama went to Columbia and Harvard, which are schools known to and pretty much run by white people. Obama probably could have obtained a scholarship to Grambling or Howard universities, but I don't see those schools on his resume.

   There is a private Obama and few if any people really know who he is. There is also a public Obama and if he started talking about his black roots before he became involved in politics, please tell me and I will include such information on my web site. My opinion is that Obama should be proud of both his black-and-white  heritage and stop calling himself African-American or black, because he is neither. He was elected because a lot of voters wanted change not because they thought an African American would make a better president.

   Obama has accomplished a lot of things and has inherited more problems than any previous president so for now I will cut him some slack. If he campaigns to let Bush Jr's tax cuts for the rich die after the 2012 election, I will say that he was a good president who showed some guts when it counted. Essentially letting the tax cuts for the rich die, will probably let the tax cuts for the middle class also die because the Republicans will hold the middle-class tax cuts cuts as hostage. The Republicans will say that they want tax cuts for everybody when they really only want them for the rich. This will also be a gut check for the American people. Are they really going to pay for what they need or are they going to let essential government programs slowly die for some chump change tax cuts? If I knew the answer to that question, I could become a billionaire.

   I voted for Obama, contributed to his campaign and I will probably do the same thing when he runs in 2012. I will do this because the Republican-Tea Party alternatives to Obama, frankly, scares me. So this is for my bigot friends. Here is a way to vote for Obama, and still be a bigot, because the Republican alternatives like making the rich richer at the expense of the average citizen by cutting out(not today but tomorrow) Social Security and Medicare and a whole host of things even a bigot needs to have in order to survive.  All it takes is one operation in a hospital or the loss of a key public program, and your life will go downhill. If you live alone and die alone without any help from society, then you can hate anyone or everyone as long as you don't break any laws. But if you need those entitlement programs that the Republicans have clearly indicated that they are going to eliminate, then you vote for the candidate, regardless of color, who will keep those programs - otherwise you are a fool.  

    My advice is to start thinking of Obama as more than one person.   You have the basic black Obama and the basic white Obama. And you can say that biologically and culturally the guy is about 90% white.  When you vote and pull down the lever, you can safely say that you're not voting for that N**** Obama, who is totally no good, you're voting for the white Obama, who is going to stop them rich guys from stealing everything off of your hardworking back. In fact, if it was up to me. I would say let's get rid of all the do-nothing  parties and let people vote for either the black Obama or the white Obama, maybe even the Hispanic, Oriental, or Persian Obama, Arab Obama, Native Obama(AKA 'Great White Father) and for conspirators and birther's, the all-time  classic: 'Alien Obama'.  I know who I am voting for, what about you?

Vote for your Obama


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