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Lifelong Learning

by Sustainable Scott 2 years ago in book reviews
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Dreams from my father: Barack Obama

A Story of Race and Inheritance . This is the autobiography of Barack Obama. It's a story of the dreams of his father and grandparents , who had hope to live in a world in which race did not matter. It comes on as the movement in the 60s, the integration of spirit, the notion we could create a more just and equal nation , with harmony and equality for all. He describes how the dream of his family kind of fell away with the country as a whole but he somehow held onto it and rekindled it as a fire in his own heart.

Growing up as a young man in hawaii the black community was very small. Barack was raised partly by his white grandparents and he describes a story in which his grandmother came home after getting hustled in the street. She didn't want to tell him it was by a big black man but she did, and his ballon sorted of fizzled. It showed him even in a family as loving as his, race can intrude in ugly ways. He describes how our historical legacy of USA affects people today, even how it affected his father in Kenya.

He describes how black and white people have a hard time to understand the other, and sort of live as strangers to each other. That even with his own higher degree of understand from within the book, he can see today is still a difficult struggle. When he was only two years old , his mother left his father and he grew up sort of without knowing him. His father went back to Kenya and in politics he was from the wrong tribe, he ended up getting blacklisted by the government and died very bitter and lonely alone.

His father being a traditional african dealt with his own schism unfortunately he was not able to bridge himself. Between being a traditional african catapulted into modern culture, the leap from the 1900's Africa into Harvard getting an economics degree. A leap like that is nearly impossible to put to words. Even the leap his grandfather made in his own village being the first one in his village to meet white people. Understanding the difference in culture between a village in Africa with its own black history without whites, to the slavery in america which happened long ago. His grandfather being born in 1895 had very minimal contact with white people. His grandfather himself came back from his first encounters with white people wearing western clothing and his own father said to his brothers don't touch this guy he's unclean.

Obama went on to become a community organizer in chicago , he took together the dreams and aspirations that brought his parents together and while all his Harvard buddies were going off to make money on wall street hr decided to be a community organizer. He was remembering the visions of freedom writers in the south marching for their freedom while using it as his motivation to organize different strands of desperate people together in America .

After reading the book , and seeing the America while Obama was president. It was like a dream for everyone who supported him. To the right , the alt right, it seemed like he was the worst thing ever. I lived in Texas and personally loved Obama but at the same time I knew countless people who hated him. People who were definitely racist. It is interesting the concept of racism. Especially in today's climate , we are seeing the effect generations of pain and hardship, stemming from history, to the current crisis we face today. I know lil wayne said he never experienced racism, and Morgan Freeman who plays God in movies say's the only way to end it is to stop talking about it. Stop calling people black or people white. Up to Obama, he was the Nations very first Black President. It's truly incredible seeing where we were only 4 years ago, with Obama and the hope for change he brought to the USA, in contrast today with what we are seeing.

Very real pain is being unleashed in these areas today. I myself was trying to describe to my friend who was in pain, that I am on his team, that I a have always been on his team, but because he was in so much pain , he was so mad at me for trying to explain my viewpoint or to teach him something. Because I was not the same color as him, in his mind there is no way I could understand him. But I'm a white guy with a Grandmother who was a democratic senator, and I read books like "Dreams from My father" by Barack Obama. It took a while to show him how much I am on his team. But when we are in pain, when we see things on the news, we get so passionate , and everything we experienced comes to the surface at the same time.

It just goes to show you, when you have one man who is giving speeches on hope and change, and another on nationalism, slandering his opponents, or bragging about numbers, it goes to show you the difference it brings about within society.

We can all agree the stuff we are seeing today seems a bit more brutal than before. However not totally without hope, because now we have cameras , and people are recording their situations, also the police are wearing body cameras. Now cops are getting charged, there is accountability. There is justice. When before perhaps it was not there, now it is. I believe what I see from reading the "Dreams from my Father" is that we have always had racism, both ways, with his own great grandfather in africa towards white, and the racism in America towards the non-white.

But with the dreams of Obama living in a world without racism, how do we bridge that schism? How do we end it completely and come a solution. Because I don't see defunding the police as any solution. Would it not be better to just make sure the police are not racist? Or end racism all together. Or perhaps take a look at some unjust laws that can be changed, like no more chokeholds.

In the same token, does racism exist if a half african dude can be elected president in 2008, and bring our economy higher than it ever was before? Yes fundamentally it does. Without a doubt I know racist people. Because it's a human trait , I have been called racist myself by a white person who taught me a very valuable lesson. Everyone is racist in some way or another, we are human, it's the natural human thing to do. How we define racism is another topic in itself. Such as police systematically pulling black people over much more than others. Yet, Because there is so many black cops it leads me to believe there is something more than racism at play.

The solution I see in "dreams from my father" tell me, It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy in part, because if a person believes they are being attacked racially and they turn to resist, it only brings more suffering. Of course we must resist tyranny and bigotry at all times, but "it has to be in the courtroom and not in the street" as Trevor Noah said. When in the book Obama himself speaks about his own drug use, and he went on to become a President, not to get killed by a cop in the street. We must be able to see between the vail, the unseen views, past the idea of racism to the heart of the matter.

It's the understanding of taking a breath, taking in all the knowledge and just say I'm Sorry.

We messed up, this is how we are going to fix it. Because what I am seeing is one side totally deny it exists and use force to destroy any who oppose, and I see another side of people who are in deep unbearable pain and hardship. And I know very well they didn't magically just create it out of thin air. If everyone could read a book, like "Dreams from my father". Or even read many books, many many books, then maybe we can find a solution. Or perhaps it's just the nature of society, we have ups and downs, but we always keep moving forward... I guess we will never know unless we had a time machine to see the future. But if our history tells me anything, the future is gonna be out of this world. Because the economy , technology , and energy will always be higher than it ever was before, its the very nature of evolution. Since the beginning of time, its always been better than it ever was before. Of course sometimes we fall like the dark ages, but it never stays that way forever. The light turns on, the spark is lit, the laws of physics prove without doubt, the light always triumphs over darkness. So... please don't feel too down. Stress hurts more than singing songs like shake it off... Lets focus on the dreams of our fathers and unify this world once and for all. Impossible, I think not.

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Sustainable Scott

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