Friday, September 19, 2008

Myth #4: Obama is an elitist!

The rhetoric usually goes like this:
1. Obama is an elitist
2. Therefore, he does not understand and sympathize the middle class

First of all, how can a second generation African American who is raised in single mom family an “elitist”? How can someone who goes to grocery shopping using food stamps an “elitist”? How can someone who needs college tuition loans in order to go to college an “elitist”? This is just absurd.

Yes, he is an extremely smart individual, similar to many Chinese here in US, who is able to earn distinguished honors at prestigious schools. At the end of Obama’s first year in Harvard Law School, he was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. In his second year, he was elected president of the Law Review, the first black president of Law Review in Harvard’s history. However, please don’t confuse smartness with elitism. It is not a fault for someone to be outstanding.

At many levels, Obama mirrors us, basically the thousands of first and second generation Chinese or Chinese American scholars and students in US. We all work hard to excel in the academic field. We all endure the pains of prejudice and discrimination manifested in this society. We all keep our heads down when the time is bad and work our way out of any adverse social and economic situations. We are all winners; I am really proud of what we have accomplished as a group academically, socially, and economically. Obama’s success just further excites me that maybe one day we, as a minority, can be proud politically as well.

Secondly, how can you call someone who has been a volunteer and social worker for his life as being lack of sympathy for the poor? Obama has been working for the past 16 years on Chicago's far South Side. If you don’t think that’s poor enough, I dare you and double dare you to go there to see for yourself. The number of poor people McCain and Palin have seen in their life time is probably smaller than the number of poor people Obama has spoken to directly.

The fact is that you don’t become a social worker or community organizer unless you feel the pain and love of the community and the people in it.

At the end of the day, it’s just comical to see McCain calling Obama being an “Elitist”.

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