Sunday, January 27, 2008
am writing to you as a fellow alumni of Punahou School. I was gone long
before you were there, but we shared the same rooms, some of the same
teachers, the same atmosphere and environment. We grew up with similar
experiences. I am motivated to do this because of the disturbing things
you are doing that erode all credibility you might have had for me.
can not think of any political issue that you and I will ever agree
upon. You believe in giving people everything – just as everything was
given to you. It always amazes me that most spoiled liberal children
grow up without ever learning to work for anything or to earn anything.
And, I am disgusted that you have pared your biography down to exclude
the parts that might let people know where you come from. There is
something dishonest about that.
[For my readers, Barry (his
name in high school – Oahuan yearbook picture above) was a 1979
graduate of Punahou School, which is a top prep school (remember how
GWB was excoriated for attending one of those) in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Barry was sent to this premier and expensive school by his white
grandparents with whom he lived. He attended from grade school through
high school. His black African father had abandoned him and his white
mother when he was a toddler. While I don’t normally write political
pieces, I feel strongly about his sins of omission.] I do
know that you were given one of the finest educations available in the
United States. I know that you grew up a child of privilege. I do know
that you were taught to speak in public, to think and to act. We should
BOTH be grateful for the quality of education that we received. Yet,
you seem to hide yours under the rock of omission. Are you worried that
the masses might think less of you if they knew where you came from?
How sad that you chose not to say – ‘see where a great education and
great teachers can inspire you to go?’ And, are you going to tell
people that those GREAT teachers were not part of a Union – they were
there to mentor us and educate us and THEY DID.
Of the many
things that we instinctively knew with our shared background, the most
important things were the lessons learned about race. In any classroom
we were in, it was a given that everyone in the room would be of
varying racial combinations. It was so dramatic that no one cared – we
weere each a minority of one – except the twins in my class. We learned
that character and the ability to excel with whatever gifts we had were
the important things. We had the benefits of learning from multiple
cultures – we ate one another’s foods, learned about holidays and
celebrations and had our pidgin’ peppered with words from cultures
around the globe. We had few cultures withheld from our experiences. We
were each unique and yet none of us was more unique than the others. We
learned the strenght of the individual. We learned that it is
character, not color, that defines us. How sad that you have not shared
this valuable lesson with people on the campaign trail, but have rather
chosen to fall into the Clinton trap of isolating the races?
guess it is easier to let people think that you ‘fought’ your way to
the top, when we know it is not true. But, how dishonest – how horribly
When I heard your speech at the 2004 Democrat
National Convention, I was impressed – most of the country was
impressed. You are a profoundly gifted orator. But, as I watch your
campaign, though you have the gift to stir the crowds, I have yet to
hear you say anything of substance. You say "CHANGE" a great deal. You
get the crowds to chant, "YES WE CAN."
But, you never define the
change. Fascism is a change, Communism is a change, Depression is a
change, Massive Unemployment is a change, Undermining Capitalism is a
change, Attacks on our Soil are a change. Change is not necessarily a
good thing. What is it that you mean? Or, are you satisfied to have an
electorate that has no ability to think or reason or question you? Or,
horrors, don’t you know what you mean? And, what, exactly is it that we
Most of my disdain is for the only thing that you ever
express in your platform – tucking our tail between our legs and
running from the battlefield in Iraq. BAD IDEA. Yet, you never speak of
Afghanistan. You never speak of the War on Terror. Don’t you believe
they exist? Certainly you would have a policy position on them if you
did. You scare me. I know that you have the capacity to be a deep
thinker. Why is it that we are seeing the shallowest of rhetoric?
you want to be the President of this country, you will have an
obligation to ALL of America – not just those who vote for you. Barry,
it is time to excel – to be the thinker and communicator, else that
will never happen.
A Fellow Alumni of Punahou School (and owner of this blog)
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