.

A Tale of Two Men

This is the story of two very different men who seem to be at odds. The first man was handed his opportunities on a platter while the second man had to struggle for everything he got.

I know a man, or should I say, I know of a man … this man got his start in an ethnically diverse family; his father was a black African from Kenya and his mother was a white American originally from Kansas, and the parents met at the University of Hawaii where both were taking a basic Russian language course.

Both of this man’s parents could accurately be described as academics.

It would be dishonest to say that coming from an ethnically mixed marriage and a broken home that this man had a traumatic childhood. On the contrary, from the age of 10 he lived a rather storied life with his white grandparents in Hawaii where his grandmother became one of the first female bank vice presidents in 1970 and he attended the Punahou School in Honolulu, a prestigious preparatory school where his tuition was paid with the aid of scholarships.

This man’s college education included Occidental College in Los Angeles, Columbia University in NYC, and Harvard Law School, where he graduated with a J.D. magna cum laude. While in college he interned as a non-degreed law associate in Chicago during summer breaks. At Harvard, this man was selected first as the editor and then as the president of the Harvard Law Review. (Worth mentioning as a side note is that even though this man studied as a constitutional lawyer, just recently he recklessly attempted to force churches to abide by governmental regulations when hiring in opposition to a church’s stated beliefs and lost that case in an unanimous decision handed down by the Supreme Court last week. This is seen as a slap in the face and brings his schooling and subsequent role as a teacher of constitutional law into question. Specifically, how is it possible that such a brilliant constitutional lawyer could misunderstand the Constitution so badly as to get involved in such a faux pas?) 

After graduation this man worked at community organizing before winning two terms in the Illinois State Senate followed by a seat in the U.S. Senate, an early resignation, and election as the 44th president of the United States.

This man of whom I write then is our current president—Barack Obama—and in addition to all that is delineated above he, himself, wrote in the Harvard Law Record that he had benefited from affirmative action programs during his academic career. So a man that was half black but had lived as a white man was the recipient of that which was meant solely for the disadvantaged. That is the storied life of what I consider to be a favored individual who never really suffered under much temporal hardship. Now I would like to contrast Mr. Obama’s life with the life of another man I happened to know personally who took a completely different path through life.

I know a man, the youngest of five siblings, born and raised by immigrant parents in South Philadelphia. This man had to drop out of high school to help his parents maintain their household. This man, as an adolescent, went to the Navy Yard with his immigrant father to collect the shoes of Navy Yard workers and repair them in a South Philadelphia shoe repair shop before returning them to the Navy Yard. Eventually this man, even though unlicensed initially, acquired a tow truck and began towing cars for local Philadelphia “junk yards.” When the opportunity arose this man leased property down in the infamous 61st and Passyunk “junk yard” row, most of which has been bought up by new car dealers and is now known as “Auto Row.”

This man met and married a widow with three young children and added the responsibility of caring for a young family to the responsibility of helping his parents, whose home he eventually paid off. Finally, this man decided to take a chance and worked out a deal to purchase a “salvage yard” in South Jersey. Unfortunately, this man was not flush with cash to make such a purchase so he made a deal with a loan shark to get the money and bought the property with a high interest loan and a lot of confidence that he could make it work. In addition, this man provided employment and eventually limited benefits as he was able to other people. Given the amount of work that was required on the part of this man and his wife to make this venture succeed they had to hire a woman to come in and watch their home and children while they spent all day trying to succeed in business and continue to employ others. In fact, this man’s day seldom ended before well after dark. On a typical day after the doors of his business were closed he could be found on the streets in his tow truck picking up cars or looking at cars to buy to bring back to his salvage yard. Finally, the loan shark, who made monthly visits to the property to collect his money and look over what he thought he might himself eventually own due to failure of the business, was paid off. Eventually this man became more and more successful and all his long days and nights of hard work and hustling paid off.

Now, this is the man, the man from South Philadelphia, who put it all on the line, unwilling to accept failure as an option, that Mr. Obama, the man from Washington who led a storied life in “white” suburbia and the halls of academia and government, wants to tell how much money he should earn. Here we have a man who attended the best schools and was cared for by his well-to-do grandparents, a man whose two daughters attend the prominent Sidwell Friends School at over $32,000 a year tuition surely placing him amongst the “One Percent” compared to a man who dropped out of school to help support his immigrant parents, added the responsibility of caring for a young family to the responsibility of caring for his parents and struggled to establish a business to give his family a better life. And one man, the president, who never really knew a day of hardship, has the gall to tell the other man, a self-made man, when he has made enough money.

This, therefore, is the story of two very different men who seem to be at odds. The first man was handed his opportunities on a platter while the second man had to struggle for everything he got. The second man wants to be left alone now to enjoy the fruits of his labor but the first man wants to take what the second man has earned through a lifetime of risk-taking and hard work because the first man thinks that other people should share in the second man’s rewards.

I rest my case.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

julia donahue January 22, 2012 at 02:35 PM
My "education" came from a Christian set of parents who value each person for what is inside, not the color of their skin. What clearly emerges in all your "writing" (blogs, whatever) is a deep seated HATRED and loathing of anyone who isn't "just like you" -- please rewrite the article minus the racial overtones and perhaps your point would be better taken. Use George Bush, for example, as a man who was given life on a silver platter and grew up to become president....can't do it, right? For the record, sir, you'll absolutely HATE the fact that I did also have a formal education -- primarily Christian in nature and secular on the post graduate level. I try to practice my Christianity, but alas, I fail miserably when seeing things like this in print.
Big Daddy 1 January 22, 2012 at 02:49 PM
1990's - Good. 21st Century - Bad. How many years will it take for some people to get it? It's a number bigger than 11.
Joshua Berry January 22, 2012 at 02:53 PM
So then I guess he shouldn't title his next blog "It was the best of blogs; it was the worst of blogs" for fear people would assume the worst. On a serious note, you are right about the background and education of former President Bush. He did have the easy life and became President through his family connections. But that is not what this blog is about. Paul's point of the blog is the *current* President who also had a "silver platter" as you described, wants to control the income ability of the unnamed second man in this blog who worked and fought and struggled to become a success. That is not about race, it is about ideology. What would be racist is for people like Paul to give President Obama a pass because of his race. Calling Paul a racist for taking a stand against a socialist ideology he clearly does not like is like calling someone a "Southern Hater" for taking a stand against President Clinton's lying under oath, or calling someone insensitive to fat people for disagreeing with Governor Christie. Julia, you have made a lot of very good points in many of your replies. I truly enjoy reading your perspective on the issues. On this issue however, I think you are wrong: it is not about race. Injecting race into the discussion dillutes and discussion and confuses the point.
Paul J. DiBartolo January 22, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Well said, Josh. You save me the trouble of having to make the same point over and over again. Julia does not know me but assumes I am a racist. There are actually a lot of things about Barack Obama I could like but his ideology is not one of them. On the other hand, how racist is a man who belongs to an 'all white' golf course and then resigns and tries to pass himself off as the "first black president?" Actually we have not yet had a black president because, truth be told, Barack Obama is half white. I, in fact, would welcome a black president, maybe a Herman Cain or a Clarence Thomas. ...Oppps, I forgot, I'm a racist. Give us a Thomas Sowell or a Walter Williams to set economic policy...oppps, I forgot, I'm a racist. Allow me to say it once more, it's not about race, julia donahue, it's all about ideology and the present class warfare that our president is fomenting is destroying our country. But then again, it was the Tea Party who was responsible for the shooting of Gabby Giffords in Arizona, right? One last thought...julia, regarding your so-called "education" and it's value...you didn't get your money's worth as evidenced in stark relief by Josh's ability to see my point and your complete inability to grasp the real underlying issues.
Tom Crone January 22, 2012 at 04:15 PM
It is fascinating to see that when opinions differ on our current occupier of the Oval Office that it is categorized as racist or hate speech. People are entitled to their opinions and it is important to have a free and open exchange of ideas…without name calling and labeling. It is further intriguing that the left seems to be the ones who are first to call names and do the labeling. The supposed educated and enlighten members of our liberal eight seem incapable of having a discussion about President Obama and what some see as his failings without bringing up former President Bush and racism. Bullying does not end in the school yard now does it.
Paul J. DiBartolo January 22, 2012 at 05:30 PM
BTW, julia, you've made some pretty specific charges calling me a 'racist' and a 'jealous hater' on a public website based on my posting, therefore, so as not to lose credibility amongst your readers and followers I think it would behoove you to show specific instances in my posting that warrant those descriptions. It's really the only honorable thing to do to keep from appearing disingenuous.
Darren Gladden January 22, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Can we all Just Care and get things done ...........Tuesday going to be fun .
Pete Heinbaugh January 22, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Okay, I'll bite. What's happening on Tuesday?
Dennis A February 06, 2013 at 10:17 PM
I disagree with Tom "that the left seems to be the ones who are first to call names and do the labeling. The supposed educated and enlighten members of our liberal eight seem incapable of having a discussion about President Obama and what some see as his failings without bringing up former President Bush and racism". I don't know who you talk to, but this is occurs on both sides and is a very small group of sensitive, bitter people. Paul, you might not be a racist, but anyone who would welcome either a Herman Cain or Clarence Thomas as POTUS isn't thinking things through...Lol! I'd much rather have Romney than those clowns. Or Bobby Jindal if you're going for multiculturalism.
Dennis A February 06, 2013 at 10:22 PM
By the way, separation of church and state is not addressed anywhere in the US Constitution.
Paul J. DiBartolo February 06, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Did I ever imply that it was? What the heck are you talking about?
Paul J. DiBartolo February 06, 2013 at 11:14 PM
Dennis, you are not fit to stoop and tie the shoes of Clarence Thomas. While you're at it, let's hear what you think about Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams, two other brilliant black men whom I admire every much. BTW, Dennis, I like how you chose to comment here but completely ignored the content of my blog. What's wrong, unable to respond to the facts I presented? What about all of Obama's hard work? Good move...duck and cover..serpentine, serpentine.
Dennis A February 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM
You make claims that Obama himself is somehow dictating how much money you can earn and is also taking it from you without any substantiated facts, examples or proof. Obama's family was never destitute but not really rich while he was growing up either. The family income was rather limited after his father left and mother was still a student, but as you said, his grandmother always had a good job. After his mother got her PhD and remarried their financial situation was upper middle class. Regardless, why do you begrudge someone who was raised by a hard working, intelligent and successful family? Are you jealous because you think he had it easier than you? Did Obama do something he shouldn't have? How could you blame him for going to good schools and having a loving family that was able to support him? It sounds like sour grapes to me. I wonder if you had the same issues with George Bush Jr. and Mitt Romney?
Dennis A February 07, 2013 at 12:46 AM
I don't know if Obama benefitted from affirmative action or not. There are differences in opinion with no real facts. Again, even if he did, why do you blame Obama or hold it against him? Would you not accept it it it were offered? My point is, if you disagree with affirmative action, fine. But to hold Obama in contempt for supposedly benefitting in some way from it is ridiculous. In fact, opponents of affirmative action should realize that "if" Obama was in fact a beneficiary, he is perhaps the ideal example of the policy gone right. His admission to Harvard Law School demonstrably wasn't tainted by the notion that he didn't belong there: He made sure of that by graduating magna cum laude, his peers selected him editor of the Harvard Law Review, and classmates and professors gush on and on about how impressed they were by the guy. Then there's the institution's perspective. Harvard University is obsessed with training future leaders. In Barack Obama, they got a United States Senator. If it's true that Barack Obama couldn't get into college without a boost from affirmative action, then the fact that he later went on to become President of the United States of America would surely go to show that affirmative action is a good idea! The concern that super-talented people were getting locked out of opportunities is exactly the sort of thing affirmative action is supposed to resolve.
Dennis A February 07, 2013 at 12:47 AM
As it happens, I oppose race-based affirmative action, despite the fact that it may have worked out quite well in the case of Barack Obama. The country where he grew up wouldn't have elected him president. Times change. It is a mistake to frame this issue around the experience of Barack Obama. He is a terrible poster child for almost every coherent argument you make. If you want an example of Affirmative Action gone right, look no further than your "friend" Clarence Thomas who discussed the policy as part of his confirmation hearings (yes they did discuss more than Anita Hill).
Dennis A February 07, 2013 at 12:54 AM
If you didn't imply it then what did you mean about this: " how is it possible that such a brilliant constitutional lawyer could misunderstand the Constitution so badly as to get involved in such a faux pas?)"
Paul J. DiBartolo February 07, 2013 at 12:59 AM
My blog was not about affirmative action and I'm not sure why you think it was. As for how well it turned out for Obama, as a Constitutional lawyer and professor it seems quite odd that he has now gotten it wrong and been slapped down by the Supreme Court twice. I guess he's not as brilliant as you and he seem to think he is. If you try to stick with the points made in the blog I will take you seriously and endeavor to answer, until then...
Dennis A February 07, 2013 at 01:05 AM
To reply to your first response, I was referring to the comments, not the article. I hadn't even read the articicle yet at that point. I have since read it and I would omment on the actual content but there really isn't anything there. Nor are there any facts. It's just a whining puff piece from someone who hates our president and will blame everything and anything on him. Maybe you should have graduated magna cum laude and became president. Are you trying to say no other president ever got any help from anyone? Face it, you begrudge Obama for his success, for whatever reason, and are using this blog as a platform to cry and complain about your own selfish needs and wants. By the way, I thought only the left resorted to cheap insults and put downs?
Paul J. DiBartolo February 07, 2013 at 01:07 AM
>> You make claims that Obama himself is somehow dictating how much money you can earn and is also taking it from you without any substantiated facts... Seriously, Dennis, do I really need to rehearse what Mr. Obama has said about who makes too much, how much is somebody's fair share, etc., etc.? Please, take a moment to educate yourself and read some of Thomas Sowell on income redistribution and equality as Mr. Obama preaches it.
Dennis A February 07, 2013 at 01:12 AM
According to Thomas Sowell or a Walter Williams, there is less poverty today but there is more hate than ever. That's pretty apparent here.
Dennis A February 07, 2013 at 01:23 AM
I agree with you Julia. The "author" is so transparent it's impossible to hide his disdain, bias and hiden agenda..I have no idea whether or not he's a racist, but he definitely has a problem with how Obama was raised, the schools he went to, any "benefits" he may have received as a child or teenager, and affirmative action. He appears to be somewhat insecure and is aiming his anger in the direction of our president. I guess he's an easy target, but he offers no real facts to justify his attacks.
Paul J. DiBartolo February 07, 2013 at 01:39 AM
Quotes, my friend. Chapter and verse, if you please.
Paul J. DiBartolo February 07, 2013 at 01:42 AM
I didn't imply anything; I stated plainly that Obama was not the brilliant light that some, including you, seem to think he is. He got it wrong. He has gotten a lot of things wrong. He's getting the 2nd Amendment wrong as we even now dialog. His is a shallow mind that sees things only one way...the Obama way. If you don't see it his way you are not a reasonable individual. He has said that over and over until I'm am sick of hearing it.
Paul J. DiBartolo February 07, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Hey Dennis, intellectual that you are, how about you write a piece rebutting what I wrote and we'll see just how bright you are. Until you do that, you are just blowing smoke. So, the gauntlet has been thrown down so let's see what you have. Go ahead, give us your best stuff if you think you have it in you, though I have my doubts. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt so please don't disappoint us.
Dennis A February 07, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Isn't that the same exact reply you gave to Julia? There's nothing to rebut. You don't make any claims or provide any evidence to rebut. It's just a bunch of whining from a bitter man who blames the government for all his woes. When things go right - "I did it all by myself", when things go wrong - "blame Obama"! Haha!!! It's funny really.
Dennis A February 07, 2013 at 07:09 PM
You still haven't said what Obama got wrong about the Constitution.
Paul J. DiBartolo February 07, 2013 at 07:21 PM
Julia didn't get a reply from me because she didn't ask me anything...Julia accused me, based on my blog, of being a racist and a jealous hater and then accused me of using bad grammar. I asked her for specific examples of how anything I wrote was racist. Did I get an answer? Do you have any idea of what you're talking about, because I don't?
Paul J. DiBartolo February 07, 2013 at 07:27 PM
As stated in the blog..."Worth mentioning as a side note is that even though this man studied as a constitutional lawyer, just recently he recklessly attempted to force churches to abide by governmental regulations when hiring in opposition to a church’s stated beliefs and lost that case in an unanimous decision handed down by the Supreme Court last week. This is seen as a slap in the face and brings his schooling and subsequent role as a teacher of constitutional law into question. Specifically, how is it possible that such a brilliant constitutional lawyer could misunderstand the Constitution so badly as to get involved in such a faux pas?" Do your own homework. Thanks for the dialog, or lack thereof, Dennis. Unless I read something else from you of any substance I don't have any more time to waste answering your mindless chatter.
Dennis A February 08, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Where does the Constitution mention a separation between church and state?
Paul J. DiBartolo February 08, 2013 at 10:45 PM
I'm not sure why you're asking this but the First Amendment states, in part: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; That effectually put government on notice that there was to be no interference in religion by the government nor was government to show favor for one religion over another. Do you call that separation between church and state? I don't really see it that way. It's really a restriction on government, forbidding it from interference in the free exercise of religion. Now, when Mr. Obama assigns laws that attempt to force a religious institution to do things that are against its practices (c.f., paying for birth control and abortion), that is a direct interference in the free exercise of religion. What part of the first Amendment do you think our brilliant Constitutional Lawyer-in-Chief doesn't understand? Now, exactly what is it you are trying to get at because I am baffled?

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »