Thursday, February 5, 2009

Obama: The Anti-Bling

Obama: The Anti-Bling:
From Riches to Rags
Paul Scott

It had been prophesied for ages. Someone would come with a system to shake the very foundations of the Earth. Someone whose presence would cause fear and trembling among the rulers of nations. I'm not talking about the anti-Christ of Biblical lore. I'm talking about Barack Obama: the anti-Bling.

President Barack Obama. If you're on the low end of the economic spectrum, you've gotta love this guy. He rolls into DC like a Harvard educated Robin Hood with his group of merry men stickin' it to the rich and giving to the poor. I mean, the first bill he signed wasn't to give some fat cat a tax break but the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Play Act that is designed to help the underdog fight "the man."

It's one thing to have the audacity to hope but to have the audacity to put a limit on how much CEO's can make a year...Well, that takes guts.

Be afraid, rich and powerful. Be very afraid.

Talk all you want about hope and the rest of that jazz but like they say on the streets; money talks and everything else walks. Don't talk to me about pullin' myself up by my bootstraps if I can't even afford those $2.99 "bo bo" sneakers that they sell at Dollar General.

And all those fancy self motivation speeches will just get drowned out by the noise of the rumblin' bellies of those who consider the dollar menu at McDonald's fine dining.

As Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) once said, "a man is poor for one reason and one reason only: 'cause he does not have money. If you want to get rid of poverty, you give people money..."

This is a reality that the stinkin' rich have never wanted to face. As one writer once put it, "the problem in this country is not too many poor folks but too many greedy rich folks."

While some people look with scorn at entitlement programs such as affirmative action, many believe that through some process of economic Darwinism rich folks are supposed to be rich and poor folks are supposed to be poor. That is just the natural order of things.
That is why, since the founding of this country, any talk of economic equality makes the wealthy relieve themselves in their trousers.

During the early 20th century, anyone who talked too much about economic inequalities would be listed as a "Commie" or a "Commie sympathizer."

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need...."

What kind of sicko came up with that ?

This is perhaps one reason why even civil rights groups like the NAACP shied away from the money question in its early years and adopted an ideology of what Harold Cruse, in his book "Plural but Equal," calls non-economic liberalism.

In other words, you could fight to sit in the front of the bus all you want but when it came to owning the bus company...

Forget about it !

As Cruse put it, the real prize of the Civil Rights Movement was the "freedom to starve without regard to race, creed, color or national origin."

Towards the end of his life, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began to face this grim reality as he organized the Poor People's Campaign when he talked about how integration did not cost this nation one penny.

Little has changed since the 60's, unless one counts the faux wealth of the Hip Hop "ghetto superstars" whose flaunting of their riches on MTV Cribs leaves some with the false impression that we have achieved economic equality in this country. Although rappers like Young Jeezy proudly rap that "my president is black," most likely, the record company owner is still white.

Despite all the high hopes of economic reform, the reality is that the rich ain't given' it up without a fight. If the Great Depression taught us anything, it is that the wealthy would rather jump out of a 30 story window than face the dire possibility of becoming a member of the middle class.

You can pass all the legislation you want but to get a buck from these misers, you're gonna have to pry it from their cold dead hands.

Paul Scott, the Hip Hop Minista, writes for No Warning Shots He can be reached at or (919) 451-8283