Jahi: What comes with a $37,000 meal with Obama?

To answer matter of fact, I don’t know.  I wasn’t there.  I can only imagine the mounds of hummus and Birkenstock shoes, vegetarian and carnivores standing across from each other with food contests, fruits and rivers of vegetables, and oceans of drinks, sweets, and all you can eat.   I mean, a $37,000 meal must take a whole day to consume, right?  I want to see the silverware that comes with a $37,000 meal.  I wonder how many people that can feed?     How many courses is that?  Does that come with soup and salad, or just recycled rhetoric and smiles, handshakes, and no real action for the every day American trying to juggle two jobs just to get to work, afford college, run a business and not even making a profit?    I’ve been pondering this since the first African American president just left where I currently reside, the Bay Area.  To be more specific, I live in Oakland and the President was in Silicon Valley and San Francisco.   Two different worlds, although where I live in Oakland I feel safe, I can walk at night, and I mostly take public transportation.  I’m sorry, I got off the point.  $37,000 for a meal with Obama?  The reports said that the money generated, over a million dollars easy, in less than a whole weekend, will go towards Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Party.

Here’s my question, open to general discussion, but expounding on the amount of money raised I ask, (as an aside, now I realize it’s more than one question) why didn’t you stop at some youth center, some recreation center, some school, some hospital, some corner store in Deep East Oakland, or a community radio station, or a homeless bum in Berkeley and offer financial assistance in the lives of the every day human beings struggling out here while watching your motorcade go by?

The second question is what type of leader can be so insensitive to the fact that you can just swoop in and swoop out with all this cash, and not stop at a soup kitchen?   Do you not see the elite audacity to even have a $37,000 meal in these days and times when families can’t even see the American dream anymore?  What’s more important, your campaign war chests, or people out here, on the ground?

And who can pay for that kind of a date?   I can’t speak for the people who hosted or attended this gathering, but I will say that I am an artist educator in San Francisco, and Berkeley, and there are some youth who could use some school supplies, lunch to take to school, health services and counseling from all the crime and violence right here in this city, and real financial help.  I think your money would be better served locally.  Californians are proud of the label “eat local.”  I have one to add- “help more local.”

But back to our illustrious president Mr. Obama,   if you think you are going to come smile and shake some hands, not even in my neighborhood, but some safe suburban enclave,  and play the rock star this time around for my vote, you can forget it.  You want my vote, come to my hood.  Yep, an every day average American citizen, independent artist and educator, is calling out the president.  I have a right to.  Like Obama said, “Sometimes you have to give the system a push, sometimes you have to give it a shove.”   We’ll as an African American male, father, and husband, with some college education, I think my life is not a minority in that there are good men out here, who want to provide for themselves and families, and having a tough go at it in the face of $37,000 meals for campaigns.  If you really want have a real photo op Mr. President, if you really want to have the news coverage and media, come to the hood.  Pick one.  There’s at least one in all 52 of your states, and bring your checkbook.

If you want to play the roll of rockstar, then come make it rain, in the community.  It’s not like you didn’t have a few dollars to throw right?  No, in all seriousness, money is not the sum answers to the problems of this area, city, or world, but for responsible, hard working, everyday people, it can help.  Put an extra meal on the table, an extra pair of shoes, driving classes for a teenager, something that can help.  Everyday Americans know how to use money wisely, it’s just not enough it.  So when I see a $37000 meal, I’m not playa hatin’s all, I’m just nudging you on the shoulder to remind you to remember the hood.  You owe it to them.  They are as American as the people who hosted you.  They are as important as a Facebook CEO.

As a student of history, I’ve come to learn that most people don’t recall this Dr. King, but do you know his agenda was to end poverty, and to establish a guaranteed annual income to every American (about $4000 was his thinking at the time)?  Dr. King’s agenda was clearly on poor people, the less fortunate, and those suffering from poverty by slumlords and closed doors. Mr. President, it may very well be because of Dr. King that you became president, but your agenda seems more on the affluent than the impoverished, corporations over community, and elite gatherings, even the San Francisco event at Moscone Center was like a rap concert with people vying for VIP seats, and then the people who can only afford the balcony seat in general admission.

So back to my original point, what comes with a $37,000 meal?   I can tell you, after riding AC Transit the evening you left Mr. President, and saw a woman with her whole life in two oversized Walgreen’s bags, winter coat stained with earth which she is wearing in Spring, ashy hands and eyes of a tired soul with forgotten beauty wrinkles, winter hat tilted, exhausted and sleeping on the bus on my way down Park Blvd.  I can tell you, Mr. President, what doesn’t come with it is real tangible change to the millions of people in this country struggling to survive.  I saw that with my own eyes.  I hope you enjoyed your meal.


Concerned Citizen

12 comments on “Jahi: What comes with a $37,000 meal with Obama?

  1. Unfortunately it is not about the meal, city, state, place, and/or event, it has to do with the BUSINESS of collecting money for the campaign when politics is involved. I have heard of dinners going for $50,00 a plate for politicians.


  2. like any of this is new. This fake ass buster,has been sending signals of basically fuck blk folks and poor folks.He has never really been involved in any serious way with either group.His so called community organizing was just a front to put him in position to run for higher offices.
    Rev.Wright was soooooo RIGHT about who and what this false face clown really was and is about.
    From OJ to Obama blk folks are caught up in HE’S BLK so support him. We saw the same stupid behavior with CLARENCE SUPER TOM THOMAS .You had blk folks hating on ANNEDA HILL,and supporting this reactionary AMERIKKAN MADE HANDPUPPET.
    Even today you still got older blks supporting OJ and now OBAMA. Black men need to be called out for the sellout positions they take not in the future but right now.
    OBAMA knows that blks don’t have any other choices between him and the usual assortment of right wing white clowns,from either party.
    When Ralph Nader, or Dennis Koscinich ran,blk folks where to far up Obamas ass to even look at what these two serious progressive white men were about.
    In the future we will be looked upon as a people who were broken thru yrs of slavery and white racist programing. We will be viewed as the MICHAEL JACKSONS of humanity,to far gone to even care about the future of our own children and more concerned with supporting and maintaining white world supremecy in any form.

  3. I had a co-worker’s friend of a friend sit among the Facebook crowd as Obama went on his Facebook “town hall” meeting. She stated that the individual even posted a pic of the “special ticket” for the event. Anyway, I understand it is about fundraising and the need to come to the Bank of California for the usual ATM withdrawal and pandering to the right kind of people (aka Silicon Valley and SF). However, you would think that he could have at least showed up in Oakland for an event. Remember when Obama gave Oakland a free event (look what that got Oakland), while SF and Silicon Valley recieved numerous face time (you get what you “pay” for). I did not attend the free event because I was getting tired of the usual Democratic freebie and political booty call that the Black American community gets when the politicians need some goodies. It is time for the Black American community to start using the all mighty dollar for something other than the latest car, party and other vices… like flexing it in hedging our $ and votes and see which party will call us “Daddy” (or Mommy). The liberal whites (and yes gays and lesbians can be included), Hispanics and Asians in SF and Silicon Valley have flexed the $$$ to the politicians without hesitation and are getting ROI by the boatloads. Just imagine if Black Americans started flexing $$$$ to the politicians for ROI. I am willing to bet you every politician (Dems, Repubs, Green, etc.) will be tripping over each other to play in Oakland, Richmond, etc. and take care of us. Trust me!

  4. Obama isn’t wrong for his actions, he’s just smart enough to see the big picture.

    Homeless people don’t vote and have more opportunity than they realize.
    No presidential visit will imbue the downtrodden with awareness, let alone education or ambition.

    Visiting Oakland’s underprivileged will be a pointless tour through the ghetto instead of a pointless feel good session that leads to having campaign donors on your side. The latter actually leads to something productive. The former is just silly.

    Plus he already went through all that ghetto bullshit in Chicago.

    I am going to vote for him in 2012. I like his hat.

  5. Hokey, here’s part of the picture YOU forget- there are alot of working class and poor people who voted for Obama. The fact that the well-to-do are able to contribute more financially, doesn’t negate the simple fact that there was an everyday people (to quote the great Sly Stone & Speech from Arrested Development, years later) contingent who supported him, and STILL support him. Yet, Obama continues to shit on them and distance himself, and to add insult to injury, he OVERcompromises to the point where it is no longer compromise-he does it to the point where he caves in and capitulates, instead to standing up. Case in point: all this birther bullshit-instead of telling the Tea Party, Republicans, and those amoebic Democrats who act like they have no spines, Obama went ahead and furnished his birth certificate, instead of euphemistically telling those racist-ass birthers to kiss his Black ass. Instead of seeing to it that the racially-profiling cop who profiled Henry Louis Gates (who is too stupid to see that $ will not keep racist whites from hating you, but that’s ANOTHER discussion completely) got disciplined, he felt that tossing back some brews with that racist pig was a solution. Obama could have used that incident, as well as Rev. WRIGHT’s comments , as a teachable moment- a moment to put a mirror in ameriKKKa’s face – but the very fact he didn’t proves that this country, and government will ALWAYS be back to business as usual-that business being back to “good ole” ameriKKKan racism, sexism, and
    imperialism. It also proves that Obama,nor any president, would be the messiah he’s been made out to be, and never will this government.

  6. You’re right, if he would have just told them birthers to “kiss his black ass” that would have been,…… fo’reals……. da thang to do …… and shit.

    You should be his political advisor….. n’ sheet.

    You’re right that “Amerikka” will always be bout’ business and shit too.


    Hopefully you and all the other abused children can grow to learn from it and make a nest for yourselves and lead by example. Obama is putting a mirror in the face of Americans in many ways, it just so happens that people like you are at the front of the line

    Deal with it.


  7. It’s a part of the job. I think he already does that when time permits. I have to co-sign Hokey…LMAO!

  8. Ok, the first problematic observation here, is that ELECTED OFFICIALS ARE NOT LEADERS!!!! THESE GOVERNMENT types are our SERVANTS!!!! THE PEOPLE created this government, and whether or NOT we are a party to the CONSTITUTION contract or NOT (we may be beneficiaries of a constructive trust, or shareholders in that ‘entity’ WE THE PEOPLE, or the heirs of it either) MOORS, as is our identity, need only be concerned with the part about TREATIES MADE ON THE LAND, which actually LAWFULLY apply to US! So FIRST AND FOREMOST, we MUST start RE-EDUCATING ourselves about WHO and WHERE we really here in AmeriKKKa, and STTTTTTTOP for christ’s sake putting SO MUCH credibility and power in the hands of these UNDESERVING CRIMINAL POLITICIANS! The problems you see my friend are so easy to fix, that it is clear and EVIDENT that these crooks are not HARDLY trying to solve any of them! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist for this government to get it right, but instead they rather hold on to the WAR FOR PROFIT model, and throw MEN AND WOMEN to the wind – or the garbage. THEY ARE NOT CONCERNED ABOUT US, nor ANY OF OUR WORLDLY CONCERNS related to surviving in this capitalistic, eugenist socialistic, fascist society – oh, and tyrannical. It is up to US to stop BEING IGNORANT of the larger issues that are actually IN REALITY facing us as a nation of people.

  9. @HOKEY

    While the anger and disappointment I expressed in my previous post may not fit, “polite, ‘civilized’ conversation” as is required in corporate, business and government circles, it was what I was feeling. Ever heard of a FIGURE OF SPEECH Hokey? Since you seem to have trouble deciphering what that is, let me break it down to you, as well as address some of your other points:
    1)The birther incident – instead of capitulating (yeah, I said it) to these racist whites by furnishing his birth certificate, Obama should have put them on blast and refused, by saying something to the the effect of he is not going to submit to their racism; then again, he didn’t and probably won’t acknowledge a fundamental fact about this country – that it will NEVER be post-racial as some idiots continue to say;
    2)The Profiling incident with Dr. Gates – instead of acting like race had nothing to do with it, and instead of thinking that tossing back some brews with a racist cop would resolve the situation, he should have pushed to have some disciplinary measures enacted on that officer;
    3)Regarding you saying that I need to look in the mirror – Brotha, I am well aware of myself, as well as my flaws, and do take steps constantly for self-improvement; that does not negate the fact that the system that’s been running this country, as well as several people IN it and UNDER it shouldn’t do the same; the history (past, recent, and PRESENT) of this continent and its dealing with peoples domestically and internationally makes it necessary, does it not????
    4)Last but not least, I don’t need YOUR or anybody else’s permission to sanction what is coming out of my mouth about the way this country carries on. Also, you like to crack jokes, but homie, I don’t and I’m going to hit you up with some truth: check your screenname – for someone who chose a screenname whose definition literally means, “obviously contrived : phony ” you best check yourself when it comes to insinuating that people are jokes. Comprendez-vous? I stand by what I said, regardless of your misquotes and misinterpretations, and NO ONE is going to move me from it.

  10. Obama should have definitely “put them on blast” . That would do it!!

    I’m now going to go “check myself” since you “hit me up with some truth”

    Thanks for the truth!!

    Before you know it I’ll be wearing a sports cap sideways and fighting the evil doers with the force of a thousand rap albums!!!

    No Joke!

  11. Hokey, you don’t even know me, “bruh” (you may be white, as I don’t know you either). However, while some of what I said is my opinion, I did speak some truths, and they will not disappear no matter how much you and I disagree on this whole topic.

    In light of that, you still insist on coming with juvenile, imbecilic and dumbass statements in response. If I EVER DECIDE to wear a cap sideways (which I actually don’t as I’m 37 years old, with a spirit that’s much more older than that), that is my prerogative, however I won’t, never have and NEVER WILL. It’s obvious that you’ll continue living in your little red,white, and blue, ameriKKKan dream-is-infallible bullshit dreamworld so basically, at this point, I’m not wasting any more energy trying to communicate to you, since to you, it’s nothing but a joke. Or maybe it’s YOU that’s the joke, especially with the screenname you chose????? Hmmmmmm. . . . . . . . .

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