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Sat Aug 18, 2012, 01:05 AM

Old Obama acquaintance voices South Side’s disillusionment with his former ally

CHICAGO — He still walks the same streets here as his old acquaintance Barack Obama once did. That is about all they have in common anymore. At 50, Chicago activist Mark Allen lives with his parents, barely able to pay his bills. The head of a small, community-assistance organization called Black Wall Street Chicago, Allen regards his personal survival alone as a small victory, grateful he can pay the rent on his modest office space, aware he is doing better than many on this city’s restive South Side.

“Things haven’t gone the way we’d hoped after Barack got elected,” he says. Surveys place unemployment rates above 25 percent here, and indications are that South Side residents such as Allen aren’t nearly as passionate about the 2012 election as they were during Obama’s trailblazing 2008 campaign.

Historically, community organizers such as Allen have wielded outsize influence in the black-majority neighborhoods of the South Side, with none better known than Obama, who directed a group called the Developing Communities Project for three years during the 1980s. But old bonds between the two have frayed. Allen, who as a member of another group worked on community issues with Obama during their organizing days, has grown frustrated with his former ally in the Oval Office.

Obama’s much ballyhooed 2009 stimulus package has failed to touch ordinary South Side residents, says Allen, who has reached out to Obama administration officials, including fellow Chicagoan and prominent White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, to express his dismay. He wants red tape cut, and he wants to see more business loans for the area and more jobs for local residents on construction and infrastructure projects.

(...)

It is a common complaint among local activists and community leaders. South Side critics point to road and construction crews that are overwhelmingly white and from outside their neighborhoods. This summer, Bobby L. Rush (D), a South Side congressman probably best known for having defeated an upstart Obama in a congressional primary 12 years ago, balked at a $133 million rail project, financed in substantial part by stimulus funds, after learning that the only jobs committed to local African Americans had stemmed from a $120,000 security contract. Even after Rush recently said that he had negotiated an agreement with the project’s principal contractor on employment opportunities for South Side residents, local activists were roundly skeptical, insisting nothing had been guaranteed, as Rush had yet to release a written agreement.

full: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/old-obama-acquaintance/2012/08/16/215b484e-dbd3-11e1-8e43-4a3c4375504a_singlePage.html

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Reply Old Obama acquaintance voices South Side’s disillusionment with his former ally (Original post)
alp227 Aug 2012 OP
tblue Aug 2012 #1
AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #2
NYC Liberal Aug 2012 #3
AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #4
NYC Liberal Aug 2012 #6
AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #7
NYC Liberal Aug 2012 #8
AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #9
NYC Liberal Aug 2012 #11
AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #12
NYC Liberal Aug 2012 #13
AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #14
HiPointDem Aug 2012 #15
RZM Aug 2012 #5
AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #10
RZM Aug 2012 #16
AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #17
RZM Aug 2012 #18

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 02:11 AM

1. Who said anything about "Fix everything"?

Yes, let's invalidate and scoff at earnest people in dire straits who are hanging on by their fingernails.

Including the community the president once inhabited in a local government contract is not an unreasonable expectation, one would think.

And wanting a little help so unemployment is lower than 25% is not expecting anybody to "fix everything."

Please listen to what the people say. They need help! And please stop putting words in their mouth. Can't you sense the suffering and disillusionment? I can.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 02:53 AM

2. "can't fix everything in one fell swoop"? How has giving billions to the banksters helped? Or

 

extending the Bush tax cuts for the super-rich? Or financing the endless wars in the Middle-East?

How many billions of dollars have been sent to re-build Iraq? And how many billions have been sent to re-build parts of Afghanistan, and other places?

He "can't fix everything in one fell swoop"? How about two swoops? Or three? Or four? Or fifty?

Does he even have any interest in spending even a spending even a small portion of the billions given to the banksters or a small portion of the billions squandered in the Middle-East to provide meaningful relief "to touch ordinary South Side residents"?

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #2)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 02:57 AM

3. "Does he even have any interest in spending even a spending even a small portion of the billions

given to the banksters or a small portion of the billions squandered in the Middle-East to provide meaningful relief "to touch ordinary South Side residents"?"

Yes.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 03:04 AM

4. If true, there should be more evidence of that after 3 1/2 years instead of mere assertions.

 

Does he want to send even more billions of dollars to Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.? Yes. He does.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 03:32 AM

6. There is. Unfortunately some will dismiss any accomplishments

by the Obama administration as not "good enough" or change the subject.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #6)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 12:56 PM

7. "In the field of Logic, the Latin phrase Ipse dixit ... is known as the bare assertion fallacy

 

wherein it identifies and describes a dogmatic statement asserted, but unproved, which the speaker expects the listener to accept — on faith — to be true."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipse_dixit

"Proof by assertion, sometimes informally referred to as proof by repeated assertion, is a logical fallacy in which a proposition is repeatedly restated regardless of contradiction. Sometimes this may be repeated until challenges dry up, at which point it is asserted as fact due to its not being contradicted (argumentum ad nauseam). In other cases its repetition may be cited as evidence of its truth, in a variant of the appeal to authority or appeal to belief fallacies."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_assertion

"This logical fallacy is sometimes used as a form of rhetoric by politicians, or during a debate as a filibuster. In its extreme form, it can also be a form of brainwashing. Modern politics contains many examples of proof by assertions. This practice can be observed in the use of political slogans, and the distribution of "talking points", which are collections of short phrases that are issued to members of modern political parties for recitation to achieve maximum message repetition."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_assertion

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #7)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 01:07 PM

8. (yawn). www.whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com if you REALLY have no idea

and are interested in learning.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #8)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 01:16 PM

9. You avoided the subject by changing the issue.

 

The issue begun further up this thread:
"Does he even have any interest in spending even a spending even a small portion of the billions given to the banksters or a small portion of the billions squandered in the Middle-East to provide meaningful relief "to touch ordinary South Side residents"? "

If you can't show that, maybe the best that you can do is divert attention to a web site with generalities.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #9)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 01:32 PM

11. You asked a question, and instead of taking the initiative to find out the answer yourself,

you want others to do the work for you. Well I'm not playing that game because I don't believe you are genuinely interested in an answer. If you were, you'd have done some research on your own.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #11)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 01:43 PM

12. Actually, the OP addressed the issue in a general way:

 

"Things haven’t gone the way we’d hoped after Barack got elected,” he says. Surveys place unemployment rates above 25 percent here, and indications are that South Side residents such as Allen aren’t nearly as passionate about the 2012 election as they were during Obama’s trailblazing 2008 campaign.

Historically, community organizers such as Allen have wielded outsize influence in the black-majority neighborhoods of the South Side, with none better known than Obama, who directed a group called the Developing Communities Project for three years during the 1980s. But old bonds between the two have frayed. Allen, who as a member of another group worked on community issues with Obama during their organizing days, has grown frustrated with his former ally in the Oval Office.

Obama’s much ballyhooed 2009 stimulus package has failed to touch ordinary South Side residents, says Allen, who has reached out to Obama administration officials, including fellow Chicagoan and prominent White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, to express his dismay. He wants red tape cut, and he wants to see more business loans for the area and more jobs for local residents on construction and infrastructure projects."

My response reinforced what was by the OP by specifically contrasting the billions squandered elsewhere, including projects in the Middle-East.

You are wrong when you say that I "want others to do the work for you." The OP made a point. I reinforced that point. You disagreed with the specific contrast that I drew by simply referring to a web site with a list of generalities which does not, at all, address the point that, while billions have been squandered in the Middle East, the Chicago South Side residents have not seen the progress and the type of interest that Obama expressed when he was running for election in the 2008 campaign. It's more than 3 1/2 years later and they haven't seen that.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #12)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 02:08 PM

13. You didn't reinforce anything. You asked a question (several questions, actually)

and instead of taking the initiative to find the answers for yourself, you are demanding I or others do it for you. I shouldn't have linked to that website; instead, I should have just linked to www.google.com to make the point. If you are genuinely interested in the answers to your questions (such as "Does he even have any interest in spending even a spending even a small portion of the billions given to the banksters or a small portion of the billions squandered in the Middle-East to provide meaningful relief "to touch ordinary South Side residents"? "), then take some initiative and find out.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #13)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 02:25 PM

14. That is obviously a rhetorical question.

 

rhetorical question
n.,
A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question that is asked in order to make a point and without the expectation of a reply. The question is used as a rhetorical device, posed for the sake of encouraging its listener to consider a message or viewpoint.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhetorical_question

No one demanded that you answer the question. Although your actions indicate that you have a habit of focusing upon yourself, this isn't about you.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #6)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 03:04 PM

15. Black unemployment has been rising, not falling. In this "recovery".

 

As the U.S. economic recovery approaches its fourth year, the unemployment rate among blacks has started to rise again.

That rate moved from 13.6 percent in January to 14.4 percent in June, while the overall unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent....

Read more: Unemployment hitting Black middle class in the U.S. - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_21056321/unemployment-hitting-black-middle-class#ixzz23vTdW1lw
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 03:10 AM

5. People forget that before Obama was a black icon, he was disliked by the black Chicago establishment

 

Precisely because he was an upstart. He was snubbed by other black Chicago legislators when he was a state senator, because he was seen as a line-jumper who didn't wait his turn (he also went negative in the campaign, if I remember correctly). That story has been completely buried in the 'first black president' narrative but before Obama was a national figure, that was pretty much the deal.

While I've never looked into it, I imagine that some of his former detractors in Chicago have never really been on the Obama bandwagon. I'd bet that you could have found a fair number of (clandestine) Hillary supporters among them in 2008.

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Response to RZM (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 01:19 PM

10. "he was disliked by the black Chicago establishment"? "He was snubbed by other black Chicago

 

legislators when he was a state senator"?

Where did you get these ideas?

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #10)

Sat Aug 18, 2012, 11:21 PM

16. This 2007 NYT article gets in depth about his state senate career

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/30/us/politics/30obama.html?pagewanted=all

The article does talk about some of the hostility he faced early on. Of course, not everybody shunned him. But initially, he had a bit of a rough time with some Chicago legislators who felt he was something of a carbetbagger.

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Response to RZM (Reply #16)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 12:15 AM

17. The best evidence of what the article says is the article itself:

 

Mr. Obama did not bring revolution to Springfield in his eight years in the Senate, the longest chapter in his short public life. But he turned out to be practical and shrewd, a politician capable of playing hardball to win election (he squeezed every opponent out of his first race), a legislator with a sharp eye for an opportunity, a strategist willing to compromise to accomplish things.

He positioned himself early on as a protégé of the powerful Democratic leader, Senator Emil Jones, a beneficiary of the Chicago political machine. He courted collaboration with Republicans. He endured hazing from a few black colleagues, played poker with lobbyists, studiously took up golf. (“An awful lot happens on the golf course,” a friend, Jean Rudd, says he told her.)

By the time he left Springfield in 2004, he had built not only the connections necessary to win election to the United States Senate but a record not inconsistent with his lofty rhetoric of consensus building and bipartisanship.
...
Two black, Democratic state senators from Chicago, Donne E. Trotter and Rickey R. Hendon, who both now say they are Obama supporters, caricatured him as a privileged, know-it-all greenhorn.

So two Black Democratic state senators "caricatured him as a privileged, know-it-all" and he "endured hazing from a few black colleagues" while courting Republicans, playing poker, and studiously taking up golf? That shows that "he was disliked by the black Chicago establishment"? "He was snubbed by other black Chicago legislators when he was a state senator"?

Excuse me, but I don't think that shows that he was disliked by the Black Chicago establishment. Nor does it show that he was seriously snubbed, if at all, than more than two Black Democratic state senators. Even the article shows that the hazing or early interaction was only temporary.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #17)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 12:43 AM

18. Here's the article I remember all of this from

 

Ryan Lizza's very long 2008 piece on Obama's Chicago career.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/21/080721fa_fact_lizza

Here's the Fresh Air interview with Lizza about this same article, also from 2008.

http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13&prgDate=07-14-2008

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