Indonesia & Bacolod: Parallels

Self has been greatly enjoying Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father:  A Story of Race and Inheritance.  It is so poignant and at the same time so clear-eyed about race, class, and power.

In the excerpt below, Obama describes his mother’s impressions of Indonesia shortly after the family moved there to join Obama’s stepfather.

She saw a woman in bare feet and a tattered shawl wandering through an open gate and up the driveway, where a group of men were washing a fleet of Mercedes-Benzes and Land Rovers.  One of the men shouted at the woman to leave, but the woman stood where she was, a bony arm stretched out before her, her face shrouded in shadow.  Another man finally dug in his pocket and threw out a handful of coins.  The woman ran after the coins with terrible speed, checking the road suspiciously as she gathered them into her bosom.

Power.  The word fixed in my mother’s mind like a curse.  In America, it had generally remained hidden from view until you dug beneath the surface of things; until you visited an Indian reservation or spoke to a black person whose trust you had earned.  But here power was undisguised, indiscriminate, naked, always fresh in the memory.  Power had taken Lolo and yanked him back into line just when he thought he’d escaped, making him feel its weight, letting him know that his life wasn’t his own.  That’s how things were; you couldn’t change it, you could just live by the rules, so simple once you learned them.  And so Lolo had made his peace with power, learned the wisdom of forgetting . . .

“Guilt,” Obama quotes his stepfather as saying, “is a luxury only foreigners can afford.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photography

Learning and teaching the art of composition.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery


Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog


Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

the contemporary small press

A site for small presses, writers, poets & readers

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”― Madeleine L'Engle

Rants Of A Gypsy

Amuse Thyself Reader!

FashionPoetry by Val

A blog. My blog


Just another weblog

Jean Lee's World

Finder of Fantasy & Adventure in Her Own Backyard

%d bloggers like this: