What Is Racism?
In Jeopardy, why do contestants have to answer in the form of a question? Is there some background to this quirky / obscure feature of the TV quiz show? Does it help quiz dynamics somehow? Is it simply a marketing device to differentiate the show from others? Do people like it?I was Barack Obama's first full time volunteer in all of New York City. In some other country I might have been a Head of State myself. But I don't have a country. And I don't see me ever run for public office. I did not volunteer because I had political ambitions. I did not volunteer because I wanted to go to the White House, get a political job. Nothing like that. For me it was about 500 years of world history. I had been the only full timer Nepali in America to have worked for Nepal's spectacular democracy movement in 2005-06. And then the Madhesi Movement that followed. For me Obama 2008 was a continuation. I was going to put in my effort and then I was going to do tech entrepreneurship. When they nabbed me the precise day Hillary lost, my tech startup had 100K in the bank. The round 1 goal was 100K, and the goal had been met. The goal had been met months ago. But I wanted to see it through. I could not tear myself apart from the primary process unless I had seen Barack through. It was an entrepreneurial mistake: my then tech startup died in the process. But that's okay. It is not like I had a choice.
And I have stayed away in the aftermath. People don't think immigration detention. People think jail. I was obscure before, during and after. But I did not want to become an issue, however small. Being behind bars is politically radioactive. But I was done. As long as he got sworn in, that is all I had wanted. And I got it.
You can't put anyone behind bars for more than 24 hours unless you sentence him, so it was a human rights violation by international standards, but who cares about human rights, right? They did not read me my Miranda rights, either. China was known to snoop on citizens. Ends up America does it too! The scales don't even compare!
They had me disappear the precise day Hillary lost. The Machine did not lack poetry, did it? They let me out a few days after McCain was beat. It felt so political.
What I was accused of was considered light. The accusation was wrong. It talked of "hundreds of emails." If that phrase ever entered the judicial process, that was material for the crime of false allegation. There might have been 10 emails. After they got me out, the system had another guy go before me, he was sentenced to 10 hours of community service, something like that. Even if what I was accused of had validity, the system made a point to show me, it was light. But the system never intended to prove I was guilty.
There was a court order to not contact the person. I never did. I sent an email to these two other individuals -- I must have attended 100 plus events organized by the two during the preceding years -- and that email was interpreted as a court order violation.
The court appointed attorney belonged to the machine, not me.
For a harassing communication charge that they never had to prove, for a court order violation I never committed, they nabbed me. The idea was to get me in the immigration net and drop the light charge they never intended to prove.
Suddenly I am a petty thief to the system, rubbing shoulders with murderers, drug lords, mischiefs, bank robbers.
When they first came for me, the police officers were talking among themselves: "Who IS this guy?" As in, why are high level police officers and politicians' offices interested in him?
Top police officers downtown were involved. Charlie Rangel's office was involved. And if he was not personally involved, he should say so, I have badmouthed him in the loudest terms to give him an opportunity to come clean. Say you were not involved.
2008 immigration detention was the worst experience of my life. Nothing worse has ever happened to me. But I will take it. If I can put a black guy in the White House. Which I did. To me it is about 500 years of world history, although I like the guy plenty. I feel love for him. And he has been a great president.
Once they let me out, I get an email from a Co-Chair of the New York State Democratic Party inviting me to an event, if I show up, now that would have been a court order violation. Why would she do something like that?
And if she would, why are my fellow Obama 2008 volunteers not seeing this? And if they are not seeing this, do they mean anything to me anymore? I stayed away from Obama 2012. I did not have comrades. I might as well face the fact.
The recession feels like it might be over. And it bit me hard. I was not exactly living fancy before, but the recession years were tougher. But this year feels different. Things are beginning to happen. I am laying the foundations for the SuperEntrepreneur thing. All the motherfuckers who were involved in 2008, I have a message for you, you got yourself a script for Slumdog Billionaire. Just like those kids, I was also born in Bihar. Democracy gets rough in Bihar. You don't know rough. It is still Gangs Of New York time in Bihar. I will tough it out.
And I have to let it out, because I am sick and tired of these white tweedle dee tweedle dums in the US Senate projecting crash, crude racism at the black guy in the White House. You mean, you are going to act racist when you meet the black guy in the streets of Ferguson, and you are going to act racist when you meet the black guy in the White House! Nah! Not taking it lying down. There will be a fight. If we fought you in 2008, and 2012, we will fight you into infinity. So help me God. It is one of those things. Some of us paid a pretty steep price to get this guy into the White House, and don't you disrespect! We live in a global world now. It is not your mama's world we live in.
Barack Obama And Africa
Obama On Kimmel
A Racist Act By The US Senate