‘he’s used to it’

Jakarta, Indonesia, 1971

The Atlantic: ……After lunch, the group took a walk, with Barry running ahead. A flock of Indonesian children began lobbing rocks in his direction. They ducked behind a wall and shouted racial epithets. He seemed unfazed, dancing around as though playing dodge ball “with unseen players,” [fellow American and friend Elizabeth] Bryant said. Ann [Barack Obama’s mother] did not react. Assuming she must not have understood the words, Bryant offered to intervene. “No, he’s O.K.,” Ann said. “He’s used to it.”

47 Responses to “‘he’s used to it’”

  1. 1 Ceb
    April 28, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    No one ever really gets used to it. At best, we learn to cope and to forgive, but it stings every time.

    • 2 LYNN
      April 28, 2011 at 9:15 pm


    • 3 UT Austin Liberal
      April 28, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      Co-sign Ceb

    • 4 lisa
      April 28, 2011 at 9:24 pm

      You took the words right out of my mouth Ceb, it stings everytime. Thank God he has Michelle and the girls who show him their unconditional love everyday.

    • 6 Sue in Minnesota
      April 28, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      He may be used to it, and as an evolved human being has found ways to cope with it with grace and dignity, but…..he shouldn’t have to. Nor should the millions of others that walk in the shoes of minority status. Equal is equal….we obviously have fallen short of that American principle. Yesterday a door of opportunity was opened, and in a very real way President Obama turned the door knob, and opened the door. I know I am willing to stand up for what is right, and I think it begins by refusing to let these racist assholes demoralize those of us who aren’t motivated by fear or weakness.

      • 7 HZ
        April 28, 2011 at 10:43 pm

        Oh, thank you so much for your comments, Sue. You have spoken the truth. I know because I have had to live it all of my life. I understand what his mother was saying; my mother had to say the same things to friends about me and my brother. Yes, it hurts, but if you want to move on and do what you as a human being feels that you were called to do for the better good of a people, you have to be strong and rely on your deep faith and love from dear and well grounded family members. Sue.you said it so beautifully. Thank you. He did it with convictions, firmness, and love. But now we as a loving and hard workers for fairness, equality to all, and respect and love for each will have to be willing to continue to “turn the knobs and open the doors of all of these injustices in our country.

    • 8 NewCenturyWoman
      April 28, 2011 at 10:06 pm

      Yes, it more than stings. It probably hurts more than we’ll ever know. I love my President, and I “hurt” for him, and for Mrs O and for the girls. 😦 No one should have to go through what Presiden Obama felt compelled to do on yesterday.

  2. 9 GGail
    April 28, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    This shows that his path has been no accident. God has been guiding his footsteps and will continue to guide him.

  3. 12 P
    April 28, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    😦 I never read this before 😦 . It hurts me so much I wanna cry my poor Prez 😦 . ‘Lobbing ROCKS’ they could of KILLED him!!!!!!!!! No wonder he is so calm with all of this. I agree with Ceb no one ever really gets used to something like that! ‘Ann’ there is refering to his mom or a friend?

    • 13 P
      April 28, 2011 at 9:46 pm

      If it is his mom she should have addressed the matter immediately! Thank God the President has a strong mind so many others might have taken their life like all these children who are committing suicide because of bullying!

      • 14 Sue in Minnesota
        April 28, 2011 at 10:12 pm

        What his mother cultivated in him was an ability to draw on his inner strength, after all no one amongst us can control another persons behavior, we can only control our own response to it. I think our immediate impulse is to be protective, but she saw greater benefit in teaching him to become strong in his sense of self. My understanding is that she clearly expressed to him how much he was loved, which is a good foundation for a healthy sense of self esteem.

        She raised two remarkable children, both endowed with a spirit of service and dedication to a world beyond themselves.
        I think that is a beautiful reflection on her as a mother.

        • 15 PoliticalJunkessa
          April 28, 2011 at 10:19 pm

          I totally agree, Sue. One doesn’t get a backbone of steel without going through the fire. She raised him to walk through the fire with dignity. That’s why he’s No Drama Obama now. She was a remarkable woman.

          —PJ (BOYCOTT THE MEDIA. Stop helping them attack your President!)

        • 16 P
          April 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm

          While I agree with everything you said I still believe she should have maybe get the principal of the school or the parents of the bullies involved and put an end to this. While Barack may have been able to handle it well those children doing the bullying need to be taught that what they are doing is terrible and it have consequences for their actions. Suppose one of the rocks had hit him in the head? It wouldn’t be nice. Somethings we can pass over, others need to be addressed in a responsible manner!!

          • 17 V C prezOfan2
            April 28, 2011 at 10:54 pm

            P, I’ve just stumbled into this discussion (was out at a memorial celebration), but I think if you had seen the entire article from which the excerpt above was taken, you might have a slightly different view. For example, when I read it (days ago) I didn’t get the sense that they were lobbing huge rocks, or that they were still lobbing them from behind the wall – just the epithets. Of course, my ‘sense’ may have been all wrong.

            • 18 HZ
              April 29, 2011 at 12:06 am

              P, that was why I wanted to mention the book. This was an excerpt from that book which I really think that it will be a powerful book into how his mother raised her children to function in this world. The author, from what I read took off for 2 years to research and speak with so many people who knew Ann Dunham. I am looking forward to reading the book to find out more information that is a fair and good journalism for President Obama. The book comes out on May 3,2011. I also think that the President has learned a great lesson about the topic of “bullying.” He had to be during his childhood times as a young man. And I believe that during those times, he was preparedd to do what he so unfairly have to walk through daily in his own country where he was elected to be our President. Remember how he got right on the task for appointting a task force to do something constructive about “bullying in our schools.” From that I gather that his mother really did a great job in that part of his training and how he respond to this ugly thing. He has spoken out on the subject, and used his office as a great President toput in place policies that will correct this awful aspect of our children and others in our society.

              • 19 P
                April 29, 2011 at 12:33 am

                Thanks. I will try and get the book when it comes out. The President himself along with his sister show that there mother was an excellent parent. Reading Sue’s comment gave me a different perspective on Ms Dunham although if it was me I wouldn’t have responded in that way but of course I am living in a different lifetime. But I was judging from the excerpt Chipsticks provided since I never read, heard or seen this book or author you are talking about so to me it seemed like Ms Dunham wasn’t reacting to the matter serious enough. BDW I didn’t know Indonesia was such a racist place..i know there was racism but not to that extent where students threw rocks at other students because of their skin colour!!

                • 20 EDP4BHO
                  April 29, 2011 at 10:12 am

                  Skin color…..strange, since he was the same tone as a lot of Indonesians. But it’s the African in him they were assaulting. The European colonists spread the disease of racism against darker hues very widely so that even the blackest-skinned Indians (in India, not here; people here are Natives, not Indians/snark) would dare to look down on those of us who are of African descent, not acknowledging they themselves have ancestry in Africa. The racism is insidious, and I believe that Ms. Dunham, in her naivete (PBO alluded to this fact in “Dreams for My Father”), tried to instill in him the sense of human oneness, thus his remarkable ability to adjust his own feelings to aim for a higher purpose. I admit, he is a better human being than I can claim to be.

            • 21 P
              April 29, 2011 at 12:43 am

              Well I didn’t read the article but I heard there is the book coming out soon I hope to read it! Bdw where can I read the article?

          • 22 Sue in Minnesota
            April 28, 2011 at 11:00 pm

            P they also were living in Indonesia at the time and cultural differences were in play. Children were taught and expected to excercise high levels of self control. Also, sadly, not unlike our own country, discriminatory attitudes were engrained in the culture. I understand your position, and in this country, especially in light of the bullying that seems to have gained a foothold, I would do as you have suggested.

            Different times, different cultures, not to mention Ann Dunham as a woman then, living in a patriarchal culture, did not have the benefit of gender equality.

            • 23 P
              April 29, 2011 at 12:24 am

              Thanks! Although I stand by my belief, by you bringing up the fact that it was indeed a different culture, different times and of course a patriarchal culture I could now better understand Ms Ann Dunham’s view and way of doing things.

        • 24 Audrey
          April 28, 2011 at 10:42 pm

          So true Sue. And this has served him so well especially now as he is able to rise above it all. He is so grounded and innately strong and supremely evolved.

          Unlike most he is able to remove self from the equation, understand and separate his detractors from the insecurities, prejudices and inferiority complexes that plague and drive them!

          He refuses to let bad, disturbed and psychologically weak people with their heavy tethered baggage rent or own space in his head as evidenced by his ability to stand tall with humor, grace, dignity and decency even in the face of every hostility!
          He is never malicious or petty and will even incredulously offer his detractor help getting out of their self-inflicted quagmire!

          This a solid and extraordinarily spectacular man in every sense of the world and there are few and far between!

    • 26 HZ
      April 28, 2011 at 10:50 pm

      P, I think this is a quote from the new book that will be out on May 3rd, the book: “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother.”

  4. 27 Luci1119
    April 28, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Ummm, 😦 😦 😦

  5. 28 Eleroy
    April 28, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    President Obama was born to be great and was prepared for the attacks and envy that come with greatness!!! He RULES and he ROCKS!!!

  6. 29 joyce
    April 28, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Each day my heart goes out to him and his family. May God continue to bless and protect him and his beloved family.

  7. 30 Suzanne
    April 28, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    I don’t want any child or any adult for that matter to experience this, but when I read about him before the election is was experiences like this that made me think he was destined for us in this time and place. He tells us that it hurt, but he has a compassionate heart that is big enough to hold the world. I heard him tell Bill O’Reilly in an interview that people that hate him don’t know him. That’s the truth. He has a beautiful, loving wife and children, strong family and friends, and the love of millions of people around the world.

    He calls to the best in me and I feel he calls to the best in all of us. Bullies and haters are people who have been told that they are worthless or they wouldn’t act that way. I’m not saying this to excuse them AT ALL, but just to say that when the best that is in them is called, they act out the craziness of all that crap they have built around their hearts and souls.

  8. 31 barb
    April 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    The first time I read that awhile back, I was frustrated and appalled at his mom but after thinking it over I realized that she had prepared him at home about life and how it is.

    Now this was Indonesia. I think his mom being a white woman had gone through discrimination herself and yet after a long time she wss accepted as the only woman, and a white woman at that, to work with men blacksmiths. They not only let her in but she worked with them and wrote her Thesis on Blacksmithing.

    So somehow I think she was wise enough having married an African man in those early years to know what her son would go through from a very eary age and she prepared him for it.

    Now after saying all that, it still isn’t right and I was totally upset yesterday and any day I hear the code words.

    God has been with him from the day he was born to help prepare him for his mission in life. He is very special and I support and love him as our CIC and President of the United States of America.

  9. 33 kay360
    April 28, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    He may have gotten used to it, but I haven’t. The disrespect this President endures just burns me up. I can barely speak to some people in my own family any more. Anyway, this election season “I’m in.” I’ll get mad for you, Mr. President, but I’ll also take a page out of your book and try to be calm, clear, and understanding. It’s all about balance for me I guess. Our President is one of the most courageous people I know. God knows I can’t suffer fools, though. Don’t worry I’ll hold my temper and my tongue. God bless you, sir.

    Sorry for this rambling comment, folks.

    • 34 V C prezOfan2
      April 28, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      ‘He may have gotten used to it, but I haven’t.’

      So true.

    • 35 HZ
      April 28, 2011 at 11:06 pm

      Kay360, I read your post, and I cried. (I am ill in bed with a heart condition that flares up when I put too much stress on my life.) I did that yesterday.I do not mind paying the price for what is good for us to do for others. So that is half of how I live my life. Your words,”He may have gotten used to it, but I haven’t.” These words say it all. Why should we have to get used to this type of hate in 2011. It burns me up also to see daily in someway the disrespect that this President has to endure. Everyone is saying, “Oh, they did it to Bill Clinton.” No, they did not do THIS to Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton did not have to show a birth certificate. He did not have all of the ugly and hateful signs and e mails that this President and First Family have had to endure. You know why, President William Jefferson Clinton is a man who is white. President Barack Hussain Obama is a man of color, The Color Black. The race tone will be with us until we die.,but I believe the young people who are moving the country forward in a good space will deal with it in a profound way to bring out our better angels. That is my hope. I trust and love my young people here, and I have faith and hope in you.

      • 36 barb
        April 28, 2011 at 11:24 pm

        HZ, please that care of yourself. You only have one beating heart so you need to keep if functioning as best you can. Rest well.

        • 37 HZ
          April 29, 2011 at 12:13 am

          Oh, Barb, just came back upstairs and read more comments thank you so much for your concern and love in your kind words. I am praying and asking for strength, and now I am trying to take a little time to calm myself and try to take a shower before retiring for bed. I try to be careful because if I can’t make it out of the shower, I in big trouble. So music is on quietly and lovely. I am trusting in God to give me strength while I obey and take care of myself first. Thanks again, barb.

      • 38 Theo67
        April 29, 2011 at 12:12 am

        Take care of yourself, HZ – we need your daily words of wisdom and encouragement.

      • 40 P
        April 29, 2011 at 12:40 am

        Trust me its getting better! What this President is bearing is nothing compared to what Martin Luther King had to face. Let’s look at it this way Mr Obama is preparing a better future for our black and brown children and grandchildren so they could have a better tomorrow. Please do take care of yourself!! 🙂

      • 41 Sue in Minnesota
        April 29, 2011 at 1:09 am

        HZ please take care of yourself in the best of ways. You are such a treasure, I am always reminded of all the goodness that surrounds us when I read your comments. You have a generous and joyful heart, and I know may days are always graced by the wisdom and kindness reflected in your thoughts. I am sending virtual hugs and will say a prayer that you rest well and that your discomfort is temporary.

        • 42 HZ
          April 29, 2011 at 12:33 pm

          Thank you so much Sue. I prayed much last evening and had a better night of sleep than I thought . I am grateful for your comments and others who have such a beautiful energy toward me. God bless you all so much.

    • 43 Charmed
      April 28, 2011 at 11:07 pm

      Kay that’s how I feel…”he may have gotten use to it but I haven’t” but what I have started doing is turning the cable chatter off. I avoided twitter as much as possible because it kept drawing me into rants, lol. I tried writing to the White House but everytime I tried, I would start to cry. I can’t really think about yesterday without getting upset yet.

    • 44 sam uk obama supporter
      April 29, 2011 at 4:11 am

      Kay, I feel the same. I dont think I shall ever get used to it but each time someone tries to hurt him or disrespect him it makes me love him more and makes me more determined to fight, not just for that great man but for equality for ALL God’s children!

  10. 45 Sonjia Duncan
    April 29, 2011 at 12:02 am

    My Mom always said, “No one is better than you and you are no better than anyone else.” If someone does not like you, it’s their problem and not your problem.

  11. 47 Lamb
    May 1, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    I read all the comments here and I agree with everyone. First of all, I’m glad I found this blog, I’m new here and love it. I agree with the poster who said, Bill Clinton didn’t go through what Obama goes through. That is so true, yes Bill was attacked, but if you look back on issues he was attacked about, they were things he actually brought on himself. The cheating, curruption and scandals, all of which have truth in them. With Obama its all made up lies, the birthers, the acusations of being muslim, hating America, agreeing Rev Wright, bill ayers etc, all lies!! Obama is one of the first presidents ever, that has a squeaky clean past, they have nothing on him, thats why they have to make up lies. I don’t listen or watch cable news or talk radio, all that stuff if poison. What I do, is continue to support the President, on democratic blogs like democratic underground, facebook groups and his website. Most of the people who are hating, are not constiteints of the President.

    They are haters from 2008, the same people who most likely voted for McCain. They have no intentions of voting for Obama, their job is to spew hate and lies about Obama. I do not get caught up in the back and fourth with haters, let them drown in their own hate, Karma is a b*tch. I pray for the President every night, I honestly do, I pray for him and his family to be safe and for him to be successful in his job. I know Obama has the temperment and intelligence to deal with the hate that comes his way, some people are just born with strong personalities and the ability to not let crazy haters distract them. He has been dealing with this nonsense all his life. From that qoute about the kids in Indonesia throwing rocks and racist slurs at him, all of those horrible incidents actually prepared him for what he has to go through now. President Obama will be ok, he’s intelligent, charming, handsome, witty etc etc, he knows what he’s doing, I trust him. I don’t think we should feel sorry him, but just keep fighting the good fight, he needs 4 more years to clean up the mess that GWB left. Sorry if I rambled a lot.:)

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