“Don't let your failures define you.”

Barack Obama

“The public school system is not about educating black children. Never has been. Inner-city schools are about social control. Period. They’re operated as holding pens—miniature jails, really. It’s only when black children start breaking out of their pens and bothering white people that society even pays any attention to the issue of whether these children are being educated.”

Barack Obama

“That's just how white folks will do you. It wasn't merely the cruelty involved; I was learning that black people could be mean and then some. It was a particular brand of arrogance, an obtuseness in otherwise sane people that brought forth our bitter laughter. It was as if whites didn't know they were being cruel in the first place. Or at least thought you deserved of their scorn.”

Barack Obama

“The conservative revolution that Reagan helped usher in gained traction because Reagan's central insight - that the liberal welfare state had grown complacent and overly bureaucratic, with Democratic policy makers more obsessed with slicing the economic pie than with growing the pie - contained a good deal of truth.”

Barack Obama

“To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society’s stifling conventions. We weren’t indifferent or careless or insecure. We were alienated. But this strategy alone couldn't provide the distance I wanted, from Joyce or my past. After all, there were thousands of so-called campus radicals, most of them white and tenured and happily tolerant. No, it remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names.”

Barack Obama

“And then, on September 11, the world fractured. It's beyond my skill as a writer to capture that day and the days that would follow--the planes, like specters, vanishing into steel and glass; the slow-motion cascade of the towers crumbling into themselves; the ash-covered figures wandering the streets; the anguish and the fear. Nor do I pretend to understand the stark nihilism that drove the terrorists that day and that drives their brethren still. My powers of empathy, my ability to reach into another's heart, cannot penetrate the blank stares of those would murder innocents with abstract, serene satisfaction.”

Barack Obama

“Negara yang tidak bisa mengendalikan sumber energinya, tidak bisa mengendalikan masa depannya.”

Barack Obama

“I don’t like politics much,” she said. “Why’s that?” “I don’t know. People always end up disappointed.”

Barack Obama

“Teachers matter. So instead of bashing them, or defending the status quo, let’s offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. In return, grant schools flexibility: To teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren’t helping kids learn.”

Barack Obama

“Each path to knowledge involves different rules and these rules are not interchangeable.”

Barack Obama

“It wasn’t a matter of conscious choice, necessarily, just a matter of gravitational pull, the way integration always worked, a one-way street. The minority assimilated into the dominant culture, not the other way around. Only white culture could be neutral and objective. Only white culture could be nonracial, willing to adopt the occasional exotic into its ranks.”

Barack Obama

“When people at dinner parties ask me how I can possibly operate in the current political environment, with all the negative campaigning and personal attacks, I may mention Nelson Mandela, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, or some guy in a Chinese or Egyptian prison somewhere. In truth, being called names is not such a bad deal.”

Barack Obama

“We're up against the conventional thinking that says your ability to lead as president comes from longevity in Washington or proximity to the White House. But we know that real leadership is about candor and judgment and the ability to rally Americans from all walks of life around a common purpose, a higher purpose.”

Barack Obama

“That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.”

Barack Obama

“That’s where it all starts,” she said. “The Big Man. Then his assistant, or his family, or his friend, or his tribe. It’s the same whether you want a phone, or a visa, or a job. Who are your relatives? Who do you know? If you don’t know somebody, you can forget it. That’s what the Old Man never understood, you see. He came back here thinking that because he was so educated and spoke his proper English and understood his charts and graphs everyone would somehow put him in charge. He forgot what holds everything together here.”

Barack Obama


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