I have interviewed some of the most successful Jews in the world, people who emerged from the Holocaust or started out with nothing and who today are on Forbes’ list of billionaires. There is an underlying theme to their success stories: They got out of bed, worked hard and pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps. Even Mayor Bloomberg recounted to me how in his youth he made money by parking cars and told me the trick to his success was merely getting up earlier and working harder than the next guy. Mark Cuban told me he started out selling garbage bags door to door. The Jews, the most persecuted people in history know one thing from their pan-generational sufferings: God helps those who help themselves.
If Barack Obama really cared for the black community more than he cares for himself he wouldn’t point to the rich to invoke class envy – he’d be pointing to them and say, “OK, let’s learn from their success and then do as they do.” Instead of demanding that the wealthy pay their fair share, he would demand that welfare recipients pull their own weight.
It’s amazing how President Obama is able to raise millions (potentially a billion) for his own campaign to secure his own job and yet he can’t raise one dime for this country or for black America, where the unemployment rate is at 14.4 percent. Back in 2008 he offered and glamorized hope and then in a treacherous bait-and-switch delivered food stamps instead. Is that pocket change you can believe in?
Instead of pandering to unions, why doesn’t he take them on for destroying the public school system wherein African-American students are the biggest victims. Don’t these black students deserve to be Barack Obamas one day too? He has hoarded the American dream for himself and is concurrently ripping up the one good road in America, The Road to Success, for everyone else.
The black middle class has been decimated under the economy of his presidency, yet 84 percent of the black community says they will still vote for the president. In my estimation this is a monochromatic view that blinds itself to Obama’s betrayal of his own people. His skipping the NAACP convention further shows he is counting on the black community’s blind and dumb devotion. The community must stop living vicariously; his success is not their success – unless, of course, I missed the news bulletin that he has taken them jet-setting on Air Force One, golfing and on vacation to Martha’s Vineyard. While he is putting the holes, they are living on doles. The historic moment of his presidency has passed. What has he done for you lately?
And here, too, the African-American community can learn from the Jews.
One of the greatest secrets of Jewish success as a people is that Jews have a generous ability to look at their own leaders hypercritically, to find fault when deserved and to hold them accountable. From Moses to Netanyahu to the local rabbi, no Jew in a position of leadership escapes the vigilance of my tribe, nor the prosecutorial-like question: “What the heck are you doing?” By not seeing each other ethnically through Rosen-colored glasses, Jews have helped foster success and personal growth both on an individual basis and as a people. They give each other a kick up, not a hand down.
African-Americans should take a tip from the Jewish “race” book and hold our president to task, as well as their black leadership. Blacks can’t expect the world to be colorblind while at the same time they support Obama blindly. True, I get upset when I hear a Jew criticize another Jew or Israel publicly. The initial instinct is: “We have to stick together.” But part of what made the Jewish people a successful people is the diversity and challenges we pose to one another. It’s a process of refinement. When I interviewed CNN Journalist Wolf Blitzer, a Jew and the son of Holocaust survivors, I asked him how he had the gall to be critical of Israel in some of his reports. He answered, “My parents always taught me that you don’t do anybody any favors by covering up mistakes; otherwise people tend to repeat those mistakes.” That, my friends, is transparency!
A people’s potential is much like a muscle. If you offer it no resistance, it will never grow or strengthen into greatness. The European socialist economies are crumbling with their entitlements, their two-hour lunch siestas and their six weeks paid vacations. Yet Israel, with its six-day work week, is one of the most productive and innovative countries in the world. Yes, you can learn from the Jews and their simple equation to success: Roll out the alarm clock, roll up your sleeves and get rolling!