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Author Topic: Reginald Lewis/Kwame Jackson vs. Barack Obama-doing the MOST for "Black America  (Read 914 times)

AceKlub

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Hey,

I want to discuss an issue that has been perplexing me for quite some time with my fellow-achievers and like-minded people. I am wondering which path is the best path for someone who is public-interest minded and believes in giving back. I have been trying to decide what specific field of law I would like to pursue once I enter law school next year and I have come to a crossroads. I want to do as much as I possibly can to help those who can't pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

That said, I have settled on the notion that there are two extremes when it comes to the public-interested based career. One can choose to be the "community organizing"/legal aid clinic/clerkship-securing individual who believes that change comes by altering the minds of those in power or one can choose to be the hungry, voracious business type who decides to take power by any means necessary. I haven't quite decided which one of these types I identify with more, but as more and more time passes, I am beginning to think that the latter(business path) is a more effective means by which to effect substantial change than the former.

Thinking back on some of my favorite song lyrics, I recall Jay-Z saying, "I can't help the poor if I'm one of them so I got rich and gave back. To me that's the win-win." I think about this quote in the context of the aforestated issues that I've touched upon and it seems clear to me that the business way is the best way. Further support for the business/economic way is that near the end of his death, MLK was just beginning to state that the struggle going forward into the 20th and 21st century would shift into a much less discernible one, one more heavily-slanted toward economic disparities. Needless to say, he was correct. I can think of countless AA that I know who are struggling to put food on the table and are on that paycheck to paycheck tip.

I could go on forever, but I think everyone get's the gist from the info above.

My current plan is to get money and give back/I think I may be too results-oriented to go into Public Interest Law, where everything probably feels like an uphill battle......just wondering how everyone else feels about this...

Cord

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To tell you the truth in all reality the Kwame Jackson/Reginald Lewis way is more effective. You gain the capital, influence, power and connections in a more business related setting. Plus you can always do the community organizing/legal aid clinic thing afterwards (clerkship isn't too bad as a stepping stone and it gives you more "cred" then the other two). I think I identify with those more too, but the results don't look to amazing for everyone. No one hardly mentions but even Barack Obama mentioned how community organization didn't work out for him because he couldn't get results he wanted (also I think he did community organization before law school but I could be wrong).

Doing most for black America is very subjective too. There is the symbolic value (Barack Obama) and then there are the results oriented people (Kwame Jackson,etc). Based on Barack's bio (many will disagree) he hasn't had few results oriented accomplishments besides getting elected to positions but the symbolic view of his advancement and his biography for most outweighs what is lacking in results. Community organizers and politicians are very visible people. Contrast that to people like Kwame Jackson, Bob Johnson, Reginald Lewis, & Jesse Hill Jr then you are talking about changemakers who use their resources to to do some good and you can see the results. However they don't get the same recognition and their legacy may not be acknowledged as much like that of the first so and so. Its all relative and there are many exceptions to the rule.

I think your best bet is become a Mike Bloomberg of sorts. You can do results through philanthropy and through policy and you start your own legal aid clinic and you donate to Acorn. You can choose to inspire people and give them hope or you can change their lives and outcomes. They aren't mutually exclusive but sometimes its hard to combine the two routes. Who does the most for black America? Depends on what you are trying to do for them....

JDat45

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To tell you the truth in all reality the Kwame Jackson/Reginald Lewis way is more effective. You gain the capital, influence, power and connections in a more business related setting. Plus you can always do the community organizing/legal aid clinic thing afterwards (clerkship isn't too bad as a stepping stone and it gives you more "cred" then the other two). I think I identify with those more too, but the results don't look to amazing for everyone. No one hardly mentions but even Barack Obama mentioned how community organization didn't work out for him because he couldn't get results he wanted (also I think he did community organization before law school but I could be wrong).

Doing most for black America is very subjective too. There is the symbolic value (Barack Obama) and then there are the results oriented people (Kwame Jackson,etc). Based on Barack's bio (many will disagree) he hasn't had few results oriented accomplishments besides getting elected to positions but the symbolic view of his advancement and his biography for most outweighs what is lacking in results. Community organizers and politicians are very visible people. Contrast that to people like Kwame Jackson, Bob Johnson, Reginald Lewis, & Jesse Hill Jr then you are talking about changemakers who use their resources to to do some good and you can see the results. However they don't get the same recognition and their legacy may not be acknowledged as much like that of the first so and so. Its all relative and there are many exceptions to the rule.

I think your best bet is become a Mike Bloomberg of sorts. You can do results through philanthropy and through policy and you start your own legal aid clinic and you donate to Acorn. You can choose to inspire people and give them hope or you can change their lives and outcomes. They aren't mutually exclusive but sometimes its hard to combine the two routes. Who does the most for black America? Depends on what you are trying to do for them....


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