On Obama and New York’s Yemeni grocers

The thing that always struck me about Obama is that as much as I—liberal through-and-through—loved him, he really was the perfect Republican, meaning he was a committed Christian devoted to the “family values” that the Republicans have always espoused. Never was there ever even the hint of personal scandal, and none of all the alleged political ones ever held any water.

Only one thing ruined him for Republicans: skin color. No, make that two things: skin color and intelligence. Mega-intelligence.

I reflect on this as my Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood Yemeni grocery store owners join their New York countryfolk in closing shop—some 1,000 in all—today from noon to 8 p.m.—in response to Trump’s Muslim ban. That’s a big chunk of vital retail.

Then again, Yemenis are vital to New York City, as are Muslims from all countries. And like Obama, the ones I patronize, at least, are also dream Republicans: hardworking, family-oriented people, who came to this country like all of our ancestors who weren’t Native Americans–in search of a better life, be it to escape religious or political persecution or whatever.

I’ve always felt that’s the greatest thing about New York: Everyone from everywhere—all countries, creeds, colors, gender identities–is all together, such that we’re forced to deal with each other out of common humanity, rather than kill each other over random differences of birth.

Those of us who live here are lucky, indeed.

6 thoughts on “On Obama and New York’s Yemeni grocers

  • February 2, 2017 at 6:24 pm


    I’ve followed your music-related columns for years, always finding them informative and have enjoyed reading them until you began writing about politically related topics. The ‘music public’ is starved for informative columns on music, please stick to your bread and butter as there far too many political pundits!

    Thank you.

    Will C.

  • February 2, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Thanks, Will. Glad you’ve enjoyed the music stuff and sorry you don’t like anything else. You may want to go over to my centerline.news site, which has more of the music stuff. Otherwise, as you already know, I’m sure, I enjoy writing what I enjoy writing and will continue to do so both here and there!

  • February 2, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Very good, Jim, I’ll see you on the other side, the music only side!

    Will C.

  • February 2, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Great! You might enjoy yesterday’s centerline.news post, then, about the new edition of the great Roy Orbison Black & White Night video with Springsteen, Costello, etc., which has some fab commentary from Jennifer Warnes! Thanks again!

  • February 3, 2017 at 12:58 am


    Thanks very much for letting me know about your music blog, I’m all over it. It’s great!


  • February 3, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Really appreciate it, Will. BTW, I launched it after examiner.com, where I’d been writing about music (and other topics) for six years, went down in July. I’d been using this site for more personal stuff, and knew that there would be some who wouldn’t like it so much–if any–and didn’t want to turn off those who had followed my music writing.

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