Teach 2 Dumb Dudes

Dr. Omar Bah: Congressional Candidate For Rhode Island District 2

August 08, 2022 Joe Bento Season 2 Episode 17
Teach 2 Dumb Dudes
Dr. Omar Bah: Congressional Candidate For Rhode Island District 2
Show Notes Transcript

If you've ever wondered what the ideal person is that we desperately need in politics, you've come to the right place. Dr. Bah is running for Congress in Rhode Island District 2. We not only discuss policy, but also his upbringing, his journey from African refugee to becoming and incredibly successful American citizen. Dr. Bah is a breath of fresh air and proof that there is still hope for a better Government in Rhode Island and the United States.  No matter what side of the aisle you are on, you cannot deny Dr. Bah's infectious attitude and eagerness to help. Be sure to check out his website and donate if you can at www.bahforcongress.com

Bento:

What's up everybody. Welcome to another episode of teach to dumb dudes as always. I'm bento I'm with my boy Bobby today we're talking to Dr. Omar BARR. Dr. BA is a progressive Democrat running for Congress in Rhode. Island's second district. He's taking over, Jim landman spot. He recently retired. we talked to Dr. Bob about, his upbringing, what he's been through, how he's got here. Uh, talk about Supreme court, a lot of policy stuff. it's really interesting to hear his ideas on housing and how he plans to fix that. very constructive conversation. Don't forget the check out his website@bforcongressdotcombahforcongress.com.

Bobby:

As always, don't forget, we need more feedback and likes and subscribes and all that other good social media crap. So we're on all the platforms. Get in touch with us. Yeah, man, if we suck, send us an email, tell us us, tell, tell us, let us. That was why we saw, well,

Bento:

tell us why we suck. Yeah, it tells we suck. Don't be an idiot, like

Bobby:

a Facebook I was gonna say, now that you said that everyone's gonna be like, you suck

Omar:

Hello. Hello, Dr. Dr. Bar. Good evening. Hey, I must begin by apologizing. Uh, this has been like a rollercoaster for

Bento:

me. Oh, that's okay. we? No,

Bobby:

no, no worries at all. We understand that you're a very busy man these days. We know you get a lot going on, huh?

Bento:

Yes, yes,

Omar:

yes. Yes. I'm I'm really glad that we've got to.

Bobby:

Yes, thank you so much, uh, for joining us. Uh, so, uh, we, again, we know that you're very busy, so thank you again for taking the time, uh, to speak with us. We're just here to have a, have a good conversation, get to know you a little bit. You know what I mean? We're, we're, we don't really have, uh, you know, much of an agenda besides getting to know you, and so obviously we did a little bit of research around you and kind of your history where you've come from. Uh, and it sounds like you've had quite the journey, uh, from The Gambia. Uh, and so we did wanna discuss that a little bit too, you know, what was it like living there and growing up there, and, you know, we know you, you know, you went, started the law program there and then got into journalism. And so tell us a little bit about, you know, kind of that life and, and kind of how you ended up here in Rhode Island, outta all places.

Omar:

Well, I mean, yeah, absolutely. I, I, on a lighter note, I think when you ever meet with a dictator or an auto leader, mm-hmm, tell, tell them not to, not to live with a, a failed lawyer. Right? I, I, I wanted to be a lawyer mm-hmm when I was young and, uh, it did not work out after two years of law school and I ended up you that took me to journalism and mm-hmm I, I stood up to injustice and, uh, I finally, I, I realized that actually journalism was better for me. Yeah. I was, I had to discover the hard way. Yeah. But yeah, of course. I grew up to answer your question. I grew up in a small village in, uh, in rural Gambia and, uh, Gambia is the smallest state, uh, smallest country on the mainland of Africa. And mm-hmm yeah, I am in the smallest state in America.

Bento:

That's hilarious. Right. What are

Bobby:

the odds of that? What are the odds? That's so funny. Yeah. Cause we were, you know, we, we were looking at it on a map and, you know, you realize that it's. Surrounded by the Egal and it's very, very small just in there. And so, yeah,

Bento:

so

Omar:

I, oh my God, Rob, you know, Africa so much.

Bento:

wow.

Bobby:

I have to be honest. I have to be honest. I, I looked it up because I was curious and then I saw like, oh wow. How is The Gambia? Like, surrounded like that. And so I did look up the history a little bit more and learned about the, uh, you know, how, how now it's Confederation and they've combined military and economic resources, things like that. And it also doesn't help that Saudi mane, God bless him.

Omar:

you see? I think he was in the us last

Bento:

week, you know?

Bobby:

Yeah. With Byron. Yeah.

Omar:

Yeah, yeah. But I mean, yeah, so I, I mean, honestly, the sizes of these two places, The Gambia and Rhode Island was the first thing that I noticed coming to America. And it was the first thing that made me feel at home that made that camped my nerves, because imagine a refugee, you know, in the past year I had been in a camp in Ghana and not knowing what would be next for my life. Right. And the Americans are the only people that gave me hope. The American embassy, two people, specifically Monica Robertson and Nate bloom. Those are two names, even my great, great grandchildren will never, ever forget. They used to work at the us embassy mm-hmm as senior officers and they took so much passion in ensuring that I got out of Africa and got to safety to

Bento:

America. Wow. That's terrific. And what year did you arrive in America?

Omar:

In two thousand seven thousand seven. Yeah. So I will smoke gas that only one year in a camp. And, uh, when I, when I was in a plane headed to JFK in New York, I remember I was in a plane for, with about 20 people from different countries, mostly people from Liberia. Sure. And I walked around the plane. I asked them, I mean, for how long were you in a camp? Some of them 10 years. 50. Wow. Putting it. Some of the kids who have born in a camp. Yeah. Oh then when I said I stayed only one year. They did not believe me. I said, well, I must have really won the lottery, you know, right, right. Then, you know, I was so traumatized as a told and somebody who was, who literally was decline a wanted person and my pictures on TV and border post on newspapers. It was so traumatizing that that really gave me some sense of relief that I didn't stay for 10 years,

Bobby:

15 years. Yeah. I can only imagine.

Omar:

So uh, I've been living here for 15 years now. Did not find any family or. I came here. No, no community started from the bottom. By the way, I was the only refugee from Gambia. When I came here 15 years ago, I really introduced to a few people who came as immigrants, not refugees. Mm-hmm initially the first year I was actually afraid. I did not want them to know I lived here cause I was still, I wanted my people from Gaia to knew I was here. And then, so I was really very isolated because I did not want to connect with the Gambian immigrant community as a

Bobby:

refugee. Right,

Omar:

right. So it helped me build a new community between the refugee community. Iraq is IANS, you know, people from all over the world, all over the world. And then, you know, got a job after 19 days at Rhode Island housing and started, you know, as an ES escort rep. And it was really amazing. I started would go to work, go to night school, take five, six classes. I got my bachelor's degree in two and a half years. ATRI. Wow. We went to do a, uh, two master's degrees and a doctorate. I drove to Boston for seven years for a second masters and a PhD. It was what

Bobby:

what drove you to do all this at this point? I mean, you had just come over from, from go, like you said, you got a job in 19 days and started school right away at night. I mean, what was the driving force for you behind all of

Omar:

this? Well, two, two things, my, my childhood, but also what I saw in America. Mm-hmm I felt some urge to have some sense of, uh, gratitude to say thank you because I was so worried about not doing, not leaving awkward expectation. Mm.

Bobby:

I gave you two who's expectation,

Omar:

yours EV everybody in America Americans' expectation. Literally I was walking hard to satisfy Americans by showing them that I did not let you

Bobby:

down for letting me in. Yeah.

Omar:

So all I was walking towards, I wanted to make sure I would not let them down. You know how you looked at Africa, Rob and Joe. I mean, you know, 54 countries, if you count the territories for maybe 56, not, not a single one gave me home. When I was a torture survival, one country gave me home. We can be polarized in our politics. A lot of things can happen. We can think beyond the super flaws politics. We may, we are so divided, but it is a very, uh, United. You saw even put top Ukraine, everybody you don't know who is Republican or Democrat, every America, no United against put. So I am grateful for the fact that this country, once again, showed that, you know, we are humanitarian. We rescue people, people, we, we are beyond the polarizes and into politics. And I just thought to myself in order to be an example, to immigrants, to refugees, to everybody who has received help, I must stand and do what I could. Within 13 years, I got a bachelor's two master's and adult, and I founded the refugee dream center to ensure that, okay, if I could attend American dream, I read a textbook. And so I follow it to the book call. I can give that to others. I empower them. I right.

Bento:

Wanted, and that's a good, that's a good segue into, you know, trying to become a Congressman. So, you know, with all that, what made you take that next step to, to run for office and you know, is, you know, what's, what's the overall plan there.

Omar:

Well, absolutely. I, I think for, for full reasons, but number one is, uh, the, the O to, to defend democracy because after leaving under a dictatorship and, uh, and literally a wall, this guy over to a government when he was 29 with a group of literally talks, used guns to over toward a democratic government, looted, everything, the on took ownership of the treasury as a personal property. Wow. Destroy the entire economy. You can read GABA. You'll see. I mean, started killing people. A lot of gun bin, I mean, are still buried mass graves. Nobody knows where they're buried as survival. I've seen. That's horrible. What happens in those prisons? So I came here after January 6th. I said to myself, no, I mean I, I have gotten a lot from America. My children were born here. Actually. They love my accent. They love my English accent. I tell them, you know, bottom line is, I mean, I speak English, China

Bento:

yeah. Right, right. English is very good. It's

Omar:

very good. Yeah. They ed my accent and I mean, my, my native language is fuller F U a. So they, they speak it. But also with some accent,

Bobby:

you know? Yeah. Of course,

Omar:

of course, you know that it's like some American learning and language somewhere and say, you know, this, I think we, we are equal here, you know,

Yeah,

Omar:

exactly. But I mean, just looking at that, looking at America through those eyes, mm-hmm I said to my children. I do not regret being born in the camp, but suddenly I admire that these children were born. My children were born in this country.

Bobby:

Mm. Yeah. I'm sure. I'm sure. What, what a, what a difference in, in upbringing that you have now provided for your children?

Omar:

Yeah. I mean, they, they, you, I used to work for miles to school, barefoot, barefoot. They go to school driven in an air condition car yeah. Right. They use apple computers. I was used, uh, charcoal, right. Or chalk and sit on the floor and they send it floor or sometimes on a or mango tree mm-hmm or grassroots or, or classrooms without furniture. I used to carry furniture to school. And I mean, I can go on and on with the comparison, so sure. I admire, I love, I admire. And I like the fact that they see this. So,

Bento:

I mean,

Bobby:

if American God, I think I, I think you could teach more Americans about that

Bento:

good work ethic, right? if

Bobby:

American, I feel like, I feel like a lot of the immigrants and minorities who come to our country are far better equipped than most Americans are to, to roll up their sleeves and get into it.

Omar:

well, I mean, it is an opportunity for me to just keep pushing those kids. Now come on. Things are complain about let's keep moving. Yeah. I mean, the really, what, the thing that really got me was when the, the capital was attacked. Sure. More number of people deciding that America is gonna change costs. No, that's not gonna happen. Uh, on the personally, I mean, I know, I mean, if I lose America, where am I going? Probably to mass planet mass or the moon? Yeah. for me, this is it. I'm not gonna sit by and watch democracy attacked. I watch a democracy fall. It's not gonna happen to me again. I, I can.

Bento:

So from what you, from what you've seen in Africa, was January 6th. How it started over there too starts with a small insurgency and over time grows bigger and bigger until it got to the point, you know, that the dictator came in and, and took over.

Omar:

Yeah, absolutely. What, what happens is easily the, the larger, the, the, the larger population do not are compress. Do. Realize that, I mean, we are sometimes in, in denial, that is what happened on January 6th has nothing to do with freedom of assembly or freedom of speech. It was not democracy. Right? So subtract that from, from democracy. If, if, if you have those kinds of bits and snippets of actions that are not democratic, then we are headed to a place where the larger population is complacent. We can, democracy is very fragile. My entire world, this democracy here is the one is the longest enduring democracy. It is. Yes. Right. Very young is 250 years

Bobby:

old. I know it is not cause they don't last long.

Omar:

So we cannot let a small group of people start getting away. My hope is to get Congress and ensure Trump and his allies are held accountable. And cause I know if democracy fails the American dream that I'm enjoying today as an a, an American, I've been a citizen for 10 years now. Right. Nobody will enjoy that because we'll be struggling with how to be safe in our. That will be imposing themselves upon us or people. Small group of people will be terrorizing people. We don't want that. That's impossible in America, but we cannot be co complacent that something like this cannot happen. So see, I mean, I, we had a forum last week with the rest of the candidates. Mm-hmm of course we speak very similar things. You talk about the economy, very similar. You talk about Roe V. Wade, very similar. The difference is the perspective that somebody who was a journalist brings in and has been here in this country for 15 years and has two perspectives. I'm telling you uh, it's time that Democrat elect the leader who knows how

to

Bobby:

democracy. And I will also say, so I did listen to the uh, the democratic women's caucus that, that zoom meeting you all had on there together. Uh, and it was really nice that they put that on and, and kind of gave everyone that opportunity to hear you all. And I think though that, uh, it's funny because as I listened to everyone's responses, a lot of 'em are that very party line though, and, and, and party driven kind of responses. And, and so to hear that, that your background is very different from those politicians who have been doing this. I mean, not to point 'em out, but like Seth magazine has been doing this his whole life. His father did it before him. Right? Like those

Bento:

are politicians. Right. And it, you're not, and you're not different in the way that, you know, Trump was different, you know? Cause that was everybody said, oh, I like Trump. He's a different kind of guy. You know what I mean? Yeah. No, you're, you're different in the way. You're yeah. Right. You're different in the way that we need to be different, not, you know, not shooting from the hip and you know, cartoon character, right? Yeah. Yeah. So it's definitely very

Omar:

refreshing when I started, I told people, honestly, I, I have no business with being negative. I don't have time to attack people or right. I, I don't have time for that. I mean, I came here. People gave me abundance, everything, you know, I, I, I bought a home in after four years, got all the education, all the resources I'm now. I mean, I'm just from the Rhode Island foundation. They gave scholarship to two kids that I mentor they're going to oh wow. $80,000 scholarships. I'm wow. That's terrific. The model, the model of the, one of the kids looked at me and they said, you know, the dream center, you guys are like mini Rhode Island foundation. I said, well, I'm happy to hear that. I mean, yeah. Gave me hope. Rod island took chance on me. I'm asking the district America protect chance of me again, because personally I'm not afraid deviating from the democratic party or disagreeing with them in on some aspects. Number one, the main reason why I joined the democratic party when I became a citizen 10 years ago was the main reason was not to just act like some robotic posture. Yeah. With them on everything. No, I'm not. I wanted a sense of belonging. Because, I mean, the demo, the Republican party does not give me that to give Hmm. I belong. Yeah. Right. Sure. Somebody like me gets insulted or me sometimes even treated as if you are not even human. So of course so, so, so I, but the democratic party gave me that sense of belonging. So we should disagree. That's democracy. We agree and disagree. So I'm not afraid of making mistakes or being the empathic one. That's not my business. My business is the lived experience that I bring in the different perspective. And suddenly even if we are talking about experience, I mean, I've got more collective experience probably than most of them because I've been walking since I was 19, right. Every, almost every aspect from banking to journalism, to banking, to community, world, and teaching

Bobby:

everything. And, and that's what I was saying earlier as well, that, you know, it seems that you know, when you look at some of these other candidates, uh, except what was his name? David Siegel. Even, even him, there was a lot of them who have had political job at their political job after political job. And that was one of the things that I, I was curious about was looking those, those candidates up and seeing, well, have they ever held a real job? And I think there was one of the women I can't recall right now off the top of my head, but one of them did have like real jobs in private companies and things like that. But, but that's something I think. A lot of, you know, I'm not gonna speak for everybody, but I know that that's something I'm looking for. Right. I don't want a person who, who has been in politics their whole lives and is beholden to every other interest out there in Rhode Island. I mean, we've seen how that affects our state in the past from the, uh, what was it? Bento, the Kurt shilling studios. Oh man.

Bento:

oh yeah.

Bobby:

Five. What was it? 5 38 or whatever. It was 38 studios, 38 studios. And, and then like CVS, like, like they just take advantage of all of us. Right. and, and I feel like it is always those, those lifetime politicians. And so that's where, you know, looking at, at our, you know, our selection of candidates, it's always nice to see somebody like yourself, who isn't a lifetime politician. And so I definitely, I definitely appreciate that. I just wanna back a one step talk to us a little about, about your, your the program that you started, the uh, refugee dream center. Talk to us a little bit about the goals and what you've accomplished with that,

Omar:

but absolutely. I started the center, as I said, when I came to this country, I was the only refugee from my country of origin Gabi mm-hmm So it was very challenging and, uh, it was hard because I, I felt so lonely and

Bento:

mixed.

Bobby:

I can only imagine.

Omar:

Sure. Yeah. And the federal government. Does an amazing work. They bring about a hundred thousand depending on the administration. I mean, Trump caught it down to about 10 or 8,000, but right. Amazing work America. Resettles more refugees than any country in the world. This is not politics. This is not, uh, I don't care what people say about Republicans. Bush brought me here.

Bobby:

I didn't realize that the Americans bring in more refugees than anyone else,

Omar:

any country in. Wow. I mean, this going to, and this is not like people moving out of that country and just settings

Bobby:

camp somewhere. Yeah. Not immigration. Yeah. Not

Omar:

immigration. Exactly. Thank you. Not immigration. Is the government going out there and say, oh my God, these people need a chance to second life. Mm. They go to a camp, Syria, Ukraine, or other places, Afghanistan. Right over 70,000 Afghani came here last year. You, you saw wow. Chaos at the airport. I mean, America DOD that. And then so, but they helped them for only three months. And you arrive after three months, you better be able to read and write English. You better be able to drive or get a job because you are on your own. Wow. So I, I, myself, well, I came, I was a reporter. I typed so fast. I computers, I could use all these design. I could do graphics. I could do everything. I still struggled. Sure. And imagine people who cannot even read and write in their own languages. Yeah. I, I use the economic. Argument. I said, if we really want to help this country, if Americans really, the government really wants these people not to be a liability to the country or to the state or their local community, we need to have better programs. And the idea idea, don't drop them after three months, continue the service, maybe one or two months extra, that person will be having at least some functional English. They can have a job that is more established. And that is exactly what we are doing at the center. We pick up from the three months and continue the services and we work with people from all over. That's horrific Africa from the middle east from everywhere.

Bobby:

So, so what's the rule about that? So when they hit, when, when refugees hit the three months, are they kicked out? If they don't meet requirements? Well,

Omar:

it is the funding. That's the federal government. That's what they cap it because America's oh, okay. America's model is, I mean, is capital. There are studies that show that they do better in America than Europe and other places. Okay. Even though those countries serve longer. Ah sure. Ah, you're what, what America economic philosophy for refugees is that live like every America and you better be ready from day one

Bobby:

sink, swim mentality. Yeah.

Omar:

Of pressure. But you, they do much better. God, that's

Bobby:

crazy though. I mean, people you've just had your entire life uprooted. How is that even fair to be like, well, I hope you're ready. Right? 90 days. Yeah. 90 days

Omar:

get out. And then you, you don't even know. I mean, you're straight. I mean, so, but they, they buy homes. They, they get jobs 16 hours a day. Right. Wow. They pay them 15, $16, but they work like 16 hours. I mean, yeah. They buy so amazing. So our idea was just to pick up and continue the services so that one help people do the exam and become citizens. By the way that test some Americans cannot pass. Yeah, right? Sure. Yeah. So, I mean, it's a lot of geography, a lot of, uh mm-hmm so, so we help them prepare for the citizenship test, get functional English, mentor the youth, hundreds of them, by the way, when people were shouting default, the police, I'm not that kind of black man who will say default, the police I'm say, hold the police accountable, but bring them to the community to build bridges, right? Yes, exactly. So I bring them to the center to meet with kids. They come with, I tell don't come with, come with uniforms. Yeah. Full thing, because they're afraid of you. They have a perception that you wanna kill them. So come

Bobby:

right. Yeah. And break that perception. Yeah. They

Omar:

speak, share their stories. They take pictures, play basketball, you know? So I mean, they get that kind of connection. Build bridges. I just started a group with Afghani women, uh, at the center because we realized that they were not coming out because of the culture the men come out. But the women, we are not coming out not much just so I said, I mean, ask, what can we do to make sure they come out? So then I recruited a group of American woman, volunteers, people, we don't pay a. Not a single day. They volunteered. They wanna help. They care about those Afghani women. Mm. We match them, give them gift cards. You know, they spend like an hour at the center and they go like to Don donors, the zoo mall, they spend an hour with them. So by doing that, they're helping them get out of the house to go get integrate into American society. Yeah. Get

Bobby:

more accustomed to how things are here

Bento:

and they feel safe because they're with someone that's been here. So it's not, it's not as scary. Right? Exactly.

Omar:

So that's really cool bridge bridge, building, building bridges at every level. Ah, that's terrific women. We do that with the youth, also the local schools and the refugee kids. And then the idea is be self sufficient and get out of the social services. So, you know, most refugees, when they get a job, they call get me out of food stamps. Cause they, I dunno who tells them? They say, no, they, they, they assume they think Americans will not be happy and they don't want Americans.

Bobby:

Interesting.

Omar:

They are not on food stamps. They get out of food stamps. They want to walk and buy homes and just be grateful. It is really the same thing that has been taking me. That's basically really what is what motivated me to do this? I mean, right. There are two few associations, but they are ethnic based like gay association con things. So I said, no, I wanna do something that is like SST group, everybody point.

Bobby:

At home. Yeah. It's interesting.

Bento:

You say, you say the three months because you always hear the excuse of people that don't wanna bring refugees and oh, I don't want them, mooching off the system or sponging off. And I never even realized myself that three months and that's it. So no, one's, you know, no, one's really mooching off the system at all. Right?

Omar:

No, they're actually, that's, there's a lot of stigma with social science. Mm-hmm

Bento:

people put anything they're putting money into it. Cuz they're working, they're getting a paycheck, they're paying taxes, you know, they're, they're buying properties consuming. Right, right.

Bobby:

the other thing too. The other

Bento:

thing too, doctor in,

Bobby:

out of the people that you help at the refugee center, do most of them stay in Rhode

Omar:

Island? Yes. That one thing about refugees, they get connected to that rule. Some move out of state bought a greater percentage stay that's terrific. I mean, some of them move out of Providence. Even they start with Providence mostly and they move out. Yeah. A lot of experience, own homes in Warwick and Kran state. Right. And come to wound circuit because it's cheap. Yeah. People move, people integrate. I

Bento:

mean you, when you come into the country as a refugee, do you get to choose where you go or do they assign you a state?

Omar:

No. Listen to you. Don't you don't get the state department does everything. So what they do is they want, cause they're bringing you, they're wanting to have the real, I love that model I used to, oh my God. Americans are making their, giving us a depressor. Cause this is so hard. I realized I got to appreciate it because what they're trying to do is to set you. To face reality. There is no shock here. The reality is they want you to live in every aspect of American life. Imagine some refugees go to Idaho potatoes, you know, and right. Iowa start the port, Wyoming everywhere because they want, they don't want people to be in just one place. They want people to be spread spray. Right. So they spread people out. Personally. I only heard of Rhode Island a day before arrival. Wow.

Bento:

And, and there, there are people in this country that don't even know about Rhode Island.

Bobby:

So

Omar:

you know, I travel to new Mexicos when I say Rhode Island, somebody said long island, I say, okay, now

Bobby:

all the time we get that long island island, we've had so many guests on island. We say, oh yeah, we're in Rhode Island. They're like, where, what

Omar:

And it's bigger than Rhode Island anyway. Long island

Bobby:

is huge. You know, mm-hmm yeah, it is actually. Yeah, it's true. And that's terrific. So, so let's shift gears a little bit now. I wanna talk to you about some of the, uh, you know, the topics that came up in that debate you know, with the women's caucus there. Oh, see. But yeah, but just, just, you know, how, how do you stand on some of these things? So one of the big questions I have is around campaign financing, right? In our country, citizens United they're allowed to just dump money into our campaigns and our elections. And so one of my first questions is, is one. How are you achieving your funding goals? And two, how do you view our current election system? And is there anything, or would you change anything?

Omar:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, currently our source of funding is just people. We do zoom meetings and ask people to donate people in the district mostly come on podcast. Yeah. Hopefully

Bobby:

we'll tell our people, don't worry.

Omar:

Yeah. We ask people to donate, go to our website and then of friends. But the first quarter we raise, but I mean, we, I have, I'm not a politician. I'm, I'm a professor. And then non-profit leader had no idea how to do it. I mean, sure. First quarter we raised about 10,000 and the second quarter we raised about 46,000. Wow. So we've gone a little bit higher, but it's still significantly smaller than the rest of the staff, right? Yeah. And at least we are able to the good thing. We have a lot of volunteers, kids from colleges, people from the community, people who just want to help. So what we would. Pay on staff goes into material. So I mean, we, I mean, that is helpful in, in one way or the other. So, but what it comes to proof is that this is a run between big money and small money, because with all this small money and the comparison, probably a hundred to one ratio, we in the right. Yeah. Competing. And

that's

Bobby:

why I think it's so terrible. Right? How can these people go out and spend? And just because they have that spend power, it makes them look bigger and better than everybody else who's running. Right. And now it's just a marketing campaign.

Bento:

Well, and it, it get them in front of people's eyes, you know, commercials.

Bobby:

And, but that's a marketing strategy. That's not a, that's not marketing, it's not politics. Like,

Bento:

no, it's definitely marketing.

Omar:

Right? Yeah. I don't like the notion of creating this perception with voters that this person made so much money raised so much money. They are the most viable candidate. Yeah. Right. Happened to the interest of the people we living in a, an inflation high influence on people cannot even afford a gallon of milk. Those are the issues that we should be worried about. We democracy is on the trip and I'm so worried that Trump can get away with that. I mean, I'm not, I mean, just, I'm not, I'm not obsessed with Trump, but whoever was responsible, but I mean, all I'm trying to say is that it should not be about money. Right. And the viability of a candidate should not be based on money. And coming back to your original question, uh, Rob, I think There should be more regulation to avoid special interests, uh, uh, dictating how the, our democracy works because they pump in so much money. Some of them, you don't even know the source of the money. And then I'm, I'm not disparaging anyone, but I think we should have an equitable platform in funding where people can feel they can participate in a democratic, uh, platform, but it cannot, you cannot call it democratic or equitable when people are raising, uh, millions when some are struggling with a couple of thousands and now it is not a battle of ideas. It is, it is a battle of, of, of the pause and, and, and, and that's why some of them don't want the debates because they, like, they think they're giving us free TV. What they can afford we can afford is what they're trying to avoid. They don't, they're trying to avoid the debates. We should have had a couple of debates by now. I mean, you know, how many calls and emails we got before that democratic woman's forum asking us not, and nobody attacks anybody literally. Is that a protection? Really? Somebody was that like protecting somebody. But I mean, all I'm trying to say is that why would somebody avoid debates? Because they don't want the little guys like me to have that platform to have a chance yeah. Afford it. And because the money making platform, the fundraising platform, well, potential is not equitable. And we know where some of that money is coming from. Yeah.

Bobby:

Really? Don't worry. Don't worry. I'll say, I'll say it for you, Dr. BA where magazine or where does 700,000 come from? Everybody wants to know it's all over the news. It's all over the local papers. Everybody wants to know

Omar:

but I mean, that's the bottom line though. We cannot have, we cannot have a situation like that and we have the establishment protecting certain individuals. I have so much utmost respect for each of each and every one of the candidates. I listen to all of them, some of them I've never seen until that, that forum I've met, uh, magazine a couple of times. Very nice guy. Yeah. Met uh, joy Fox. Actually. The funny thing about joy is that joy. We are like family, you know, joy Joyce's brother and his and her mother. We, we know each other so much, actually. Oh wow. My center, the refugee dream center rents out of a church headed by their Mo mother.

Bobby:

Oh, wow. That's so funny. See,

Bento:

that's what happens when you live in Rhode Island? Everybody knows

Omar:

everybody. And, and the brother is, so is a personal friend of mine. So we are like family. I mean, I'm so very nice person joy. I, I don't know Sarah, but we've run into each other a couple of times in this, during the campaign. Yeah. And then David Siegel, I don't know him, but I think I, I remember him now that he's running because he used to be in, in politics

Bobby:

here because yes. Yeah, yeah. He worked, he worked the local.

Omar:

Exactly. That Spencer, I don't know, but I met some of them the first time I listened to all of them. We, of course may not agree on or disagree on certain things. I love all of them. I, this, this is the essence of democracy. Mm-hmm, in Gambia from the bottom of my heart. I compare between these two things. That is why I'm bringing a different perspective. Mm-hmm if it were in Gambia, Voters supporters and joy supporters will be throwing stones and drawing machetes at each other. Geez, this is democracy. We are sitting down, I do phone calls with media. We have pop coffee, we call each other, meet each other join. So meet other day at downtown Providence did not want to shake my hand. No, I'm gonna hug you. I'm not shaking your hand. I said, man, do you know if this, this is the beauty of democracy? I was so grateful. I was gracious. This is for me. This is the essence of it. They're all nice people, but I think that's still so big regulation about that mean we cannot have dark money into our sure.

Bobby:

And, and just to finish up real quick on our electoral system, one of the big things that I always, you know, get into with people is gerrymandering. How do we eliminate this process? And just have an independent, uh, you know, system create district lines.

Omar:

Well, I think gerrymandering is a tool for, uh, interested parties. I mean, even the Democrats do this, not only yeah, of course. Sure. That's just the bottom line. So, but it's,

Bobby:

but it's not right. Either way because they take advantage of minorities. Exactly.

Omar:

So basically one of the things that I think is a threat to democracy is not only attack on the capital. It is also the Supreme court, a small number of people deciding huge things that, I mean, these are equitable checks and balances. I think also gerrymandering people should be having marginalized communities should not be disadvantaged in voting or in, in how they should be represented because somebody gerrymandered where they live. And I suddenly believe election day should be a public holiday. Mm-hmm certain people may have. I, I mean, I, I mean, I'm not now the head of the center, but I walk there and I don't think my wife will fire me for going to vote. right. Many people like me will not have that luxury of time. Right. Sure. To vote and come back. And that is not right. I think election day should be a public holiday in this country and everybody should have access to go and, uh, display the democratic ju I mean, I think that is one of the essence of, of citizenship

Bento:

people will. I never

Bobby:

really sure. I never really thought about that, but you're right. All those hourly workers who can't get that day off,

Omar:

and that is the idea. That's why the Republicans are opposed to it because they know those hourly workers. Wow. And sometimes they're our, the walking class, people of marginalized communities. Right. Not get the luxury of getting out of work to go and, and

Bento:

for right. It's all. And that, that's another good segue answer. The question that I had for you you know, the younger generations are really getting into politics a lot sooner than before, you know, like I'm, I'm almost 42 now. I mean, I didn't cast my first vote. Oh yeah. Good. I didn't cast my first vote vote until, you know, Obama ran for the first time, which was probably, I was 26, you know, so not until my late twenties. But young people still aren't coming out to vote. So how do we get them to, to be into politics, but not just be on Facebook and Instagram and, you know, virtue signaling, how do we get 'em in, in the voting booth?

Omar:

Well, I think for me, I mean, I've been singing three things. I said, I'm running because I want to protect democracy, the American dream and the future. For me, I think this is the future. I want to be a, a mirror to every young American, white, black Democrat, Republican, suburban city dues. Everybody to look at me and say, if this kid who grew up in a village, riding a donkey cart as an ambulance, working for miles barefoot to school, no electricity, no water. I saw television for the first time. When I was 14 years, everything was, I was living like 200 years back, no access to anything, and now be a Congressman in America after 15 years. And after 15 years from refugee to doctor and from refugee to living in a state, founded by a refugee and be a Congressman that is, uh, the spirit of what America, what is possible in America. And that should show them why they should participate in politics. Because if that kid can do it from that village, then you can do actually more, they should participate

Bento:

because yeah, they definitely should. It's it's tough to get. It's tough to get 'em out there though. Yeah, so, so they, they just, you know, we, we need, I don't know if it's a marketing thing we need to do or, or what, but it's just strange, you know, when I know, you know, Biden received the most votes in history of any president, but it's still the amount of people that choose not to vote in this country. It's incredible.

Omar:

Absolutely. I think sometimes people because of the polarizes and people, young people are busy. They, I mean, they go to school, they have their own generation. I mean, it's easy to, to dis to be discouraged about the polarizes in politics. So we need to hear them. Right. I mean, remember when, when, when Obama came, a lot of young people came up, right? I mean, we see sometime I think it's cuz they don't

Bento:

really, I think it's cuz it doesn't affect their lives that much. Right. I mean, that's kind of why I didn't vote at first. You know, it was in my twenties like politics didn't I didn't think view politics as these decisions are gonna affect my future. You know, it's not until I got into my late twenties and my thirties and especially now where I'm really into politics. And I realized that, you know, these decisions that are being made are really gonna affect mine. And my family's

Omar:

future. I mean, look at that 10 year old girl who was almost her life was almost destroyed because she cannot access reproductive health. Mm-hmm how, how the heck do you expect a 10 year old was able to take a decision. Her own. Right. But because politicians took decisions about her life. That's great. So every aspect I tell people, I mean, politics is my life. I mean, it is your life. I mean, there's nothing you can avoid to say, I'm not interested in politics because those decisions are the ones that you become and you know, America, I'm not sure people notice. We usually have one of the lowest voter tos than many countries across the right. Well, yeah, people talk, they will protest us. They will talk. They go to the media talking heads and everybody, they do not vote. Right. Right. Problem. People need to get out and

Bento:

vote. I mean, it's really a privilege when you think about it, if they're so not concerned about it, it's, it's just the way they're raised. And you know, they don't know, they don't know what it's like to be in parallel or to be on the brink of a dictatorship like you were, you know,

Bobby:

I think too, that one of the, one of the big, uh, misconceptions in, in America as well is that the focus is on national and federal elections and things like that. But the concentration on small local government can be your biggest impacters

Omar:

absolutely. I mean, uh, I, I think just look at the, the Roe V Wade situation right now, mm-hmm the Republicans are ecstatic. I mean, they're trying to push for this state level regulations because they know that is what they can use to bully a woman. They don't want federal government to be involved. These states are so impactful. So there are actions that can. Uh, place there. We need to make sure that people are engaged. They participate on issues that matter in their lives. The worst thing that anybody can do young or old is to be a spectator on issues that matter in your life

Bobby:

while, while we're on, while we're on this topic, uh, doctor what can the state and our Congress people do to make sure that our state can remain one that helps women keep that right?

Omar:

Well, absolutely. I think we can, uh, uh, expand, uh, some of the legislation we have that protect, uh, reproductive rights, but also I think we should include, uh, expand and include language that, uh, it has the basis of human rights in, in the, because for me really, that matters the moment you touch one, you cannot have, uh, human women's rights without human rights, and you cannot take women's rights without affecting human. That's the basis of democracy. And I think, uh, another thing that the states can do is to make sure that until, uh, Congress codifies some of these fundamental rights, we should be working with people across the country. We do not have states. We have United States work with people, encourage. To come to this state to seek that service, to get that freedom. Actually, it is also an economic argument. I mean, we'll come to this state. It is welcoming. We have that to offer our biggest sell for tourism would be human rights.

Bobby:

Mm. Yeah, you're right. You're right. It would be like a big B big billboard home get taken care

Bento:

of here. exactly.

Omar:

We cannot just end stop, take care of Rhode Island and stop there because we all, uh, it is the United States of America. I mean, I tell, I, I heard this statement and I, I keep telling people, refugees, especially those who want to move out of Rhode Island. I say, no, please stay. This is beautiful state, you know, it's America, have you been to Walmart? They say, yes. you've been to Walgreens. Right? They say, yes, it's the same thing, you know? Right. You have different, different things to see in different places. Same thing. So state, right.

Bento:

So a hot topic that we have in Rhode Island marijuana legalization you know, it's gonna be legal here and just about a month, uh, September 1st. Uh, but federally, it seems like it's still a really big fight. You know, the house keeps trying to pass legislation and make it illegal. Obviously the Senate keeps denying it. Where do you stand on legalization of marijuana?

Omar:

Well, I think it should be legal. I, I think it should not be some of some things I don't think should be. To the states. Of course, if the federal government does not do their work, I mean, the states take action, but there's still gonna be conflation in action. I mean, what is, what is the guarantee that the feds can, can not arrest somebody

Bento:

right there isn't any, it's just, it's kind of like a, you know, a, a handshake agreement that they're not going to, it's a gray area, right? Yeah. Right.

Omar:

But I mean, look at it from the, uh, needed reforms in the criminal justice system. I mean, how many young people, especially, uh, very young lives who had productive, potentials in their features were languishing in jail because of small reps of marijuana or things. I mean, that are not necessary and, or we are imprisoned or struggling to improve their lives right now because they needed treat. Rather than, uh, being seen as criminals, right? Marijuana was just a way of criminalizing people. If cigarette is not, is not, is not a criminal. Why would marijuana be criminal, especially when marijuana has medicine

Bento:

or right. Well, it's like the alcohol argument, right? I mean, alcohol is so much worse than marijuana and you know, you can go to any party, any bar and just have, have, have as many drinks as you want. Pretty much, you know? Yeah.

Omar:

It is like race. It, it is like, or race it's. These are all socially constructed things. People decide they're construct things like frame it in like a box and say, okay, this one, see it like this. And see the other one like that. I don't drink. I've never drank, taken alcohol in my life, but I know that suddenly marijuana is not worse than alcohol. Sure. And, and, and, and, and suddenly cigarette, I mean, marijuana is not worse than cigarette, but so the bottom line is nobody should be dealing with even questions like this, whether it's criminal or not, one would be criminal. People are stealing money in government. There are so much corruption, right? I mean, people are trampling on women's rights, a 10 year old. I mean, these, there are certain things that we should be brought about and dealing with. If you really want to do anything about marijuana, invest in mental health as a psych. I walk down on broad street in Providence every day. Mm. And I see the dozens of people who are homeless every day. Those are not homeless. They need mental health assistance. Right, right. Housing. And they need support from our government.

Bento:

Right. Did stuff to get mental health, even just someone like me who has a job who has medical insurance, you know, a lot of insurances don't cover mental health still, which is took me. It's

Bobby:

unbelievable. Just took me four months to get, uh, an appointment with a psychologist.

Omar:

You know, you know, the worst part of crazy because it's still playing mental health is still playing second fi mm-hmm cause healthcare, they don't consider many people don't consider healthcare as healthcare. I mean, healthcare means, right. It means the physical part, right. Mental health bone or something side, side thing. Oh,

Bobby:

really? Shouldn't be the case. You know, I was thinking like healthcare is mind, body, soul in my mind, like that's like, I was like, unbelievable. Hippie

Omar:

people need help. People need, right. I, I kind of understand somebody being taken to jail for smoking marijuana or trading it, but people are, are, are homeless. And the government is not doing what they're supposed to be doing. Right. There is so much money in this country. Even if they take money from a Elon mosque. That's that his name? Yeah. Elon MOS. Yeah. Oh, Jeff business digital that can take care of all the homelessness in this entire country. That absolutely the bottom line is we should be focused on mental health and reforming the criminal justice system, the school to prison pipeline and a lot of barrage of things rather than, uh, I think it is so minute that people should not really be, be doing that. We shouldn't be debating about that. Right. Yeah. Right. Especially when women's rights have been attacked. I mean, those are the things. Yeah.

Bento:

Right. Well, it's interesting too, cuz you have you know, the woman in Russia who got jailed for bringing marijuana and you know, the United States is expecting them to release her grinder. Yeah. Britney grinder Griner. Yeah. It's like, do you realize how many people we have in prison in our own country for this same thing and you want them to, to, you know, reverse their law

Bobby:

what, you gotta be a real dummy though, to bring drugs to Russia. Like what are you thinking? He said, said it was a mistake. Oh my God. That's a bad mistake.

Omar:

well, it's in, it's legal in some, in many states. I mean, so yeah. Nobody can easily have some rap in their bag. Don't notice

Bobby:

it. Yeah. Yeah, sure. That's

Omar:

true. It's true. Yeah. Some machines can cut that. So I mean, honestly that, but honest. I agree with both of you. This is a great opportunity. So sorry for that woman, but it's an great opportunity for the us to look inward and say, look, we are asking them to do something and we are still at federal level. We are still Ling about that.

Bento:

Well, least if she gets out, she can say, Hey, have guys marijuana, cuz of me

Omar:

should.

Bobby:

Oh, that's a good idea too. So while, while we're on the topic of, of homelessness in Rhode Island so this is one of the things that, that. I've never really understood. I know that there are cities in America who have literally spent billions of dollars trying to fight homelessness, California. I mean, yep. Specifically San Francisco has spent an obscene amount of money. LA LA has spent a lot of money. I don't know specifically what Rhode Island has done to combat homelessness, but I have to believe that there's a better use of our money and a better way to help these people than what's being done now, because the situation only seems to be getting worse and worse and worse, right. And with no affordable housing and no rental properties, like the, I feel like these people need so much more than what they get now. I mean, I've talked to a couple people and you know, that I've just run into along the way. And they say like, you know, you go to crossroads or, or one of these, you know, homeless shelters and you have to be there at 5:00 PM. Cuz if you're not there 5:00 PM, you're not getting a bed. As soon as the sun's up in the morning, they're kicking you out. When you're actually in these places, people are stealing from each other. Like this is not the right way to treat people with mental illnesses. Like you're pretty much treating them like cattle, like everybody in at night. And then everybody out all day, like that's what you do is sheep.

Omar:

And, and, and believe me, those organizations. I I know them I'm. I mean, I I'm, I'm more familiar with actually Amos house gives us the meals, but they are over strike. They are actually struggling. They are over strike the amount of work they do with minimum resources. I think this needs a longer term fix. So much money came to this state from, with, from, from the chaos act alone. Mm-hmm I'm sure if we make for personal, those are the kinds of things I really want to bother about go to Congress and make a lot of noise about some of this stuff. $1 billion. Actually, I think I made a calculation with some friends there all the time. I think half a billion dollars will solve the entire homeless problem in this state. Everybody will have really permanent homes and everybody will have a permanent home. Everybody in those streets, everybody going to this centers will have a permanent home and they will have potential to be trained and get a job. And how mental health treatment, because the numbers look big, but this is a small step mm-hmm it's tough and big. We don't have more than 2000 homeless people here,

Bento:

right? Yeah, sure. Something like LA it's LA manageable. Yeah.

Omar:

It's not LA. I mean we, but the, the moment we make it look like it's should be persistent or problem, and it is not solvable. Every day. I walk down broad street for the past 15 years. I cannot remember any day, unless I'm not in the state that I don't go down broad street. I see new faces. I literally recognize most of them. Why would we be having new homeless people? And we have so much money because we are doing the same thing. The same way bill have get permanent apartments, empower them, treat. Because there's a lot of mental health issues, treat them and get them into job situations and give them the assistance they need until they're on their faith. But you cannot have people sleep in. And in the morning, I like that, that ship syndrome. You talked about that personal, what I complain about all the time, half a billion dollars will solve all that problem. They are not like thousands of. Right. The rest. I mean, if we are struggling with, with housing stock, people cannot buy homes because the housing stock is enough. There are no rental homes. What do you expect will happen to those sleeping outside? Right? No matter how hot they're outside, no matter how cold they're outside, these are human beings and

Bobby:

right. They don't deserve that these people need help. Right? Exactly. Exactly. They shouldn't, they shouldn't be shunned. They, they need help whether it's mental illness or I, I mean, like I said, I was talking to a gentleman the other day who found himself homeless because he couldn't pay medical bills. Exactly. Like that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Right. That literally him and his family, he had, he had a wife who ended up leaving him. He had two children who went with his wife and now he lives on the streets and still he owes something like $200,000 in medical bills for himself. Right. And he inherited his parents' medical bills. Mm-hmm so like, this dude is, is thousands of dollars in

Bento:

debt, hundreds of

Bobby:

thousands. Yeah. And, and he has no solution in, I felt right. So bad for this man. I don't

Bento:

know what the actual number is, but I know it's over 50%, which is alarming, but you know, over 50% of the people are a couple of paychecks away from being homeless. If they get laid off from their job, or, I mean, like, you know, like the other guy at health condition it's scary. I mean, you know, myself, like I have a pretty good job. I work in tech. If some, for some reason that company went under and I had to go on unemployment. I mean, I I'd be on the street cuz I wouldn't make enough money in unemployment to afford this, afford this place that I live in. You know, my, my wife has an illness. She's not able to work. And it's, it's stressful, you know, to think that in any moment it could all be over everything you.

Omar:

And, and that personal, that's why I always advocate programs like the child tax credits should come. Yes. We should also have with the current inflation level, we should have some sort of gas subsidies or some programs to help people because honestly, the, the, the earning levels are not corate. They are not at the same levels with the spending, uh, needs of people. Right? Right. So we, we, our notion of homelessness also is the people we see in the streets that is not the only thing that homeless means. That is the extreme. That is the visible. Sure. Mm-hmm but a lot of people are bunking. They go from home, one front to the other,

Bobby:

they see yeah. Couch to couch, right.

Omar:

Car. Those are homeless. They, I mean, they're still in a better situation than those battling the weather outside, but still homelessness. Sure. The state and the city can do. I mean, I mean, I think the federal government can invest a lot and personally with the people, my children. They, my two boys, when I'm driving around, I cannot drive without having dollar bills in my wallet because I really, because I keep telling them about homelessness, about poverty in Gambia, and they tell me why, why are you driving? This person is asking for a dollar and you are not giving it to them. So, and I, I feel so bad. I cannot teach them that. I want to teach them that. I mean, what I'm saying. So I have to have a dollar everywhere. I. At least a couple of dollars in my sort of when I pass, I give them at least a dollar. Yeah. Five, I mean something, well,

Bento:

least. Should I

Bobby:

tell you to give 'em twenties? I don't like, I don't like to give him money, to be honest. I, I give 'em water bottles and granola bars, whatever, just food cuz food and water. Cuz cuz at the end of the day, they're always going to need those items. They'll need. Cause like, cuz like the, for the, you know, for the money, I feel like in one sense you could be enabling someone to, you know, propagate a bad habit or something like that. And that makes me too nervous. So that's where I always tell my kids. I got two boys as well. I always tell my kids like hand out food man, hand out food. These guys are always gonna need

Omar:

food. They'll and water here. They'll always need good.

Bobby:

Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, with that in mind too one of the biggest oppositional pieces we hear right from Republicans towards Democrats is we wanna do all these great things. We want these subsidies. We wanna help homeless people. We wanna help everybody. Right. Which is good. We're all humans. And we should, there should be no reason why we can't help everyone in this country. There's more than enough money to go around. But a lot of the opposition will say, well, how do you plan to pay for these things?

Omar:

Well, I mean, I think the question to that is simple. I mean, I, I honestly, I sometimes I, I wonder how some people, uh, process their argument because the bottom line is. How do we pay for all the corporate welfare that we give them? Exactly. I mean, if we can answer that question, then we should be able to answer, because this should be cheaper helping, right. People, the very people that we call Americans that, that are, that we are professing to work for. Right. That we are spending on the military to defend that we are going to Washington to walk, to represent. Those are the people we are talking about. We're not talking about aliens. So we, I mean, I mean, aliens, not in immigrants. right, right. So, I mean, I think, I mean the corporate welfare guys get more money than the, the, the, the walking. Sure. People are slogan. So that's a, for me, that's an easy question to answer. And again,

Bento:

it's about the investment, right? So a rare off the bat to do all these things and all these programs. I mean, it's gonna cost money that that's not, you know, it's not for debate. It's takes a lot of money. We have, we're a big country. We got a lot of people, but in the long run again, you like, once this money gets invested, it's gonna turn back into people, being in the economy and paying income taxes and, you know, and it's, it's so tough to get people to see the long term goal. You know, it's only about the short term always.

Omar:

Yeah. Actually, actually, when COVID hit, just to progress on your point when COVID hit, no one knew that these, all these, uh, money, they were infusing into people's pockets. Right. Help the country long term and long term is right now, we would have been in a recession if it already, already. Yeah, yeah. Already, if it were not for the money that was being pumped into people's pockets during COVID because you see now there are jobs, but people are struggling, but because of the money that was coming into that pockets, they're still able to manage to a certain extent. And the employers are still employing people. You know why we have, yeah, I think that's almost 2%, two something percent here in Rhode Island. Mm-hmm because there is so much demand, right? People had the money, they are demanding. That means the employers need to employ people. They need to produce because there is demand. And that was all because of that long term, uh, long term investment, if that did not happen, I I'm afraid we might have seen a recession by now. Right.

Bento:

But I mean, we're heading into one anyways. So we really just delayed the inevitable,

Bobby:

right.

Omar:

That that's why we need to put those gas subsidies right now, bring back child, child tax credits, and really do something that can really keep us going. What about guys

Bento:

like me though? You know, I don't have a kid I'm just a middle class guy. And honestly, like sometimes I feel like the people who are very, very poor, you know, they get a lot of programs. They get a lot of subsidies, you know, they get help. You know, the people who are really, really rich, they don't need the help. They don't care. You know, when, when, if, you know, Products, good to services go up 10%. They're like, whatever, you know, but for me, I pay my taxes. I work in middle class job. It feels like there's no relief for me. Everything goes up in price. You know, my wage stays relatively the same and there's just no help for guys like

Omar:

us. No. Well, that's why I'm saying I'm proposing this gas, gas subsidies. Cause I mean that one will affect will, will affect everybody whether you are walking class or middle class. Sure. Whether you have, you have kids or not, because currently it's either we having shortage of oil, which I don't believe all the businesses are profiteering out of. Yes.

Bobby:

Right? There's no way we have this big of a shortage of oil. We don't get any oil from over there. Most of our oil comes from Canada and it's produced here. What the Fri are they talking about? Profiting?

Omar:

So I think, I mean, everybody there should be gas. I mean subsidies, I mean, except the, the, the top 1%, but middle class I'm working class Americans should be benefiting from certain bene from certain programs that can give us a relief at the pump. And I think even person an extent the, uh, food prices are expense food. Food is expensive now

Bento:

is root. Oh yeah. Right. Well that all ties into the gas cuz everything that we get is delivered by truck. Yeah. So I mean, we just get that one main thing and I, I wouldn't even be, you know, I wouldn't be opposed to gas subsidies for companies that. You know, have trucking and deliver our goods. I mean, you know, give them subsidies too. They're trying to run a business. So obviously if the gas price goes up every, you know, it's, it's just, it just cascade, everything goes up, you

Omar:

know? Yeah. So those are things, a short term, but long term, do I think the federal government come and invest in green and renewable energy, right? We just cannot continue to depend on fossil force because we know the feature is not fossil force, right? We, whether we like it or not, we must dives in it and invest in green or renewable energy, right. Jobs will be better. They'll be more sustainable and will be protecting the planet and will be having sources of energy when solar potentially that will be more, uh, reliable rather than just depending on fossil for. So I think that's for long term, we must really, really pay attention and see it as a sense of urgency. Right. But for the short term, these kinds of programs like gas subsidies and relieves must come into people's pockets in

Bento:

order. And that's the problem, right, though. Gas is already really expensive. Now it's been expensive for months. So it takes so long to get legislature like that through house, through the Senate, signed by the president. It's by the time those subsidies get put into place, gas will have corrected itself.

Omar:

Well, I mean, I think that's the reason the bottom line is because the people who are there debating and bragging this going forever on and on career politicians some of them are billionaire or millionaire who don't care. I mean, it does not affect them. They don't look at the debit card or the credit card when they buy gas, they don't know how much is even taken. So we need people who know it, who see it. I mean, who leave it to go to Congress. I mean, the, the demo, uh, the governments will reflect the people,

Bobby:

right? Yeah. Yeah. And that's the thing too. Right. I, you know, at this point in our government, it feels like there's less and less of that representation actually going.

Omar:

Well, absolutely. I mean, I mean, that's why the sense of urgency sometimes is not there. I mean, I don't know. Well, I'm not I'm I start to be corrected, but I, I think, uh, a lot of people, especially in the Senate, uh, millionaires, you know, I mean, or probably even billionaires, I'm not sure, sure. They, I mean, they, they may not be that sense of urgency to, to, to, to see. I mean, it may happen at some point, but I, I, not my lifetime

Bento:

yeah, that's a fair doctor.

Bobby:

That's a fair point though. And, and that urgency really is it. Cause, you know, and, and like you were saying about your, your fellow candidates, you know, at the end of the day, I like to think that most of these senators are good people with good intentions and trying to do the right thing, but as time has gone on, we just feel less and less of that as citizens.

Omar:

Right. And, and, and I think one of the reasons is this, this notion of we, uh, you special and different. One of the things I wanted to be on record of is to advocate for time limits because I see reason in why there should be time limits at local level at, at state level. And then at at, at, at white house and except Congress, I mean, how can we have one person be in Congress for 30 something years for decades, we need time limits. If we, if people know there as an enter. Somebody else may come and people are giving the notion to know that, to think and know and believe that they can also be. And that will be to over, that will be change. I mean, that will be change will happen. Change is what engineers progress. Right. Just have the same people doing the same thing over, I think Congress needs time limits and that will also, uh, uh, promote some level of, of change.

Bobby:

Hmm. Yeah. I like, I like that one a lot. That, that, that's a really good point too. Term limits is one of those things. I think that's, you know, often overlooked, right. Because at the end of the day it supports all senators. Right. So, and so, yeah, that's always one of the, really, really the, the biggest tough ones I think. But in terms of term limits, one of the things I also wanted to ask you about was Supreme court. Uh, so thankfully. Recently we had on a, uh, professor he's the Dean of history and social studies at Hillsdale college. His name was Paul Marino. Very nice, man. He is writing a book that's coming out in September about, uh, the history of the Supreme court. It's, uh, bento. Do you remember the name? It's how, how our court, how the court became Supreme, that's it? How the court became Supreme? And so we had him on a, maybe a week or two ago, two weeks ago. And so we were asking him about, you know, the Supreme court and the history of it and how it got to this point. And he really, you know, educated us on the fact that the Supreme court has no authority to enforce laws or handle anything monetarily related. And so as we're hearing this from, from this gentleman, we're sitting here thinking like, okay, so they just ruled on this Roe V. Wade. Does that mean anyone even has to listen to them though, because technically they don't have to write to enforce laws. Wow. And is this, is this a concept you're familiar.

Omar:

That's that's, that's a very quite interesting, but the notion that everybody has of the Supreme court is that their rulings are Biden. Actually, they are law because it's a precedent. Right. So that's a very interesting argument. I would be happy to learn. Yeah.

Bobby:

And so it was very interesting. And the other thing is that you know, he, he was saying that in the beginning mm-hmm, when the Supreme court was first established and then eventually the fourth chief justice with John Marshall, he was the, he was the man who established judicial review. And he did this out of spite against his second cousin, Thomas Jefferson, who, cuz they just didn't like each other. And that's how judicial review came to be. Mm-hmm like, and so like the whole thing, it's just like, it's crazy. And it's crazy to think that they have been elevated to these lifelong appointments. When back in the early 19 hundreds, people were appointed to Supreme court, they went out of there as quick as possible because they felt that governor of your state was a better political position. And so now, now so much has changed and it's just not like that anymore, but nothing has changed about the regulations of the Supreme court. For instance, there's no requirements to be, to become a Supreme court justice. It could literally be anybody. Exactly I could be appointed, which would be insane, but it technically possible.

Omar:

And I, I think, I mean, just, I mean, piggybacking from that, uh, perspective, I think the number is too small. Yeah. We're talking about three arms of government and we have a group of nine people making huge decisions, literally equal to the other arms of government. I think it should be increased. The number should be increased at least the 13 or even more because then you have the opportunity, you have a window to make it more diverse. And because the gov, the country is changing. I mean, the way they think now, The way the country is made up. It is not how it was in the 18 hundreds or in the nine early 19 hundreds. So we cannot just be thinking the same way. We need a very diverse pool of Supreme court judges. And that way then if it reflects the population, then it'll, it'll be easier to be, to adjudicate in a more equitable manner. And I think that is what is missing. I mean, I mean, there have been efforts, uh, some women now, a lot of, I mean, a good number, I mean, but it's still not, uh, what it should look like. Yeah. It's not balance.

Bobby:

Yeah. It's not balanced. And it's funny you say that too, about increasing the size. I know that's, you know, uh, Democrats in general, right. You know, cuz of the position that we're in, well, how do we get outta this position because of their lifelong expenses? Well, if we can increase the number, we can change ruling again. And I know that that's not everybody's favorite position. But one theory I did hear floated was one Supreme court justice per state elected instead of appointed by a state. And I said, oh, that's a lot of judges that could, but there's already that many circuit judges. Yeah.

Omar:

It's almost, yeah, that's true. Literally gonna be the same thing I you right.

Bobby:

And I was like, wow, that's an interest. I forget where I heard that concept, that idea. But I, I said to myself, I said that could actually work. Cuz I like the idea of getting rid of the employ. It right. It should be voted upon. Absolutely. Cause of the importance very

Bento:

important.

Omar:

And the, the, an equal arm of government. And I think, yeah, that, I love that idea of electing. Yeah, absolutely elected, you know,

Bento:

they not appointed. Right. you gotta get, you gonna have to get Bobby on your campaign.

Bobby:

I'm no politician. I'm no politician.

Bento:

Excellent.

Bobby:

If you had the ability to implement any one piece of legislation with zero opposition, what's the most important thing to you that you would want done? First

Omar:

housing? I, I wanna be in any subcommittee or committee that has to do with hard and because, I mean, uh, at while working at Rhode Island housing, I realized how important, uh, hard and, uh, investment in housing is because I was there when they, uh, when we had a 2008 recession. And mm-hmm there was a lot of investment. Uh, one of them was called hardest hit, and, uh, it helped so many road Ireland skipped their. And the money from the federal government, uh, people came, they were supported, prevented foreclosures. That was a time when many families were thrown apart. Oh yeah. So I think uh, I know of CDBG grants that have made tremendous, uh, amount of, uh, uh, difference in the communities that we all live in. And then we are in a time when there is so much homelessness, there is, uh, very, uh, small housing stock. People are struggling with rent. Rent is skyrocketing almost everywhere. Now there is not enough home for people to buy. So I think housing is very integral in, uh, in, in American life because it has to do with mental health. It has to do with, with people living, uh, living and walking and playing, living regular lives. And it, it also it's economic. People building wealth and having that kind of stability to look up to the feature. So legislation on housing is gonna be my fault because it's economics and it brings in resources and stability and sense of feature for members of the district and the state and under country oblig. So that I love

Bobby:

it. I love that's terrific. That's terrific. Dr. BA. Okay. Well, so at the end of all of our shows, we always like to give our guests the opportunity to speak to our audience direct and tell them how they can get in touch with you, how they can donate, how, where they can get in contact with you, where they can learn more about you.

Omar:

Well, thank you so much, Rob and Joe, uh, this has been an, uh, tremendous hour. I'm very grateful and gracious about this opportunity to speak with. Uh, again, I'm Omar, I'm a candidate for Congress for the second district. And, uh, I, you can learn more about us at www dot, uh, bar for congress.com. You can find, find us on social media everywhere, and or you can reach out to us when you go to our website. And you can donate through there too, because I mean, we don't have the millions, but we, people on

Bobby:

support. That's right. That's right. You get, if you get on B for congress.com, you like what you see donate a dollar donate five bucks. Absolutely. The more, the more the merrier, cuz like you said, Dr. BA unfortunately we don't have all the money in the world, like some other folks uh, so yeah. Give, give Dr. Bo some support. Excellent. Thank you so much. Yes. Yeah. Thank

Bento:

you Dr. Bob, we know you're super busy and uh, we've really appreciate your time. This has been, this has been great. It's really refreshing to hear, you know, you upbringing where you came from, what you stand for. And I gotta say, I mean, I, I, I get behind all that, so that was great.

Bobby:

Thank you. Yeah. Best of luck going forward, Dr. BA I think he got my vote, so thank you. all right, man. Have a great evening. You too. Bye. Huh? Hey, what are you doing? Bubba

Bento:

marsh.

Bobby:

Are you at a marshmallow?

Bento:

Well, that's good.

Bobby:

Well, I'll go up and ask mommy. Where's mommy. Well, you should, you're gonna have to go ask her big guy, close my door, please. Cause daddy's gonna do his show in a minute. Okay. I love you. Goodnight.