April 11, 2008

Michelle Obama: I Can Only Be Who I Can Be


At Princeton, Michelle (LaVaughn Robinson) Obama wrote a senior thesis entitled “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community.” Here are some excerpts from her thesis:

“Predominately white universities like Princeton are socially and academically designed to cater to the needs of the white students comprising the bulk of their enrollments.”

“[My Princeton experiences] “will likely lead to my further integration and/or assimilation into a White cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant.”

“I have found that at Princeton, no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don’t belong. Regardless of the circumstances under which I interact with whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be black first and a student second.”

“In defining the concept of identification or the ability to identify with the black community … I based my definition on the premise that there is a distinctive black culture very different from white culture.”

Well, of course, there is, Mrs. Obama. That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. The two cultures ARE distinctively different-- just as the poor, working class in our society is distinctively different from the class of the elite--or at least that is according to Senator Obama:

“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

That's a statement he made Friday in San Francisco, speaking of small-town America. Read more about that here.

Here's another excerpt from Mrs. Obama's thesis:

"Earlier in my college career, there was no doubt in my mind that as a member of the Black community I was somehow obligated to this community and would utilize all of my present and future resources to benefit this community first and foremost.”

And in an interview in Newsweek when asked about possibly becoming First Lady, she said:

"I think I can only be who I can be in this role. And that's going to come with all the pluses and minuses and baggage and insecurities and all the things that I'll bring into it, plus my hopes and dreams along with it.

So, what I am wondering is what can we expect from Senator Obama as President, and Michelle Obama as First Lady?

Who are they, really? What are their true values--and will they be for all the people,or only select groups of people? What are those hopes and dreams, exactly, and what kind of changes do they have in mind?

I don't know, but the more informed I become, the more discomfort I feel.

11 comments:

Americaneocon said...

I think the minuses are going to outweigh the pluses!!

I'm not looking forward to an Obama administration, but four year's with Michelle's liable to kill me! God forbid.

P.S. I read portions of her thesis a while back. Is she ever confused, or at least let's hope that's all it is.

The Frank Family said...

We cling to our guns and our religion because we cling to, love, honor, treasure, appreciate, and would fight tooth and nail for OUR FREEDOM!!!

Richard said...

Folks,
This was a thesis written decades ago; not an outline of her and her husband's intent for the country today. As an idealistic young woman she wanted to do all she could for those she saw as having been disenfranchised. A number of things written in the intensity of my youth, and the time I was in, I would not support now.
As for the Senator's comments on guns, religion, and bitterness in small towns, there was context to those remarks in which he talked about how small town America has lost jobs that have never come back, been passed over by repeated administrations, been ignored and that, as a result, many in small town America feel bitterness towards their gov't; and, well, you know the rest which was taken out of context and will be repeated with increasing fervor to turn folks against the candidate who seems most willing to help.

Jan said...

Donald..confused is an understatement!

I can think of a few other words which would more adequately describe her thinking.

The thought of the two of them in the White House leaves me with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach!

Jan said...

Jason..which is something that he will never understand!

Jan said...

Richard..I've hob-nobbed with a few elitest, and I know one when I see one.

Richard said...

I can't say that I've done that, but I don't think anyone gets to this level in national and world politics without being part of an elite group. All the candidates have multiple homes, have net worths in excess of $100 million, share common educational backgrounds [private schools, the best universities, academies], and live in great comfort. The richest of the three is the McCains with 8 homes and condos and $100 million net worth. The least of the three is the Obamas with 2 homes [that I could find] and net worth around $5 million[I'm making a best guess]. The staff people of all the candidates are a cross section of the richest, most educated, and most influential folks in the country. They are all elitists to one degree or another. I think I understand that you think the Obamas see themselves as more elite than others and more deserving of power....I think.
We differ on this ......

Jan said...

"I think I understand that you think the Obamas see themselves as more elite than others and more deserving of power....I think."

Richard..no, I think of the Obamas as seeing themselves as being the only solution to all the world's ills.

Whether they deserve the privilieges they've received is a horse of a different color.

The Frank Family said...

richard -- what Michelle Obama wrote in that thesis is not as disturbing because of the content but more because of the attitude and mindset that is the basis for her values and her choices. I heard the entire context of what Barack said and what he said was indicative of his views on religion and guns and on the resilience of us "country folk." In his thinking the clinging to guns or religion or to hating other people is the natural "middle-of-the-country-dweller" response to losing their jobs instead of believing that they value a "when the going gets tough the tough gets going" attitude that far better describes our values. It's the same elitist attitude that leads to TV pundits being surprised at the result of elections and polls from states in the mid-west because they think that the world of politics lies only on the coasts. When we face difficulty we don't turn to guns and religion but rather it is our prevailing love for freedom and our having a foundation in "religious" values that pushes us to survive and to make not only a way on our own, without the help of the federal government, but to also care for and help the people around us at work or church or in our own towns. Also the reason that illegal immigrant workers are noticed and despised is that we not only know they took one of our jobs but we know exactly who's job they took. We know that the young Smith boy lost his job to an illegal for instance or that Mr. Turner was laid-off after 25 years of work while the lower paid illegal kept their hours. The problem is not near as much WHAT is said as the heart and bias that is revealed by what they said.

Jan said...

Jason..I really like what you said here: 'what Michelle Obama wrote in that thesis is not as disturbing because of the content but more because of the attitude and mindset that is the basis for her values and her choices"

That about sums that up, perfectly.

You get it.

Jan said...

*That would be "elitists"..

And they're easy to spot! :)