Marquette Warrior: Michelle Obama at Princeton: Huge Racial Chip on Her Shoulder

Monday, July 21, 2008

Michelle Obama at Princeton: Huge Racial Chip on Her Shoulder

We didn’t see this when it first broke, but better late than never.

From, an account of Michelle Obama’s senior thesis at Princeton.
Michelle Obama’s senior year thesis at Princeton University, obtained from the campaign by Politico, shows a document written by a young woman grappling with a society in which a black Princeton alumnus might only be allowed to remain “on the periphery.” Read the full thesis here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

“My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my ‘blackness’ than ever before,” the future Mrs. Obama wrote in her thesis introduction. “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.”
Of course, on a campus that practices rather rigorous affirmative action, it’s hard for white students to forget that you are on campus because you are black, not because (like the white students) you met all the qualifications.

Even if a particular black student was as good, academically, as white applicants who got in, white students will not know this about the particular student, and thus the stigma applies.

But just who is to blame if somebody like Michelle Obama is viewed as “black first and a student second.” Consider the following:
The 1985 thesis provides a trove of Michelle Obama’s thoughts as a young woman, with many of the paper’s statements describing the student’s world as seen through a race-based prism.

“In defining the concept of identification or the ability to identify with the black community,” the Princeton student wrote, “I based my definition on the premise that there is a distinctive black culture very different from white culture.” Other thesis statements specifically pointed to what was seen by the future Mrs. Obama as racially insensitive practices in a university system populated with mostly Caucasian educators and students: “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.”

To illustrate the latter statement, she pointed out that Princeton (at the time) had only five black tenured professors on its faculty, and its “Afro-American studies” program “is one of the smallest and most understaffed departments in the university.” In addition, she said only one major university-recognized group on campus was “designed specifically for the intellectual and social interests of blacks and other third world students.” (Her findings also stressed that Princeton was “infamous for being racially the most conservative of the Ivy League universities.”)
In short, she is constantly playing the race card, constantly pleading victimization and constantly attacking Princeton for having too few black professors and a too-small Afro-American studies program.

Of course blacks who do that are going to be viewed as “black first and a student second.”

Can anybody possibly view Jesse Jackson as “a man first and a black second?”

The notion that the Princeton curriculum slighted “the intellectual and social interests of blacks and other third world students” is, in fact, condescending.

Generations of affluent, academically outstanding white students -- destined for success in later life -- have majored in math, history, English, political science, physics or one or another foreign language. Leaving aside for a moment the fact that most of these disciplines have been tripping over themselves to include more “multi-cultural” and “diverse” (read politically correct) material, are blacks somehow not intellectually capable of handling the courses that white students have?

Actually, given the prevalence of affirmative action, that’s too often true. But ghettoizing black students into inferior victim studies courses -- courses that are widely recognized as inferior, even if few people are sufficiently politically incorrect to say so -- is not a way of respecting and intellectually nurturing them.

It’s a way of pandering to politically correct elements on campus and getting them off your back.

Of course, Michelle’s attitudes are not necessarily the same as her husband’s.

But when we look for any evidence that Barack, before his very recent strategy of appearing to be “post racial” in order to appeal to white voters, was anything other than the standard race hustler, we come up with essentially nothing.

So we have to ask the obvious question: is Obama just Jesse Jackson with a shrewder plan for getting white votes?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. See what 40 years of grievance/victim culture and the Great Society has to show for itself. Michelle Obama is pathetic. Simply pathetic. No other word could describe her better. Liberal America has told blacks that they are being held down by the man for decades. Michelle Obama bought it hook line and sinker. Did you know her Brother is the basketball coach at Brown??
If Michelle Obama carries such baggage, what do you think those who live in inner cities believe??
It's sickening.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't she have gotten someone to check it for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors? This is a SENIOR THESIS. Sheesh.

12:29 AM  

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