Thursday, February 21, 2008

Michelle Obamarama Has Begun

What's the deal over Michelle Obama's Princeton Master's Thesis? Why won't she release her thesis . . . a work she should be proud of? I've written two master theses. I don't care who reads them. Oh yes, but I don't have a spouse running for president of the United States. In other words, I don't have something I don't want the public to know until after the presidential election. Now it all makes sense.

Is Michelle's decision not to release her thesis to the public come under the provisions of the Patriot Act? What's she hiding?
On Tuesday February 19, 2008, Jonah Goldberg remarked on National Review Online: "A reader in the know informs me that Michelle Obama's thesis, "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community," is unavailable until November 5, 2008 at the Princeton library. I wonder why."

There are those among Democrats who resent this kind of questioning of a Democratic candidate's wife. However, what they don't resent is that a presidential candidate's wife has contributed a major piece of literature explaining her beliefs and ideas in one of our nation's most prestigious universities, but will not allow the rest of us to see what she has to say. I find that disturbing.

It's amazing how liberals cry for freedom of speech but when self-imposed censorship affects "one of their own", the freedom goes only one way-the freedom to not divulge what could be pertinent information. Perhaps we could get Dan Rather to forge a copy of Mrs. Obama's thesis and release it to the press. Isn't that the media's way of revealing the truth? Just make it up.

To find out what's in Mrs. Obama's thesis I took several steps:

First, I needed to find out Michelle's maiden name to locate the thesis she wrote as a single woman while in college. According to Wikianswers her name is Michelle LaVaughn Robinson. She wrote her Master's thesis in 1985 as a master's candidate in Princeton's Sociology Department.

Next, I had to locate the title of the thesis, which is "Princeton Educated Blacks and the Black Community." The thesis is 96 pages. According to the Princeton University Senior Thesis Full Record, the thesis is not to be released until November 5, 2008. However, you can still order a copy of Michelle's thesis by following one of the links on the page.

Finally, I discovered selected quotes from Michelle's thesis which provided the gist of her thesis. Let me quote from Hot Air:

In her 1985 Princeton senior thesis, “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community,” Michelle LaVaughn Robinson lamented that "white professors and classmates always saw her as 'Black first and a student second.'"

Furthermore, "she had surveyed alumni to see whether they sacrificed their commitment to other blacks on the altar of success, and foresaw for herself an uneasy future(italic's mine): 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.”

Since Mrs. Obama's husband is running for presidential candidate as the first black man ever to be taken seriously (Don't forget Alan Keyes), Mrs. Obama was dead wrong in her view that even though she's an educated black her future will still be "uneasy."

In the same vein, Michelle also lamented in her introduction that regardless of " 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.”

Sorry Michelle, but you did not end up on the peripheral as you projected. Nor has your life given evidence that "you don't belong in white society." Quite the contrary. You are in dead center, equal with the white man and a white woman. Your husband is a full participant in the 2008 presidential race. What a testimony to the greatness of this country! This is Dr. King's dream come true. Advancement to great levels of success based on a person's character and hard work . . . not affirmative action.

Mrs. Obama, let me suggest that your thesis needs serious revising.

Michelle also expressed in her thesis' conclusion whether her education would "affect my identification with the Black community. I hoped that these findings would help me conclude that despite the high degree of identification with Whites as a result of the educational and occupational path that Black Princeton alumni follow, the alumni would still maintain a certain level of identification with the black community. However, these findings do not support this possibility."

Along with wonderful black women like Condoleezza Rice, Mrs. Obama should be proud of her education and see herself as an example to both black and white communities. The goal is not merely to identify with the black community but to lift up her community to demonstrate the freedom to succeed and take part in our society- a freedom any black man or woman has if they apply themselves with hard work and perseverance.

The political platform of Barak Obama must reach further heights than identification with the black community.
In Shelby Steele's book on Obama, A Bound Man, he expresss his concern that Obama's presence as a black man could get in the way of his policies. The worse thing Obama can do is run on the "race ticket" so that no one ever knows what he stands for. He must stand for something more than "I am the first black man to ever run for president."

The question still remains, "Why a restricted thesis?" Is the concern based on what's in the thesis? Will Michelle Obama appear to be too black for white America or not black enough for black America?

My advice, "Be yourself! Don't cater to any one ethnic community. Your husband's aspiration is to end up in the White House. However, in reality it is neither a white nor a black house, but the home of the one man or woman who represents the people of America. . .a house in Washington, D. C. which can never be boiled down to one religion, race, ethnicity or color.

If your husband becomes our next president (and I do not plan to vote for him), I want a man who represents me as an American- not a white person. I want a man who is proud to be an American more than he is proud of being black or white or Catholic or anything else.

When Mr. President is called upon to defend our country against our enemies, they will not care if the man in the Oval Office is white or black. They'll want to know how committed he is to protect and defend the United States of America. This is the person I want in the White House, an individual I can be proud to call the President of the U.S.



The Linden Row said...

Michelle Robinson wrote a thesis 23 years ago which offers unique insight into her internal representation of reality at the time.

Oddly,in her youth, the ostensibly quixotic and hopeful candidate's wife appears to have wished not for the erasure of artifacts of racial division, but rather for the confirmation of a white imposed sense racial alienation and kind of perpetual victim hood. She wrote:

"I hoped that these findings would help me conclude that despite the high degree of identification with whites as a result of the educational and occupational path that black Princeton alumni follow, the alumni would still maintain a certain level of identification with the black community. However, these findings do not support this possibility."

Hints of this mentality echo today in her stump speeches, during which she regularly refers to a conspiracy to deny her husband a fair run at the presidency.

"They" she says "keep changing the rules, redefining what it means to win. They said we couldn't win in Iowa; we won. Then they said well that was only a caucus and it doesn't count..." She goes on to paint a picture of an oppressive establishment majority bent on putting an end to any hope of a candidate like Barack ever winning the "game." "They" are out to keep him down.

Who "they" are is only implicitly defined, but it would certainly lead one to believe "they" are probably not the racial minority, and like Hillary's vast right wing conspiracy, this appears to indicate a sense of persecution independent of any reality.

Don't get me wrong, victim-hood is a seductive self handicapping strategy employed by some fraction of every self-identifying group. ie. The white guy who finds it preferable to believe that didn't get the job because some lesser qualified minority "stole" his spot, rather than face the truth that he in fact was the unqualified applicant.

Self-pity is poisonously comforting, but leads no where. Those in earnest pursuit of hope recognize it for what it is, self-destructive, and move on.

Michelle Obama, intelligent and kind woman that she may be, appears to be holding on to the same brand of "hope" she espoused in her masters thesis 23 years ago. Sadly that is not the kind of hope our great country is in need of now.

Runestone said...

Excellent piece, Louis. It is curious that Michelle Robinson ascribes "conservative values" as "striving for acceptance to prestigious graduate or professional schools or a high paying position in a successful corporation." I thought these were individual traits rather than values. What were her goals prior to matriculating at Princton? Why did she choose Princeton?

Best always LP. Mo says hi.

Hannah said...

Good points. The fact that you were able to access Mrs. Obama's thesis via the internet, in spite of it being banned, is a good testimony to me why the censorship of the internet should also be opposed. Imagine a censorship keeping voters in major media-fed ignorance, with no internet to give us another perspective? Thanks for the thoughtful post.

ThinkerX said...

The Thesis is actually online now.

at Election Geek

Louis Lapides said...

Thanks for your comments. I was able to access a poorly legible copy of Michelle's thesis on the website. It looks like someone copied it and then faxed it. I discovered this online copy only after I sent $29.00 to Mrs. Obama's alma mater to purchase my own copy. I thought it was the right thing.

The gist of this controversy is well stated in the fine response by "the linden row" . . . [Mrs. Obama] "appears to be holding on to the same brand of "hope" she espoused in her masters thesis 23 years ago."

Does she still see the "white oppressive majority" holding her husband back? Has the "white political machine" replaced the "white academic administrative staff" she wrote 23 years ago.

I only want to hear Mrs. Obama acknowledge that the black man and woman live in a different world now. We are no longer living under the distorted thinking of the segregated pre-1960 era. Progress has been made. Victimhood is not the answer. Black leaders should encourage today's black youth to strive for success because "the man" is no longer keeping them down. It should also be acknowledged that though President Kennedy and Johnson helped to pass the Civil Rights bill, it was a Republican legislature that implemented the bill. It's time to stop living with the stereotypical view of Republicans as racists. The democrats do not own any monopoly on freedom for people of color. The record shows that more people of color served in cabinet and administrative positions under George Bush as opposed to Bill Clinton.

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