Sunday, May 4, 2008

Let's not pile on Michelle Obama

It was suggested that I comment on Michelle Obama's college thesis. There is an email circulating that has some fairly inflammatory comments ascribed to her.

I read (so you don't have to, though it's not bad writing for an undergraduate) her undergraduate thesis from Princeton entitled "Princeton Educated Blacks and the Black Community." There is nothing remarkable about her thesis. She was doing an analysis of the affect that being black at Princeton might have as you relate to the Black community. The quotes cited in the email do exist but they are pulled wholly out of context. The most outrageous quote is "...Blacks must join in solidarity to combat a White oppressor." The context is important, she is referring to the Black Power Movement of the 1970's and the entire quote is; "It is possible that Black individuals chose to or felt pressured to come together with other Blacks on campus because of the belief that Blacks must join in solidarity to combat a White oppressor." She goes on to state that the situation (in 1985) is different and Black students are more integrated into campus life.

She clearly identifies with the "Black" community in preference to the "White" community, but who can blame her for that. She was a minority student at an Ivy League University.

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