2008 February 19 Tuesday
Michelle Obama: Proud American For The Very First Time

Honesty from others is helpful for understanding the world around you. Does Michelle Obama see America in such a negative light because she's black or a leftist or a multiculturalist or what? Barack's wife speaking in Milwaukee Wisconsin:

"What we've learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It is making a comeback and let me tell you something, for the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment. I've seen people who are hungry to be unified around some basic common issues, and it's made me proud. And I feel privileged to be a part of even witnessing this, traveling around states all over this country and being reminded that there is more that unites us than divides us..."

The above comment suggests that Michelle's attitude hasn't changed much since her Princeton undergrad years.

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.”

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: “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.”…

As Michelle Obama wrote in her thesis introduction, “My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my ‘Blackness’ than ever before. 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.”…

Want a really big chip-on-her-shoulder First Lady who resents white Americans? You are well on your way to getting one.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 February 19 09:04 PM  Politics Identity


Comments
Norski said at February 19, 2008 10:36 PM:

Thanks for pointing out the Princeton connection.

I agree: there's a strong feeling of undergrad pc idealism in that 'for the first time' remark by Obama's (what are we supposed to say these days? Wife? Significant other? I lost track, back in the eighties).

It's possible that the clarification / spin put on that crack by the Obama campaign is accurate. People do, on occasion, think one thing and say something else.

However, the 'unproud of America' attitude is so standard-issue for members of America's better sort, that it's hard to assume that M. O.'s remark meant anything other than what it seemed to mean.

As for me, I'm glad that my ancestors came over to America, where (eventually) those "Irish need not apply" signs disappeared. If this country can get used to treating Micks like ordinary citizens, it can do almost anything!

JSBolton said at February 20, 2008 5:15 AM:

I'mexpecting minority riots this summer, on the theory of the Revolution of Rising Expectations.
The effrontery of hope for the ill-gotten is being ruthlessly promoted by major media, but it may easily blow up in their faces with riots. We're seeing minorities more
likely to cut in line, and fearful small merchants cowering before them.
Obama would be analagous to the effect of Martin Luther King. This is what they mean by Hope
in that context: the revolution of rising expectations, the liking for freedom-for-aggression, malice and power-greed such as would delight in riotous
destruction.

Buckaroo said at February 20, 2008 5:16 AM:

Barry O and his scary wife clearly have "issues". Now, we all have hobgoblins we struggle with but most of us do not expect to be made leaders of The Free World (TM) in order to be made whole. And yet it seems that anything short of that will simply not do for Mrs. O.
This ought to provide enough material for McCain to, er, work with. Whether he can do it adroitly enough is another matter.

BTW, Norski, the "Irish need not apply" story as it exists in the popular consciousness is greatly exaggerated. There were very few such signs or ads in existence, at least in the US (England may have been another matter). You can read all about it in the following sociology paper by Richard Jensen. Check out especially footnote number 18.
http://tigger.uic.edu/~rjensen/no-irish.htm

Anon said at February 20, 2008 6:58 AM:

JSBolton,
I expect riots as well, maybe not this summer, but certainly after the election. If Obama loses, blacks will riot because they will feel cheated. If he wins, blacks will riot because they feel they can get away wtih it and celebrate a bit(I am reminded of what happens when certain NBA teams win the championship). I just don't trust blacks to behave themselves. There is plenty of evidence that backs this up: LA riots, Katrina, Cincinnati, Crown Heights and plenty of other stuff that doesn't make the news.
I live in the NY metro area and I can certainly say that I have seen an increase in some really unpleasant behavior. I'm not the only one who has noticed either. I have some misguided liberal friends who have noticed the same, but they won't or maybe can't understand what it is all about. I think that this time white people should be prepared for the possibility of some really nasty violence and the inability/unwillingness of the authorities to actually do anything to stamp it out(as it would be racist to shoot looters). And yes, under "preparations" I include firearms.

Audacious Epigone said at February 20, 2008 11:05 AM:

So a Princeton-educated woman (who got into the Ivy via affirmative action ahead of some unknown who was more qualified) living in a multi-million dollar home, named one of the 25 most inspiring women in the world by Essence magazine, married to a Senator who may become one of the youngest Presidents in American history--says she's been ashamed of her country for more than four decades. That isn't something likely to go far in 'unifying the red states and the blue states'. Realizing she'd overstepped, Michelle then covered herself by insinuating that the shame was shared by the farmer in Iowa, too.

But as things continue to come out about her, she looks more and more like a self-aware black woman who strongly resents the white power structure. IMDb reports that the first movie she went to see with Barack was Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, a film that climaxes when white police officers suffocate a black man who is upset over an Italian-American's refusal to honor black athletes in his restaurant. The two met while employed as the only two black lawyers at the law firm of Sidley and Austin in Chicago.

Newsweek reports (in an article that, perhaps fittingly, begins its caption with "She's the one who keeps him real...") that her undergraduate thesis entitled "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community" is sealed from public record. Her racial discomfort regarding her Princeton educational experience is not insignificant to her, either--she has made mention of it to other major media outlets as well.

In the run-up to the Iowa caucuses, when Barack was trailing nationally among blacks, Michelle responded to an inquiry as to why he was behind:

First of all, I think that that's not going to hold. I'm completely confident: black America will wake up, and get it. But what we're dealing with in the black community is just the natural fear of possibility.

When I look at my life, the stuff that we're seeing in these polls has played out my whole life, always been told by somebody that I'm not ready, that I can't do something, my scores weren't high enough.

There's always that doubt in the back of the minds of people of color. People who've been oppressed and haven't been given real opportunities [like herself, presumably?!]. That you never really believe. That you believe that somehow, someone is better than you. You know, deep down inside, you doubt whether you can do it, because that's all you've been told, is "no, wait."

That's all you hear, and you hear it from people who love you. Not because they don't care about you, but bcause they're afraid. They're afraid that something might happen.

Indeed, black America did "get it". She could've easily offered a more politically palatable answer that wouldn't insinuate Barack should be the de jure choice for American blacks.

Personally, her candidness is appreciated. I'm hardly a fan of politically correct conformity. But this woman could be the next First Lady. That she seems to harbor such a deep grudge against white America on behalf of the black community is a little unsettling in light of the fact that she may be living in the White House in a year.

Ron Guhname, in a post on black attractiveness in which he noted Michelle was the most African-looking among several black female celebrities, remarks:

Evidently, Barry wanted to prove he was black enough when he chose Michelle.
Ron may have only been half-serious, but I do wonder if Barack's obsession over his blackness factored into his choice of a marriage partner. He may have put that internal struggle to rest, but there's much that indicates Michelle has not.

Dragon Horse said at February 20, 2008 6:57 PM:

Michelle Obama never said she was "ashamed" of her country.

She said it was the first time in her adult life she was "REALLY" proud of her country. Not being "really proud" does not equal "ashamed" that is a little more than bias interpretation.

I'm quite sure there are more than a few white Americans who feel that way as well. Do any of you think the average person in the average urban area is really "patriotic"? Do you think they wake up feeling "pride"?

Come on. Start the draft again and see how fast the current generation dodges it and makes the Vietnam baby boomers look like ultra right wing fascists in comparison.

Blacks rioting. It is said as if most of the 40 million blacks in America riot on a routine basis.

In the L.A. (Rodney King) riot how many blacks in the L.A. metro area actually rioted? Does someone have evidence that even 5% of them were involved in riots? Being the average black person is middle class, and about 21-25% live in poverty do you imagine some typical black white collar service worker is going to be out rioting? Please.

Audacious Epigone why don't you calculate the probability that most blacks will riot. We speak of "black neighborhoods" but do most black Americans live in "black neighborhoods" in 2008? NOPE. It is like me saying Irish people in South Boston (Southies) have a high crime rate as if those Southies somehow are representative of the majority of Irish Americans, or the majority of Irish Americans live in South Boston or some similar neighborhood. Obviously not.

As far as "ndeed, black America did "get it". She could've easily offered a more politically palatable answer that wouldn't insinuate Barack should be the de jure choice for American blacks."

Yes, just as Hillary plays the gender card every time she can (and Barack has never in a debate or a stump speech said "oh it would be historic to be the first black president and you should vote for me). Hillary has made such statements, in two debates I say, and I have seen her surrogates on Hardball and other MSM TV shows saying the exact same thing...even saying their base is Hispanics and working class women and Hillary speaks for them.

Imagine if Obama said something like that about males and blacks.

Reality is that most blacks support Hillary, even after Iowa and that did not change until HIll-Bill-y tried to play the race card and do some neo-Southern Strategy down in South Carolina. Blacks are used to "coded language" and were not stupid. There strategy backfired as whites outside the South did not seem to go along with it and accept racial polarization. Ted Kennedy and some other politicians got offended (on that and some other things) and started giving Obama "face" (in the form of backing which made him seem legitimate).

Hillary did this to herself. No black leaders rallied blacks to support Obama, in fact most black leaders stayed silent or actively promoted Hillary in South Carolina. Hillary had black NY and Cali congressmen and women flying out to South Carolina to try to influence the black vote.

"deep grudge against white America"

How are you defining "deep" and why are you trying to polarize things by saying "oh see it is her vs us", these things are not that simple. I seriously doubt she walks around resentful of all white people in America and you have no proof to back that up. Its kind of like if I feel I got passed over for a promotion due to sex or race and I come home and say to my wife "those white guys at the office...blah blah" I have some deep seated hatred for all white male. That is ridiculous hyperbole. I'm sure that is what you would like so you can make excuses to drum up some type of Charlie Manson Helter Skelter nonsense but life is not black and white as for minorities these issues are complex. I am willing to bet good money that over half of the Obama's closest friends are white. Fact is in this country, outside of academia, the more educated you are and the more successful you are the more whites you will find yourself surrounded by so you learn to walk in two worlds and take the good people as they come. You don't need to know about that, you can call that "majority privilege" and count yourself lucky of the phenotype you were born with.

In any case get used to saying President Barack Hussein Obama. I won't be rioting either I will just come to this site and remind you. :-)

I've been black all my life, a little over 30 years and I have lived in 5 states and 3 different nations and I have never experienced or witnessed a black riot anywhere near where I've lived, that includes Washington D.C. metro area, Chicago, Western Ohio, San Diego, Southern Coastal Virginia.


Dragon Horse said at February 20, 2008 7:22 PM:

"Ron Guhname, in a post on black attractiveness in which he noted Michelle was the most African-looking among several black female celebrities, remarks:

Evidently, Barry wanted to prove he was black enough when he chose Michelle.

Ron may have only been half-serious, but I do wonder if Barack's obsession over his blackness factored into his choice of a marriage partner. He may have put that internal struggle to rest, but there's much that indicates Michelle has not."


oh yeah, this was unnecessary. Should he have married a white woman like his mother? Wow, I would like to hear the discussion on these boards then? I would love to see how strong that white male vote would be then...hell to be honest the black woman vote as well. Although he is half white, being married to a white female (or an Asian, but especially a white woman) would make things more problematic. I discussion from Audacious Epigone would be "oh see he is rejecting his "blackness" and he is "uncomfortable with black people due to his white genes making him smarter than the average black person" and some other racist babble. Oh if she was blond it would be 10X more. Have you ever thought he married her because they had things in common.

My wife is East Asia and I didn't marry her because she was Asian. In fact, if you asked me 10 years ago who I would imagine marrying it would be a woman like Halle Berry (biracial or not). I doubt you are married so I'm not going to get into a conversation you haven't reached a stage in your life to fully understand (and that you can't quantify).

I guess those Swiss guys in Zurich I kept seeing a couple of years ago with black African women were self hating or uncomfortable with their "whiteness". Maybe they felt strange growing up in a country that is overwhelmingly white nad it made them self consciouness due to all the "normal" multiculturalism they see on TV. LOL

Bob Badour said at February 20, 2008 7:33 PM:

I was really proud of the United States of America in the days and weeks following 9/11 watching the way the nation came together and how many people sacrificed so much to search the debris for survivors etc. And I am not even American.

If that didn't make her feel really proud, Michelle Obama is an ignorant, racist cunt who has no place in American public life and who is a disgrace to her nation. Shame on her!

Once again, Dragon Horse, I stopped reading after the second paragraph of your first post. If you made references in either of the posts, I suggest you learn how to format a-tag with hrefs like in Audacious Epigone's comments. I see large blocks of plain texts and I move on after the first thing that turns me off.

Stephen said at February 20, 2008 9:10 PM:

Dragon Horse said: "She said it was the first time in her adult life she was "REALLY" proud of her country. Not being "really proud" does not equal "ashamed" that is a little more than bias interpretation.

Just what I was thinking.

Stephen said at February 20, 2008 9:16 PM:

Bob Badour said: "If that didn't make her feel really proud, Michelle Obama is an ignorant, racist cunt who has no place in American public life and who is a disgrace to her nation. Shame on her!"

I've never felt ashamed of the contributors here, but today I feel really ashamed.

Have you taken your tablets this morning Bob?

Audacious Epigone said at February 21, 2008 12:50 AM:

DH,

Who are you directing your comments at? It's hard to follow. I didn't say anything about blacks rioting, and a summation of the things she's said is what makes me presume she, like many 'whiterpeople', are ashamed of the US.

You think a couple of lines from Bill Clinton swung the national black vote from moderately supporting Hillary to overwhelmingly supporting Obama? Then why did Obama beat Hillary among blacks in Nevada 83%-14% a week before South Carolina? Why did she only garner 30% of the black vote in Michigan a few days before that when Obama wasn't even on the ballot (68% of blacks were 'uncommitted'--essentially a vote for Obama--while only 31% of whites were)? Awareness of Obama's candidacy (and belief in its viability) was the issue. As Obama's support among blacks rapidly rose once the primaries got under way, it first skyrocketed among the most educated and affluent blacks and then spread on 'down' the SES ladder, just as would be expected.

tommy said at February 21, 2008 1:15 AM:
She said it was the first time in her adult life she was "REALLY" proud of her country. Not being "really proud" does not equal "ashamed" that is a little more than bias interpretation.

I took the word "really" to be a synonym for "actually." In any event, she doesn't seem especially proud of her country regardless of whatever semantic hairs you wish to split.

tommy said at February 21, 2008 1:19 AM:
oh yeah, this was unnecessary. Should he have married a white woman like his mother?

You want to split hairs about whether or not the opposite of "really" proud is ashamed, but you figure the only alternative to really black women is white women. Dragon Horse, get a clue.

Bob Badour said at February 21, 2008 1:34 PM:

Stephen,

I am sorry. In my anger, I was rash. If I could, I would edit my comment to read: "...who has no legitimate place in American public life..."

William Mauro said at February 29, 2008 5:36 PM:

Michelle Obama was wrong with what she said moreover how she said it. That said, I’m also discussed with some of what I read here. First anyone who thinks every group that came to this country had an easy time assimilating your totally mistaken. The only reason any of those groups got anywhere was through hard work and perseverance. The only reason your parents were able to move into a new neighborhood was because they looked like everyone else.
Most of the writers here have not convinced me of much except that Mrs. Obama may have a point. I’m sure most will agree, this is a great nation. Problem is I believe in your heads you are saying “Ya’ for me but not so much for “them”. Whoever “them” happens to be for you.
As for Dragon horse, well said. I’ve been a white American for 67 years. I was brought up to believe this is the land of the free and home of the brave. Sadly the older I get the more it becomes clear, that it is free if you’re a WASP and brave if it is someone else’s son or daughter.

Hadathotwunce said at February 29, 2008 9:42 PM:

Whoa! Pretty high level of discussion here!

Michelle was at Princeton at a point in time when her observations were in sync with the subjective reaity of the time. Just because she may be suffering from intellectual whiplash in terms of being the First Lady doesn't mean Barack couldn't do a great job.

That said - although I voted for him in the primary, I'm voting for McCain in November.

gary smith said at June 14, 2008 4:28 PM:

keep these two monkey's out of the white house,both Obama's are phony,unattractive piece's of shit.I am a democrat who will vote for John Mccain

TypicalWhitePerson said at November 30, 2008 11:45 AM:

Stephen wrote: "Bob Badour said: "If that didn't make her feel really proud, Michelle Obama is an ignorant, racist cunt who has no place in American public life and who is a disgrace to her nation. Shame on her!"

I've never felt ashamed of the contributors here, but today I feel really ashamed.

Have you taken your tablets this morning Bob?"

Stephen, whether Bob took his tablets this morning may not be clear, but what is clear is that you had your KoolAid. I agree with Bob wholeheartedly. If Her Mightiness Michelle was not proud after 9/11 or ANY OTHER TIME in her whole adult life, which includes getting into colleges where her grades weren't good enough, living in a multi-million dollar mansion, living a life of luxury and complaining about it every day, it is 100% accurate to say that Michelle is an ignorant, racist cunt and she really has no legitimate place in American public life. She is an embarrassment to America, and mankind in general.

Because of Michelle, and Americans' willingness to elect a Marxist solely to feel good about having a black president, for the first time in my entire life, I am NOT proud of my country. I am actually exploring ways to get out of here, and believe many people are planning to do the same.

If you whiny lib's want to ruin this country, I'm all for letting you have it. When all the people who are willing to work leave, good luck finding people's wealth to "spread around."


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