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View Full Version : Michelle's 1985 Thesis Paper Under Scrutiny



britni
03-02-2008, 09:51 PM
:rolleyes:

Read here (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0208/8642.html)

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 underwhich I interact with whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be black first and a student second."

The thesis, titled "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community" and written under her maiden name, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, in 1985, has been the subject of much conjecture on the blogosphere and elsewhere in recent weeks, as it has been "temporarily withdrawn" from Princeton's library until after this year's presidential election in November. Some of the material has been written about previously, however, including a story last year in the Newark Star Ledger.

Obama writes that the path she chose by attending Princeton would likely lead to her "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."

During a presidential contest in which the term "transparency" has been frequently bandied about, candidates have buried a number of potentially revealing documents and papers. In Hillary Rodham Clinton's case, there's been a clamoring for tax records, White House memos and other material the candidate's team has chosen to keep from release. The 96-page Princeton thesis, restricted from release by the school's Mudd Library, has also been the subject of recent scrutiny.

Earlier this week, commentator Jonah Goldberg remarked on National Review Online, "A reader in the know informs me that Michelle Obama's thesis ... is unavailable until Nov. 5, 2008, at the Princeton library. I wonder why."

"Why a restricted thesis?" asked blogger-pastor Louis Lapides on his site Thinking Outside the Blog. "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?"

Attempts to retrieve the document through Princeton proved unsuccessful, with school librarians having been pestered so much for access to the thesis that they have resorted to reading from a script when callers inquire about it. Media officers at the prestigious university were similarly unhelpful, claiming it is "not unusual" for a thesis to be restricted and refusing to discuss "the academic work of alumni."

The Obama campaign, however, quickly responded to a request for the thesis by Politico. The thesis offers several fascinating insights into the mind of Michelle Obama, who has been a passionate advocate of her husband's presidential aspirations and who has made several controvesial statements, including this week's remark, "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country." That comment has fueled debate on countless blogs, radio talk shows and cable news for days on end, causing her to explain the statement in greater detail.

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.")

Perhaps one of the most germane subjects approached in the thesis is a section in which she conveyed views about political relations between black and white communities. She quotes the work of sociologists James Conyers and Walter Wallace, who discussed "integration of black official(s) into various aspects of politics" and notes "problems which face these black officials who must persuade the white community that they are above issues of race and that they are representing all people and not just black people," as opposed to creating "two separate social structures."

To research her thesis, the future Mrs. Obama sent an 18-question survey to a sampling of 400 black Princeton graduates, requesting the respondents define the amount of time and "comfort" level spent interacting with blacks and whites before they attended the school, as well as during and after their University years. Other questions dealt with their individual religious beliefs, living arrangements, careers, role models, economic status, and thoughts about lower class blacks. In addition, those surveyed were asked to choose whether they were more in line with a "separationist and/or pluralist" viewpoint or an "integrationist and/or assimilationist" ideology.

Just under 90 alums responded to the questionnaires (for a response rate of approximately 22 percent) and the conclusions were not what she expected. "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."
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*click the link to read her thesis*

Don't see the problem here. Of course, the right-wing clowns will jump all over this and use it against Barack--remember the "fallout" over his church?

Haven't there been nationally published studies on the subject she wrote about in her thesis? There are black students at Ivy League or predominantly-white institutions who could write their own books about their experiences at such schools TODAY in 2008.

They are going to have a hell of a time finding dirt on Barack and Michelle if they have to go back dang near 30 years to do so. Next, they'll be looking at Sasha's coloring books to see if she colors people with brown or peach crayons to try and prove some sort of 'pro-black' bias. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Scribetastic
03-03-2008, 02:22 AM
:huh: :rolleyes: :lol:

No much else to say to them digging up her thesis from 198 friggin' 5

curlycoilyfroily
03-03-2008, 04:12 AM
I'm going to read the entire thing later (when I'm not trying to get dressed for work :P), but I'm sure it is not only academically sound but solid truth, and you know they can't handle that. If ever we talk about having to fight for acceptance in their world and suggest that they have something to do with us remaining on the periphery, to use Michelle's terminology, they go up in arms. So many things I want to say about this attempt to dumb down and transform First Lady's thesis into fodder for mudslingers, but I fear my thoughts are too radical and wee bit offensive. I shall censor myself until later.

^_^

missladee622
03-03-2008, 05:00 AM
They are really grasping at straws aren't they?

anabwi
03-03-2008, 05:02 AM
I'm tellin' y'all, if Obama hires a black White House chef, that's going to be scrutinized and vilified too.

GalaxyGirl2012
03-03-2008, 05:09 AM
:huh: :rolleyes: :lol:

No much else to say to them digging up her thesis from 198 friggin' 5
[/b]
ya know??? didn't someone dig up some paper that obama wrote from the 3rd grade? :lol:

with all the dirt diggers on billary's and GOP payroll this is all they can come up with? :lol:
they need to just give it up unless they really wanna look for that waitress at perkin's that obama didn't leave a tip for back in 1981 :rolleyes:

gigglezk
03-03-2008, 05:20 AM
I can't wait for them to pull out their ultrasound pictures and suggest Barack has been plotting since the womb. "Its been reported that Barack has been striving for the presidency since conception. You can clearly see in this ultrasound photo that he is hard at work drafting his plan to help overthrow the U.S."

ashrob123
03-03-2008, 05:22 AM
Wow, I wonder how I can put this into words that truly express how I feel about this:








Big Deal











And as an alum of a predominantly white University the parts that I have read seem spot on.

However, her response rate sucked. Surprised they let her publish it.

I'm sure there will be drama around that soon. :lol:

missladee622
03-03-2008, 05:36 AM
I can't wait for them to pull out their ultrasound pictures and suggest Barack has been plotting since the womb. "Its been reported that Barack has been striving for the presidency since conception. You can clearly see in this ultrasound photo that he is hard at work drafting his plan to help overthrow the U.S."
[/b]

:lol:
I wouldn't put it past them.

CoCo2000
03-03-2008, 07:01 AM
...I'm sure it is not only academically sound but solid truth, and you know they can't handle that. If ever we talk about having to fight for acceptance in their world and suggest that they have something to do with us remaining on the periphery, to use Michelle's terminology, they go up in arms.[/b]
Girl, as I read this thing, I was planning to type that line from that old Tom Cruise movie (which I've never seen, but I know the line): "You can't handle the truth!"

In regards to white America, this point is proven yet again.....

Reflection Journey
03-03-2008, 07:15 AM
How can you be Scrutiny by your own experience? That's how she felt and what she dealt with so, what the big deal? Just trying to throw voters eyes off the prize. They really are afraid.

jmh0131
03-03-2008, 07:30 AM
There are a group of 18-23 who will be voting in this election, and possibly voting for Obama at that, who weren't even alive when Michelle wrote that dang paper and ain't nobody bringing up the fact that Hilary was probably tokin' reefer with Bill during that same time (I'm just speculating here, folks). Its just ridiculous the kind of stuff that black people come under scrutiny for; you're either accused of being a sellout/assimilationist or you're just too damn black.

Next thing you know, they'll be raiding the girls' toy box, tryin to see if they black, white, or mexican BRATZ dolls, and what percentage of each; 40% black 30%white 20% mexican and 10% other = OBAMA WINS THE ELECTION!



I'm tellin' y'all, if Obama hires a black White House chef, that's going to be scrutinized and vilified too.
[/b]
Tell, me about it. I guess they'll have to cross of fried chicken and watermelon off of the menu.

Lovelocks
03-03-2008, 07:36 AM
She did nothing but write the truth. It's a little sad that they don't have the imagination and ingenuity to come up with something better than this. :icon_headshake:

swingbolder
03-03-2008, 07:40 AM
I really think the GOP is about to find out that they can no longer depend on the majority of Americans to be openly racist enough to support the bag of tricks they plan to use.
[/b]

This is my husband's theory as well. He thinks we've really turned a corner on this whole race thing. I hope you all are right.

Beautifully Human
03-03-2008, 08:15 AM
She did nothing but write the truth. It's a little sad that they don't have the imagination and ingenuity to come up with something better than this. :icon_headshake:
[/b]

Exactly.

At least if you're going to attempt a smear campaign make it juicy :rolleyes:

Quick somebody call the FBI! Michelle wrote a paper in 1985 about feeling like an outsider in a predominantly white educational institution.

Kiss my **** feeble minded mofo&#39;s <_<

pisces33
03-03-2008, 08:32 AM
:rolleyes: Dirt-digging at it&#39;s best! <_<

GalaxyGirl2012
03-03-2008, 09:38 AM
Exactly.

At least if you&#39;re going to attempt a smear campaign make it juicy :rolleyes:

[/b]
for real. the larry sinclair thing must be really incredibly overtly false or else you know GOP and clintons would be all over that

LBellatrix
03-03-2008, 10:43 AM
They are going to have a hell of a time finding dirt on Barack and Michelle if they have to go back dang near 30 years to do so. Next, they&#39;ll be looking at Sasha&#39;s coloring books to see if she colors people with brown or peach crayons to try and prove some sort of &#39;pro-black&#39; bias. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
[/b]

:lol:

I don&#39;t have time to read the thesis right now but seriously...this is why a textbook African-American (descended from slaves) can&#39;t become president unless they and everyone they&#39;re in contact with is sipping the same flavor of "ignore American race history and legacy" Kool-Aid.

Barack obviously should have known better than to marry an educated, intelligent, and opinionated textbook African-American. I&#39;m guessing it&#39;s probably too late for him to get a younger version of Cindy McCain.

:rolleyes: <-- this really isn&#39;t doing it justice

napturallyme
03-03-2008, 04:20 PM
How pathetic of them to dig up this.


Anyway, I&#39;m feeling what Michelle wrote. I :wub: her. Her life has not been the same as these white privileged people so it&#39;s totally understandable what she wrote. But as usual, some white folks won&#39;t get that and label her militant or unpatriotic.

curlycoilyfroily
03-03-2008, 05:35 PM
:rolleyes: <-- this really isn&#39;t doing it justice
[/b]

How about http://www.acuarios-marinos.com/forum/images/smiles/bleh.gif ?

mahsoul1
03-04-2008, 03:11 PM
She did nothing but write the truth. It&#39;s a little sad that they don&#39;t have the imagination and ingenuity to come up with something better than this. :icon_headshake:
[/b]

Exactly. The snippets I read are the basics....Makes me admire her but then Im not the target demographic that this thesis is supposed to "scare" either.

PrincessDrRe
03-04-2008, 04:19 PM
....They are going to have a hell of a time finding dirt on Barack and Michelle if they have to go back dang near 30 years to do so. Next, they&#39;ll be looking at Sasha&#39;s coloring books to see if she colors people with brown or peach crayons to try and prove some sort of &#39;pro-black&#39; bias. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
[/b]


I can&#39;t wait for them to pull out their ultrasound pictures and suggest Barack has been plotting since the womb. "Its been reported that Barack has been striving for the presidency since conception. You can clearly see in this ultrasound photo that he is hard at work drafting his plan to help overthrow the U.S."
[/b]
:pointlaugh:

...but you know what&#39;s sad....this may be exactly what happens.....

browneyez06
03-04-2008, 04:53 PM
I can&#39;t wait for them to pull out their ultrasound pictures and suggest Barack has been plotting since the womb. "Its been reported that Barack has been striving for the presidency since conception. You can clearly see in this ultrasound photo that he is hard at work drafting his plan to help overthrow the U.S."
[/b]

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

honeybunch2k5
03-05-2008, 12:29 PM
How can you be Scrutiny by your own experience? That&#39;s how she felt and what she dealt with so, what the big deal? Just trying to throw voters eyes off the prize. They really are afraid.
[/b]
I don&#39;t get it either. *scratches head and looks :huh: *