Michael Gaynor
February 23, 2008
What's Princeton concealing for Michelle Obama?
By Michael Gaynor

Whichever, there's little doubt that the void in Michelle left by a lack of pride in America and gratitude for affirmative action was filled by suspicion of whites not nearly as justified as her faith in the black bloc vote going to a young black man instead of a much more mature and experienced white woman whose ex-President husband had been called America's first black President by Maya Angelou, a black female icon of the civil rights movement.

Princeton University made the former Michelle Robinson's senior sociology thesis, titled 'Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community,' unavailable to the public until after Election Day 2008.

If it simply reflected well on its author, would it be being kept from public view?

Surely not.

With (1) The New York Times publishing a scurrilous hit piece, based solely on anonymous sources, on presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, (2) The Washington Post and other newspapers NOT even telling their readers that the former Michelle Robinson, now 44-year old First Lady hopeful Michelle Obama, had solemnly said that she had never been really proud of the nation of which she wants to be First Lady until she noticed that her rookie United States Senator Barack Hussein Obama's presidential campaign was being favorably received and (3) Newsweek doing a laudatory cover story on Michelle with the title "Barack's Rock" and an implicit (but not completely fulfilled) cover promise to reveal "The Real Michelle Obama," people should demand that Princeton lift the embargo on Michelle's thesis (instead of the embargo on Castro's Cuba, regardless of which Castro brother is the dictator down there).

Candid Michelle: "I'm a statistical oddity. Black girl, brought up on the South Side of Chicago. Was I supposed to go to Princeton? No ... They said maybe Harvard Law was too much for me to reach for."

Due to affirmative action, Michelle went to both elite educational institutions.

According to Newsweek, "The Real Michelle Obama" was quite pleased to be an affirmative action beneficiary, but perturbed by her perception of white classmates at those institutions.

Newsweek: "At Harvard, she felt the same racial divide [she felt at Princeton]. Verna Williams and Michelle became friends in their first year of law school. She remembers many of their fellow black students worrying that white classmates viewed them as charity cases. But she suggests Michelle was not among them. 'She recognized that she had been privileged by affirmative action and she was very comfortable with that,' Williams recalls."

Michelle seems to be into revisionist history.

Newsweek: "Michelle recalls things differently. A campaign spokeswoman says she had an edge getting into Princeton not because of affirmative action, but because her older brother was there as a scholar athlete. She was a 'legacy,' just like any other applicant with family ties to Princeton."

Who do you believe Verna or Michelle?

Whichever, there's little doubt that the void in Michelle left by a lack of pride in America and gratitude for affirmative action was filled by suspicion of whites not nearly as justified as her faith in the black bloc vote going to a young black man instead of a much more mature and experienced whitw woman whose ex-President husband had been called America's first black President by Maya Angelou, a black female icon of the civil rights movement.

Newsweek: "One senior adviser, who asked for anonymity talking about a private meeting, recalls fretting to Michelle early on that Obama's support among Southern black voters wasn't picking up quickly enough. Michelle told him to relax. 'Don't worry,' she said. 'It will be just like [Obama's Senate campaign in] Illinois. The numbers will all move our way.' As it turned out, she was right."

Newsweek on young Michelle: "She did well in school (she skipped second grade), but she was not at the top of her class. She didn't get the attention of the school's college counselors, who helped the brightest students find spots at prestigious universities.... Some of her teachers told her she didn't have the grades or test scores to make it to the Ivies. But she applied to Princeton and was accepted."

Reality: If Michelle's ancestors had come from Asia instead of Africa, she probably would not have been admitted to Princeton, no matter how good a basketball player her brother was.

Yet Newsweek accepted the notion that the Princeton that admitted Michelle was hostile to her: "Overwhelmingly white and privileged, Princeton was not an easy place for a young black woman from the inner city. There weren't formal racial barriers and black students weren't officially excluded. But many of the white students couldn't hide that they regarded their African-American classmates as affirmative-action recipients who didn't really deserve to be there. Angela Acree, a close friend who attended Princeton with Michelle, says the university didn't help dispel that idea."

Even Princeton's special efforts to acclimate minority students were perceived by Michelle as insulting: "Black and Hispanic students were invited to attend special classes a few weeks before the beginning of freshman semester, which the school said were intended to help kids who might need assistance adjusting to Princeton's campus. [Michelle's friend] Acree couldn't see why. She had come from an East Coast prep school; Michelle had earned good grades in Chicago. 'We weren't sure whether they thought we needed an extra start or they just said, "Let's bring all the black kids together."'"

White students reportedly slighted Michelle:

"Acree, Michelle and another black student... became inseparable companions. The three of them talked often about the racial divide on campus especially how white students they knew from class would pass them on the green and pretend not to see them. 'It was, like, here comes a black kid,' says Acree. The black students tended to hang out together at the Third World Center, a social club on campus, while the white party scene revolved around Princeton's eating clubs.

"Michelle felt the tension acutely enough that she made it the subject of her senior sociology thesis, titled 'Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community.' The paper is now under lock and key, but according to the Chicago Sun-Times, Michelle wrote that Princeton 'made me far more aware of my "blackness" than ever before.' She wrote that she felt like a visitor on the supposedly open-minded campus.'Regardless of the circumstances under which I interact with Whites at Princeton,' she wrote, 'it often seems as if, to them, I will always be Black first and a student second.' (Today, Michelle says, not quite convincingly, that she can't remember what was in her thesis.)"

But Princeton, which is supposed to be about the pursuit of knowledge, is hiding that thesis until after Election Day 2008!

© Michael Gaynor

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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