Michelle Obama’s thesis embargoed until after the election?
posted at 3:56 pm on February 19, 2008 by Allahpundit
Eh, I hate these stories. For one thing, they invite you to treat someone’s college thesis as though it’s a Rosetta Stone (or Rosebud) to their entire mentality. More than that, for it to be relevant you have to believe they haven’t evolved/matured politically at all since college. We went through a round of this with Hillary a year ago to no effect, but at least she was a candidate. Can’t say I’m real jazzed to go looking for gotchas in the would-be First Lady’s youthful pensees. Think the left will extend Cindy McCain’s background the same courtesy?
Slublog dug around on Lexis and came up with something from Newhouse News last year. Sounds like a fairly standard “identity awareness” treatise:
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.”…
Michelle Obama was guided in her choice of thesis topic by a consuming concern that her success might compromise her black identity. As she wrote in her conclusion:
“I wondered whether or not my education at Princeton 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.”…
Michelle Obama’s fears of losing touch with her roots without ever being embraced into the mainstream led her to promise, in her thesis introduction, “to actively utilize my resources to benefit the Black community.”
Not sure why this would warrant embargoing the thesis, unless it’s to deny Billy Jeff another of those smart little Jesse Jackson comparisons he likes to trot out when he feels the white vote isn’t breaking hard enough towards Hillary.
If you want something (marginally) more relevant, this time having to do with the candidate himself, dig in.