Michelle Obama and Victimhood
Not many people have the opportunity to go to Princeton. Michelle Obama did, from 1981 to 1985. While she was there, she and her classmate, Toni Townes-Whitley (a senior vice president of CGI Federal, the company who got the no-bid contract for the Obamacare website design) belonged to the Organization of Black Unity and Third World Center. During that time, as members of those organizations, they engaged in a confrontation with Jewish students on campus, when they invited a PLO leader who advocated for terrorism,.Hassan Rahman, to appear on campus.
Obama and Toni Townes-Whitley, are now both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.
Race and perceived racism was uppermost in her mind when she wrote her senior thesis. It centered around the idea that a black Princeton alumnus might only be allowed to remain ‘on the periphery”:
“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 under which I interact with whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be black first and a student second.”
In this context it is not difficult to understand why an unusually tall woman might perceive racism when asked to reach something for a shorter white woman on a shelf at Target. It also explains why a black man in a tux at a black tie dinner might perceive racism when asked to get a cup of coffee for a white man. If you have a preconceived idea that you are a victim of racism, it wouldn’t be difficult to find instances of racism everywhere.
Given that narrative, what explains Valerie Jarrett mistaking a Four Star General, in full dress uniform, then Vice-Chief of Staff of the Army, Peter Chiarelli for a waiter?
In 2011, at a dinner hosted by the Alfalfa Club, as the general walked by Valerie Jarrett’s table, she signaled to him that she wanted another glass of wine.
“I’d like another glass of wine,” she reportedly said. Instead of perceiving the request as an insult or slight, the general simply went up and got her a glass of wine, came back, handed it to her and took his seat at his table.
Mrs. Obama’s perception of race and of the United States is well known from her public statements about her lack of pride in her native country prior to her husband being nominated for the office of president. In a speech in Wisconsin during the campaign she said: “for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.”
Although the campaign tried to explain away her comments, it was pretty clear to everyone what she was talking about.
Perception to Michelle Obama in her experience at Target and probably many other such experiences have fed into her narrative that she is a victim of racism. Fortunately the Four Star General had no such preconceived ideas.
Oh, woe is she. In an “exclusive” interview with People magazine this week, first lady Michelle Obama lamented the “sting” of “racist experiences” that she and her husband allegedly still suffer. My message for America’s Marie Antoinette? Cry me a river.
To show how she’s down with The Struggle of post-Ferguson agitators, Mrs. Obama cited a supposedly horrifying incident at a Target store where she was treated, in her paranoid mind, as a subservient. “Even as the first lady,” she bemoaned, “not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf.”
A lowly peon asked her for an innocent favor? It’s Jim Crow all over again! ABC News reports that Mrs. Obama said such “incidents are ‘the regular course of life’ for African-Americans and a ‘challenge’ for the country to overcome.”
Newsflash: Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe that it is part of the “regular course of life” of tall people of all colors (Mrs. Obama is 5-foot-11) to be prevailed upon to reach high on behalf of those of us who are vertically challenged. These are not odious “incidents” of racism between slaves and masters. They’re matters of common courtesy between equals.