In graduation speech, Michelle Obama perpetuates myth of underprivileged childhood
Posted by danishova on May 16, 2009
The A.P. reports:
MERCED, Calif. – First lady Michelle Obama praised graduating students at California’s smallest, youngest public university for their determination to succeed, urging them to give back to their communities.[snip]
"Many of you may be considering leaving town with your diploma in hand, and it wouldn’t be unreasonable," Mrs. Obama said before a crowd of 12,000 wilting in the afternoon sun. "By using what you’ve learned here you can shorten the path perhaps for kids who may not see a path at all. I was once one of those kids."
Clothed in a long black robe and academic regalia, Mrs. Obama spoke of her own drive to get ahead despite tough odds, recounting the challenges her working-class family faced on Chicago’s South Side.
Was she born with a silver spoon? No. Was she impoverished? Not in the least. As the Daily Mail recounted during the campaign:
Instead of the one-room tenement that now appears in most accounts of her upbringing, we found a well-kept neighbourhood of red-brick Arts and Craft-style houses which have long been home to respectable black families.
"Michelle was from a middle-class family," confirmed one of her long-time friends, Angela Acree.
"She came from a regular family. They had a nice home. It wasn’t a mansion, but it was just fine. It was a decent neighbourhood."[snip]
No one could pretend they were rich and it is true that her father, Frasier Robinson, spent some time as a maintenance worker for Chicago’s Department of Water Management.
However, he was a good deal more than the labourer that many seem to imagine.
Indeed, according to family friends, Michelle’s father was a volunteer organiser for the city’s Democratic Party, a by-word for machine politics in America, and his loyalty was rewarded with a well-paid engineering job at Chicago’s water plant. Even before overtime, he earned $42,686 – 25 per cent more than High School teachers at the time.
Michelle Obama’s childhood home:
1. Michelle Malkin zeroes in on the Obama’s do as I say, not as I do record with “giving back” here.
2. Nia-Malika Henderson of Politico makes this fatuous claim on behalf of Ms. Obama:
She also recalled her own youth growing up in the shadow of the University of Chicago, and then becoming with her brother the first members of their immediate family to earn college degrees, and then joining the staff at the U of Chicago and opening up the doors to others from the city’s South Side.
I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean – is it that without Saint Michelle the Trailblazer opening doors, her South Side neighbors would never have gone on to college? Never have gotten jobs? Or does it refer to her $317,000 a year job at the University of Chicago (made possible by a generous $1 million earmark of taxpayer funds by her then Senator husband) where many argue that Ms. Obama actually closed the doors to the poor who were seeking access to its medical center?
The University of Chicago Medical Center has halted its controversial Urban Health Initiative program, created and emplaced by hospital employees Michelle Obama, Eric Whitaker, Susan Sher, and James Madara, among others. They had implemented a scheme to “redirect” only poor (Medicaid) and uninsured Chicago South Siders (but not affluent patients carrying “good” health insurance) with supposedly less serious health complaints away from the hospital’s emergency department to some 20 local “community doctors, nurses, community health centers and hospitals,” for four reasons described below.
3. In this 2008 letter, fellow black Illinoisan and Professor of Sociology, Anne Wortham, writes that the Obamas are leading us to the “road to serfdom” by rejecting the “tender reed of capitalism” and argues that in order to feel joy over Obama’s election…:
I would have to believe that "fairness" is equivalent of justice. I would have to believe that man who asks me to "go forward in a new spirit of service, in a new service of sacrifice" is speaking in my interest. I would have to accept the premise of a man that economic prosperity comes from the "bottom up," and who arrogantly believes that he can will it into existence by the use of government force. I would have to admire a man who thinks the standard of living of the masses can be improved by destroying the most productive and the generators of wealth.
4. Lynn Sweetof the Chicago Sun-Times selects some text which leaves my jaw slack:
"I was once one of those kids. Most of you were once one of those kids," and then told the students how she grew up just a few miles from the University of Chicago.
"Yet that university never played a meaningful role in my academic development. The institution made no effort to reach out to me — a bright and promising student in their midst — and I had no reason to believe there was a place for me there.
"Therefore, when it came time for me to apply to college, I never … considered the university in my own backyard as a viable option."
They didn’t supplicate themselves at her queenly feet and boy is she resentful, but she had no problem taking a job with the U of Chicago Medical Center, which went on to pay her $315,000 a year.