Meet Professor Charles Ogletree, another one of Obama’s “mentors”
Posted by danishova on July 30, 2009
Frank Marshall Davis…Rev. Jeremiah Wright…Professor Ogletree. These men form a virtual triumvirate of mentors throughout Obama’s life from Hawaii, to Cambridge, and Chicago. Harvard Law Professor Ogletree happens to be in the news lately because he represents Henry Louis “Skip” Gates. Coincidentally, Ogletree has hosted the Obamas in his home in Martha’s Vineyard, where the contemporary victims of slavery who occupy the White House will be vacationing.
Trevor Loudon of New Zeal does a thorough job of recounting Ogletree’s radical background during the heyday of the Black Panthers and Angela Davis, and as a present day advocate for reparations, here. Free Republic has lots of links, including videos here.
These more subtle items caught my eye for their sheer audacity (Emphasis mine):
1. From a recent interview with Essence Magazine.
ESSENCE.COM: How significant do you think race and gender are with regard to filling this position? Is diversity on the Supreme Court important to you?
OGLETREE: Race and gender are critical to the Supreme Court. We know that because we have a court that’s more than 200 years old, and we have had only two women in that history serve, and only two African-Americans in that history serve. So it’s been an important method of excluding people for centuries. I think President Obama will be mindful of the value of diversity. It has reflected already in that he is the first of 44 presidents to ever select an African-American as the attorney general of the United States. He is the first to select a woman as the solicitor general of the United States. With his nominee for the Supreme Court he has put race and gender forefront by selecting an imminently qualified candidate. And she is successful in spite of the fact that she is a person of color, not because she is a person of color. She’s a brilliant choice who happens to be a Latina, and this reflects the good judgment of President Obama
Ogletree is complaining that African-Americans have been “excluded” from the Supreme Court?? What chutzpah! The fact is that in 1991, Professor Ogletree served as Legal Counsel to Professor Anita Hill during the Senate Confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas, where he actively worked to “exclude” Thomas from the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile he credits Obama for hiring the first black Attorney General (Eric Holder) and female Solicitor General (Elena Kagan), as if their race and gender are their most important qualifications. The implication is that no white male President is capable of “diversity” – i.e., hiring blacks or females to important positions. Hmmmm. Apparently Barack’s appointments are more trailblazing and significant than, say, Condoleeza Rice as George Bush’s Secretary of State (who, not to overstate the obvious, is both black and female).
“Senator Barack Obama’s case is so compelling because as a young man he hardly knew his father. His mother, pregnant as a teenager, had to raise him nearly alone. I think the amount of progress he has made from that beginning is an example of the American Dream, that a person can come from the most challenging of circumstances, overcome the obstacles to success, and use faith, meaningful friendships, and the love of grandparents to rise out of poverty and despair to become the next president of the United States.”
Yes, he (and his wife) are examples of the American Dream [which makes it a wee bit difficult to claim they deserve reparations], but to claim he rose out of “poverty and despair”? Because his parents deserted him he may have very well felt “despair” (although this is not the kind of despair born of poverty that Professor Ogletree alludes to). But his impoverished mother managed to earn a PhD, marry an Indonesian oil executive, send Obama to the elite Punahou School, and send him to live with his grandmother who was a bank vice president. This is hardly the portrait of a family rising out of poverty.
1. From FindLaw, here is a recap of his more “high profile” cases. This in particular is fitting for the mentor of a President trained in the Chicago Way:
Oglethorpe was co-counsel with well-known New York City defense lawyer Gerald Shargel and Long Island defense lawyer Richard Rehbock, getting most of the felony charges against organized crime figure John Gotti, Jr. dismissed, and leading to a plea agreement of 77 months in prison, 3 years supervised release, a $10,000 fine, $336,000 in restitution.
(They say “Oglethorpe” not “Ogletree” but that is clearly an error)
3. Ogletree’s white paper arguing for reparations here.