It’s not like I disagree with President Obama on everything. Just everything he says and believes. (I’m sure, with John Kerry as mediator, Obama and I could agree that the sky is blue.)
As one conservative famously said of one liberal, there he goes again:
Obama called on an assembly of college and university presidents and leaders of nonprofit and other education groups to rally around a goal of widening opportunities for disadvantaged students.
‘‘We still have a long way to go to unlock the doors of higher education to more Americans and especially lower-income Americans,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re going to have to make sure they’re ready to walk through those doors.’’
The event, which attracted more than 100 leaders in higher education, underscored both the power of the presidency to convene influential figures to bring about change as well as the limitations of a second-term president trying to drive sweeping changes in the face of a divided Congress.
The White House has increasingly been seeking ways to bypass Congress, an approach that can bring about results but that doesn’t often have the breadth or the permanence of a law. Obama said his education initiatives are part of an effort to ‘‘make sure there are new ladders of opportunity to the middle class.’’
‘‘I’m working with Congress where I can to accomplish this,’’ he said. ‘‘But I’m also going to take action on my own if Congress is deadlocked.’’
Eager to put the White House’s stature behind the education push, Obama was joined by first lady Michelle Obama, who urged schools to actively reach out to low-income high schoolers to attract them to their campuses and to provide them with help once they decide to pursue a higher education.
Both the president and the first lady spoke in personal terms, saying they had benefited from a national commitment to expand opportunities for young people that led them to attend elite universities. Obama graduated from Columbia University and his wife from Princeton University, and both graduated from Harvard Law School.
‘‘The truth is that if Princeton hadn’t found my brother as a basketball recruit, and if I hadn’t seen that he could succeed on a campus like that, it never would have occurred to me to apply to that school — never,’’ Mrs. Obama said. ‘‘And I know that there are so many kids out there just like me — kids who have a world of potential, but maybe their parents never went to college or maybe they’ve never been encouraged to believe they could succeed there.’’
Which she hated, from the sound of things:
When I first arrived at school, I didn’t know anyone on right buildings. [Sic] I didn’t even bring the right size sheets for my dorm room bed. I didn’t realize those beds were so long. So I was a little overwhelmed and a little isolated. But then I had an opportunity to participate in a three-week on campus orientation program that helped me get the feel for the rhythm of college life.
And once school started I discovered the campus cultural center, the Third World Center, where I found students and staff who came from families and communities that were similar to my own.
I first heard this on Rush yesterday, and my reaction was similar to his: what did she have in common with the third world? And who doesn’t arrive at college overwhelmed and isolated?
And without her own BMW?
“I remember being shocked,” she says, “by college students who drove BMWs. I didn’t even know parents who drove BMWs.”
Neither did I. But my dorm sheets fit.
Technically, she doesn’t come right out and say she hated Princeton, but she comes pretty close:
“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 underwhich I interact with whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be black first and a student second.”
Wait a minute. Didn’t we just learn that she was saved by the Third World Center, frequented by “families and communities that were similar to [her] own”? It’s nothing to me how “black” she felt or when, but she admits to feeling plenty black from the get-go.
She went on:
“Predominately white universities like Princeton are socially and academically designed to cater to the needs of the white students comprising the bulk of their enrollments.”
To illustrate the latter statement, she pointed out that Princeton (at the time) had only five black tenured professors on its faculty, and its “Afro-American studies” program “is one of the smallest and most understaffed departments in the university.” In addition, she said only one major university-recognized group on campus was “designed specifically for the intellectual and social interests of blacks and other third world students.” (Her findings also stressed that Princeton was “infamous for being racially the most conservative of the Ivy League universities.”)
Give her credit: she stepped out of that cesspool of white privilege into that bastion of diversity, Harvard Law School. As Barack did from Columbia. Which only puzzles me further about the point of this conference. Aren’t the President and the First Lady iron-clad proof of “unlocked doors” and “ladders of opportunity”? Even pot-heads and malcontents can win big in America.
And what role does government have to play in the admission practices of private institutions? It can (and has) outlawed discrimination (except for reverse-discrimination, affirmative action); it can (and has) provided funding for poorer students. The Obamas can’t seriously believe any of what they’re saying.
No, there’s a subtext here that needs airing. Young people and academia are largely leftist, and they need each other to remain so. If young people had to work from age 21, they’d learn much earlier that the facts of life are conservative. If academia didn’t have a steady supply of young dolts willing to take on ruinous debt to major in Transgender Studies, they’d go out of business. In either case, Democrats would suffer. Which is why the gangsta in the White House and his moll opened their fat yaps.