Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segregated Dorm

Cross-posted at DailyKos under my real name.

There has been much ado about Michelle Obama's college thesis in which she described feeling like an outsider at Princeton -- a black person first, a student second. I understand how she could have felt that way, especially twenty five years ago. After reading a poignant article about Michelle Obama's first college roommate, I have new insight into the environment that made her feel like a second class student during her college years.

More after the fold...

When Michelle Obama's roommate, born and raised in the South, arrived at Princeton, she was shocked to find herself assigned to share a dorm with a black student. So shocked, in fact, that she called her mother to help her implore the school to move her into another dorm.

The girl's mother was also shocked and angry. She called the grandmother who suggested the situation was serious enough to warrant pulling the girl out of Princeton altogether.

This was a girl raised by a struggling single mother and against all odds was able to attend Princeton, and her own family felt that she should forgo an ivy league education rather than be subjected to rooming with a black student. I cannot fathom this level of prejudice, but this the account told by the roommate and her family.

When told about the dorm assignment, her mother "stormed down to the campus housing office and demanding Donnelly be moved":

I was horrified...

I told them we weren't used to living with black people -- Catherine is from the South. They probably thought I was crazy.

Growing up, Michelle Obama's roommate was taught not just that blacks were inferior but also that they should be feared:

Her mother and grandmother filled her head with racist stereotypes, portraying African-Americans as prone to crime, uneducated and, at times, people to be feared.

[Her grandmother], 71, explains that she was raised to think that way. She recalls hearing her grandfather, a sheriff in the North Carolina mountains, brag about running black visitors out of the county before nightfall. And Brown's parents held on to the n-word like a family heirloom.

As I read the story, I came to a paragraph that talked about the grandmother's feelings today. She says that now she believes it is fine for blacks and whites to room together. She has grown and shed her prejudice, and it makes me smile. Then I read further and feel like I've been kicked in the gut:

Where I draw the line is interracial marriage. That I can't quite deal with.

She goes on to describe her feelings towards blacks today, saying:

African-Americans don't take enough responsibility. Bill Cosby says the same thing. Get off your rear end and work hard and improve yourself.

I cannot imagine what that must have been like, what it must be like for black Americans. Sure, I sympathize, I have the picture in my mind, but that feeling deep down -- I'm not sure that I can really know what that's like without walking in those shoes. It pains me deep in my soul just to know it, to think about it.

The roommate goes on to describe a quasi-segregation at Princeton in those days:

Donnelly was surprised to find something familiar - segregation - alive and well on a prestigious campus in the Northeast. The university's private eating clubs, host to frat-style parties, were largely white. The social scene for many minority students, including Obama, revolved around an activity building called the Third World Center.

What struck me about the article was the gradations by which each generation's view of blacks changed. The grandmother still holds the most prejudices. The mother says that blacks are "resentful" but says she understands why they are. The daughter, Michelle Obama's roommate says that she laments missed opportunities to make black friends.

The mother realizes now the irony of what happened so many years ago:

We thought this is so ironic. [Obama] could be the first lady, and here we wanted to get my child out of her influence.

Obama's roommate says that Obama likely never knew about the "behind the scenes maneuvering."Yeah right. Does she seriously think that you can live with another person 24/7 and not know that they are prejudiced against you? Does she think Michelle Obama could not see it in her eyes?

By the second semester, Michelle Obama's roommate was able to move to another room.

Tags: 2008, first lady, Michelle Obama, president, Primaries, racism, segregation (all tags)




But let's stick to the approved talking point that Michelle Obama is an unreasonably angry America-hater who has nothing whatsoever to complain about. There's a primary going on which her husband is winning, please don't get in the way of the simplistic campaign rhetoric.

by MBNYC 2008-04-15 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting.

but...but...but... Black Folks are not allowed to be angry, or say that people are 'bitter,' or suggest the America is not a bastion of 'lily white' so-to-speak purity.

by CardBoard 2008-04-15 06:29AM | 0 recs

The only acceptable posture for black Americans - especially if your husband is whopping the candidate whose turn has come - is joyful gratitude.

But don't worry about the bitter part: I now know, thanks to Hillary, that we white folks aren't allowed to be bitter either :-)

by MBNYC 2008-04-15 06:43AM | 0 recs
When I was 14, a Baptist kid

refused to sleep near me at an pallet party, because I was a Jew.  This kind of stuff happened a lot in our small southern town.

I didn't start screaming that I hate America, because for every idiot like that there were 20 others who could care less what my religious affiliation is.

There is hardly a single non-wasp who hasn't been hit with prejudice.

If this is true, I'm sorry for Michelle, but this room mate was a very rare exception at an Ivy League University.

A few years ago, I was at a conference, and the black attendees clotted together, and refused to have anything to do with the rest of us, even though we tried to befriend them.

There's no conspiracy.  There are just jerks and open minded people.

by internetstar 2008-04-15 10:37AM | 0 recs
Ugly situation..

Bluntly, when you go through enough situations like that, they leave scars. Anyone who doesn't realize that is an idiot or being purposefully blind.

On the other hand, we do our best to get over them and we don't bring them up over and over again in public if we don't want to relive them and worse.


I don't think these issues are part of the campaign. Obviously Michelle Obama is a smart woman. I actually think she is much less phony than her husband, you have to give her credit for that one.


by architek 2008-04-15 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Ugly situation..

How can it come as such a big surprise that some black americans are angry? How horrible? I have an old friend, with an Irish last name, who is a psychiatrist and a Catholic. When he was living in some town for his residency he went to the local church where he was the only black person. He'd filled out a newcomer card, and the priest announced there was a new parishioner and said his name. After that the priest introduced him and he had to see the faces fall as the congregation realized that the black fellow in the church was the new guy. He felt humiliated, yet he took it on the chin, and went on.  One wonders why there is high blood pressure in african americans but not in africans. It's damn scary to be with people who might turn on you.  The other things is that affirmative action led many white students to believe that they had higher test scores than the black students, like it was some kind of given. when you're the first, it's always the hardest, but with racism against blacks it's harder than hard, it's frightening and humiliating.  on the other hand Michele's husband is running for president and she needs to be inclusive, needs to try to understand that not all white people are racist, and we're not all isolated and fearful of those who are different, we don't all have broken souls that need healing. This country is far less racist, and not every slight is a racist one.  But that's not easy to compute when most of your life you'd seen racism on people's faces. It surely would be a good thing for this country to have a black president.

And yet, I'm for Hillary, and not only because it's good to get a girl president too. She's worked for this job, she's prepared herself, and she's got a government in waiting, ready to start working on her first day in office, and she'll work.  There are places to redress wrongs, but not electing someone with little experience and it seems little common sense. Her husband should have tried to win my vote, by treating all his opponents with the same respect he wants us to all show Michele, and he hasn't done that, he's taken advantage of the sexism in this country to drive down her positives, and he's set up a very divisive contest, with no small aid from the media.  This contest should have been great fun, a black guy, a girl, with different governing styles and different priorities. Instead it's about hate. Oh, well, yet another chance passed by forever.  

by anna shane 2008-04-15 05:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Ugly situation..

Great comment. thanks.

by ghost 2 2008-04-15 09:22PM | 0 recs
American-born blacks with hypertension

often see a lot of medical conditions due to that hypertension. Those medical conditions would make them not 'normal' under Obama's definition and they will pay much more under Obama healthcare plan than well people. They wil pay much more under Obama's pan than under Hillary for uncovered services. Why, because Obamas more 'affordable' plans save money by not covering things. Like Bush, he expects people to use the money they have saved to buy medical savings accounts, TO COVER THE UNPLANNED EXTRA COSTS. But many people will never be able to afford the worst of the costs, even if they take that $500 they have saved a month and put it in pretax form into their MSA.

Why? Because Obama's healthcare philosophy is designed for well people. Sick people will still be subject to job discrimination because their employers will face huge price increases for having even one sick person on staff. And if they seek insurance on their own, they will still be subject to high,unaffordable prices.

See Obama's healthcare plan where he explains that, if you insist I'm wrong.

by architek 2008-04-16 06:06AM | 0 recs
Re: American-born blacks with hypertension

Since you're making the statement, why don't you provide the link where you're getting that information from? And why are you putting this in a diary about Michelle Obama?

by upstate girl 2008-04-16 06:08AM | 0 recs
That was good

We all need to stop seeing other people as 'things' and not as people.

Thats where this needs to go. If we could put ourselves in the other person's position, mentally, for a while, we would see a lot.

Role playing...

I have been trying to figure out how to do that with health insurance to show the difference between Obama's plan (sick people could end up oweing huge amounts that are not covered by their plans) and Hillary's plan (would give even sick people peace of mind that the uncovered costs would not be huge)

But its not easy..

by architek 2008-04-16 05:55AM | 0 recs
Re: When I was 14, a Baptist kid

Yeah, the framework of society has nothing to do with anything. Culture, history, politics - these are all distractions from the true evil in society - those few bad apples that ruin it for the rest of us. Is that what you are saying? There is no racism or sexism or classism embedded in our society - just a bunch of people acting like jerks, completely uninfluenced by external forces?

by LandStander 2008-04-15 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: anyone notice that 90% +

This was not the case for much of the primary season. Please stop repeating false talking points in an effort to drum up some kind of reverse-racism aspect.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 01:23PM | 0 recs
Re: anyone notice that 90% +

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/mar /01/usa.uselections2008

A poll showing black Americans backed Hillary Clinton by three-to-one seemed to bear this out, although another poll in yesterday's Washington Post suggested that black voters are starting to support the black candidate in greater numbers.

This was from 3/07. So no, he didn't always have 90% of the black vote, and in order for your insinuation to be true (they're only voting for him because he and they are black), Clinton would not have had them by a three to one margin ever.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: make sense

So you're proven wrong but its ok, because you have an op-ed piece telling you "he did it first"? You're stretching.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 02:00PM | 0 recs
Re: thats all ye get

That's an amazingly arrogant thing to say.  That you and Sean Wilentz can see what 90% of black voters can't.  Give me a break.

Defer to the aggrieved party.  I hope you don't also run around telling women that sexism is all in their pretty little heads.  

by Mostly 2008-04-15 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: right....

What is it when 90 percent of black voters vote for the white Democratic candidate?  If you're the Democrat, I'd say it's damn helpful.  You seem to give African American voters a weird choice: Vote Hillary or you're racist.  That's kinda silly.  OK, that really, really stupid.

by niksder 2008-04-16 04:31AM | 0 recs
Re: make sense

You know the difference between opinion versus journalism? I can send you 1000 op-eds about anything position you may have and 1000 op-eds against. Think for yourself and look at my response just little below this regarding the white vote in past elections. It's an amazing stat! /snark?

by comingawakening 2008-04-15 04:08PM | 0 recs
Re: anyone notice that 90% +

You do realize that 3/07 was over a year ago right?

Blacks have been united behind Obama ever since it became clear that he had a real chance in the primary.  Oh, and the painting of the Clinton's as racebaiters probably had a little to do with it.

by Apostle 2008-04-15 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: anyone notice that 90% +

But if they were only voting for him/supporting him because he's black, then it wouldn't matter if it looked like he had a chance, would it?

This kind of patronization of the black community is ridiculous and disgusting.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: anyone notice that 90% +

Nobody said only!

Be fair please.

by Apostle 2008-04-15 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: anyone notice that 90% +

Who the hell is catfish1 and why are they troll-rating everything?

by Mostly 2008-04-16 05:26AM | 0 recs
Re: anyone notice that 90% +

Sorry, but 3/07 was not "primary season".

by LakersFan 2008-04-15 06:04PM | 0 recs
Re: make sense

This article uses a standard tactic that the Clinton's have employed throughout the campaign.

Say, or have someone say something that can cause offense.  Watch for the reaction, and then blame the person for reacting.

It's been the pattern since November.  Remember Kindergate?  Hillary criticized Obama for supposed "essays" he had written in kindergarden (they tracked down his teacher in Indonesia?!) for wanting to be president (a kindergardener wrote an essay?!).  It caused an uproar on the internet.  To which the Clintons responded, it was just a joke, it's the media's fault.

This article follows that same argument: Obama responded to Hillary's campaign!  For shame!

We can look at the reality in the most obvious example:  With the MLK/LBJ comments, Obama didn't respond for a whole week while other people, including Hillary supporters, claimed her statements were insensitive at best.  Here's a time line I tracked:

http://backpedals.blogspot.com/2008/01/r acist-comments-2.html

A point that makes this obvious in the article: there are no dates provided.

by Kiku 2008-04-16 12:18PM | 0 recs
Sorry, no.

No, you're not the standard measure of how people react to discrimination. In fact, given your commentary here, I question whether your experiences, treating them as accurate for argument's sake, taught you anything at all about discrimination. You certainly lack much by the way of empathy.

I'm a wasp, but I've also been called a faggot quite a few times, including in Democratic circles. I get what she's saying. Do you honestly think people like me haven't been angry at our country?

And even better, I would get that even if if I weren't supporting her husband.

by MBNYC 2008-04-15 02:55PM | 0 recs
Just like

Hillary's strong support among white women is what, reverse sexism? Misandry? Really?

It's very interesting to see some of the reactions this diary is bringing out. A real eye-opener. We're seeing both of these candidates get strong support among their own demographic. Fine. But only in Obama's case does anyone make the claim that this is because of simplistic affinity.

by MBNYC 2008-04-15 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: When I was 14, a Baptist kid

At no time was Michelle Obama EVER observed, as you imply, to start "screaming" 'I hate America'. And the footage on Fox broadcasting was proven to be doctored on what she actually did say.

Your hyperbole is surprising, since our common heritage ought to tell you the kind of mischaracterization fascists have engaged in, in order to justify oppression.  You don't see these tactics being used on Clinton or McCain: because they hired a firm that is known to engage in these tactics all over the world.

I'm sorry you had tough times as a kid and a Jew.
That doesn't give you the right to mischaracterize others or repeat lies to minimize other's experiences.

by URKnot 2008-04-15 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: anyone notice that 90% +

I came across this incredible fact the other day. In the past 43 elections for President, white people voted for the white candidate over 98.5% of the time.

I think it's ok that 80-90% of blacks vote for a strong candidate they can relate to.

Would you not guess that McCain will get over 60% of the military vote? Maybe more? It's about knowing the person understands you day-to-day and needs in addition to the politics and policies.

Clinton and Obama are very similar in policy, so why wouldn't you vote for Obama with all else being equal?


by comingawakening 2008-04-15 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: When I was 14, a Baptist kid

You're a liar.

by switching sides 2008-04-15 11:29PM | 0 recs
Not a rare exception

In the 70's, Warrington Hudlin made a film called "Black at Yale" documenting the struggles of a brilliant scholarship student there, and relationship of the University to the black community.

Sadly, years later - two other filmmakers have made a sequal called "Still Black at Yale"
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0 DXK/is_1_22/ai_n12934965

You might want to educate yourself before assuming that this was a "rare exception".

by NeciVelez 2008-04-16 01:22AM | 0 recs
Re: When I was 14, a Baptist kid

I'm sorry for your experiences as a child.  The Jewish people have experienced horrific hatred.  So have other people, although perhaps not on such an centralized scale.

In the 1960s, blacks still were not allowed into student unions in public Universities.  Interracial marriage was still against the law.  Blacks weren't allowed to borrow money from banks.  They were beaten if they looked at someone the wrong way.  They were lynched for walking in the wrong places.  

Here's a very well written article by Alice Walker about what it was like growing up black:

http://obamaendorsements.blogspot.com/20 08/04/alice-walker.html

by Kiku 2008-04-16 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting.


I can't believe anyone in public life -- even raving loons like Pat Buchanan and Lou Dobbs -- is able to say something like this on TV and not be laughed out of a job. I'm not talking censorship, I'm talking proof of profound lunacy, detailed ignorance and full incompatability with reason.

Whatever thin paint was covering America's racial stains is melting off but fast. Rep. Davis and "boy." Lou Dobbs and his "Cotton' Pickin'" ingrate black folks and a thousand hours of pretend offense to Rev. Wright are really doing a number on our national self-respect.

Not that we shouldn't be grateful for the opportunity to see our media elites' tolerance for intolerance.  

by Lettuce 2008-04-15 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting.

Is this a typical Obama fan's response? Add nothing to a good diary, except an arrogant display of self righteousness. I hope not, and, please, at least try to be the change you say that you wish to see in the world.

by pollbuster 2008-04-15 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting.

Your post, on the other hand, is a fine addition to a decent diary. No?

by kyle in philly 2008-04-15 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting.

Considering your response, apparently not......

by pollbuster 2008-04-15 04:57PM | 0 recs
Please stick

with the approved terminology. It's "Obamabot", "Obamoron" or "incense-burner". Only the modifying adjectives - childish, drooling, elitist - are open for modification as the situation may warrant.

by MBNYC 2008-04-15 05:23PM | 0 recs
"Incense burner?"

Really?  How fortunate for me that I've missed that one until now.  I'm not even all that sure what it's supposed to mean....


by Progressive Witness 2008-04-15 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

Interesting story by the AJC that does a few things:

Shows the nuances of race relations in the U.S. and our ability to grow.

Documents the experiences of Michelle and others and perhaps explains why we can be proud and not so proud of our country.

Provides context for her thesis about race relations at Princeton.

The woman has been defined by a single phrase.  The fact is as America flirts with breaking down barriers many of us thought we would never see broken down, many will be filled with a sense of pride that is difficult to describe.  And it will be the first time.

by niksder 2008-04-15 06:32AM | 0 recs
I can't imagine any person of color
not feeling like an outside at Princeton,especially when M. Obama was attending there. Why on earth would anyone take issue with her feeling that way?

Send anyone who disagrees a copy of Audre Lorde's "Sister Outsider" and then politely tell them to go f' themselves.
by linc 2008-04-15 06:35AM | 0 recs
Re: I can't imagine any person of color

I can't imagine somebody not feeling outside at Princeton today, let alone 30 years ago - great book reference.

by CardBoard 2008-04-15 06:43AM | 0 recs
A. Lorde
is one of the most over looked literary geniuses of our time- I think mostly because she has a very direct way of pointing out bullshit to people- through telling her own story. I am re-re-re-reading the Cancer Journals right now.
by linc 2008-04-15 06:47AM | 0 recs
I didn't read your book.

I went there, a couple years before Michelle Obama.

While it was (and is) a broadly liberal, Democratic-voting campus, there were definitely bastions of racist and sexist thinking.  Not in the circles I traveled, but from my brief experience dating an African-American woman as a sophomore, I know it was there.

Clearly Michelle Obama stumbled into an exceptional situation with a terrible roomate.  But the general sense of not belonging and unease she describes is valid, and I sympathize with her.

by McNasty 2008-04-15 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: I didn't read your book.

Here's another way to know it's valid.  Believe her.

by niksder 2008-04-15 10:37AM | 0 recs
Thank You!!!

C'mon.  America is not really a racist and sexist country based on a long history of oppression, slavery and Genocide.  We should vigorously question anyone who says it is.

It is really disheartening to me to see how social justice issues are being used as a wedge in the Democratic primary.

by nwgates 2008-04-15 02:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Thank You!!!

This is part of our history, and it shouldn't be denied.  It isn't all of it.

Part of our heritage, and the better part that guides us today, is the dream "that all men (and women) are created equal".  We need to hold on to that ideal.  It is heartening to see the changes that we have made.

But, we shouldn't forget the past, because it is still part of us today.  It explains why we still have discussions like this one.  It helps us to understand who we are and why we are.

by Kiku 2008-04-16 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate

Bill Clinton belogned to an all white member golf club.  Did you know that.  Bill Clinton supposedly the first black president belogned to an all white member golf club.  LOL.

by Spanky 2008-04-15 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate

No. He played several times at a local club that had no black members as a guest of somebody.

He was never a member or "belonged" in anyway there and apologized for playing there back in '91.

Oh, and the Daily kos diary filled with the lies you used in your misguided comment featured a photoshop of clinton as a KKK member, surely htat must have tipped you off that it was not the most trustworthy of sources?

And GFORD, mefck,Zoey and DemUnity? Why uprate this? This is a good diary that touches important issues, uprating comments like these detract from it.

by Ernst 2008-04-16 02:57AM | 0 recs
Saw this in DKos...

Glad you posted here. I fear none of GOP trolls will bother reading it, but hopefully some of the more naive Hillary supporters who tried to jump on the MO-bashing bandwagon will at least consider the realitites of race relations.

For whatever reason, some democrats have continued to think that race is a non-issue and to bring it up constitutes the 'race card'. Absurd, but you see it in the comments of most diaries regarding BHO.

by Newcomer 2008-04-15 06:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Saw this in DKos...

Obama is the one I keep hearing is running a post-racial campaign and that his election will help heal the wounds of racism, so I would expect it would be Obama supporters who would need to read and consider what is being said more than Clinton supporters.

There is a huge amount of racism still left in this nation. That doesn't mean it's acceptable rhetoric for a First Lady to say that for the first time she's proud of this nation - that's not acceptable if one's husband is running for the presidency. African Americans have made massive strides in this nation in a very short period of time and under great burden. This nation had a southern president who consigned his own political party to what he knew would be minority status for a generation, and that's something to proud of. Should have happened earlier but it happened.

No one says it's anywhere near reasonable yet - and it won't be until African Americans own wealth in proportion to their percentage of the population - but it is dramatically better. And that is something to be proud of.

by Little Otter 2008-04-15 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Saw this in DKos...

First of all, I am tired of people misquoting MO to suit their own moral emptiness.

"What we have learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It is making a comeback. And let me tell you something -- for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change."

1) MO was talking about voter involvement.
2) She said "really proud." You can be proud but there are times when you are "really proud."

You are basically telling people to be proud that things are better. You are asking people to settle for less because it is better what it was like in the past.

I think you need to remember that you have your opinion and MO can say whatever she pleases. Let the voters (many more than you) decide if they are worthy of being in the White House.

I am not sure who died and made you Patriotism and Racism Update in general.

by comingawakening 2008-04-15 10:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Saw this in DKos...

Thanks comingawakening. I could not have responded better (or with more civility) myself.

by Newcomer 2008-04-15 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Saw this in DKos...

LOL - speaking of moral emptiness, what kind of crap is "hope is making a comeback"? Can we please define how that is unique to the Obama campaign? Is she suggesting that clinton supporters aren't hopeful about their lives and that hopefulness has nothing to do with Obama?

I'm sorry - it's a stupid, self-serving statement from a coarse-mouthed, ego-centric spouse.

My point still stands - considering the strides our country and the African American community has made in the past fifty years, for this to be the first time she feels "really proud" is pathetic.

by Little Otter 2008-04-15 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Saw this in DKos...

Get off your fucking high horse - her statement has absolutely nothing to do with HRC or you for that matter. You are suffering from the same entitlement issues that your candidate demonstrates. Not everything is about you...Go away.

by Newcomer 2008-04-15 05:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Saw this in DKos...

Entitlement is demanding that a viable candidate quit the race - that's much more what Obama is about than Clinton. Clinton's in it till the end and has never been anything but gracious to Obama and his family.

I'm just pointing out that Michelle is coarse and vacuous - that's all. And that statement is a fair way to make that point because normally adults who want to lead a nation, don't disparage its accomplishments.

by Little Otter 2008-04-15 10:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Saw this in DKos...

You're trolling a positive diary that didn't bash either candidate. You don't need to "point out" anything, you've already made your opinion abundantly clear in other diaries trashing her.  You're only in here to troll a positive diary. Take your irrational hate someplace besides here.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 10:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Saw this in DKos...

There's nothing irrational about not wanting a substandard candidate with an ingrate spouse as the nominee. I find your support of obama and his wife irrational - why don't you support someone with some actual experience for the job?

Lots of bashing going on of Clinton supporters in this thread. You, of course, don't object to that.

by Little Otter 2008-04-15 10:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Saw this in DKos...

You had me at "ingrate".

by Mostly 2008-04-16 02:26AM | 0 recs
TR ed for "coarse and vacuous"

Quite the mud flinger.

by ReillyDiefenbach 2008-04-16 03:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Saw this in DKos...

Shove off. You've already shown your true colors half a dozen times over and you just keep looking more and more unpleasant.

by upstate girl 2008-04-16 03:44AM | 0 recs
Little Otter

it is sad that the nick you have chosen to use here is the name of a sacred Native American drum group, who drum for peace and healing, honoring the spirit of sister otter.  

Can you not put aside your stance for just a bit, and open yourself to the experiences of others without judging and reacting?

The Otter is a sacred animal of intellegence, playfulness and balance and is imbued with feminine energies.  

May you find her qualities.

by NeciVelez 2008-04-16 01:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Saw this in DKos...

Little Otter,

It's easy to get caught up in the rage associated with this campaign.  Emotions all around are running high.

However, emotional tirades, aside from venting, do little to bring others to your cause.  If fact, as Hillary has learned many times, going negative can often turn people away.

Obama, when faced with a negative issue, always tries to answer with a positive.  Personal opinion here, but I think that's one of the reasons that he is winning.  Hillary lost my support becaue of her negative campaigning.  

People are ready for a different approach than the right wing hate that we've been fed for the last 40 years.  Religious communities are finding a new approach that offers positive ways of living, not just fighting against things.  Most people are ready for a positive discussion, even if it's about difficult things.

You might want to think about your approach, and ask if it takes you closer to your goals.  You do have a right to say what you want, but if you want to be heard, you have to consider the audience.

Otherwise, a tree will just be falling in the woods.

by Kiku 2008-04-16 01:00PM | 0 recs
And I had thought we were past that when I was 18

...in 1983.  I keep thinking we should be past that now, but events keep reminding me that we aren't, yet.

Interesting, that perspective.  I wonder what this democratic race will look like when we gaze back 25 years from now.

This train of thought occurred to me on the anniversary of Dr. King's assassination - how far we have come, how far we have not.  At the time I was at my brother's house and my step-father was there as well, he and my mom are now here at my house, so this will be even more fodder for discussion.  My step-dad - Rev. Karl Lutze - has been a civil rights leader since 1945.

http://my.barackobama.com/page/community /post/chrisblask/gGBtSt

Interesting perspectives in time, all of this...

We should be wary of our opinions, we may not be as evolved as we like to think.

Thanks, Dawn.

-chris blask

by chrisblask 2008-04-15 06:50AM | 0 recs
The truth is sometimes uncomfortable

Thank you for this! People are so quick to judge when they have never walked in another's shoes. I can imagine that coming from a working class background must have compounded some of her feelings even more. I'm sure many average white Americans might feel "out of place" in an elite Ivy League school amongst many students from wealthy backgrounds. That she succeeded in the way she did shows her strength and character.

by Voxlisa999 2008-04-15 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama
Good diary and insight into the Princeton culture back in the late 70's, early 80's.
What's funny is I went to school in the south (Va Tech) and had a black roommate my freshman year (1974) and never thought a thing about it. We still keep in touch today, and have had great conversations about this primary (she supports Obama, I support Clinton).
I think Michelle Obama is a very admirable woman.
Does anyone have a link to her thesis?
by skohayes 2008-04-15 07:52AM | 0 recs
Wow, that gives great insight
into why Michelle chose to write that thesis. Fascinating. Thanks for posting this.
by sricki 2008-04-15 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

Holy smokes I didn't think this one would make the rec list.  It doesn't involve a poll OR the latest -gate controversy.  Well done!

by thatpurplestuff 2008-04-15 09:06AM | 0 recs
give credit to roomate & family for honesty

i have to give the family and the ex-roomate in question an incredible amount of credit for being so honest about a sunject most of us are very dishonest about: OUR OWN racism. we can all point it out in others, but what a tribute to this family that they put their own imperfections out there for others to se, and most importantly, learn from.

the one quote is just so beautiful:
"We thought this is so ironic. [Obama] could be the first lady, and here we wanted to get my child out of her influence."

thanks for the post, zoey!

by catchaz 2008-04-15 09:20AM | 0 recs
Very interesting

What struck me was the roommate's family realizing that they essentially missed out on being a part of the life of a potential First Lady.

I know I made a lot of my best friends in college as roommates.  To think that I could've just blown any of them off due to something as non-personal as race is unthinkable to me.

by Dracomicron 2008-04-15 09:56AM | 0 recs
A good link

THIS WAS EXACTLY WHAT I HAVE BEEN TELLING OTHERS. While both Obama's response and Wright's sermons may seem contradictory, the fact that they are from different eras should explain  better why. My line of thinking, while not identical, is close to the following excerpt:

When Brown heard about Barack Obama's former pastor -- his angry rants against white America -- she didn't like it. But she understood. "If I had been treated the same way blacks have been treated," she says, "I'd be resentful, too."

It was Donnelly, however, who understood Obama's response: "The profound mistake of Reverend Wright's sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It's that he spoke as if our society was static."

by Pravin 2008-04-15 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

Michelle Obama is a beautiful accomplished woman by anyone's standard and I would feel proud to have her represent our nation in the White House.

Many people don't know that Michele's Dad was disabled, and that their family struggled.  It was a shame that she was treated that way at Princeton, but it is heartening that folks are able to look back and reflect on the past with accountability and regret.  I give her former roommate credit for validating what must have been a painful experience.

My own daughter went off to college a few years ago, and I know what a difficult time that can be, away from family and friends for the first time.  I also read Michele's thesis.  As a graduate educator, her work and thoughtful analysis were impressive and balanced.

What a fine woman Senator Obama chose as his life partner:  It takes a strong man to love a strong woman.  

This couple would represent our nation with greater poise and dignity than it has seen for some time.

by URKnot 2008-04-15 10:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

She reminds of Nancy Reagan - coarse, self-serving, ego driven and uncouth. Like Obama, she has no real acccomplishments to her name after graduating from law school. She's done some work on community programs but above and beyond that, the Obama's done help anyone besides themselves.

I think morally atrocious that they exposed their daughter's to Reverend Wright with obvious issues with race and gender. I wouldn't let a girl child anywhere near that man. So, I hold her parenting in very low esteem as well - just as I would white parents who took children to see a segregationist minister.

But anyone, since I"m sure you'll disagree, tell me what efforts Michelle has taken on behalf of others these past five years.

And why, if they're Christians, the paltry amount of money to charity?

by Little Otter 2008-04-15 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

Those comments are hateful and trollish. No one has the obligation to prove anything to you, not the least reason being you've obviously already made up your mind.

Judge not, lest you be judged yourself. This is hateful tripe and has no place in a positive diary. Take your knee jerk, judgmental attitude out of this diary.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

LOL - Reality intervenes. If you could prove me wrong, you would.

The Obamas have exposed their children to hate mongers, they have no record of accomplishments of helping others besides themselves and for all their talk about Christianity and their high income, they can't rustle up 10% for charity. Michelle has talked about how she'd like to scratch Bill Clinton's eyes out - what kind of low life trash talk is that? You think that's appropriate rhetoric about the only Democratic president to win re-election in 50 years, for someone who wants to be First Lady? There's just a level of fundamental couth that's missing. That's all.

She had a proud academic career and since then - zip.

by Little Otter 2008-04-15 04:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

Following law school, she was an associate at the Chicago office of the law firm Sidley Austin where she first met her husband. At the firm, she worked on marketing and intellectual property.[2] Subsequently, she held public sector positions in the Chicago city government as an Assistant to the Mayor and Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development. In 1993, she became Executive Director for the Chicago office of Public Allies, a non-profit organization encouraging young people to work on social issues in nonprofit groups and government agencies.[5]

OK, there's a political position and a non-profit organization that focused on community service. That's nothing to you, isn't it?

1996, Obama served as the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago, where she developed the University's Community Service Center.[15] In 2002, she began working for the University of Chicago Hospitals, first as executive director for community affairs and, beginning May, 2005, as Vice President for Community and External Affairs.[16] She still holds the position, though is working part time in order to devote more time to being a mother.[17]

Oh, here's Dean of Student Services, where she developed the (guess what) Community Service Center! And a job working for U of C hospitals! That's nothing to you again, is it?

As far as you remark about how much they tithe to charity - that was about the most classless, unChristian remark I've ever heard someone say about charitable giving. Who are you to judge?

No, really, who are you to judge? Would you like to post your tax returns here so we can see how much you've given to charity?

Get lost.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

It's not evidence of her doing something that benefits others, which is what we're talking about. The University of Chicago is a corporate job. If she did something worthwhile for the community while doing that job, that's something to note. But I have yet to read of any major outreach she organized, any major program she created that actually served the goal of providing more healthcare to the underprivileged. Hillary Clinton, for example, shielded the Legal Services Corporation from budget cuts during the Reagan administration, expanded the budget and thereby expanded the amount of legal services available for indigent Americans all over the nation. In addition, she rounded up federal funds, as First Lady of Arkansas, to build medical facilities in rural Arkansas thereby bringing healthcare to thousands of people who didn't have it otherwise - that's the kinda stuff I'm talking about. But the obamas don't seem to do that stuff. They don't seem to do much for others.

Do you have any evidence of her doing something that actually improved other people's lives? I haven't seen it as of yet. There are a couple things during college and out of college, but that's about it.

I'm not a Christian. Barry and Michelle claim to be Christians but they take their daughters to hear overt racist, misogynists peddle hate and they joke about scratching people's eyes out. Neither one of them has any particular record of doing things that benefit other people - that's what I'm looking for. Someone who has spent their life making life better for others. As for tithing, they don't do it and it is one of the things that Chrisitans are expected to do. I find it sad that two people with their income can't manage to dig up 10% for others.

Who am I to judge? A voter. Who else? I have every right to judge. I'm a tax paying citizen of this nation, who does donate money and time to charity. And I'd like to see this nation get better. I just don't see any evidence in Obama's history (minus the legislation he was gifted with) or in the trash talking Ms. Obama's history that suggests they have any awareness of what needs to be done to cure the problems of this nation. If they do, they certainly haven't bothered to act on it and they are in their mid-forties. Compare the acccomplishments of JFK or Bill Clinton  in their mid-forties to Obama - there just no equivalent.

Being a state senator is a job that takes about 55 days a year in Illinois. It's a very, very part time job. And that doesn't give you much time to accomplish much legislatively. Obama had no accomplishments the first five years. Then Emil Jones gifted him with legislation. Look at the US senate = for all his talk about being anti-war, he's done nothing to get us out. He hasn't lead at all. Clinton began hammering the pentagon for an exit strategy. Obama didn't.

That's what I'm talking about. I understand you like the guy but he hasn't done much.  Neither has his wife.

by Little Otter 2008-04-15 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

Who are you to judge - and you say "a voter"? You are not voting for Michelle Obama. She is also not a politician. Her track record in public service positions, for a private citizen, is remarkable by anyone's standards.

By your own admission, she's already done more than you. Michelle Obama more than likely made a positive difference in a huge number of lives in her community, which is easily more than I can say for you, spilling hate onto your keyboard with lies and twisted justifications. Your level of hate for the man and his wife is seen only on the level of someone like Andy Martin, anti-Semetic wingnut. I'm astounded that there isn't a medical term for your sense of self-righteous superiority that is so obviously out of sync with reality.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

You have yet to point to anything she's done that has made people's lives better. And yes, her husband is running for president and so she is putting herself out there for judgement - that's a fact.

She has a thoroughly unimpressive career. She a woman who got herself into Princeton and then into Harvard law. I'm sure she did well in both schools. But since then, she's had a thoroughly mediocre career - that's all. Other than a few projects in college and right out of college, there's no evidence of her tackling projects that improve other people's lives.

You're getting all mad at me for pointing out the gaps in her resume. She went to work for the city - nice, but not stunning or unusual for someone with her resume. And then she grabbed a corporate job with a hospital. Hell, Enron has community outreach programs - doesn't mean they do anything progressive.

I just think that if you look at this dispassionately, you'll see that I'm right. Their law school triumphs gave both of them tremendous access and they don't seem to have done much with that access. You can't point to anything except a corporate job. That's sad.

Look at what Hillary did - she took an internship after college at Yale Children's Hospital and wound up writing Children Under the Law = one of the most frequently cited legal briefs on the subject. She became staff attorney for the Children's Defense Fund - the premiere progressive children's organization in the nation. She became a public defense attorney and provided legal services for indigent defendents. She joined the board of Legal Services and became chair - not only shielding it from the budget cuts proposed by the Reagan administration, but successfully expanding the budget by several million dollars and greatly increasing the amount of legal services which could be provided to poor Americans. She took on teacher testing in Arkansas and raised teaching standards. She rounded up federal funding to build medical facilities in rural Arkansas to provide healthcare to people who didn't have access. She helped develop a program to teach parents how to homeschool toddlers who didn't have access to Head Start - on and on. She made ordinary people's lives better in a tangible way.

Tell me, what has Michelle done that is the equivalent of any of that?

by Little Otter 2008-04-15 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

The second Michelle Obama is running for any elected office, it'll be your business. Until then, you have absolutely no leg to stand on, and your (dare I say) elitist attitude is so far out of whack of what is obviously the reality of the situation, I can only conclude your anger comes from pathological sources.  

You come into a diary where people admitted that they were unnecessarily cruel to her in college, and you turn this into a tirade of "she's not good enough compared to Hillary Clinton". I hope you attend church every Sunday so you become the perfect stereotypical hypocrite.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

What's pissing you off is that she can't really compete as First Lady - and that's my point. She will be First Lady if Obama is elected so I have every right to look at her critically.

You have to admit that she has a thoroughly mediocre resume and in combination with her willingness to attend church with Jeremiah Wright, says some not to attractive things about her.

by Little Otter 2008-04-15 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

She doesn't have to "compete" as First Lady because First Lady is not an elected position. It's traditionally held by the President's wife but in the case of widowed or bachelor Presidents the ceremonial duties are handled by a family friend or close political associate.

The point remains, you're being insanely overly judgmental to the point of parody in an otherwise positive diary. There's absolutely no reason for your commentary without factoring serious mental issues or the simple fact you're a troll. Either way, seek help someplace else besides here.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 08:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

Upstate, I've come across people like this.

Like a rabid dog, they don't let go.  But, if you ignore them, they will go away looking for a fight someplace else.

Upstate, the knowledge that you about the candidates is breathtaking.  Obama is lucky to have you on his side.

by Kiku 2008-04-16 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

So, expecting a Democratic nominee to have done something to make ordinary people's lives better is now "elitist"? Expecting a candidate for president to have genuine accomplishments is elitist?

In my world, having patronizing, condescending ideas and expressing them that way to wealthy audiences, particularly when one is a Harvard graduate, the son of a Harvard graduate and PhD, and married to a Harvard graduate, and  has friends who do $625k favors for you - that's being an elistist. For the Obama crowd apparently, getting up every day and going to work making other people's lives better is being an elitist. Again, there are simply two different standards. One involves doing things and getting things done - such as the Clintons have spent their life doing - and one involved not doing much of anything for others or giving much money to charity.

by Little Otter 2008-04-16 08:29AM | 0 recs
Is that a snark?

Surely your post is a snark? But, just in case it's not, I'd like to share Michelle Obama's accomplishments with you.

(1) Associate at one of the TOP law firms in the country

(2) Assistant to the Mayor of Chicago

(3) Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development for the City of Chicago

(4) Executive Director of Public Allies, a government funded organization that provided leadership training within Chicago's inner city

(5) Associate Dean of University of Chicago (one of the nation's top universities)

(6) executive director of community and external affairs at Univ of Chicago

(7) vice president of community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center

by Zoey 2008-04-15 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Is that a snark?

And yet, nothing to make people's lives better. No efforts that created healthcare for people who didn't have it otherwise. All of it seems to benefit the obama, but where are the actions that benefit others.

How did the leadership program make people's lives better?

C'mon, let's hear some actual specific accomplishments that benefit others. Any community outreach programs that actually provided education or healthcare to under privileged children? Got medical care for pregnant mothers? Domestic dispute intervention programs?

It's impressive that she got herself into Harvard law. But since then, she really hasn't had an exceptional career by any standard. Neither she nor Obama have been lead attorney on any important cases. They haven't written ground breaking legal briefs. No development of social service programs that change out services are delivered.

There's just nothing for other people - that's the problem and neither of them has an exemplary resume for the education that they have.

by Little Otter 2008-04-15 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Is that a snark?

You should really do just a tiny bit of reading before you post. Chicago Univ Medical Center (Michelle's employer) is a NONprofit medical center that provides just tons and tons of care and research that benefits lots and lots of people.

by Zoey 2008-04-17 01:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Is that a snark?

As far as potential first spouses go, Bill Clinton has a very mixed, to say the least, record.  For everything you admire about him I could point to some pretty bad stuff he has done.

What does any of your criticism have to do with the topic of this thread?  Are you saying she did not have this experience?  The article is a fraud?  You think this is really trivial stuff because she did not spend her life the way you wanted her too?  If you want to see a potential first spouse going off the rails lately, take a look at Bill Clinton, his affiliations with some lousy governments, his sabotaging of his wife's campaign, the library funding, and tell me who the better first spouse would be.

by mady 2008-04-15 09:01PM | 0 recs
I guess Michelle had a reason not to be so proud

Interesting that even back then, a southerner seems to have found herself more comfortable in her daughter's lesbianism than rooming with a black student. And even the lesbian ivy league student seemed to go along with racism. That is how ingrained it was at the time. Do we still want to hear whining about how ungrateful Michelle is ?

I think all this backlash is proof that a quite a few  democrats in the past just pandered to African Americans because it looks like quite a few of them don't understand what made blacks so angry. They just condoned any displays of anger out of fears of either Political Correctness or they had some white guilt or whatever. But deeep inside, they were not convinced. When there was a need to talk tough love to African Americans, white Democratic politicians stayed mum because of voting bank fears and not because they really understood african american disenfranchisement. But now we get to see all this backlash and they use their support for Hillary to channel their longheld bitterness at what they observed.

One good thing out of this bullshit is Obama's candidacy has led to more frank talk on race. People like some "highly recommended" diarists who thought they were Michelle Pfeiffer in some ghetto school movie are venting their true feelings to make up for years of appeasing the black man and those true feelings are not pretty. But we get a chance to set them straight. So I do not want to censor them. let the bitterness from some of these venters come in unfiltered so we can continue to discuss freely and move past racism at some point in the near future.  

by Pravin 2008-04-15 10:19AM | 0 recs
I didnt have a problem with the quotes in artcle

As I read the story, I came to a paragraph that talked about the grandmother's feelings today. She says that now she believes it is fine for blacks and whites to room together. She has grown and shed her prejudice, and it makes me smile. Then I read further and feel like I've been kicked in the gut:

Where I draw the line is interracial marriage. That I can't quite deal with.

I actually do not have a problem with this because these three whites of different generations have been exceptionally candid about their feelings. It seems like they realize they have the wrong instincts about race and they don't try to defend it. The grandma doesn't say she cant condone interracial marriage because it is either impure or moral. She pretty much says that she can't deal with it. And they don't seem to sugarcoat their past like the other white racists who opposed civil rights in the past and continue to oppose current measures every step of the way over the last couple of decades by admitting to past prejdices by "others" being wrong, but we are past that now.

I found the article to be well balanced. it didn't dehumanize the white racists in the article but gave us a a good insight into the complexity of their feelings. People who think these people are on the fringe are in serious denial.

by Pravin 2008-04-15 10:25AM | 0 recs
You're right.

But for all that I can applaud their frankness, I have no patience when someone "can't quite deal with" interracial marriage.

My family's history with interracial marriage considerably predates that grandma's birth--on the Native side, the 1890s, and on the Melungeon side, somewhere back before the mid-1700s (that genealogical ambiguity is, I've learned, actually one of the hallmarks of Melungeon ancestry).  To those of us who are of mixed race, "I got nothin' against 'em but you shouldn't marry 'em" is basically the same thing as "you shouldn't exist."


by Progressive Witness 2008-04-15 11:34AM | 0 recs
Re: You're right.

Agreed that I would feel the same as you if I had to put up with this nonsense personally. But I prefer this to people who will cover up their prejudice with passive aggressive behavior and ruin some relationships that way.

by Pravin 2008-04-15 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: You're right.

I prefer that too.  a)  Best to see the racists coming from the get-go.  And b) a racist who admits it--and also admits that they're ashamed of it--is a racist who can perhaps be turned by kindness and persuasion.


by Progressive Witness 2008-04-15 01:07PM | 0 recs
Best to see the person as more than the label

In German there is no word for "Heroin Addict" - the best it can be translated is "Heroin Seeky".

I like this way of looking at people.  Someone is not an Object/Noun ("Addict", "Racist", ...), they are a Person with an Adjective modifying them ("tending to seek a drug", "having a behavior").

The whole disturbing trend of using the "r-word" is not much better than the other-consonant-word.  When you do that you objectify the person - you turn them into a noun that identifies them as something other than a person.

I remember a good Canadian friend telling me, when I was in my 20s and had just moved down to South Carolina from Toronto, that she was a "bigot bigot" (iow - "intolerant of intolerants").  I had a desire to agree with her - so I did, out loud - but I was beginning to learn that the "bigots" that I had expected to meet in SC were usually people who I got to know and like before I discovered their "bigotry".  Even then I was having a hard time reconciling my view of these nouns called "bigots" and the people I was getting to know and appreciate in their complexities.

Words matter.

"person" is the noun.  Other words describing a person need to be adjectives.  People can often choose to change their adjectives.


by chrisblask 2008-04-15 03:25PM | 0 recs
You raise an excellent point.

It's a nuanced thing, but an important nuance.  And something I need to be more mindful of.  There may still be valid rhetorical reasons to occasionally nounify the occasional more egregious individual, to make a point.  These ladies don't make that cut, I don't think.  They were in some very clear ways racist, but are not racists in a more condemnatory nominative sense.



by Progressive Witness 2008-04-15 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: You're right.

As a product of a history of inter-racial marriages I hear you.

Grandma- white from Kansas.  Grandpa - black from TN.

Mom - ancestors both black, creole, and tri-racial isolate (aka Melungeon)

Interesting to still hear the "it's okay to room with them but just don't marry them" meme.

Shows me how far we haven't come - or I guess, to put it better - how far we need to still go.

What is so ironic is that the folks we term "African-Americans" are all products of both European and African ancestry, with a few other ethnic groups mixed in too.  It's just that for the most part - the European ancestors didn't marry the women they impregnated.  Acceptable to have sex with (read rape & coerce), but not to marry.  

by NeciVelez 2008-04-16 01:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

My wife and I went through a similar situation back at the University of Florida. Our first year there, my wife had a white roommate for the first month of class and while my wife made repeated attempts to be nice and reach out to her, the roommate was not happy to be rooming with a black person.

I remember my wife cried on a few occasions because it really hurt her. The first week of class, her 50+ year old adviser told her that she didn't belong in the College of Engineering. It was another blow to her. I remember waiting outside for her to complete her interview and she came out with tears in her eyes and walking at a much faster pace than normal.

The same happened to me with my roommate but we worked it out and eventually became great friends. He even told me one day that his dad and mom were so wrong about Hispanics and Blacks (he got to know my wife as well). He admitted that racism existed in his household and that he was hoping to change things through his experiences.

One more story. My wife and I were typically that only brown folks in the Engineering courses. That downside of that was that when we missed class, the professor could easily tell. I am not kidding. This happened to both of us several times and I am sure to others.

You learn to deal with it and grow from it. It makes you stronger and I find that part of my role as a human being is to allow people to get to know me and respect me for me. If that helps change their personal feelings towards racism, then great. If not, it's not my fault. I treat everyone with respect even when they do not do the same to me.

My wife became an Electrical Engineer in Florida and has an MIS Degree from George Washington University as well. I guess that adviser missed out on helping a darn good student!


by comingawakening 2008-04-15 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

My wife and I were typically that only brown folks in the Engineering courses

Not a single Indian in the class? We are colored too, you know!!!. heh.

by Pravin 2008-04-15 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

No PCness about the word colored, please. I was directing it at myself.

by Pravin 2008-04-15 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

You Racist... you hate Indians don't you?  How dare you bash people from India!

(Pure Snark before someone flies off the handle.  It wasn't serious)

by yitbos96bb 2008-04-15 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

haha! Yes, there were but trust me, my wife and I stood out because of the way we look.

There were a few Indians, Middle-Easterners, and Chinese in the class but while I blended a little more, my wife was definitely much darker.

She is also a female and in Engineering Schools in the South, that was a new thing in the 80's.

We love UF. It was a great place and we look forward to buying property there and retiring there one day. College towns are great culturally.

by comingawakening 2008-04-15 10:38AM | 0 recs
It really calls her character into question...
What does it say about Michelle Obama that she not only associated with a racist, but actually lived with one for several months? And what does it say about Senator Obama's judgment that he would ask an associate of a known racist to marry him? Another hate-spewing figure from the Obamas' past has surfaced, and this one has much closer ties to the family even than Reverend Wright. This is the nail in the coffin, folks.
by jere7my 2008-04-15 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: It really calls her character into question...


by comingawakening 2008-04-15 11:00AM | 0 recs
This one is strong in the ways of the Snark.

You must use this power only for good.

by Progressive Witness 2008-04-15 11:28AM | 0 recs
Michelle Obama's College Roommate

Great diary.  Thanks for posting!

by fogiv 2008-04-15 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

Very interesting story.  Thanks for this diary.

by Steve M 2008-04-15 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/215/gallery/3 2900-a33392-t3.html
by nogo war 2008-04-15 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

sorry but wtf are you bringing someone into this that had no intention of being a public scapegoat, naming her, just to justify a reaction of M Obama? This is character assassination of a non-public person and I think absolutely disgusting. This roommate to my knowledge has not during this campaign come forth and restated her youthful attitude nor otherwise inserted herself into the public discussion.

very inappropriate.

by swissffun 2008-04-15 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

It looks like she had no problem revealing her identity willingly to a newspaper in a big city.

by Pravin 2008-04-15 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

I guess you didn't bother reading the link - they gave an interview.

by interestedbystander 2008-04-15 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

I think we all know what is really inappropriate...

by brit 2008-04-15 04:10PM | 0 recs
Always read a diary before commenting on it

I never mentioned the name of the roommate. However, the roommate and her mother both came forward to the media and gave an interview and told the reporter that her name could be reported. They are both Obama supporters, and the interview was probably setup by the campaign.

The moral of this story: Never comment on a diary without reading it.

by Zoey 2008-04-15 06:06PM | 0 recs
this is a terrible thing for Michelle to have
had to face.  
However, that doesn't explain her thesis.  She is responsible for what's in her head, he thesis was not some sort of angry off hand comment to a really lousy roommate she had for a few hours.
by TeresaInPa 2008-04-15 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: this is a terrible thing for Michelle to have

Actually if you'd read the article, she roomed with her for an entire semester.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 11:38AM | 0 recs
So sad.

Is discussing Michelle Obama's Princeton thesis relevant to anything?  Mine is down there in the depths of Firestone Library too, and god help me if anyone tried to psychoanalyze me based on that.

Meanwhile, we're still occupying Iraq.

You used to comment at BMT and make a lot of sense.  This Obama-bashing is just nuts, though.

by McNasty 2008-04-15 11:40AM | 0 recs
look folks, some of you are out of control

MILiberal      1
upstate girl     0

There is no reason for these ratings.  All I said is that Michelle is responsible for her own thinking.  

When I was in college a few years before her I was there when ROOTS became a TV miniseries.  It was a time, 1976/77 when there was still a lot of racial "strife".  There was a group of very militant young black men who had a game going.  The point of the game was to see how many white girls they could have sex with and then dump.  It was a small campus and one night I was approached by one of these guys.  When I didn't go with him he called me a racist white bitch and a tight ass.  
It was sexism and bigotry all rolled up in to one.  
But that didn't earn a space in my head.  I never judged other people by the behavior of these men, most of whom were in my sociology class.
We did a LOT of talking about race and it was all about their experience.  Well of course, it was the 70s and everyone was waking up.  But it NEVER occurred to me that I had an equal right to discuss and be angry over my experience, that this was also a social illness that should be talked about.

Some people have terrible experiences.  We are all still responsible for how we handle our thinking afterwards. We are human but we have to fight our anger and not become divisive ourselves.

So all of your self-righteous types who are going around troll rating people because you think the don't get the terrible scourge of racism the way you do, might want to think twice.  I have forgotten more about race relations, diversity, etc.. than most of you will ever know.
I grew up in the 60s and 70s.  I fought all those battles first hand.

Now I really do not care about your petty troll ratings, but you are doing it to others and that bothers me.

by TeresaInPa 2008-04-15 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: look folks, some of you are out of control

Your troll rating was well earned.

Not only did you come into a positive diary to continue to trash M. Obama and pass judgment on what you perceive to be her personal opinions - based on a thesis that's probably 20 years old by now, for pete's sake - you're edging now into dangerous territory by saying your experience and your reaction to it is any more valid than Michelle's.

Not only is that presumptuous, it shows a massive lack of empathy and a huge judgmental attitude to boot.

Plus, as I mentioned at the beginning, its simply rude.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: look folks, some of you are out of control

There is a difference. Many people experience sporadic incidents of bigotry or some other form of hatred, but it is not frequent enough where they can't recharge emotionally after those incidents.

Imagine if one gets slights at periodic intervals. Just as you are getting over one slight, another one comes along and it keeps you in a state on constant tension and you end up overreacting once you get to a boiling point over even some trivial slight. It happens.

by Pravin 2008-04-15 12:55PM | 0 recs
I'm not that much younger than you.

So please, kindly don't lecture us as if you're the only one in the room old enough to remember the 70s.  Try growing up mixed-race in the same era, then we'll compare experience with regards to race and diversity.

I'm totally pink, and with red hair to boot.  Unlike my father and sister, I can "pass," so I got to hear first hand how my pink fellows really thought about darker-skinned folk when they thought the room was "safe."  My personal favorite was "well, you're not really Indian, you're not going to college for free."  (Note, I said "personal favorite," not "worst":  the worst things I've heard racist in South Dakota and Minnesota say about Indians and Blacks were even worse than what that jerk said to you in college, and I'm of no mind to dignify them by repeating them.)

A lot of years have passed since then, and yes, on some fronts things have got better.  But on some of those battles, we're still on the same ground we were 30 years ago.  My family's not as actively engaged in the daily life of the Native community as it was then; lives, needs, and priorities change with time.  I could easily just be "white," and pretend that I don't know what I know.

I hope you'll understand if I don't.


by Progressive Witness 2008-04-15 01:26PM | 0 recs
You are right

I was far too kind; there was no way that comment deserved to be rated a 1.

Hence, I am changing it to a 0.

by MILiberal 2008-04-15 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

Great diary - insightful article and interviews. Says a lot that the very people that espoused the views that in part helped inspire Michelle's thesis have now not only come to see the error of their ways, but are also far more open-minded than some posters on this site. I hope that hits home for some of these people.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 11:40AM | 0 recs
I went to school with

MLK's daughter, Yolanda...a woman's college that all the same makings as you describe here. It was the 1970's.

Despite the pronounments of college adminstrators, the racism was alive and well there, certainly fear based.

Thank you for this story. Unfortunately this was far too common in those days.  She has obviously risen above it and gracefully so.

by 4justice 2008-04-15 11:45AM | 0 recs

MyDD is on a roll!!

TWO DAYS in a row of positive diaries!


by Veteran75 2008-04-15 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

Great diary. Keep the positive vibe on MyDD going.

by FOB92 2008-04-15 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

Oh, well that explains everything. Give them the presidency! Abandon all critique, First Lady it is! The country must bow down. Hillary get out of the way, we have real live victims to tend to.

by superetendar 2008-04-15 12:22PM | 0 recs
Need a hand

getting down off your cross?  Must be kind of lonely up there.

by McNasty 2008-04-15 02:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

Ya know...
First of all...can I assume that women who support Sen. Clinton respect that most females in Michelle's position faced a basic level of sexism in college... as you did back then.
Those of you who are not Anglo women know even more.
How your roommate felt "uncomfortable"

The Republicans, and unfortunately even some giving comments here at MyDD...took one comment from Michelle and twisted it.

I await those Sen. Clinton supporters to arrive and comment.

When I talk about sexism...of course I am not saying that her roommate was sexist...but this place of higher learning...back then...probably was....
...add of course the point...the shade of her melanin. ...
If female Clinton supporters cannot post...

by nogo war 2008-04-15 12:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

Some of us already have.

by skohayes 2008-04-15 02:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

This is all wonderful, but what has this got to do with seeking the Presidency of the United States? Are we looking for the best victim or the best leader? Is victimhood now the new criterion? Does who suffers the most win? Is this a superpower or sociology lab?

by superetendar 2008-04-15 12:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

I wasn't aware Michelle was running for President.

Numerous diaries on this site have taken explicit shots at her patriotism and have presumed to know her opinions and prejudices - this diary is clearly an attempt at providing a balanced perspective.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 12:36PM | 0 recs
Must We Have The Oprah Defense?

Well, I presume we are paying Mrs. Obama all this attention because she may well be First Lady, and therefore her husband President no?

Listen, I think racism is despicable and evil, but I don't owe anyone the Presidency of the United States or the role of First Lady of the United States because of it. It has to be earned by talking to the voters, presenting your plans to the voters, persuading, cajoling, explaining to people your concrete plans. I want healthcare with mandates and Michelle's sob story isn't going to do it for me.

Of course Michelle Obama is a patriot, clearly she is fighting to make America a better country in her own way. I do  draw the line though at room mate sob stories being proffered as an excuse for some of her statements. Its an extravagant use of Oprah style tug-on-the-heart-strings emotionalism and its manipulative and utterly irrelevant to the needs of the voters.

by superetendar 2008-04-15 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Must We Have The Oprah Defense?

Michelle herself is entirely irrelevant to the needs of the voters. She will have no say in policy or how the nation is run. Yet we have numerous diaries on this site trashing her for her opinions (which many are reading a LOT into). If you're not interested in "sob stories", don't read it, and for pete's sake, there's absolutely no need to be even ruder in a diary that was intended to be a balancing piece to those aforementioned hit diaries trashing her, her patriotism, and her opinions on race.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Must We Have The Oprah Defense?

I do apologize. Though I just don't see what Room Mate Gate adds except a victim defense, and I think Mrs. Obama is worthy of  better reasoning in her defense. But I'll shut up now, and go away so that you can continue balancing.

Oh, one last thing, I do hope you are right that Mrs. Obama "will have no say in policy of how the nation is run,"  although I suspect many a  First Lady enjoys, more than we know, a significant role in sharing the burdens of office with el Presidente.

by superetendar 2008-04-15 01:26PM | 0 recs
Something similar happened with me!

I have a Chilean best friend who looks  "white".  We always planned to go to the same university and we registered in the same dorm together, sharing a dorm room.  

However, when my friend went to the Hampshire College (MA) Housing Office to get his rooms keys, a white employee there told him that a terrible mistake had been made.  They had thought that he was a minority when he described himself as "Chilean" on his college application, so on that basis they had placed him in what was called the "Disco Dorm"!

The woman apologized effusively and asked whether he wanted to be moved to a different dorm room.  Of course, my friend told her, to her amazement, that he liked it where he was and he was going to stay.

If I, a Black student had asked to be moved OUT of the "Disco Dorm", would it have been as easy for me as it would have been for my "white" friend?  I doubt it!

by Manic Lawyer 2008-04-15 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Something similar happened with me!

Ha!  I went to Hampshire.

For a year.

by Mostly 2008-04-16 02:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

No doubt M. Obama's roommate didn't want to room with such an an out-of-touch elite.

by wrb 2008-04-15 01:06PM | 0 recs
The Empathy Test

Empathy: the ability to 'place yourself in another person's shoes'.

It's the essence of most religious training.

Do unto others.

Some people get and apply it and some fight for a superior or isolated existence.

It's the defining characteristic of a democrat. When I see someone that isn't exhibiting it, I stop trusting them.

The candidate, ______, has greater empathy: is motivated by empathy.


by mcdtracy 2008-04-15 01:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre
I am working hard each day to gain this skill.
until then,,..
tap yer toes..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2sWjouB1 YA&feature=related.
by nogo war 2008-04-15 02:16PM | 0 recs
Very good diary Rec'd

by SocialDem 2008-04-15 02:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

KUDOS Zoey/Dawn . . . you get Ben Smith to link the story at Politico!!!

by Veteran75 2008-04-15 03:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

And congrats on a #1 MyDD listing and #2 DKOS.

If that ain't a first, then I'm an albino lemur (not protected by the laws of this state).

-woof!(or whatever sound lemurs make..)


by chrisblask 2008-04-15 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?????

Talk about creative -

I spent my last two years of high school in western NC.
I'm eight years older than Michele Obama.
I think it highly unlikely that someone who got a scholarship to Princeton from western NC would come from such a blatantly racist environment. And even so, they would have recognized that institutions - esp. those up north - were completely integrated.

Michelle Obama started Princeton in 1981.  We're not talking 1961 here - 1981.  A person going to school in North Carolina would have been in integrated classes from at least 1970 - so this other student would have had integrated classes throughout school.   Plus extracurricular activities were interracial.  What's more - many NC school districts, churches, and organizations that were integrated tried to have interracial dorms in summer programs - such as Governor's School.  I suspect that if this other student won a scholarship to Princeton that she probably had already been to an integrated, interracial dorm Governor's School in NC.

I call B.S. on this whole story.

by johnnygunn 2008-04-15 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?????

Western North Carolina is an AWFULLY big place.  I mean if you're talking about Asheville, you're right; it would be hard to imagine.  If you're talking about the Blue Ridge Mountains it's not.

I'm from Western NC too (Charlotte), so I know of what I speak.

by Mostly 2008-04-15 03:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?????

What this diary does not do is adequately define the persons involved. Who is Donnelly? Who is Brown? They are never clearly identified in the beginning of the diary. So,it is very easy to read the conditions that the student's mother faced as those that the student faced herself. I was only able to sort it out after linked to the main article.  Even so, Donnelly's mother taught in an elite New Orleans school - so she wasn't dumb - prejudiced, sure, but not dumb. By 1981, all public universities in the SOUTH were integrated - including dorms.

I do not deny that colleges remained hostile and, oftimes, racist environments for minority students, but his story just does not jibe for 1981.

PS - Thanks Vet75 for the TR. You really promote the idea of debate.

by johnnygunn 2008-04-15 04:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?????

Debate is one thing, calling everyone you can find a liar is another.

I'm sorry, you're right. By 1981 All Was Good on the Western Front.  Bigotry was dead, light shone All Night Long and you were born of virgins.

I'm guessing that DKOS is too much like talking to someone you don't already agree with, but if you really like debate go refute everyone who has related similar stories there.

-have fun!


by chrisblask 2008-04-15 04:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?????

BS - is simply calling some of the material "creative".

By the way - anything I may have said pales before your vulgarity.

by johnnygunn 2008-04-15 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?????

1/  "Creative"?  You said you called BS on the whole story and went on to say that these things don't happen any more, regardless of how many first-hand stories have been put forth.

2/  My 'vulgarity"?  WTF?


by chrisblask 2008-04-16 05:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?????

johnnygun, since we're talking about elite New Orleans schools and western North Carolina, I have one hell of a story for you.  But this is a public forum and I'd need to get permission from the principals and I'd feel uncomfortable asking.

It takes place in the early 60's and isn't relevant to this thread, but it's got to do with freedom riders and interracial dating and hanging judges.

by Mostly 2008-04-16 02:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?????

Are you kidding?  I saw this shit happening at the university of Illinois when I started there in 1994!

by CaptMorgan 2008-04-15 03:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?????

I grant you that racism was alive and well on college campuses then and still is now, but integration was a fait accompli by 1981 in Southern universities - let alone Ivy League schools.

To be shocked by integrated dorms in a New Jersey college in 1981 is a little - shall we say - stretched. And her mother was a teacher in an elite New Orleans school.  Now her mother may not have liked integrated dorms, but I find it highly unlikely that they were a surprise. There's something just a little too creative here.

by johnnygunn 2008-04-15 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?????

ummm, so you are calling the roommate, her mother, every commenter here and on DKOS who has related their personal experiences - liars?

Bold little guy, ain'tcha? (or just omniscient?)

Oh Yee - Holder of All Truth - please forgive all of those Others who doubt your Wisdom...

...or challenge your assumptions...



by chrisblask 2008-04-15 04:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?????

Well -

Just about everything in the story is askew.

First, within the segregationist South, upper-class whites never "stormed down to the campus housing office and demanding Donnelly be moved" - they simply made whatever necessary contacts and it was done.

Second, if her mother and grandmother were working poor whites from the South, they would have grown up not to challenge upper-class whites - Northern or Southern.

Third, it was 1981, for Pete's sake.  The referenced article said that her mother taught in an elite school in New Orleans.  Again, within Southern culture of the time, you NEVER drew attention to yourself with an outburst - especially regarding race relations.  There was a surface decorum that was required of all upper middle-class whites - even if they were unmitigated racists underneath.

But what would I know - out family just goes back in the South 350 years. Our family knew the Wallaces. I was in Montgomery and Birmingham.  I worked free the Wilmington 10 and to have the Greensboro Massacre investigated.

I repeat - dubious in the extreme.

by johnnygunn 2008-04-15 04:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?????


"Just about everything in the story is askew.

"First, within the segregationist South, upper-class whites never "stormed down to the campus housing office and demanding Donnelly be moved" - they simply made whatever necessary contacts and it was done."

Ah, yes.  Sure thing.  Gosh.

"Second, if her mother and grandmother were working poor whites from the South, they would have grown up not to challenge upper-class whites - Northern or Southern."

mmmm.  Telling.  Aha.

"Third, it was 1981, for Pete's sake.  The referenced article said that her mother taught in an elite school in New Orleans.  Again, within Southern culture of the time, you NEVER drew attention to yourself with an outburst - especially regarding race relations.  There was a surface decorum that was required of all upper middle-class whites - even if they were unmitigated racists underneath."

Ta.  Ever so much so.

Gee, glad you are so definitive and informative.  We'll just tell all those with different experiences to go back and scrub all those memories.  I mean, you know the Wallace's and everything.  350 years of family experience.

I mean, I lived in SC and grandma was a florida sharecropper, so my pedigree doesn't nearly match yours, so how could I be as much a pervasive expert as to what went on in hundreds of colleges with millions of students as you, who was there for everything and know the Rules that All Follow.  I mean, you were there for every, single, solitary instance and have this amazing perspective.



by chrisblask 2008-04-16 05:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?????

I uprated johnnygun's question, just because I think the downrating in this thread is out of control; particularly in his case.

by Mostly 2008-04-16 02:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?????

Thank you, Mostly -

I blame the author of the AJC article more than I do the diarist when the former simply takes at face value what Donnelly and her mother say - no independent confirmation.  A thorough journalist should have tried to get an outside source to confirm this material since it is about the spouse of a presidential candidate and about such an explosive subject.

I would think an older person at the housing office in Princeton would remember someone bursting in in 1981 demanding that her daughter not have an African American roommate.  It would have been discussed throughout the housing office.  There is a temptation for people to link themselves to famous people in exaggerated ways.  Lacking outside confirmation on the part of the AJC author, there is no way to be certain.

by johnnygunn 2008-04-16 04:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?????

PS - The referenced article stated that although Michelle Obama acknowledged that Donnelly was her roommate, she declined to comment.  Credit goes to Michelle - I suspect she is aware of the hyperbole of the story and doesn't want to give it the time of day.

And BTW - this criticism has NOTHING to do with the very real problem of racism on campus - then or now. It has to do with an excessively "crafted" story. If all the candidates have had problems from time to time with selective memory, why can't a former roommate?

by johnnygunn 2008-04-15 05:07PM | 0 recs
Honestly, I don't believe you

I've got family in your neck of the woods, and if you've never seen racism there, then you've never lived there.

by Zoey 2008-04-15 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Honestly, I don't believe you

Gee, Zoey -

I never said anything about whether or not racism existed.
In fact, I have gone out of my way to say that racism remains a serious problem on college campuses.

But a human interest story with only the woman and her mother as sources - given the seriousness of the allegations and the unlikelihood of the events - does little to address these problems.  Why not talk about Jena - where there are multiple witnesses and clear issues at stake? Or about the race issues in the John White trial on Long Island? I grow increasingly weary.

Do you believe everything you read on the internet?

PS - Thanks for the zero.

by johnnygunn 2008-04-15 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Honestly, I don't believe you

Sorry for the zero... I hadn't quite figured out the rating system. Well, I thought I had, but I hadn't. I think I'm only going to give 2's from now on until I have time to RTFM.

by Zoey 2008-04-17 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

Great diary and incredibly timely given a couple of other diaries on Michelle Obama that have appeared here in the last few days. I always a bit wary of too much biography when it comes to partners of political candidates - I really don't need to know their private details - but in this case the story is painful, honest and salutary.

This is way race should be talked about - honestly. I have a mixed race younger brother and though London was very tense in the 70s, mixed race marriages/relationships are now very prevalent. I notice more anxiety about race among my American friends, many of them Democrats, and really do think this primary season has begun to open up some of these wounds to a healing air.

It's still difficult though - for obvious historical reasons which make the US very different from the UK.  My oldest brother is married to a Kikuyu Kenyan, and the only problem they have had has been when travelling in the US.

But good on all of you for opening this up and discussing it in such an open and unpartisan way.

by brit 2008-04-15 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama

When people say it isn't surprising that some Blacks are angry I  agree. However I am less sure that America needs one angry anything's as its President and First lady. And if the angry one is angry at me or a stereotype of me I am even less inclined to want them as my President and First lady. So explaining or justifying why someone is angry doesn't make them anymore desirable.

by coolofthenight 2008-04-15 06:15PM | 0 recs
Recommended, but weird

It's weird IMO because I appear to be about the only strong Hillary supporter to recommend this.

Equally weird though is a huge amount of Obama supporters recommending it.  I'm not bashing, just thinking here that everyone should recommend something like this, not because it's about Obama's wife though...but simply because of the racism that was and still is prevalent in society.

I guess I'm trying to say that this shouldn't be recommended just because of Obama, or his wife, but because of all minorities who have to deal with this stuff.


by SluggoJD 2008-04-15 07:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Recommended, but weird

I hate to say it, but there's a certain percentage of Clinton supporters that post here that I don't think are being entirely genuine. There's been a handful that have already outed themselves as trolls or Republicans looking to stir the pot.

I prefer to remain optimistic and believe that people like you represent Clinton's supporters by and large. Thanks for your positive contribution to this diary.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 07:50PM | 0 recs
Well of course

There are tens of millions of people who support Hillary.  There are hundreds of folks who post here.

If you believe that online folks represent mainstream Democrats, regardless of who they favor, wow...please turn your computer off, get out in the real world, and gain wisdom.

Also, there is larger group of trolls pretending to be Obama supporters, IMO.  Of course, some trolls pretend to be Hillary supporters...probably some pretend to be both.  That's the online world we inhabit.

I wrote a humorous parody of it last night.


by SluggoJD 2008-04-15 09:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Well of course

Oh absolutely not - online people can be anyone, and usually when they're contributing only ill thought out or hateful positions they're trolling. Its a shame its as bad as it is here, and both sides need to knock it off, and support the people that bring something positive. Its gotten to epic proportions around here.

You can check who troll rated my post above thanking you for a nice positive comment to see one offender :)

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 09:55PM | 0 recs
Bigots exist. Therefore, vote Obama!

While he is very smart, he doesn't know a lot about history and he's arrogant about his foreign policy prowess.

But none of that matters because bigots exist! Vote Obama!

by catfish1 2008-04-15 08:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Bigots exist. Therefore, vote Obama!

This diary isn't even about Barack Obama. The sure sign of a troll is one that doesn't bother to read what they're trolling.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 08:17PM | 0 recs
It's about Michelle Obama's roomate

What was her name? Why would it be on MyDD - maybe the Obama connection?

by catfish1 2008-04-15 08:21PM | 0 recs
Re: It's about Michelle Obama's roomate

OK, so total lack of justification for trolling a positive diary that wasn't even about the person you're disparaging, but his wife. While there's been a large number of diaries trashing the woman on this site. Is your spouse fair game when someone wants to trash you? Or do you just have so much hate and so little of import to say that it just spills out all over without any sort of justification?

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 08:25PM | 0 recs
Bigotry does not excuse jerkiness

Bigotry exists. Does it excuse Michelle Obama's occasional gaffes? No, not in my book.

The Obamas have potential. I'd like to see them get some more experience and run again in four or eight years.

Guess I'm a racist for saying that.

by catfish1 2008-04-15 08:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Bigotry does not excuse jerkiness

This diary was in no way shape or form acting as some sort of reason you should like Michelle Obama, or vote for her husband. To start trashing her in a positive diary that doesn't trash any other candidate is trolling behavior.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 09:07PM | 0 recs
How did I trash her?

Back up your assertions please.

by catfish1 2008-04-15 09:41PM | 0 recs
Do I have so much hate?

Yes the spouse is a reflection of you. It's not a show-stopper, but when your record is so thin (much thinner than it first appears) spouses can help voters fill in the gap as to who you really are.

by catfish1 2008-04-15 08:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Do I have so much hate?

You're only posting in here to bash either Obama in a positive diary that doesn't bash any candidate. Take it elsewhere.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 09:08PM | 0 recs
This is a manipulative diary

I have HAD IT with the charges of racism coming from the Obama campaign.

by catfish1 2008-04-15 09:29PM | 0 recs
Re: This is a manipulative diary

Who called you racist in this diary? This diary isn't about you in any way, shape or form. Try reading it.

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 09:37PM | 0 recs
You cannot read minds

That is not my only motivation.

by catfish1 2008-04-15 09:40PM | 0 recs
The main motivation, then, may be

to sew division into the Democratic ranks so John McCain can seat Supreme Court judges for four years?


by chrisblask 2008-04-17 05:16AM | 0 recs

A sure sign of a troll is what?

I would say there is no sure sign, but being intellectually dishonest is a good clue.

Now then, let's conduct an experiment :)

I'm going to post a little blunt intellectual honesty, and let's see how you react :)

1.  Obama's campaign turned race into an issue, by distorting Bill Clinton's "fairy tale" comment.

2.  Obama's health care plan is not as good as Hillary's health care plan, because Hillary's is much closer to universal health care than Obama's.

I'll take it easy on you this first time :)

Your thoughts?

by SluggoJD 2008-04-15 09:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Wrongo

Goading notwithstanding, I will answer:

1/  I do not believe the Obama camp inserted race into the race, but has rather avoided the topic. The Fairy Tale comment was not the beginning of the racial undertone, the Jesse Jackson in SC comment was.

2/  Having lived with Universal Healthcare I have many problems with it.  Neither candidate's plans are truly Universal Healthcare, and of the two the Clinton plan seems to me to be measurably worse that UH.

 Universal Mandates without government price controls would appear to allow for even greater costs than in Canada (where UH provides poor access to healthcare for all at an enormous cost to every part of the economy, and is threatening to break government budgets despite a high-profit resource economy with otherwise low government overhead).

 I could hope that the Clinton plan would not be executed similarly with the first attempt in the 90s - behind closed doors excluding not only the providers and insurance companies but other party members as well - which was followed by the massive increases in healthcare costs we are all familiar with.  I have not heard clear indications that this lesson would not be repeated.

 One question that I have asked repeatedly about the Clinton UH plan for which I am still looking for an answer is this:  If you are an independent business person - who does not have wages to garnish - and you do not purchase the healthcare you are legally mandated to buy because you cannot afford it, and you further do not pay the fines imposed because you cannot afford those, either, what happens next?  Laws without teeth are useless, so at what point does the government resort to police intervention or repossession of property?

 Finally, one measure of the likelihood of either plan to favor the insurance companies that are much of the problem is to look for correlation between these companies' stock prices and the chances of either candidate.  When Clinton's nomination chances rise, these stocks rise.


by chrisblask 2008-04-16 11:49AM | 0 recs
Are you her supervisor?

Cayman islands.

A worthless genealogy site.

Wow, looks like I have some work to do!

by SluggoJD 2008-04-16 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Are you her supervisor?

WTF is that about?

I actually gave you some mojo for making a rational statement somewhere.  Don't make me regret it..

by chrisblask 2008-04-16 10:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Are you her supervisor?

If you are looking for me, it's chris@blask.org

941 201 8277

Google Chris Blask

and Linkedin here: http://linkedin.com/in/chrisblask

Who are you, John?

-chris blask

by chrisblask 2008-04-16 11:00PM | 0 recs
The fact that Obama's candidacy

is encouraging Americans to finally have a dialogue about racism is important to this country.

It does not, however, qualify Obama to be our President.

Apples and oranges.

by izarradar 2008-04-15 10:16PM | 0 recs
Re: The fact that Obama's candidacy

This is just about the only comment in response to this diary that was worth reading. Thanks for pointing it out.

I imagine that Michelle and Barack Obama both have numerous stories to tell of the times they experienced the prejudices of others. I imagine as well that people are profoundly affected by these experiences, since I know I have been profoundly affected by such experiences in my own life. And, there is cause for anger and hurt, when people judge you negatively based on ugly stereotypes and hatred nurtured by their own parents and families.

But, here's the thing. Parents also can give children the strength to overcome that anger, to turn it into positive energy, to use it to move forward, do better, be stronger and more compassionate in the world. Good parents do that for their children, because they know that there is hatred, prejudice, and hurtful people in the world, and they know everyone experiences it at some time or another in their lives. Loving parents want to provide their beloved children with the emotional tools to handle these experiences, so they can overcome them.

So, yeah, apples and oranges. Michelle Obama, like most other people, has experienced ignorance and hatred from others. Perhaps Barack Obama has also experienced such things.

But, that doesn't qualify Barack and Michelle Obama to be the President and First Lady of this country.

by Tennessean 2008-04-16 04:04AM | 0 recs
I love what you wrote

And I totally agree with you.

by izarradar 2008-04-16 07:08PM | 0 recs
I like Senator Obama, i cannot stand his wife

She just robs me the wrong way. She comes across as arrogant. I think the campaign should cut on her public appearances as much as they can.

by likelihood zero 2008-04-15 10:21PM | 0 recs
Re: I like Senator Obama, i cannot stand his wife

didn't either of your parents teach you that if you can't say anything nice (in a positive diary that doesn't bash either candidate) then don't say anything at all?

by upstate girl 2008-04-15 10:28PM | 0 recs
Re: I like Senator Obama, i cannot stand his wife

I have no obligation whatsoever to Michelle. The Senator is the person of interest. His wife rubs many people the wrong way, not only me.

And thank you for teaching me the value of authoritarianism and dictatorship. I support Obama; he is not a prophet or a walking-talking god. I will criticizing him if i feel like he made mistakes and stray away from his core message, as for his wife, i don't give a damn about her and if you see some polling numbers like i saw, you will realize that she really rubs people the wrong way. So, shut the hell up with your high moralizing and sanctimonious crap.

As for my parents, my dad died of Alzheimer 7 years ago and my mom is about 66 years now, and both of them taught me to be a strong man with a strong opinion and free spirit.  

by likelihood zero 2008-04-16 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

////////////// ////
"""When I was 14, a Baptist kid refused to sleep near me at an pallet party, because I was a Jew."""
///////////// ////

I call BS on this crap.  You're a disgusting liar.

by switching sides 2008-04-15 11:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

And you're a fool who doesn't know what it's like to either be Jewish or live in the Deep South, I'd imagine.

Unlike you, I have no problems believing this.  What's more, even if I were skeptical about it, I certainly wouldn't call someone a "disgusting liar."

It's people like you that remind me why I hardly come to MyDD anymore.

by erzeszut 2008-04-16 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

What a lovely story! All other individual stories of suffering and triumph over evil, just seem to pale in insignificance. Our soon to be First Lady, our first ambassador of suffering, our American survivor will soon take the world stage.

by superetendar 2008-04-16 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle Obama's College Roommate Wanted Segre

Barack Obama has picked up a total of three new Suerdelegates today...

One from Indiana

Rep. Andre Carson (IN)

and two from North Carolina:

Rep. Mel Watt (NC) and

Rep. David Price (NC) for Obama

U.S. Rep. David Price says Barack Obama can "change the equation."
"In a conference call this afternoon, the Chapel Hill Democrat said that he was endorsing Obama because he can help bring independent voters in North Carolina to the Democratic column in November."

http://demconwatch.blogspot.com/2008/01/ superdelegate-list.html

by hootie4170 2008-04-16 10:55AM | 0 recs
Positive re-ENFORCEMENT or Shut Up and Smile

I see Michelle Obama's glorious story of triumph over evil is not to challenged at any level judging troll ratings followed by the root and branch removal of any displeasing comments.

The Obama train is coming down the track and all dissenters are to be corralled in a permanent quiet compartment. A tyranny of niceness has emerged, where "postive only" smothers all dissent with a smile. Singular stories of heroic suffering of the Obamas are promoted and we MUST cheer.

Is MYdd to be reduced to something like the forthcoming Beijing Oympics with enforced happiness and coordinated smiles? Aren't POSTIVE ONLY diaries in any case a form of segregation? Seperating categories of opinios. Ironic isn't it considering the subject of the diary?

by superetendar 2008-04-16 03:30PM | 0 recs


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