Michelle Obama Thesis Explains Presence of Rapper

Today, the White House defended its decision to host rapper Common despite more opposition from the New Jersey State Police. The show will go on.

But some Americans (including myself) have asked what was Michelle Obama thinking inviting a woman-bashing, cop-hating, Bush-burning, Black Panther sympathizing rapper to a poetry reading at the White House? It's a fair question since we are paying her husband's salary and housing the family until at least 2012.

Michelle has left us a written record of her feelings, thoughts and philosophy from her early days as a student at Princeton. Perhaps revisiting the First Lady's thesis may yield some answers into her obvious psychological need to expose not only her own daughters to violent-sexualized rap lyrics but other local children as well.

Mrs. Obama wrote "Princeton Educated Blacks and the Black Community" in 1985 when gangsta rap was just beginning its very lucrative rise into the mainstream. At the same time a highly rated sitcom centered on an upper middle-class African-American family living in New York City. The Cosby Show which premiered in 1984 rarely dealt with race issues or the contemporary black experience. Gangsta rap and The Cosby Show occurring around the same time surely reflected a burgeoning identity crisis for African-Americans.

Michelle's thesis depicts a woman caught in the middle of this conundrum, terrified of assimilating into white culture while secretly desiring the same success.

Gangsta rap may have offered a cathartic release after acting like a Huxtable all day at Princeton and later at the University of Chicago Medical Center. It's a long, psychic journey from south side Chicago to the Ivy Leagues and Mrs. Obama's final paper at Princeton reveals a race-obsessed young woman.

These experiences have made it apparent to me that the path I have chosen to follow by attending Princeton will likely lead to my further integration and/or assimilation into a White cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant. This realization has presently made my goals to actively utilize my resources to benefit the Black community more desirable.

At the same time, however, it is conceivable that my four years of exposure to a predominately [sic] White, Ivy League University has instilled within me certain conservative values. For example, as I enter my final year at Princeton, I find myself striving for many of the same goals as my White classmates- acceptance to a prestigious graduate or professional school or a high paying position in a successful corporation.                                                                          

Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton's (1967) developed definition of separationism in their discussion of Black Power which guided me in the formulation and use of this concept in the study.The concept of Black Power rests on the fundamental premise: Before a group can enter the open society, it must close ranks. By this we mean that group solidarity is necessary before a group can operate effectively from a bargaining position of strength in a pluralistic society.'

I began this study questioning my own attitudes as a future alumnus. I wondered whether or not my education at Princeton would affect my identification with the Black community.

Michelle must need performers like Common to keep her connected to the Black community. She lives a stereotyped ‘ghetto' life vicariously through his hateful, misogynistic lyrics while entertaining heads of state at the White House.

Her Princeton research study has come full circle. As the First Lady she need not worry about the white/black thing. If she's feeling militant, just invite some rappers for a faux poetry reading. If she's feeling ‘proper' host a tea with Governors' wives. How's that for assimilation?


M.Catharine Evans writes for Potter Williams Report
Today, the White House defended its decision to host rapper Common despite more opposition from the New Jersey State Police. The show will go on.

But some Americans (including myself) have asked what was Michelle Obama thinking inviting a woman-bashing, cop-hating, Bush-burning, Black Panther sympathizing rapper to a poetry reading at the White House? It's a fair question since we are paying her husband's salary and housing the family until at least 2012.

Michelle has left us a written record of her feelings, thoughts and philosophy from her early days as a student at Princeton. Perhaps revisiting the First Lady's thesis may yield some answers into her obvious psychological need to expose not only her own daughters to violent-sexualized rap lyrics but other local children as well.

Mrs. Obama wrote "Princeton Educated Blacks and the Black Community" in 1985 when gangsta rap was just beginning its very lucrative rise into the mainstream. At the same time a highly rated sitcom centered on an upper middle-class African-American family living in New York City. The Cosby Show which premiered in 1984 rarely dealt with race issues or the contemporary black experience. Gangsta rap and The Cosby Show occurring around the same time surely reflected a burgeoning identity crisis for African-Americans.

Michelle's thesis depicts a woman caught in the middle of this conundrum, terrified of assimilating into white culture while secretly desiring the same success.

Gangsta rap may have offered a cathartic release after acting like a Huxtable all day at Princeton and later at the University of Chicago Medical Center. It's a long, psychic journey from south side Chicago to the Ivy Leagues and Mrs. Obama's final paper at Princeton reveals a race-obsessed young woman.

These experiences have made it apparent to me that the path I have chosen to follow by attending Princeton will likely lead to my further integration and/or assimilation into a White cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant. This realization has presently made my goals to actively utilize my resources to benefit the Black community more desirable.

At the same time, however, it is conceivable that my four years of exposure to a predominately [sic] White, Ivy League University has instilled within me certain conservative values. For example, as I enter my final year at Princeton, I find myself striving for many of the same goals as my White classmates- acceptance to a prestigious graduate or professional school or a high paying position in a successful corporation.                                                                          

Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton's (1967) developed definition of separationism in their discussion of Black Power which guided me in the formulation and use of this concept in the study.The concept of Black Power rests on the fundamental premise: Before a group can enter the open society, it must close ranks. By this we mean that group solidarity is necessary before a group can operate effectively from a bargaining position of strength in a pluralistic society.'

I began this study questioning my own attitudes as a future alumnus. I wondered whether or not my education at Princeton would affect my identification with the Black community.

Michelle must need performers like Common to keep her connected to the Black community. She lives a stereotyped ‘ghetto' life vicariously through his hateful, misogynistic lyrics while entertaining heads of state at the White House.

Her Princeton research study has come full circle. As the First Lady she need not worry about the white/black thing. If she's feeling militant, just invite some rappers for a faux poetry reading. If she's feeling ‘proper' host a tea with Governors' wives. How's that for assimilation?


M.Catharine Evans writes for Potter Williams Report

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