The graduate of Columbia, Occidental College and Harvard declaring himself an "Honorary Morehouse Man" is already a cynical joke. Obama never would have gone to Morehouse.
It's an open question of whether Obama has anything in common even with the Black middle class. But the idea that he has anything in common with the underclass is a cynical joke.
The graduate of Columbia, Occidental College and Harvard declaring himself an "Honorary Morehouse Man" is already a cynical joke. Obama never would have gone to Morehouse. The odds of him sending one of his offspring to an HBA is right up there with him sending them to the moon.
It would never happen and everyone knows it. Like most of the D.C. Elite, his kids don't even go to public school.
"Benjamin Mays, who served as the president of Morehouse for almost 30 years, understood that tradition perhaps better than anyone. He said, “It will not be sufficient for Morehouse College, for any college, for that matter, to produce clever graduates… but rather honest men, men who can be trusted in public and private life – men who are sensitive to the wrongs, the sufferings, and the injustices of society and who are willing to accept responsibility for correcting [those] ills,” Obama said.
But Obama isn't a Morehouse grad. And the institutions he graduated produced a dishonest ruling class that cannot be trusted, that mimes sensitivity and takes responsibility for nothing.
"I know some of you came to Morehouse from communities where life was about keeping your head down and looking out for yourself. Maybe you feel like you escaped, and you can take your degree, get a fancy job and never look back. And don’t get me wrong – with the heavy weight of student loans, with doors open to you that your parents and grandparents could scarcely imagine, no one expects you to take a vow of poverty. But I will say it betrays a poverty of ambition if all you think about is what goods you can buy instead of what good you can do," Obama said.
And that's more cynical liberal privilege that cuts to class, rather than race.
Obama was always going to goof off, to look for non-profits and academic jobs where he could coast along with minimal skills, until he ended up moving up the political ladder.
That's something that Harvard and Columbia grads with the right connections can do. And they can celebrate their non-work as fighting for the people. But it's not something that students who live in the real world, whose grandparents aren't executives or diplomats, can afford to do.
Obama, like so many liberal speakers, is describing a privileged reality.
"Some of you may be headed to medical school to become doctors. But make sure you heal folks in underserved communities who really need it," Obama said.
I think most people know how Michelle Obama treated "folks" in underserved communities.
"We know that too many young men in our community continue to make bad choices. Growing up, I made a few myself. And I have to confess, sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down," Obama said.
And again, that's a bad joke. If or when Obama got in trouble, the consequences had very little in common with those of the people on the bottom. Obama could casually do coke without worrying that it would destroy his future. Because it wouldn't.
Obama's pretense that he had a common experience with the kid on the streets is willfully dishonest. He didn't.
"The brothers who have been left behind – who haven’t had the same opportunities we have – they need to hear from us. We’ve got to be in the barbershops with them, at church with them, spending time and energy and presence helping pull them up, exposing them to new opportunities, and supporting their dreams," Obama said.
A quick look at the unemployment rate for Brothers will show how well Obama has done that. What has Obama actually done about that? Every now and then he gives a speech in which he pretends that his time goofing around doing drugs gives him some understanding of the "brothers".
"Whatever success I achieved, whatever positions of leadership I’ve held, have depended less on Ivy League degrees or SAT scores or GPAs, and have instead been due to that sense of empathy and connection – the special obligation I felt, as a black man like you, to help those who needed it most; people who didn’t have the opportunities that I had, because but for the grace of God, I might be in their shoes," Obama said.
It's highly unlike that Obama, the son of privilege on his mother's side, and of a foreign diplomat on his father's side, whose stepfather was a colonel in Indonesia, would ever be in their shoes.
But Obama comes closest to admitting that he didn't succeed based on academics, but based on connections and favoritism, not his special obligation, but the special obligation that white liberals had toward him, not just based on race, but also based on class.