Inside Higher Ed:
Obama Mentor sees Race at Play
Watching the “professor Obama” label bandied about again, one of the president’s longtime mentors says he doubts it will gain traction outside of Tea Party rallies. Taken to its logical conclusion, the message just doesn’t make sense, says Charles J. Ogletree, a Harvard professor who has known Obama since he was a law student there.
“I think anyone who examines it closely and carefully will see this type of criticism of Obama will ultimately be counterproductive,” Ogletree says. “Do you want to tell your children we don’t want smart people in government?”
Ogletree, founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, says he sees the “professor” label as a thinly veiled attack on Obama’s race. Calling Obama “the professor” walks dangerously close to labeling him “uppity,” a term with racial overtones that has surfaced in the political arena before, Ogletree said.
Describing his divisive confirmation hearings as a “circus,” Justice Clarence Thomas called the proceedings “a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas.…” It is perhaps ironic, then, that Ogletree, who represented Anita Hill when she made harassment allegations against Thomas in 1991, now sees a bit of the “uppity” label being placed on Obama.
“The idea is that he’s not one of us,” Ogletree says of the professor label. “He has these ideas that are left wing, that are socialist, that he’s palling around with terrorists -- those were buzzwords, but the reality was they were looking at this president as an African American who was out of place.”
Shameful WMAL - 2/5 - Rant. It's racially derogatory to call an African American man a "boy." So, how is it any different when Rush Limbaugh calls President Obama a "man child" - as the talk radio host did again today? If you're a DC area advertiser, do you really want your spots to be heard on a station - like DC's Citadel-owned WMAL - that broadcasts such shameless crap? WMAL and its sponsors, like the Home Depot, who should be openly condemning such garbage talk rather than supporting it with their ad dollars, should be deeply ashamed.