More Derb on Mrs. O
John Derbyshire has done what few non-college professors are willing to do: he’s actually read Michelle Obama’s senior thesis. Overall, he believes (and I agree) that it will and should have minimal effect on the presidential race, but he makes a worthy point:
… the slight negative is negative because the thesis reveals a cast of mind that most voters find deeply unattractive. Plainly Mrs. Obama had that cast of mind in 1985. Recent remarks suggest she still has it. The fact that Barack Obama chose her as a wife and seems to get on well with her, indicates that he shares it. It’s that deeply, unrelentingly critical way of thinking about the U.S.A., and about most of our citizens, that characterizes the “victicrat” — the person who has been taught, or who has taught herself, that she is a pitiful figure buffeted by hostile forces, whose only hope for survival is to return the hostility, and to band together with others like herself (“the Black community”) for mutual aid, all of them in a hostile posture to the out-group.
Most Americans don’t see our country like that, and have a low opinion of people who do. Millions of white — or, as Mrs. Obama writes, “White” — Americans would love to have had the breaks Mrs. Obama had, and resent the fact that they didn’t have them because they don’t belong to a designated victim group. They resent the ease with which two beneficiaries of those breaks can parlay their victim status into two six-digit salaries and a seven-digit house, without ever doing any kind of work that adds to the nation’s wealth or security. And they especially resent that people who have attained those heights of success, with the assistance of those breaks, seem to nurse nothing but hostile emotions towards the country that made it possible for them.
This “slight negative” for the Obama campaign has been a tremendous negative for race relations over the past few decades, and to the extent that an Obama presidency reinforces the victimhood separatism of our recent history, it will prove to be a net loss for interracial harmony.