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Is Obama Privileged? Oh, Yes!
I saw this on Drudge:
He's talking about this:
"Last night on FOX News' ‘Hannity’ program presidential candidate Rick Perry (R-TX) said President Obama grew up ‘privileged’ and has ‘never had to go through what Americans [are now] going through.’
Perhaps Gov. Perry was referring to Obama's upbringing and the educational institutions he attended. However, according to the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart this comment was a ‘dog whistle’ for racism.
‘That's the dog whistle that Rick Perry is going for. The president was not raised privileged. He wasn't handed anything. He absolutely had to work for everything that he got. But for Rick Perry to say that President Obama was privileged and didn't have to work for what he got, the code is, he got into Columbia University, he got into Harvard University not through merit, not because he's smart, but because he took the place of someone else through affirmative action, that someone else being someone white,’ Mr. Capehart said on Martin Bashir's MSNBC show.."
[Capehart: Perry Calling Obama "Privileged" Is "Dog Whistle" To Racists | RealClearPolitics, see video]
Even in the non-racial sense, Obama is as privileged as anyone not called Bush, Kennedy, or Rockefeller:
- Both his parents were PhD.s
- His Indonesian stepfather was part of that country's ruling class, working for Union Oil and the national government of Indonesia. They lived there in a house with servants.
- In Hawaii, Obama went to Punahou prep school--tuition this year is $18,450.
- In Hawaii, he was raised by his grandmother--who was a bank executive.
- He attended Columbia University and Harvard Law School, and was president of the Harvard Law Review.
- He has not served in the Armed Forces, nor has he ever had a job that involved lifting anything heavier than his hat.
All of that is remarkably similar to what people call "white privilege," and is as legitimate as attacking George W. Bush on the same grounds.
Capehart is also wrong to think that Perry is attacking Obama as an Affirmative Action case--Perry doesn't have the nerve.
If he did, he could point out that Obama benefitted from Affirmative Action at Columbia, again at Harvard Law, and became the "first black" president of the Harvard Law Review the same way he became the first black President of the United States, not because he was actually qualified, but because he was the closest thing to qualified they'd been able to find.
All of this is as legitimate an issue for Perry to raise as, say, former Governor Bush's relationship with Bush Senior, but it won't be raised by anyone in the GOP.