Barack Obama 1990 Interview: Harvard student tackles racism at it’s core
Via Ironic Surrealism:

From his 1990 interview:

“There’s certainly racism here. There are certain burdens that are placed, more emotionally at this point than concretely,” Obama said.

“Professors may treat black students differently, sometimes by being, sort of, more dismissive, sometimes by being more, sort of, careful because they think, you know, they think that somehow we can’t cope in the classroom,” he said.

Obama sees the inner cities as the front lines of racism.

“It’s critical at this stage for people who want to see genuine change to focus locally. And it is crucial that we figure out how to rebuild the core of leadership and institutions in these communities,” he said.

For five years before law school, Obama took on that task in Chicago. As the director of a program that tried to bring South Side churches, unions and block associations together on projects, Obama was not trying to solve local problems, he said. Instead he sought to construct something more lasting — a forum for the community, “I’m interested in organizations, not movements, because movements dissipate and organizations don’t,” Obama said.

America suffered when the movements of the 1960s dissipated, he said. Those movements succeeded in raising doubts about harmful traditions of sexism and racism, but failed to offer a viable alternative.

“Hopefully, more and more people will begin to feel their story is somehow part of this larger story of how we’re going to reshape America in a way that is less mean-spirited and more generous,” Obama said.

Hat Tip Ed




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  1. Me likey this vetting thing. Get ready for the fight, America

  2. Great job you did bringing the inner city together in Chicago Hussein…more murders drug dealers and welfare than ever before…and now you are fukken up America as a whole…what a waste of a life you are

    Buck Obama 2012

  3. I’m sure this will send a trickle down Chrissy’s leg ;-)

  4. The Wohn is a race-baiter with an inferiority complex and a no-child-left-behind philosophy, where the child is of course the man-child Himself.

  5. I don’t think “less mean-spirited and more generous” means what he thinks it means.
    Epic fail Ivy league.

  6. “reshape America in a way that is less mean-spirited”
    This is a downright mean country.
    Michelle Obama

  7. This kind of stuff makes me lose hope for the future of America. Not for black folks and other minorities who would vote for Obama even if I produced a tape of him killing a puppy, but for the millions upon millions of others who put their support behind this clown.

  8. In his memoir, Obama writes of one of the watershed moments of his racial awareness — time and again in remarkable detail. It is a story about a Life magazine article that influenced him. The report was about a black man who tried to bleach his skin white. When Obama was told no such article could be found in Life, he says “it might have been Ebony.He is 9 years old, living in Indonesia, where he and his mother moved with her new husband, Lolo Soetoro, a few years earlier. One day while visiting his mother, who was working at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Obama passed time by looking through several issues of Life magazine. He came across an article that he later would describe as feeling like an “ambush attack.”The article included photos of a black man who had destroyed his skin with powerful chemical lighteners that promised to make him white. Instead, the chemicals had peeled off much of his skin, leaving him sad and scarred, Obama recalled.“I imagine other black children, then and now, undergoing similar moments of revelation,” Obama wrote of the magazine photos in “Dreams.”Yet no such photo exists, according to historians at the magazine. No such photos, no such article. When asked about the discrepancy, Obama said in a recent interview, “It might have been an Ebony or it might have been … who knows what it was?” (At the request of the Tribune, archivists at Ebony searched their catalogue of past articles, none of which matched what Obama recalled.)In fact, it is surprising, based on interviews with more than two dozen people who knew Obama during his nearly four years in Indonesia, that it would take a photograph in a magazine to make him conscious of the fact that some people might treat him differently in part because of the color of his skin.

  9. OT

    Yet, this is the real Obama

    Barack Obama in 2003, talking to the AFL/CIO:“I happen to be a proponent of single-payer universal healthcare coverage. That’s what I’d like to see.”In January, 2008, Obama claimed in a nationally televised debate:”I never said that we should try to go ahead and get single-payer.”

  10. Why would anyone have this particular page saved out of Section 3 in the newspaper for over 20 years? Doesn’t the page look too built? Fold marks on the left hand side running vertically, type sets are irregular with obvious curvatures, i.e. the Toys R US banner at the top, and spotty placements, i.e. The Grand Opening leans to the right, and the Harvard article leans to the left. A photocopy would not do this! An edited microfiche however could produce this as the creator would not notice the obvious flaws until a larger view/print out occurred and that they really never expected to surface. ALSO, hmm?, wouldn’t that put him close enough to Connecticut to pick up a deadman’s SS#? When did the previous owner die? Just saying!

  11. I’m angry this didn’t come out in 2008 – why?

    And, what a mean-spirited thing to say – Americans are some of the most generous and open minded people on the planet. What a jackass.

  12. bobbi85710 commented:

    Why would anyone have this particular page saved out of Section 3 in the newspaper for over 20 years?

    Its should be easy enough to verify – publications keep copies of back issues – primarily electronically now. This was a 1990 issue – so it might be microfiche (sp?) in which case, this is exactly how it would look.

  13. How is this any worse than the rude slap the Bush family struck in the face of Ronald Reagan by calling for a ” kinder gentler nation “…implying Reagan’s America was a colder meaner racist nation….full of conservatives lacking compassion .

  14. “Professors may treat black students differently, sometimes by being, sort of, more dismissive, sometimes by being more, sort of, careful because they think, you know, they think that somehow we can’t cope in the classroom,” he said.

    Professors tend to treat most students this way (she said from experience). I’m sure black people face discrimination – but some people see it everywhere, and blame EVERYTHING on it. Some times it not racism. Sometimes the other guy is just a jerk.

    Note to obama – get over yourself.

  15. I noticed the article gets one thing wrong; it says that he attended public schools in Hawaii. Obama went to a tony prep school, one that had “Kill Hoale Day.” And there is no mention of Occidental University in California where he first attended before Columbia.

    So even 12 years ago, Obama was spinning his past (via ommission).

  16. I see it’s mouth move but nothing comes out or means anything.

  17. ++

    oh yes.. meaner Grasshoppers, who are incrementally more and
    more generous to their own deserving selves, but not to worry..
    we the greedy ants will sacrifice all and pay them homage for the
    privilege of owing them for taking our freedom away from US.. /s/

    WE AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET!! *sigh*


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