Thursday, March 29, 2012

UNDERSTANDING OBAMA: THE EMERGENCE OF RACE - Charles Ogletree Lecture, Harvard Law

In February of 2011, Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree gave a three-part lecture at the W.E.B. Du Boise Institute for African and African American Research.  The title of the lecture series was "Understanding Obama" - focusing on Obama's life from Hawaii to the White House. Because each lecture is roughly 90 minutes long, I have clipped portions that I think people will find interesting. You can, however, see the lectures in their entirety here and I would encourage readers to do so.


In this second lecture, Professor Ogletree focuses on racism and its impact on President Obama and his 2008 campaign. He refers back to the video of a young Obama introducing Derrick Bell at a protest in 1990 and reminds listeners that Obama referred to Bell as "the Rosa Parks of the legal profession." He takes a question from Henry Louis Gates Jr. - yes, Beer Summit Henry "Skip" Gates - about the inevitable emergence of "Obama 2", insisting that Obama "fell" (disappointed members of the black community) but that he will be resurrected as "Obama 2." Ogletree also notes that Obama was crucified but will rise again, clear analogies to Jesus Christ. Perhaps what they are saying is that once he is resurrected (2nd term), he will have more flexibility.

Professor Ogletree points to examples of racism by Bill Clinton, Glenn Beck and some in the Black community. He explores the false claims of Obama being Muslim and other claims that were apparently grounded in racism. Discussing what Obama must do to get the economy going and to win reelection, Ogletree says, "He will have to announce a multi-million jobs plan of his own very soon - that's unavoidable - a multi-million person - it's multi-billion dollars- but a multi-million person jobs plan that's going to get people back to work. It may have to be - and you taxpayers may cringe at this- it may have to be over a trillion dollars. So, we keep talking about money spent in 2009-2010; it was a drop in the bucket. It wasn't enough to transform the economy..."

With regards to health care, Ogletree claims that ObamaCare is easy to understand and the Obama Administration has done a terrible job explaining it to the American people. He says it "helps the African-American community substantially...we're at the bottom of the rung so we're going to benefit from it." He predicts that Obama will be upheld by the Supreme Court (this was back in November of 2011) and that the term "ObamaCare" will become a positive term. 

Please watch the video and share it with your friends, family and Tweeps.

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