13 February 2010

Hark, is that the Racism Dog Whistle coming from the Teacher's Lounge?

The Uppity Professor

UPDATE: Professor Ogletree was on MSNBC 8 FEB 2009.  Not sure if Jack Stripling is gitting his imagined thoughts of Professer Ogletree from that appearance.  He does not mention contacting the Professor independantly.  My take on it here.

Seems like the Left is trying to make hay of Sarah Palin's mentioning that President Obama was a Professor during her Nashvill Tea Party speech.  Obama sure thinks he was a Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, but people close to various Clinton activities have expressed doubt.  So, what's the problem?

Took me a while to find the original source for the latest leftoid imagineing of racism.  The Wall Street Journal had the source noted as Inside Higher Ed.  Oddly, they don't have their own big story on the front page, a little searching worked and it looks like Sarah Palin is a popular topic over there.

Neil Gross, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia, is quoted in Professor in Chief  by Jack Stripling:

“When Palin and others describe Obama as professorial in style, they are invoking themes and tropes that have a long history in American politics,” says Neil Gross, an associate professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia. “That longstanding tendency in American politics is also in this case being drawn together with an implicit criticism of liberal professors, which really only became a mainstay of conservative discourse in the 1950s.”
That rings pretty true.  Other examples are given in following paragraphs.  One that was missing was former Professor George Will's story of an early run for office by Daniel Patrick Moynihan and his opponent welcoming "Professor Moynihan" to the race.  Moynihan's response: "The mud-slinging has begun!"

What has become the money-passage, Harvard Professor and founding executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Charles J. Ogletree, weighs in (or not) with accusation of racism, for calling Obama a Professor:

“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.”
That's the closest I could find to a source.  Not even full quotes.  Where did Ogletree actually say that Palin was calling Obama uppity, or coming danger-close?  It's all in the paraphrasing by the subjective writer.

Maybe Stripling thinks that Ogletree thinks Palin is calling Obama uppity?  Code-words are mentioned, but it looks like it is two Leftists speaking to each other in code and one of them writing it out for the rest of us from a decaying memory and active imagination.  Anybody have a decoder ring?  When did Professor come to mean uppity?
Whatever the case, this nonsense about 'code words' is getting pretty old.  It is just a vehicle for the accusor to make up whatever he wants about the accused.
The Wall Street Journal link above has a good story on this topic.  They even mention the CNN "go gangsta" incident that did not seem to get as much traction as this.
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