Something has been bothering me for the past couple days ever since the Obamas promoted a “Dinner with Barack” with a video about their alleged “first date” which began with a courtyard lunch at Chicago’s Art Institute, followed by a “screening of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing.”
Phil Wilson, CEO of the Black AIDS Institute, had reported August 26, 2008, on the events of the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
In particular Wilson was taken by the speech made by Michelle Obama “telling the world why she [thought] her husband should be the next president of the United States.”
A passage from Wilson’s comments nearly leaped from the page (emphasis added):
- But the most important thing she talked about came about half way thru the speech when she remembered Senator Obama talking about “the world as it is and the world as it should be.” “All too often,” she said (referring to her husband), “we accept the distance between the two, and settle for the world as it is — even when it doesn’t reflect our values and aspirations. But he reminded us that we know what our world should look like. We know what fairness and justice and opportunity look like.”
Honestly, none of my regular readers expect a whole lot of honesty coming from the woman who now graces the White House as FLOTUS. On this particular occasion she was particularly dishonest.
You see, those memorable words came not just from the lips of the man she most wanted the world to admire, they came straight from the pen of the man who has operated Saul “The Agitator” Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) since the great man’s passing in 1972: Ed Chambers.
In fact, the very phrase “The World As It Is and the World As It Should Be” is not only the title of a chapter in Chamber’s 2003 book, Roots for Radicals: Organizing for Power, Action, and Justice, but it is also a topic Chambers is well known for including in his IAF training.
But there’s more!
Some members of the DNC audience most likely had already heard Michelle Obama’s spiel. Writing June 26, 2008, at HuffPo, Steve Rall interpreted Michelle Obama’s speech for her (emphasis added):
- Last night, in a passionate address to the Democratic National Committee’s Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council, Mrs. Obama delivered a rousing call-to-equality and put her husband on record as a fighter for the full equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. “Barack believes,” she said, “that we must fight for the world as it should be, a world where we work together to reverse discriminatory laws.” [...]
“The world as it is should be one that rejects discrimination of all kinds,” Michelle Obama told the DNC. And, she made clear, should be one that embraces families of all kinds, too.
You see, this is a multi-purpose speech.
In her April 2009 talk on education at a London girl’s school, FLOTUS took the meme even further (partial transcript follows):
- And when we first met, one of the things that I remember is that he took me out on a date. And his date was to go with him to a community meeting. (Laughter) I know, how romantic. (Laughter) But when we met, Barack was a community organizer. He worked, helping people to find jobs and to try to bring resources into struggling neighborhoods. As he talked to the residents in that community center, he talked about two concepts. He talked about “the world as it is” and “the world as it should be.” And I talked about this throughout the entire campaign. What he said, that all too often, is that we accept the distance between those two ideas. And sometimes we settle for the world as it is, even when it doesn’t reflect our values and aspirations. But Barack reminded us on that day, all of us in that room, that we all know what our world should look like. We know what fairness and justice and opportunity look like. We all know. And he urged the people in that meeting, in that community, to devote themselves to closing the gap between those two ideas, to work together to try to make the world as it is and the world as it should be, one and the same.
You see, what’s wrong with Michelle’s story is that she allegedly did not meet Barack Obama until he went to work at the Sidley Austin law firm in 1989, at the end of his first year at Harvard Law School. He was no longer working as a community organizer.
Either (1) Michelle met Barack prior to his coming to work for the law firm or (2) she’s lying.