Oh the moral judgment that surrounds conferring an honorary degree. Drama seems to follow President Obama everywhere. A little bit of drama can be a good thing but when it comes to our “Dear Leader” , drama often occurs in a situation where ridicule and guilt are assigned. The social role of the Obamabots is interrogation and marginalization of the offender. After the firing of the CEO of General Motors, I am afraid that things may not end there.
When I learned that Arizona State University did not grant Obama an honorary degree, I frankly did not care. I really did not know why the mainstream media allowed the story to get so much airtime. Ahhh, but I forgot (smacks forehead)! Whenever Obama- the liberal protagonist fails, that failure actually evokes memories of his greatness and the Obamabots rally to his defense.
Take for example Dawn Teo who writes for Huffington Post:
TEMPE, ARIZONA – Universities typically confer an honorary degree on commencement speakers, particularly those who have reached the pinnacle of their career or achieved the top of their field. Arizona State University (ASU), though, says it will not confer an honorary degree on this year’s commencement speaker, President Barack Obama, because “his body of work is yet to come.”
ASU Media Relations Director Sharon Keeler says, unlike other universities, the processes for selecting commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients are independent. She says that honorary degrees are given “for an achievement of eminence” and that Obama was not considered for an honorary degree because his body of achievements, at this time, does not fit within that criteria.
According to ASU, Obama did not receive an honorary degree because they felt that at this time, he did not meet their standards. Okay, so he did not meet their standards get over it! But no, Teo goes on to write:
Writing two best-sellers? Not outstanding. Developing one of the largest grassroots organizations in the world? Nothing special. Becoming the first African American President of the United States? Good, but nothing to write home about.
What “grassroots organization” is Ms. Teo referring to? ACORN??? He ran for POTUS and had the advantage of attracting young people who were internet savvy, big name celebrities performing concerts for him and a PAYPAL option on his campaign website.
Could someone tell me why becoming the first African American President of the United States qualifies Barack Obama for an honorary degree? She did not say just “President”, she said “the first African American President“. That statement waves red flags for me. In my opinion, Obama should not receive any honorary degree just for being the first person of color to be elected to POTUS.
But there’s more.
Political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson writing for Blacknews.com in an article entitled “An Honorary Degree for Kermit The Frog But Not President Obama ” states:
It’s not clear if Arizona State University President Michael Crow had any say in the decision not to grant President Obama, the school’s commencement speaker, an honorary degree. But one thing’s for sure the dumbest thing that school officials said in telling why they won’t grant an honorary degreee [sic] to President Obama was not that he didn’t have a credible body of work and thus supposedly was unfit for the honorary degree. It was that the commencement committee may not have even considered him for the degree in the first place. Here are the names of the wise ones on ASU’s Honorary Degrees Committee who snubbed President Obama for the honorary degreee [sic].
Hutchinson continues by naming each and every member of the ASU Honorary Degrees Committee who “snubbed” Obama. I will not list the members again but skip to his main point:
“The whole thing is either ludicrous or farcical depending on how charitable one wants to be. By any measure–organization, political mastery, historic trend setting, his education and legal writings, research and instruction, and intellect—President Obama’s merits speak for themselves…The reason for the degree snub then can’t be lack of merit or a lack of a body of work. It’s something else and that something else speaks to the politics and money behind who gets an honorary degree and why they get it.“
I find it rather interesting that Hutchinson mentions Obama’s “legal writings”. From all that I have read, I understood as editor Obama had never published anything in the Harvard Law Review. There was one unpublished article but that hardly constitutes as “legal writings”. This is not Abraham Lincoln (despite what the MSM tells you) or Clarence Darrow. The last sentence deserves a comment. It implies that Obama was worthy of the degree and the ONLY possible reason he did not receive one is because of some old boy network, tomfoolery, political, fat cat shenanigans going on at ASU.
It gets even better. Here is where the marginalization part comes into play. Hutchinson mentions prior recipients of honorary degrees from ASU:
“Universities have even been known to award them to politicians who have never taken pen to paper. This was the case in 2001 when Yale University awarded an honorary degree to George W. Bush. He was barely one year into his presidency. The sum of Bush’s academic accomplishment from Yale was a degree in history in 1968.
ASU also honored its favored political son, Barry M. Goldwater, with an honorary degree in 1961. It didn’t hurt that Goldwater was the state’s most influential US senator and could steer a lot of federal cash to the university. But a Goldwater honorary degree at least in that respect made some sense. Not sure if the same could be said for the recipient of the honorary degree from Long Island’s Southampton College in 1996. The academic marvel that year was a Sesame Street Muppet Kermit the Frog.
Then again maybe Kermit was more deserving than Bush since Kermit had used his celebrity to spread positive messages about environmental protection in public service announcements for the National Wildlife Federation, National Parks Service, the Better World Society, and other groups.
At least that’s what University officials said in defending Kermit’s honorary degree.”
I get it. Let’s round up everyone that ASU has given an honorary degree to since the beginning of velcro in order to see how they measure up (or down) to the “Chosen One”.
People, we really need to stop this collective mowing down of anything and everyone who those not pander to Barack Obama. Is there anyone who is as weary as me of these “I HAVE A BRACELET TOO” moments?
Don’t pick on poor little ol’ Kermit the Frog. He is of color just like Obama and deserved that honorary degree.
Oh watch out Kermit. Next you will have to defend your right to that star you received on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I heard that Obama wants one of those too.
Autographed Letter Signed,