Barack Obama’s Imprint on Higher Education
As the young Barry Obama was getting ready to leave home for college, he paid a visit to Frank, a contemporary of his grandfather and a poet, who cautioned him about the dangers of American education: "Understand something, boy. You’re not going to college to get educated. You’re going there to get trained. They’ll train you to want what you don’t need. They’ll train you to manipulate words so they don’t mean anything anymore. They’ll train you to forget what it is that you already know. They’ll train you so good, you’ll start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that shit." So I shouldn’t go to college? Obama asked the old poet. "No. I didn’t say that. You’ve got to go. I’m just telling you to keep your eyes open. Stay awake."
Originally published: September 25, 2016
Author: Michael S. Roth
Institution: Wesleyan University
Published by: The Chronicle of Higher Ed