Jan 10, 2008 9:15 pm


How do the students and faculty of Punahou high school, Barak Obama's elite alma mater, view their famous graduate? With mixed feelings, The Hawaii Advertiser discovered:

Kehau Kealoha-Scullion, a Punahou social studies teacher, said some at the school have used the presidential campaign as a teaching moment.

"What do these 21st-century candidates look like? They are very different in their political viewpoints. They are entrepreneurs of ideas, of goodwill, of political movements," she said."They just look different."

Kealoha-Scullion was a year behind Obama at Punahou and moved in some of the same circles of friends.

"I think he had insight, even then, about what it meant to be a person that came from different worlds and about reconciling those differences for the better," she said.

"I have a hunch that Punahou and Hawai'i helped him reconcile and find flexibility in who he wanted to be."

Ray, the senior who lives in Manoa, interviewed Obama's teachers for a story she wrote as a freshman for Ka Punahou, the school newspaper. She said he was described as likable but not a star student.

"We always hear stories about how we can do anything," Ray said."Well, this is proof that someone from these very halls didn't have to be a star pupil and can make it to the very top. If he can do that, any of us can do that."

The truth is that Obama has been an affirmative action baby and no one knew that better than his own father, the swave Oxford educated Kenyan diplomate. By the way, his father was a Luo, yes, the second in importance Kenyan tribe whose leader is currently challenging the recent election results in less than a pristine manner.

So What?

It seems that a Luo may have less difficulty running for office in"racist" America than in his Kenya.

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