The Carnegie Mellon University student newspaper The Tartan reports on preparations for a Michelle Obama appearance at the school:
While the crowd was indeed diverse, some students at the event questioned the practices of Mrs. Obama's event coordinators, who handpicked the crowd sitting behind Mrs. Obama. The Tartan's correspondents observed one event coordinator say to another, "Get me more white people, we need more white people." To an Asian girl sitting in the back row, one coordinator said, "We're moving you, sorry. It's going to look so pretty, though."
"I didn't know they would say, 'We need a white person here,' " said attendee and senior psychology major Shayna Watson, who sat in the crowd behind Mrs. Obama. "I understood they would want a show of diversity, but to pick up people and to reseat them, I didn't know it would be so outright."
Ben Smith of The Politico observes:
I'm not sure there's any real reason for outrage here; every campaign, at least implicitly, includes race in the staging of events like this -- even a campaign whose supporters chant "race doesn't matter." But they don't usually get caught doing it this explicitly.
And (if you didn't pick it up from the bowling) it does give you a sense of the community Obama's trying to reach in Pennsylvania: whitefolks.
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