Much has been written about Barack Obama’s disgraceful tenure as president of the United States, but this weekend it was Michelle’s turn to take a sledgehammer to the dignity of the White House. Delivering a commencement speech at Tuskegee University on Saturday, the first lady told graduates that her seemingly-blessed life has actually been an unending series of racist disparagements.
“You might remember the on-stage celebratory fist bump between me and my husband after a primary win that was referred to as a ‘terrorist fist jab,'” she whined. “And over the years, folks have used plenty of interesting words to describe me. One said I exhibited ‘a little bit of uppity-ism.’ Another noted that I was one of my husband’s ‘cronies of color.’ Cable news once charmingly referred to me as ‘Obama’s baby mama.'”
Cry me a river. Only in 2015 do we get the pleasure of listening to rich, powerful people complain to the world about their awful burdens. Michelle Obama is treated to a lifestyle that 99% of the world can only dream of, yet when pressed to write an inspiring commencement address, she can only think of the injustices she has faced. She can only lament her press coverage. She is the first African-American first lady, but that monumental achievement is overshadowed by a few questionable headlines.
She got to the point eventually, telling Tuskegee’s mostly-black graduates that they should “never succumb to feelings of despair and anger” in the face of racism.
For her “bravery,” the left-wing news media has wallowed in sycophantic praise, looking high and low for pundits willing to give props to the first lady. And if there was anyone who thought the speech was an unfortunate display of divisive racial politics, they certainly didn’t make it onto the nightly news broadcasts.
Michelle complains of not receiving the type of respect reserved for the first lady, utterly oblivious to the way in which she presents herself. Her politics aside, she has not been the typical presidential wife. Why would the media treat her like Barbara Bush when she is so obviously not? Does that excuse outright racism? Of course not, but not every perceived instance of disrespect comes down to the color of your skin.
Quite frankly, black Americans deserved better than Barack and Michelle. Social progress made a black president an inevitability, but it’s a shame that it didn’t come in a more inspiring form. These two individuals never have anything positive to say about the country. They never seem willing to address racial issues without peppering their speeches with petty complaints about their own charmed lives. They can never take a step back from the mundane to recognize their own magnificent place in American history. They are a presidential couple for a tabloid age, their comments barely worthy of lining a birdcage.
Too bad, because they had a great opportunity to make a real difference.