Monday, May 11, 2015

Michelle Obama's shameful tantrum on racism

Remember the days when graduation commencement speeches were supposed to be inspiring, positive, full of hope? Well, not with Michelle Obama. Her life - back in the days when she was ashamed of America - was apparently so difficult that even being the First Lady of the United States is not enough to put the past behind her long enough to provide an example of hope. Instead she felt justified in using her commencement address to graduates at Tuskegee University in Alabama this past weekend to slam America as a hopelessly racist, bigoted, hateful country. What a terrible message to the new graduates at this historically black university. And what an insult to its history.

Founded in 1881 on July 4, the school that shares America's birthday started with a mere thirty adults representing the first class -- which was taught by Dr. Booker T. Washington, also considered one of the school's founders. The school rose to national prominence under the leadership of Washington, who headed the institution from 1881 until his death in 1915. 

Dr. Washington, a highly skilled organizer and fundraiser, was counsel to American Presidents, a strong advocate of black-owned business, and instrumental in the development of educational institutions throughout the South. He championed moral character, personal responsibility, economic opportunity and, as stated, education. Moreover, he understood the vital role that character plays in education, and actually, the vital role of character in achieving success in any worthwhile enterprise. In fact, Dr. Washington's entire life story, rising from great adversity to great achievement, stands in timeless testimony to the power of character for all young Americans today. 

Think of what a remarkable accomplishment this was for a black man to make such inroads to education and independence during a time when our country was barely free from the shackles of slavery. Imagine the obstacles, threats and hostility he faced. Regardless, his focus was on bettering his life and the lives of countless people through education, hard work and inner strength as the keys for achieving a better life. Now that is a message worthy of sharing at any commencement address.

I am in no way dismissing any act of racism that our First Lady or anyone has experienced in their lifetime. All racism is wrong. But using a commencement address to divide people instead of inspiring and encouraging young people is simply beneath anyone, and especially the First Lady of the United states. 

Imagine if Dr. Washington, had he delivered a commencement address to that first graduating class of Tuskegee, driveled on about the hardships of dealing with bigots, as Michelle did on Saturday, rather than focus on how to overcome them. Imagine if he whined about people being suspicious of him at stores, museums and banquets because of the color of his skin, like Michelle did. Instead, Dr. Washington once said, "A whining, crying race may be pitied, but seldom respected." Of Washington and Michelle Obama, which example would do more to inspire graduates on the brink of a new life - the whiner or the pillar of strength? 

Imagine Dr. Washington ranting about the hatred in our country, as Michelle did, rather than focus on what a person can do to overcome such hatred, as Dr. Washington dedicated his life to doing. And rather than dwelling on any hatred spewed toward him or returning that hatred, he once said, "I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him."

Michelle Obama should be ashamed for peddling her own hateful, negative, dispiriting words on the very grounds that were nurtured by a man who devoted his entire life to paving the way so that people like Michelle could one day reside in the White House - living an incredible life of luxury with a staff of 71 people, global, first-class travel, and every whim catered to, all on the taxpayer dime. 

The First Lady should be ashamed for fanning the flames of the racism that prior generations fought so hard to overcome, and often lost their lives to in the process, so that she could inspire in the Tuskegee graduates little more than agitation, anger and suspicion -- rather than pride in their accomplishments and confidence in their future. Shame on her for courting sympathy from the young people at the commencement address about the "emotional toll" life has taken on her, rather than offering them inspiration, hope and an example of character.

I wonder how Michelle Obama would have fared in Dr. Washington's time when racial issues were undoubtedly extreme. But thanks to people like Dr. Washington making inroads toward making things easier for her today, Michelle has a resentful chip on her shoulder rather than a humble nod of gratitude for the blessings in her life. Because of that, instead of inspiring anyone at Tuskegee, all Michelle Obama likely accomplished was to set race relations back by decades. 

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1 comment:

  1. Michelle Obama's real emotional toll has probably been from being married to the worst president in our nation's history. She's just using race as an excuse.