"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." Ecclesiastes 10:2
“The road ahead is not going to be easy,” Obama said. “It never is, especially for folks like you and me.” Obama then aired a laundry list of slights she said black Americans deal with on a regular basis.
“We’ve both felt the sting of those daily slights throughout our entire lives. The folks who crossed the street in fear of their safety, the clerks who kept a close eye on us in all those department stores. The people at formal events who assumed we were the help,” Obama said. “And those who have questioned our intelligence, our honesty, even our love of this country, and I know that these little indignities are obviously nothing compared to what folks across the country are dealing with every single day. Those nagging worries about whether you’re going to get stopped or pulled over for absolutely no reason. The fear that your job application will be overlooked because of the way your name sounds.” here
Dear Madam Michelle:
I found your commencement speech very . . . interesting. I remember parts of my high school commencement speech. It was a long time ago, but a friend made the speech, as well as a community leader, ex-Mayor, I believe. They were both uplifting and focused on a future which lay ahead of us. A future we could control, primarily by choices we would be making.
I wasn’t as fortunate as you and didn’t have anyone paying for my college tuition, especially to such an expensive place like Harvard. Trying to get a loan didn’t work, so I went to work, unable to attend or graduate from any college. But there’s nothing wrong with hard work and we can make our own ‘opportunities’.
But I have compared what little I remember of our commencement speeches with what you had to say. Did you realize, you weren’t very uplifting or encouraging? Surely, you must, since your speech was written and reviewed by White House staff.
In any case, I found this speech as troubling as your museum dedication speech:
“You see, there are so many kids in this country who look at places like museums and concert halls and other cultural centers and they think to themselves, well, that’s not a place for me, for someone who looks like me, for someone who comes from my neighborhood,” she said. “In fact, I guarantee you that right now, there are kids living less than a mile from here who would never in a million years dream that they would be welcome in this museum.”
“And growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I was one of those kids myself. So I know that feeling of not belonging in a place like this. And today, as first lady, I know how that feeling limits the horizons of far too many of our young people.”here
Do you see the problem? I’m a few years old than you and grew up close to a big city too. We went to a museum and concert hall. There were even “people of color” there and no one seems shocked, dismayed or angered by that. Maybe your problem was living in the Democrat controlled Chicago, whereas I grew up in Texas? In any case, I think the over taxing weight of ‘racism’ which seems to dog both you and Mr. Obama, comes from a problem deeper within yourselves . . . much more than they do in reality. Just a thought, you understand. Maybe if you put your prejudices aside, concentrated more on a person’s character than their skin color, you’d have a better outlook and a more uplifting attitude?
The only place I felt like I didn’t “belong” was a gathering I attended in my 20’s, which was filled with people of much greater wealth, than I or my family had. I wasn’t dressed as well and certainly held no college degree and I suppose people noticed. Some, not all, of the people were snooty. After all, these were really rich folks, well, like you and Mr. Obama, who could tell my dress wasn’t made by designers like Isabel Toledo or Jason Wu. I was uncomfortable at first, but then realized they were prejudiced fools, to be dismissed, and had an enjoyable evening in spite of them.
But back to your commencement speech, I too along with, golly gosh, everyone I know, has felt, said or believed, “The road ahead is not going to be easy.” Life’s road isn’t’ really “easy” for anyone, regardless of ‘race, color or creed’. Life is down right hard, and as best I can tell, it’s hard for all of us. There were substantial challengers every day, every year — looking for work, paying bills, raising children, trying to provide and teach our children how to become good, responsible, caring adults. Then there were the challenges of facing the loss of people we loved. No, life was never easy for any of us.
Everyone gets emotionally slapped up side’da head now and again. Sometimes deservedly so, other times, not so much. But we live in a world filled with sin and sinners, so there is no choice. Money doesn’t prevent cancer or strokes from stealing a loved one, anymore than my ‘white’ skin tone prevents cruel and prejudice comments being made to me, by people who are proud of their bigotry and ignorance. Is that what you meant to say, Mrs. Obama?
In all honesty though, you were invited to speak to give those young adults encouragement and a brighter outlook the future which await their choice and decisions. One they had the chance to mold into great things and opportunities, yes, filled with ‘challenges’! I’m not so sure you did that . . . but maybe that wasn’t your intention?
I remember Barack saying, “There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America—there’s the United States of America.” What happened to that attitude? Why are you and Mr. Obama always talking about race, your somewhat overbearing views of a ‘racism’ in America and perceived deeds of prejudice and bigotry, when they don’t exist? Some folks might get the idea, you don’t like ‘white’ people much, and I know you don’t want that.
Mr. Obama called out a white police officer when the (black) professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested for “disorderly conduct”. Mr. Obama admitted he didn’t know what had transpired, yet he made it about race. Why was that Mrs. Obama? Or why did he defend (the black) Trayvon Martin against the “white”-hispanic George Zimmerman, when he didn’t know what had transpired then, either? Why did he scold the ‘white’ Officer Darren Wilson over the death of the ‘black’ Michael Brown when he didn’t know what went on? I’m beginning to see a trend here. Do you?
The problem seems to be pronouncing “racism” before there’s been any hint of race being involved in situations. It appears to be pushing a false narrative and can incite people to riot, attack police with rocks and bullets and burn towns to the ground. This destroys many business, owned by people who might not be able to afford to rebuild their shops in majority black communities. This has happened, has it not? I wonder if things might have gone differently had Mr. Obama not added fuel to the flames, by calling for peace in allowing our Justice system to work? Guess we’ll never know.
I do hope, if you’re ever asked to speak again, that you would consider something more unifying, instead of divisive and race driven. Some have said it’s “race baiting” . . . and I found myself wondering too. I remember Rev. Martin Luther King (maybe you’ve heard of him?) saying, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Maybe you and Barack should consider judging on character instead of jumping to ‘skin color’? Or instead of jumping to a conclusion, encourage the facts to be revealed?
Rev. King also said, “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.”, which I think is one of his better quotes. Don’t you?
America really, reeeeally is an “exceptional” country, regardless of what Mr. Obama said. It is a nation established differently (the ‘exception’) than any other in history, offering maximum freedom to the citizen instead of overbearing power to a central Government. Well, that was the way it was set up under the Constitution that seems to annoy your husband so much. Possibly you could both do some more pondering on that topic? Here’s a source, if you’re interested (here) and I will be . . .. waiting with curiosity, for your next speech.