Denzel vs. Michelle – Optimism vs. Victimhood

michelle obamaDenzel WashingtonI was driving the other day and listening to Michelle Obama’s race-obsessed commencement address at Tuskegee University founded by civil rights leader, Booker T. Washington, on Sean Hannity’s radio program.  By the time I got to my destination, I wanted to grab the closest razor and slit my wrists. When I got home, I read her entire speech and was stunned there were no reports of mass suicide by the graduates at the University over the weekend.

What I heard was a speech that was negative, depressive and bleak and painted a hopeless future for these young people which gave them no opportunity other than to declare themselves victims of a continuing oppressive and racist society.

In stark contrast, I came across Denzel Washington’s commencement speech at Dillard University over the weekend.  It was uplifting and full of optimism.  He told the graduates to put God first in everything they do and to thank Him for grace, understanding, wisdom, their parents, love, kindness and humility.  He talked about having dreams but also setting life goals, annual goals, monthly goals, and even daily goals.  He stressed that goals are met through discipline and consistency and that hard work is what successful people do.

I have no idea what Mrs. Obama’s childhood was like, how she did in college, how she got into law school, how rich or poor her parents were, or what her struggles were, but I’m sure they were not unique to her alone and certainly not unique to black people.  She may, in fact, have had advantages through affirmative action because of her race.  I don’t know.

What I do know is my mother died when I was 8.  I worked my way through college.  My father didn’t pay a dime towards my education.  I worked full-time while I went to law school at night for four years.  I’ve known people with very similar backgrounds.  I’ve known people with dyslexia who had a terrible time in school when dyslexia wasn’t even identified.  I’ve known people who were bullied and nicknamed “Bosco” because of the color of their skin.  I’ve known others who’ve taken the Bar exam numerous times.

I’m sure many others have had similar struggles but those challenges didn’t make us bitter people.  Michelle Obama, however, is one helluva bitter woman.  And I haven’t a clue why.

She is the First Lady of the greatest country in the world (although I sincerely believe she doesn’t think it is), and instead of inspiring the graduates and pointing out the great strides this country has made when it comes to race – and I’m not sure why race should even be the topic of a commencement address — she stands there and instills in these young people a “woe is me” attitude and encourages victimhood?  Shameful.

Instead of focusing on the graduates, so much of her speech was all about her.  She even took the opportunity to complain about cable news and cry-babied about the caricatures of her that were published.  Does she remember the caricatures of Barbara Bush?  Nancy Reagan?  It’s part of the job, Michelle, and had no place at that podium.  But she’d rather believe we are still living in an early 20th century America than in 2015.

And as smart as people thinks she is, she clearly doesn’t know much about the founder of Tuskegee University, Booker T. Washington, who said:

“There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

The fact her bi-racial husband was elected not once, but twice, by a white-majority America doesn’t seem to matter to her.  She’s far more comfortable seeing bigotry around every corner she turns.

Mrs. Obama would rather these young people carry the crutch of racism rather than instilling in them the idea set forth by the founder of their University:

 

“I have begun everything with the idea that I could succeed, and I never had much patience with the multitudes of people who are always ready to explain why one cannot succeed.”

 

And, then, there’s Denzel Washington, born ten years earlier than Mrs. Obama and probably faced even more challenges in the 50s than she did in the 60s.  He lost an audition on Broadway not because he was black, but because he couldn’t sing.  His failure was on him.  Not on the color of his skin.  Unlike Mrs. Obama, he seems to be a very happy person, is comfortable in his skin, and would be no matter what color he was.   Never once – not even once – did he mention race in his commencement speech – because race was clearly irrelevant.  His words were encouraging and hopeful.

 

For all that she has accomplished – graduating Princeton University and HarvardLaw School – Mrs. Obama is an extremely bitter woman.  I’m no psychologist but I’ve read hundreds of psych evals in my work and met just as many dysfunctional people, and, as far as I’m concerned, from what I’ve heard coming out of her mouth over the past six years, she’d be a bitter person no matter what color she was.

 

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.




Does Michelle Obama Think Short People Are Racists?

targetA few years ago, First Lady Michelle Obama was a guest on David Letterman’s show. She told a humorous story that night about a trip she had taken to a Target store. Dressed somewhat in disguise in hopes of avoiding detection and drawing a crowd, she shopped the aisles until one of the other shoppers approached her.

“Excuse me,” the female shopper said to her. “I just have to ask you something.”

At that moment, Obama feared she had been recognized. Once she heard the next comment that left the shopper’s mouth, however, she realized she hadn’t been: “Can you reach on that shelf and hand me the detergent?”

The cute story prompted a big laugh from Letterman, his audience, and Obama herself. Obama went on to describe that the woman was short and just needed a tall person’s help.

Flash-forward to this week when People Magazine released excerpts from an interview they conducted with both Michelle and President Obama:  In the interview, Mrs. Obama once again told that story of her experience at the Target store. Only this time, instead of presenting it as an endearing, humorous anecdote, she presented it as an example of racial prejudice in modern day America.

The interview, titled “The Obamas: How We Deal with Our Own Racist Experiences”, covers a few instances of how the Obamas have faced racism in their adult lives. Such examples include Barack Obama having trouble catching cabs, years ago, on the South Side of Chicago, and being mistaken for a car valet outside a restaurant. Michelle Obama’s contribution was the Target story.

She told People: “I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”

You know, I’ve been writing for this website for over three years now, and in that time I don’t recall ever being critical of anything Michelle Obama has said or done… But her apparent accusation that racial prejudice was what compelled someone to ask her for help is so utterly ridiculous that it has to be called out.

Short people ask tall people to reach things for them. It happens in stores all over the world each and every day. It transcends gender, ethnicity, and religion. Most people are more than happy to fulfill the simple favor when asked, without reading ugly, prejudiced motivations or condescension in those who ask it.

Lucy McCalmont of The Politico tried to help the First Lady out a bit. In a piece she wrote on the interview, she claimed that the shopper had assumed Mrs. Obama was actually a Target employee, and thus the story was similar to her husband’s tale about being mistaken for a valet. The problem is that that couldn’t possibly have been true. Beyond the fact that Mrs. Obama has never made that claim, the photo used in this column shows what Obama was wearing that day in the store. No one would have mistaken her for an employee, being that Target workers famously wear red shirts and khaki pants.

A few others in the charitable media have suggested that the unknown shopper may have recognized Mrs. Obama as the First Lady, and wanted to take some personal pleasure in inconveniencing her. Talk about a cynical theory – one that stands at odds with Obama’s own words on Letterman’s show, as well as any logical, reasonable thought process.

I would hope, for Michelle Obama’s sake, that People Magazine somehow took her comments totally out of context, and that she was applying the story to a completely different point. That doesn’t seem to be the case, but I suppose it’s possible. If not, I think it’s safe to say that the Target incident was not at all about racism, but rather elitism – and not on the part of the other shopper.

Casting an American as being racially prejudiced for asking a simple, common favor is unbecoming of a First Lady, but it does perhaps reflect the growing racial tension we’ve seen in this country in recent years. All of us should find that very sad.

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Movin’ On Up To The White House

There used to be a TV sit com in the 80’s called “The Jeffersons.” The central characters were a married black couple, George and Louise. George had worked hard and parlayed one dry cleaning store into a successful chain, enabling them to move into an expensive apartment in a luxurious high-rise. Success quickly went to George’s head, turning him into a blowhard and a bigot. Critics referred to him as the black Archie Bunker.

When I look at Barack Obama, aside from the hard work, I unfortunately see a lot of George Jefferson in him, when what the nation needs is a president more reminiscent of Thomas Jefferson.

Like George, there is nothing Obama finds more enchanting than the sound of his own pomposities. But whereas Mrs. Jefferson was a kind and sensible woman who did her best to keep her husband from floating off on his own hot air emissions, Obama’s wife is not only an enabler, but is a royal pain in her own right.

For instance, in the tradition of people named Obama to trash America when they’re in foreign lands, Michelle told the Chinese that it wasn’t long ago that there were laws on the books that discriminated against people like her and her husband. It was bad enough that she didn’t play up the fact that it was also thanks to America that she, as a beneficiary of Affirmative Action, went to an Ivy League school, and, oh, by the way, her husband has twice been elected President. But even worse is that she chose to whine in a country where couples are prohibited from having two children, regularly abort females, and where people are required to have internal passports before they can move from a rural area to a nearby city.

However she feels about the past, it would only be good manners if just once she expressed a word of gratitude to the American people for picking up the tab so that she, the kids and her mother, could scratch so many items off their respective bucket lists.

One final thing she neglected to mention was that all of those vile discriminatory laws were written, enacted and enforced, by Democrats like Orval Faubus, George Wallace, Albert Gore, Robert Byrd and “Bull” Connor.

Speaking of Democrats, I began referring to Harry Reid as “The Undertaker” because he looks and sounds like the stereotype we all grew up with, but the other day it occurred to me that the moniker is even more appropriate because his chosen role as the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate is to bury any piece of legislation passed by the House Republicans, while at the same time deriding them as do-nothing obstructionists.

Until she killed herself, I had never heard of fashion designer L’Wren Scott, 70 year old Mick Jagger’s 49 year old lady friend. Not being religious, I don’t have a basis upon which to condemn her act. Without knowing what led her to hang herself, I simply assumed she felt she had a good reason to commit what I have heard described as a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

But, being nosy, I decided to check her out. It seems her real name was Laura Bambrough, and that she invented that cockamamie name with the apostrophe all on her own. Perhaps the explanation is that having been 6’3”, she had banged her head once too often on low-hanging branches.

However, what I found unpardonable was that a woman had reached middle age and was so unconcerned with other people or charitable causes that instead of leaving her $9 million estate to friends, relatives, medical research, wounded British soldiers or even an orphanage for cats and dogs, the dingbat left it to Mr. Jagger, who is already worth $328 million!

As many of you already know, I despise college athletics because they are so rife with corruption. Now, the National Labor Relations Board, which never met a union it didn’t adore, has decided that the football players at Northwestern are free to unionize. So it is no longer enough that the ability to play a game garners these guys free college tuition, food, health care and an unlimited number of cheerleaders; now the NLRB thinks they should also get a paycheck.

Back in the day, there was a joke going around that college all stars like Kyle Rote (SMU), Hugh McElhenny (U of Washington) and Charlie “Choo-Choo” Justice (U of North Carolina), all had to take pay cuts when they turned pro. Thanks to the chowderheads over at the NLRB, it could soon be reality.

Bruce Braley, who’s running for the Senate in Iowa, dissed Sen. Chuck Grassley as a farmer who, unlike himself, never attended law school. Knocking farmers in Iowa strikes me as a very goofy campaign strategy. But even goofier, it would seem to me, is actually bragging about being a lawyer.

Finally, the world’s diplomatic buffoons are running victory laps after signing yet another of those absurd nuclear non-proliferation pacts, even though among those not signing were Russia, China, India and Pakistan.

Still, I’m sure we’ll all be sleeping better tonight knowing that Lichtenstein, Luxembourg and Papua, will not be nuking anyone in the near future.

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©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.




Robert Gibbs Cursed at Michelle Obama?




Does the FLOTUS Actually Have a Job?

Summer of 2011.  Gas prices are high.  Unemployment is at record levels.  Consumer confidence is low and the threat of inflation is just around the corner.  While millions of regular folks are battling their own economic problems, cancelling vacation plans and unable to get away even for a weekend, it was comforting to learn that the First Lady, Michelle Obama, is able to take a vacation to Africa with her two daughters, her mother, and her niece and nephew, along her entourage.  Oops, sorry, it’s not a vacation but an “official visit” – in other words, we’re footing the bill.

Her visit is intended “to improve relations between the U.S. and Africa and promote youth engagement, education, health and wellness.”  Well, first of all, who died, and left her boss?  We didn’t elect her.  When did she become a diplomat?

Improvement of relations between countries?  Isn’t that the job of the State Department and the numerous ambassadors that are given cushy jobs for raising lots of money for the sitting President?

Mrs. Obama’s trip is being touted as one aimed at inspiring African youth.  Why is Mrs. Obama so concerned about Africa youth when we’ve got serious problems at home with our own young people?  Why isn’t she traveling around the United States this summer and talking to American children and encouraging them to stay in school.  According to a 2009 report by the Alliance for Excellent Education, seven thousand students drop out of school every day in this country.

Maybe it’s because it’s more fun to visit Africa with your mother, daughters, niece and nephew or maybe it’s because when the family sat around the kitchen table and voted on where to go on vacation this year, no one wanted to travel to Baton Rouge, Fresno, Chattanooga, or any of the other cities on the list of the ten worst dropout rate cities in the U.S.?

To be non-partisan here, former First Lady, Laura Bush, also went to Africa on an “official visit” to raise AIDS awareness and prevention.  Wasn’t it enough for us to send hundreds of millions of dollars to Africa for HIV/AIDS?  Can anyone provide me proof that one person who met Mrs. Bush actually stopped having unprotected sex?  To be realistic here, I wonder if she had traveled around the U.S. instead, would it have made any difference in the 55,000 new reported cases every year, an increase of 10% from a decade ago.  Maybe she just should’ve stayed home.

It seems that First Ladies have to have a pet project to occupy their time.   Some First Ladies stayed closer to home.  Jackie Kennedy spent time working on the restoration of the White House and Lady Bird Johnson was interested in the Civil Rights Act and making Washington D.C. more beautiful.

Pat Nixon visited 39 of our 50 states and held the record as the most-traveled First Lady, before Hillary Clinton, visiting about 80 countries.  I must say her journeys are most impressive and, yes, it appears that her visits were inspiring and encouraging to those folks living in disaster-hit areas.

Betty Ford was an activist for the legalization of abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment and Rosalynn Carter traveled to Latin America and Thailand as an emissary for her husband.  Nancy Reagan’s main focus was her “Just Say No” drug awareness campaign and Barbara Bush’s was literacy.

Hillary Clinton, of course, traveled the most extensively, not so much on behalf of her husband, but in an attempt to ready herself for her own bid for the White House.

It seems to me that a First Lady just can’t be a First Lady.  She has to “do” something.  If it were me, having worked all my life, I’d be very happy to kick back, relax, dress up every now and then and be thrilled that someone else is cooking my meals.  But, hey, that’s just me.

I’m tempted to raise the ire of feminists everywhere by saying that First Ladies should just stay in the kitchen where they belong, but, in Michelle’s case, she’d continue with her other campaign of telling all of us what we should and shouldn’t eat.

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.