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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“And The Winners Of This Year’s Razzies Are…”

In case you have never heard of the Razzies, they’re prizes handed out at a black tie event the night before the Oscars are bestowed. And unlike the Oscars, which are often awarded for no better reason than that some aging director has never won one before or because a sex symbol of either gender appeared in a movie without makeup or a toupee, the Razzies always go to the most deserving. That’s because they’re in recognition of the worst movies and the worst performances of the previous year.

Some of the people who have won multiple times include Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Costner, Adam Sandler, Demi Moore, Bo Derek, Sharon Stone and Madonna. Frankly, I think the network would get bigger ratings airing the Razzies than the Academy Awards. After all, how many times do we really need to see Meryl Streep on stage, clutching the little gold eunuch to her bosom, and blowing kisses to her various co-stars in the audience?

If the members of the current administration were in a movie, even Stallone and Madonna would be left out in the cold. Right off the bat, these creeps would cop the award for Worst President Ever, Worst Vice-President, Worst Attorney General and Worst Secretary of Health and Human Services. The only real competition would be for Worst Secretary of State, which would be a dog fight between two real dogs, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, and could easily wind up in a tie.

Some people seem to think that too much attention has been paid to Chris Christie and the George Washington Bridge scandal. There have been so many defenses made on his behalf, it’s hard to keep track of them. One of them is that nothing should be allowed to deflect attention from ObamaCare. Then there’s the one that suggests it wasn’t that big a deal. If you don’t care for that, there’s the fact that Christie engaged in a two hour mea culpa session with the press. Finally, we have the always reliable “He took full responsibility.”

Taking them in order, for those who have lost or stand to lose their health insurance once the employer mandates kicks in later this year, nothing short of a nuclear attack is going to distract them. The rest of us, at least those who can walk and chew gum at the same time, can maintain our focus on two scandals simultaneously. After all, with Obama in the White House, we have had plenty of practice, sometimes even managing to stay on top of four or five scandals simultaneously.

Two, it was a pretty big deal. Anytime, a high profile politician finds himself tap-dancing as fast as he can in order to stay ahead of the mud oozing towards his shoes, only a Tibetan monk would have the will power not to stare.

Finally, although Obama has set an unbelievably low standard when it comes to taking responsibility for anything, I do not regard answering questions a major achievement or the firing of major aides as taking responsibility. He was, after all, the person whose lack of judgment placed those bums in positions of authority. If he can’t select his senior staff any better than that, what makes anyone think he’d do a better job of it once he was the nation’s chief executive?

Keep in mind this wasn’t some minor prank. Those punks shut down the busiest bridge in the United States for four consecutive days. If they felt they had to punish Fort Lee’s mayor, Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, for not backing a Republican for governor of New Jersey, they could have settled it in civilized fashion, perhaps challenging him to a trivia contest involving “The Sopranos” or Frank Sinatra’s greatest hits.

Finally, the next time I hear a politician say he’s taking responsibility, I want his next words to be “…and that is why I feel I must in good conscience resign as of noon today.”

Speaking of politicians who should resign, there was a vote in the House the other day on a bill that would have compelled the federal government to alert anyone who had signed up on the ObamaCare website that there had been a security breach and that computer hackers had swiped their personal information, including financial and medical. The Republicans voted 224 ayes, no nays; the Democrats voted 67 for, 122 against.

Target informed some 70 million customers that their computers had been hacked, but 122 Democrats didn’t think the federal government should be at least as honest and forthcoming as a major retailer. And, yet, I continue to hear from pinheads insisting that there’s absolutely no difference between the two parties.

Speaking of which, it would be great if next November and again in 2016, every Republican in America would stop whining about how awful Democrats are long enough to get off their butts and vote for any candidate with an (R) after his name. Granted, they won’t all be great. They won’t even all be conservatives, but each and every one of them will be better than the schmuck they’re running against.

I don’t know why it is so difficult for so many on our side to recognize that in certain states, a Ronald Reagan or Ted Cruz is never going to win an election. But if you sit home because you refuse to vote for those you demean as RINOs, thus allowing a liberal to win, you are aiding and abetting Obama, Pelosi and Reid. And that makes you a far bigger villain than John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Scott Brown or any other Republican on your personal hate list.

However you feel about moderates, unlike Democrats, they are on the right side every once in a while. If you disagree, how do you explain that every single Republican in Congress voted against the Affordable Care Act?

As William F. Buckley once said, “Vote for the most conservative candidate on the ballot…who can win.”

So, no matter how noble you think you are, as you sit there, Solomon-like, measuring every Republican like an assayer in those old westerns, testing rocks for gold content, you’re only conning yourself.

The truth is that any politician with an (R) after his or her name is doing far more to keep the barbarians at bay than you with your purity check list, carrying on like some secular Cotton Mather.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.




Opinions

It’s said that everyone has opinions, but I sense that most people don’t have as many as I do. Sometimes they become such a burden that I simply have to unload them the way Santa unloads his bag of toys, lest I suffer a hernia of the brain.

So, to begin with, when did people forget how to write their names? Now that I’m spending an inordinate amount of time in doctors’ offices, I notice that mine is the only signature on the sign-in sheets that’s legible. It also makes me wonder how banks can spot forged checks when every signature is a squiggle. I’m sure that nobody makes out a shopping list that’s unreadable, so what is it about signatures that bring out the illiterate or at least the illegible in people? Do they think it makes them appear important, the way people thought it did when cell phones were first coming into fashion and every cluck would walk down the street, chattering into one, with furrowed brow, as if the President was calling for advice about the Middle East?

Even though the good people of Utah voted 2-1 in a referendum to limit marriage to one man and one woman, a federal judge overturned the decision on behalf of homosexuals. However you feel about his decision, one man should not be allowed to exert so much power. The same thing has taken place in California, and not just when the issue was same-sex marriages. Even a state as liberal as California has had referendums that cut off financial assistance to illegal aliens and reinstated capital punishment, but judges over-ruled the decision of millions.

All that these judgment calls do is remind people that the law is not only an ass, but an overbearing one. State rights are meaningless if all it takes to overcome the votes of the people is a single political appointee who is as Solomon-like as my big toe.

We are one nation, but we are 50 states. Utah is not the same as New York, just as California is not similar to Texas. We have very different attitudes and very different customs. One size does not fit all, whether we’re talking about shoes or laws.

What judges should be paying more attention to is the fact that this administration is treating the Constitution like so much toilet paper. We all learned in the sixth grade, or should have learned, that there are three equal branches of government: the executive, the legislative and the judicial. But with Obama and his henchmen in the Department of Justice and the EPA running the show pretty much by executive fiat, we have the makings of a banana republic. But the Supreme Court is spending more time trying to guarantee that homosexuals can make a farce out of marriage than doing anything to prevent Obama from completely shredding the fabric of this nation.

Speaking of Obama, when questioned about the catastrophic rollout of the Affordable Care Act, he said, “Since I’m in charge, we screwed up.” When it was executing Osama bin Laden, it was all “I” and “me,” as if he had personally led the mission. But when it’s a disaster, suddenly it’s “we.” I’m guessing the sign on his desk reads: “The buck doesn’t even slow down here.”

It was big news that Obama had signed up for the Affordable Care Act, except that he didn’t. He had his staff handle it while he soaked up the rays in Hawaii. And of course they didn’t really sign him up because he, like every president and ex-president, receives the best health care in the world, and it’s free. But it was still worth noting that even this clumsy bit of Kabuki Theater was played out in late December, nearly three months after the rollout was initiated. But perhaps it simply took the drones that long to get online.

If the House does nothing else, it should pass legislation, as Charles Krauthammer has suggested, that makes it impossible for Obama to salvage his signature piece of legislation by bailing out the insurance companies with our tax dollars for the huge and unavoidable losses they will face in 2014 if they continue doing Obama’s bidding. “Too big to fail” in this case will refer to the 2,000-page bill that seeks to gobble up one-sixth of America’s economy and 100% of our freedom.

When hackers breached Target’s security, the company was compelled to contact its millions of customers and take the heat. But when the same thing inevitably happens to those who have signed up on the unsecured federal register for ObamaCare, there will be no such alerts. You’ll only find out the bad news when some transvestite in Bulgaria runs up thousands of dollars on your credit card, purchasing his spring wardrobe at the House of Hilda Boutique in Sofia.

Jesse Jackson, Jr., the former congressman who is currently serving a two-and-a-half year sentence for fraud, is nevertheless pulling down $8,700-a-month in disability, as well as a partial federal pension of $45,000. His disability was a sudden “mood disorder” that struck just as the G-men were closing in on him. It’s funny how facing a prison term can alter a person’s mood.

“Not bad,” his father is rumored to have said when he heard about Junior’s disability payments, “but it still doesn’t pay as well as corporate extortion.”

Finally, as many of you know, I underwent an Angiogram because a pre-op EKG in preparation for my wrist surgery indicated arterial blockage. Actually, I had four EKGs, and apparently all four showed false positives; there was no blockage. So I wound up with a hole in my groin and my wrist is still a wreck.

Some people have suggested that before undergoing surgery, one should always get a second opinion. That’s never made sense to me. What if the first guy says you should have an operation and the second guy says you shouldn’t? Do you then go to a third guy to break the tie? Or does it make more sense to just flip a coin?

Actually, under ObamaCare, you’ll be lucky if you can find three doctors. Heck, under Obama, you’ll be lucky if you have three coins.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.