Michelle Obama addressed the graduates of Jackson State University, a historically black college in Mississippi, and capitalized on her audience by reminding them that racism is alive and well in America… because that’s encouraging to everyone’s futures, I guess.
This is par for the course, though, as her other commencement speeches are racially charged and very political, as well. But a lot of her speech this time was dedicated to defending her husband. As the Obama family approaches the end of their time at the White House, the president has been consumed with leaving behind a sterling legacy and frankly, he needs all the help he can get. And his wife went to bat for him:
“We all know that empathy, that preparation, that moral compass, that relentless work ethic has led to so much progress over the past seven years. We’ve gone from the brink of another Great Depression in this country to our businesses creating more than 14 million new jobs. Our unemployment rate has been cut in half. Our deficits are down by two-thirds. Our high school graduation rates are the highest on record. Over 20 million more people now have health insurance. And people in this country are finally free to marry the person they love.
Is he running again? Because this sounds like a stump speech!
“And on the global stage, the vast majority of our troops are home today and our country isn’t putting our heads in the sand on climate change. No, we are leading the way to stop it. I could go on and on, but that’s the progress we’ve seen under this president. That’s the kind of change we all hoped was possible eight years ago.”
Now that the hero protagonist has been fully established, it’s time to introduce the evil antagonist: Racist Republicans, at least that’s what she implied:
“We pay endless attention to folks who are blocking action, blocking judges, blocking immigration, blocking a raise in the minimum wage. Just blocking! We are consumed with the anger and vitriol that are bubbling up with folks shouting at each other, using hateful and divisive language. And then there are the countless times when that language gets personal and is directed at my husband; charges that he doesn’t love our country, the time he was called a liar in front of a joint session of Congress. The nonstop questions about his birth certificate and his belief in God!”
How is being the polar opposite politically now mean racist? According to the first lady, it stems from a perceived hatred of the skin color of the first black president by his political opposition:
“Those age-old issues that have always roiled our country. The problems a lot of folks would rather brush under the rug. Those challenges are still with us today. We can’t deny it.”
That’s pretty divisive language coming from someone who just complained about divisive language! Not to mention the fact that President Obama, her husband, has contributed a lot to the racial tension she thinks just “bubbled up” out of nowhere. Does she really think that only Republicans are to blame for polarizing the country?
This isn’t the 1960s, but listening to her speech, you’d think it was:
“No longer can we be barred from a university or hotel or arrested for sitting at the front of the bus, or forced to use a separate bathroom or water fountain because of the color of our skin.”
There you go, graduates, have a great life! Hope you left encouraged!