A House Divided – Part 2 of 3


….Recently, Mrs. Obama gave the commencement speech for the 2015 graduating class of Tuskegee University.  She warned the young graduates about the world they would soon encounter, saying in part:

“…They  [presumably White Americans]  will make assumptions about who they think you are based on their limited notion of the world.  And my husband and I know how frustrating that experience can be.  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” — 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 that you’re going to get stopped or pulled over [by the police] for absolutely no reason; the fear that your job application will be overlooked because of the way your name sounds; the agony of sending your kids to schools that may no longer be separate, but are far from equal; the realization that no matter how far you rise in life, how hard you work to be a good person, a good parent, a good citizen — for some folks, it will never be enough.  (Applause.)”

I wonder if the history books will reflect that children from low income neighborhoods didn’t have to attend those separate but unequal schools.  They were sentenced to those schools by an Obama Administration that almost immediately after Inauguration Day, got rid of school vouchers in Washington, DC. (U.S. News & World Report online, Obama Wrong on D.C. School Vouchers and Hypocritical, Just Like Congress, by Peter Roff, located at:  http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-roff/2009/04/22/obama-wrong-on-dc-school-vouchers-and-hypocritical-just-like-congress) 

I wonder how the disenfranchised children of Washington, DC and the Tuskegee graduates will perceive and react to life’s inevitable challenges and setbacks?  Will they ignore race, see things objectively, accept them with grace, continue to compete and climb the ladders of success; or, will they cling to the words of the First Lady, seeing a bigot behind every adverse event and passing  those perceptions of prejudice and hatred to still another generation?  Sadly, or luckily – I don’t know – we cannot look 20 years into the future to see what those not so small seeds of hatred will have produced over time.

As discussed in Part 1 of 3 last Friday, as a white man, I experienced the same type of  traffic stop in the 60s, that former Attorney General Holder claims to have experienced as a college student.  I couldn’t claim it was race-based. But, I can tell you that my so-called “white privilege” didn’t help one iota!

Does the First Lady really expect us to believe that she and Barack were mistaken for being “the help” at “formal events?”  Does the President really expect us to believe that white restaurant patrons throw keys at him, while he is waiting for the valet?  Well, according to guidelines published at University of California, under University President Janet Napolitano (you remember – Obama’s first Director of Homeland Security!), if we were students or faculty members at University of California, we’d have to believe it, because  “Denying the experiences of students by questioning the credibility/validity of their stories” is a “microaggression.”  I suppose that questioning a story told by the First Lady would then qualify as a MACROAGGRESSION.  …just sayin’

Other so-called “microaggressions” in the UC world now include saying that:

  • “America is the land of Opportunity”
  • “There is only one race: the human race”
  • “I believe the most qualified person should get the job”
  • “Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough”
  • California professors instructed not to say ‘America is the land of opportunity’” by JOSH HEDTKE – UCLA JUNE 10, 2015 http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/22839/

And, so  the drumbeat of divisiveness, painting pictures of hopelessness and a disdain for all things American doesn’t stop at the edge of the Tuskegee University campus, or the 10 University of California Campuses.

 

To be Continued…

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