I’m back, and battle ready (thank goodness).
Here’s what I missed while I was on field assignment:
On Saturday, Lady M went to the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluffs, to give the commencement address to the graduates of this historical black college. It was reminiscent of Martin Luther King’s great speech in 1958, when he rallied students to continue their fight against segregation. She even recalled some of MLK’s own words, but since the fight against segregation has been won, MO encouraged them instead to be prepared to fight adversity, like she did. You might think they would’ve already figured that out if they’re getting college degrees, but good to be reminded, I guess.
Then on Sunday Big Guy, too, gave a commencement address at Hampton University, another “historically Black college.”
There’s just one little thing about this that strikes me as odd: everyone admires Martin Luther King, recognizing him as a great man who led, and ultimately won, the fight against segregation. And now, here we have our own historic first black President and our equally historic black FLOTUS – both of whom are themselves beneficiaries of the end of segregation and graduates from not one, but three, integrated Ivy League colleges: Columbia, Princeton and Harvard. So why on earth, 50 years after the end of segregation are they both giving commencement addresses at two virtually all black universities? Am I missing something? I thought they didn’t like segregation? What next? Separate water fountains?
But back to the commencements: Last week at the University of Michigan Big Guy, delivered more of a campaign speech than a “get out there and set the world afire” commencement address to a bright batch of young graduates. He told the graduates that he’s troubled by the angry rhetoric of those who are trying to make the case that government is “inherently bad.” Which is somehow different from the angry rhetoric coming from Big Guy’s team of Big Government dudes trying to make the case that capitalism is “inherently bad.”
Then he told the kids if they watch or listen to Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, they should try reading the Huffington Post for a change, and if you normally read the New York Times editorials, “try glancing at the page of the Wall Street Journal.” He must have forgotten he was at the University of Michigan: they could actually read the editorial page of the WSJ.
Anyhoo, I guess Big Guy really doesn’t like new media – at least when they’re not on his side. Yesterday he told the graduates at Hampton that he thinks too many (dissenting) voices in the public square are a threat to democracy or something.
I’m still trying to get my arms around the fact that he doesn’t know how to use iPods, iPads, Xboxes, Playstations, and – in the case of Lady M - iPhones. I mean, for goodness sake, even the Queen of England knows how to use an iPod (and I’m sure she’s still enjoying Big Guy’s speeches). I’m going to have to send Raj over to the West Wing for a series of tutorials. After all, no president in the history of the world has been as “technological” as Big Guy. Heaven help us if he loses his technological mojo and can no longer use TOTUS effectively.
Big Guy’s new media halo