Lady M gave the commencement address yesterday at Tuskegee University and it included all her usual grace, personal insight, and patriotism.
After opening with her usual obsequiousness:
Now, on this day before Mother’s Day, I’ve got to give a special shout-out to all the moms here. (Applause.) Yay, moms! And I want you to consider this as a public service announcement for anyone who hasn’t bought the flowers or the cards or the gifts yet — all right? I’m trying to cover you. (Laughter.) But remember that one rule is “keep mom happy.” (Laughter.) All right? (Applause.)
She moved right along into the “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” portion of the commencement address - because as we all know these events are really about Michelle:
And believe me, I understand that kind of pressure. (Applause.) I’ve experienced a little bit of it myself. You see, graduates, I didn’t start out as the fully-formed First Lady who stands before you today. No, no, I had my share of bumps along the way.
Back when my husband first started campaigning for President, folks had all sorts of questions of me: What kind of First Lady would I be? What kinds of issues would I take on? Would I be more like Laura Bush, or Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Reagan? And the truth is, those same questions would have been posed to any candidate’s spouse. That’s just the way the process works. But, as potentially the first African American First Lady, I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations; conversations sometimes rooted in the fears and misperceptions of others. Was I too loud, or too angry, or too emasculating? (Applause.) Or was I too soft, too much of a mom, not enough of a career woman?
She used the opportunity to humanizing herself (in case she wants to run for president “some day”):
But eventually, I realized that if I wanted to keep my sanity and not let others define me, there was only one thing I could do, and that was to have faith in God’s plan for me. (Applause - or possibly thunder.) I had to ignore all of the noise and be true to myself — and the rest would work itself out. (Applause.)
So throughout this journey, I have learned to block everything out and focus on my truth. I had to answer some basic questions for myself: Who am I? No, really, who am I? What do I care about?
And the answers to those questions have resulted in the woman who stands before you today. (Applause.) A woman who is, first and foremost, a mom.
(Applause.) Look, I love our daughters more than anything in the world, more than life itself. And while that may not be the first thing that some folks want to hear from an Ivy-league educated lawyer, it is truly who I am. (Applause.) So for me, being Mom-in-Chief is, and always will be, job number one.
And to establishing her bonafides - in case she decides to run against Hillary:
So I immersed myself in the policy details. I worked with Congress on legislation, gave speeches to CEOs, military generals and Hollywood executives. But I also worked to ensure that my efforts would resonate with kids and families — and that meant doing things in a creative and unconventional way. So, yeah, I planted a garden, and hula-hooped on the White House Lawn with kids. I did some Mom Dancing on TV. I celebrated military kids with Kermit the Frog. I asked folks across the country to wear their alma mater’s T-shirts for College Signing Day
All before movingon.org to advance the BHO-ValJar agenda, first by celebrating black lives that actually did matter:
Just think about the arc of this university’s history. Back in the late 1800s, the school needed a new dormitory, but there was no money to pay for it. So Booker T. Washington pawned his pocket watch to buy a kiln, and students used their bare hands to make bricks to build that dorm — and a few other buildings along the way. (Applause.)
A few years later, when George Washington Carver first came here for his research, there was no laboratory. So he dug through trash piles and collected old bottles, and tea cups, and fruit jars to use in his first experiments.
before pointing out all the awful ways white America worked to keep them down:
Generation after generation, students here have shown that same grit, that same resilience to soar past obstacles and outrages -- past the threat of countryside lynchings; past the humiliation of Jim Crow; past the turmoil of the Civil Rights era. And then they went on to become scientists, engineers, nurses and teachers in communities all across the country -- and continued to lift others up along the way. (Applause.)
Odd, given that so many blacks in America have overcome obstacles to emerge prosperous – Lady M, Big Guy and ValJar among them – that these same people spend so much time picking at the scab of racism. First by relating how the Tuskegee Airmen were unfairly treated:
And I’d like to begin today by reflecting on that history — starting back at the time when the Army chose Tuskegee as the site of its airfield and flight school for black pilots. (Applause.)
Back then, black soldiers faced all kinds of obstacles. There were the so-called scientific studies that said that black men’s brains were smaller than white men’s. Official Army reports stated that black soldiers were “childlike,” “shiftless,” “unmoral and untruthful,” and as one quote stated, “if fed, loyal and compliant.”
So while the Airmen selected for this program were actually highly educated — many already had college degrees and pilots licenses — they were presumed to be inferior. During training, they were often assigned to menial tasks like housekeeping or landscaping. Many suffered verbal abuse at the hands of their instructors. When they ventured off base, the white sheriff here in town called them “boy” and ticketed them for the most minor offenses. And when they finally deployed overseas, white soldiers often wouldn’t even return their salutes.
And then by how she and BO have been abused by white privileged America
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 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.)
There’s more of course, butt I think you catch her drift.
Meanwhile, two more policeman shot dead in cold blood in Mississippi overnight – one white, one black. There will be no riots because, you know, while black lives matter, some black lives matter more than others.
That’s right, I said it: some black lives seem to matter more than others around here.
Cross-Posted on Patriot Action Network