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Old 05-17-2015, 08:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
Really? I can't imagine what parts of the speech would make you say that, can you please pull out the part that made you think that?
How about the overall message? Do you think her over-arching message of race being a barrier to success is uplifting, positive, and empowering?
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:19 AM
 
Location: The analog world
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Before commenting, I took the time to watch the excerpt and to read the entire speech, and my impression was positive. The tone was challenging, uplifting, and clearly meaningful for the audience. Overall, a decent speech. I give it an A for content and B+ for delivery. Not her best work, but solid.

Note: the references to students working 2-3 jobs, volunteering at food banks, and taking care of older relatives likely reflected specific students about whom she was briefed while prepping for the speech.

Last edited by randomparent; 05-17-2015 at 08:33 AM..
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daylux View Post
How about the overall message? Do you think her over-arching message of race being a barrier to success is uplifting, positive, and empowering?
She's talking to an audience who has already experienced discrimination and racism...they weren't in a bubble until now, and now she's warning them of what's out there for goodness sakes, they already know race is often a barrier to success in this country. She's basicially telling them to be strong, they can do it despite the obstacles, that she faced the obstacles and overcame them and so can they. She talked about the Tuskeegee Airmen, and the prejudice they faced even they while fighting for the country...which these students know about since it's Tuskeegee U...and how they didn't let it stop them

"Now, those airmen could easily have let that experience clip their wings," Obama told her audience. "But as you all know, instead of being defined by the discrimination and the doubts of those around them, they became one of the most successful pursuit squadrons in our military. One of those first pilots, a man named Charles DeBow, put it this way. He said that a takeoff was -- in his words -- “a never-failing miracle” where all “the bumps would smooth off… [you’re] in the air… out of this world… free.” And when he was up in the sky, Charles sometimes looked down to see black folks out in the cotton fields not far from here -- the same fields where decades before, their ancestors as slaves. And he knew that he was taking to the skies for them -- to give them and their children something more to hope for, something to aspire to.
And in so many ways, that never-failing miracle -- the constant work to rise above the bumps in our path to greater freedom for our brothers and sisters -- that has always been the story of African Americans here at Tuskegee. (Applause.)

Then she brings it into modern times, and her own experiences, which again, these students have ALL experienced if they've lived in this country for 20-some years:


"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," Obama said.

Then she acknowledges something these students most likely feel and have felt their entire lives...a "double duty" not only to succeed, but to be a role model to help change perceptions about blacks in America, to help move equality forward.
She discusses feeling that pressure herself and gives many examples.

..And at the end of the day, by staying true to the me I’ve always known, I found that this journey has been incredibly freeing. Because no matter what happened, I had the peace of mind of knowing that all of the chatter, the name calling, the doubting -- all of it was just noise. (Applause.) It did not define me. It didn’t change who I was. And most importantly, it couldn’t hold me back. I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values -- and follow my own moral compass -- then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own. So, graduates, that’s what I want for all of you. I want you all to stay true to the most real, most sincere, most authentic parts of yourselves. I want you to ask those basic questions: Who do you want to be? What inspires you? How do you want to give back? And then I want you to take a deep breath and trust yourselves to chart your own course and make your mark on the world.

She then relates her experiences to the ones the students have faced themselves, and will continue to face after graduation:


Because here’s the thing -- the road ahead is not going to be easy. It never is, especially for folks like you and me. Because while we’ve come so far, the truth is that those age-old problems are stubborn and they haven’t fully gone away. So there will be times, just like for those Airmen, when you feel like folks look right past you, or they see just a fraction of who you really are.


Then she gives them reason to be proud, to persevere and carry on despite the obstacles:

But, graduates, today, I want to be very clear that those feelings are not an excuse to just throw up our hands and give up. (Applause.) Not an excuse. They are not an excuse to lose hope. To succumb to feelings of despair and anger only means that in the end, we lose.
But here’s the thing -- our history provides us with a better story, a better blueprint for how we can win. It teaches us that when we pull ourselves out of those lowest emotional depths, and we channel our frustrations into studying and organizing and banding together -- then we can build ourselves and our communities up. We can take on those deep-rooted problems, and together -- together -- we can overcome anything that stands in our way.


You’ve got the knowledge and the skills honed here on this hallowed campus. You’ve got families up in the stands who will support you every step of the way. And most of all, you’ve got yourselves -- and all of the heart, and grit, and smarts that got you to this day.
And if you rise above the noise and the pressures that surround you, if you stay true to who you are and where you come from, if you have faith in God’s plan for you, then you will keep fulfilling your duty to people all across this country. And as the years pass, you’ll feel the same freedom that Charles DeBow did when he was taking off in that airplane. You will feel the bumps smooth off. You’ll take part in that “never-failing miracle” of progress. And you’ll be flying through the air, out of this world -- free.
God bless you, graduates. (Applause.) I can’t wait to see how high you soar. Love you all. Very proud. Thank you. (Applause.)


It seems to me that the people who dislike this speech have somehow convinced themselves that racism is not a problem in this country anymore. They seem to think it's possible that these Tuskegee students have lived 20-some years in this country (in Alabama, no less) and never experienced racism..."why bring up a problem the students may not know exists" seems the cry....which IMO is patently ridiculous. Black people get discriminated against daily in this country, rich or poor, and to pretend otherwise is frankly moronic.

I'm not black, but I've seen it firsthand...how unwelcome we were made to feel when I brought my black supervisor to a local bar I used it hang at....it had never occurred to me she wouldn't be welcome there, but it was quite clear she wasn't when we didn't get waited on and it seemed the bartender was actually pretending not to see us, and after a few minutes she asked if we could leave. How if I went shopping by myself I was left alone, but if I went with a black friend we were followed around the store...how the job I had in a very white wealthy area looked out the window to a spot popular by the police for giving pulling traffic over, and all day long I saw black person after black person being pulled over, even though 90% of the drivers in that area were white...even to me it was obvious what was going on. I have a feeling if all of us could live for a day in a black man's shoes, threads like this wouldn't exist.

Last edited by ocnjgirl; 05-17-2015 at 08:59 AM..
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vector1 View Post
For those of you who have heard it, I would assume most would feel the way I do. That being that not only was it beneath the First Lady of the United States to make such a divisive speech, but that she herself seems to be full of resentment (maybe even hatred). That in and of itself is a worthy topic for discussion.
However, while not discouraging such a discussion in this thread, I want to also focus on something else that is troubling in this country. Let me explain.

I consider myself a fair minded person who is willing to listen to the other side of an issue provided it is based on fact rather than emotion. By and large I need to know that emotion is not a deciding factor that cause fact and pragmatic action to be subverted.
When I hear a speech by the First Lady and it strikes me in the manner it did, I assume most other reasoned people would feel similarly. So it surprised me to be watching a report on the show "Today" where a black female reporter characterized the speech in a completely different way, almost praising it.
Granted being a white man I do not know what it is like to be a black woman, but how could we have heard that speech so differently

This was the First Lady, yet she sounded almost like a female version of the race merchant Al Sharpton(though not as bombastic). She made it seem as if she has held grievances (real and perceived) and that she has a massive chip on her shoulder.
Sure she has made some similar comments along the way, but I have tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. Now I am not so sure.
For example feeling it was a slight or racially motived when a fellow shopper asked her to reach up and get something off a store shelf that was high. Michelle Obama is after all a tall woman, so it would seem perfectly natural for a shorter person to ask a taller person for assistance. With me being 6'7", I am regularly asked for such favors/help, and I don't think anything of it. I guess if I were to think about it, my assumption is that being tall is the reason. She instead apparently defaults to race as the reason.

The point of discussion I am getting at is that aside from the partisan koolaid drinking supporters of the Obama's, how can people see that speech in any type of a positive light?
Are we so polarized as a nation now that what I perceive to be a poor example of our countries First Lady's speech, can be seen by others as something positive?
Is it related to race, in that 6+ years of racial animus stirred up by Barak/Holder/Sharpton has caused black people to see things strictly through a lens of grievance?

I have not had the chance to discuss this with my black or liberal friends yet, so I wanted see what my fellow CD posters think of the this.

[YT]8NwrFDDQ12I[/YT]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NwrFDDQ12I

PS - It would be interesting to know the race/gender of the posters if you so choose.

TIA

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I listened to what she had to say as a non-black female, and everything she said is true of non-black females. We cross the street because we see something ahead that may not be a safe situation, we are mistaken for the help, no one sees the sacrifices we made to achieve our accomplishments, blah blah blah.

Do black people really think that their life experiences are unique, and a direct result of the colour of their skin? If so, I think there needs to be some serious psychological help for those egocentric people, and given that it appears to be systemic problem, that help needs to start in kindergarten.
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:05 AM
 
5,097 posts, read 2,483,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daylux View Post
How about the overall message? Do you think her over-arching message of race being a barrier to success is uplifting, positive, and empowering?
In the clip that was posted, she doesn't actually say anything about race, so if one listens to it as a general graduation speech - forgetting about skin colour - for the most part what she is saying is true of all graduates.

Telling graduates not to "lose hope" seems inappropriate, as graduation speeches should be more like Dr Seuss: Oh, The Places You'll Go! Quotes by Dr. Seuss
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:16 AM
 
20,534 posts, read 16,605,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieneke View Post
In the clip that was posted, she doesn't actually say anything about race, so if one listens to it as a general graduation speech - forgetting about skin colour - for the most part what she is saying is true of all graduates.

Telling graduates not to "lose hope" seems inappropriate, as graduation speeches should be more like Dr Seuss: Oh, The Places You'll Go! Quotes by Dr. Seuss
I posted a much longer version in the post before yours, if you care to look. It was much more uplifting than the impression OP tried to give. I am amazed frankly that you think black people don't have unique experiences from whites, and that they're not a direct result of their skin color. How can anyone alive on this planet and in this country believe blacks aren't discriminated against to a much greater degree than any other group? I'm a woman too, 53, but I can tell you my experiences with discrimination pale in comparison to most blacks, in fact there is no comparison, and there was not hatred or contempt involved in any case (more like "let me help you little lady" which may be insulting but doesn't endanger my life, and when I get pulled over being female helps me...I never had to concentrate to make sure I don't slip and forget and take a hand off the steering wheel accidentally lest I get shot).
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
I posted a much longer version in the post before yours, if you care to look.
I watched the one that is linked in the original post.
I didn't hear Michelle say anything that isn't also true of most people. The big difference is that most people can't pull one card out of a hat and claim that all unpleasant experience is directly related to skin colour.
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lieneke View Post
I watched the one that is linked in the original post.
I didn't hear Michelle say anything that isn't also true of most people. The big difference is that most people can't pull one card out of a hat and claim that all unpleasant experience is directly related to skin colour.
I listed copy an pasted a transcript, not a video. But never mind, I see your mind is too closed for it to make a difference. I want to say though, that had she been talking to a women's college, I'm sure she would have brought up the challenges faced by women in the world. In this case she is talking to a black college in Alabama. You really believe blacks in Alabama are not discriminated against, that's it simply a card they pull out when it suits them? You are the reason Michelle's speech IS appropriate, and right.
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
I listed copy an pasted a transcript, not a video. But never mind, I see your mind is too closed for it to make a difference.
I see your post, and I can tell you that nothing that Michelle says is unique to skin colour. I have been mistaken for the help in grocery stores, clothing stores, and banquets. I assume that it is because I appear to a cooperative helpful person. I don't take offence at being asked to help. I have crossed the street, and even changed direction, because I see something ahead that could be problematic. That's life. Working and studying is common, regardless of skin colour, but when it comes to interviewing, no one cares about sacrifices made to achieve goals. That's life. I'm not "closed minded". I'm pointing out that whatever Michelle says about life has nothing to do with skin colour, and the sooner that black skinned people realize that their experiences are not unique, the sooner they will lose the egocentric victim/persecution complex.
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Hyrule
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Go forth and be an angry black man? Really? You think that was a positive connotation? I beg to differ, hold on for the ride.

I don't know if you realize this but we all face struggles in 2015 Michelle. We all get judged now and it's based on anything negative people can find because some people are just AHOLES. Get over it! A man with no legs still has to go to work, might as well see the good in your life. We can all join together if you will allow it.

( I'm a woman, all men including black men have beat (us) as a whole, right? She should have added woman to that speech, I guess when she talks to the women she'll bring that out. My sons handicapped and has been made fun of by all races. I'm Asian, and well.....dare I say, it's already been done on this thread. What about fat people Michelle? You've helped America be prejudice against them, why not add those in the mix? Our police officers can jump in there as well now (because you guessed it, most of them aren't all out beating black people)

THIS IS AMERICA, EVERYONE HAS FACED SOMETHING, SOMEWHERE. We have thousands of people here who've come from war torn countries, military who've experienced disgusting conditions, kids who've been starved and molested.

I don't think a black man worried about a white person thinking he works at the Target is suppressive enough to bring up
. Sorry for that. There are a lot more credible issues to be won.

Yes, their history contains all the horrors of it's time and I can see why she explained the history that related to the college. But, this country has healed in a positive direction for black people. I think it will continue to do so. Maybe in the future, they should assume this message and try and have a wonderful life. They are college grads who will probably make more money than over 1/2 the country. Why not celebrate that fact and move past the struggles and enjoy the fruit?

I think that would help end their pain more than watching out for the prejudice white people like they are dodging bullets in the hood. They aren't.

Speaking of, they could use some help. The poor and impoverished people of this country are on the top of the list for the people in this country that will most likely continue to face hardships. Not a bunch of black lawyers, CEO's and doctors. Trust me!

Oh, so you are giving a speech at a black college Michelle? Pandering to them should be appropriate. We got it!


Times have changed. You are at the bottom of the prejudice ladder now. As of late the ones in the future I really worry about are the poor, increasing number of handicapped like Autistic Adults, Muslims being compared to terrorists, gays and fat people.

Oh, might I add the poor. The poor people of this country are the ones getting killed, experiencing missed opportunity, and have a slim outlook in America. Instead of a race riot it should have been properly named as the "poor" riot. (We leave them in circumstances they cannot get out of despite knowing we helped put them there)

All poor people have to worry about gangs, and how it effects their future, and being misjudged by everyone based on their status not their color. Those people would give anything to trade places with her audience. To make her audience sound repressed was a far stretch. Especially when riots of humiliated, impecunious and angry people are happening synonymously.

In reality all police are in a war with gangs and criminals, mainly in our poor areas of your country. There are bound to be casualties on both sides and there are. Stray bullets from the streets, and police trying to decipher who the enemy is. News flash, they aren't all black.

The same things happen in the barrios, and redneck country and poor Asian areas and reservations. It doesn't matter who put them there, what matters is that we don't address how to unwind what we've done.

A positive message in my opinion would have been, thanks to you we have undone a little bit more of a wronged past. Go forth and help undo the mental chains from the past. Not, "go forth and continue to feel suppressed cuz I still do. Just the other day at Target I'm treated like black trash asked to help, cough help a white person, cough....... you should see the news about meh, I'm trying to get over this angry black woman thing that the white comics did to me the other day, cough.... It hurts, it really does so I bought myself some expensive shoes to get over it. Ewww, some people thought because I had black skin that I was poor. Gross me out! Nobody wants to be poor. I'm richer than they'll ever be.

So juvenile. Grow up Michelle, you ARE the first lady of a whole country. I think your status is just fine. At least you aren't fat, right? Go get the fat people, go on.

Please Michelle, if you are reading this thread go back to the big HOUSE and tell your husband how hard it is for the poor people in the country who are really working 2 or 3 jobs, 60 hours a week. You'll find all colors there that could really use that speech, and a little action. Just let the graduates be role models and instead of encouraging them to dodge the bullets of racism in the future you think they will surely have to face from us whiteees, encourage them to act in aiding our real plight, unemployment.
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