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American Royalty


Please do not get me wrong.  I truly admire the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.  She has a lot of class and a lot of character.  In the world of politics she is by far my favorite person.  I know she’s not a politician so people can spare me any attempt at trying to correct my perspective.  She helped sell her husband to the world as being the best choice to be our new President and did an admirable job of being the wing beneath his wings.  That firmly qualifies her as a participant in politics without being a politician.  She appeared to be down to earth and a people person and a lot of people accepted her as such.

When the conservatives attacked Barack Obama by attacking his wife, I was livid.  I remember seeing conservative pundits referring to Ms. Obama as Obama’s Baby’s Mama and labeling her as nothing more than an angry black woman for saying that for the first time in her life she’s proud to be an American.  Even Cindy McCain, the wife of Mr. Obama’s conservative opponent John McCain, didn’t waste an opportunity to jump all over Ms. Obama with the not even remotely subtle announcement that the McCain’s have always been proud to be Americans, that little quip from Mr. McCain who said that he didn’t love America until he was imprisoned in the Hanoi Hilton not withstanding.  And I detested all the Photoshopped images of Ms. Obama designed to make her look physically ugly and unappealing.

Now that the Obamas can claim 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as their home address, Ms. Obama is falling into her support role new role as the First Lady.  She remains a reflection of her husband and dutifully maintains her role as the first mother of Sasha and Malia.  I’m sure the Obamas, like most people who win the White House and go there to live with their children in tow, walk a fine line to make sure their children remain grounded and not assume some highfalutin attitude thinking they’re some kind of royalty entitled to special treatment.  At least, that’s what I used to think.

Just when most Americans were preparing to take advantage of our annual tax free holiday weekend to save a little money when buying back to school supplies and clothing for our children, Ms. Obama and her two girls was being treated like royalty in Paris, France.  French President Nicolas Sarkozy himself made a few calls in order to open a branch of one of the Bonpoint stores, a high class children’s boutique usually closed by French law on Sundays, so that Ms. Obama and her two daughters could peruse racks of two hundred dollar summer dresses and one hundred dollar sweaters.  French clothing stores don’t even open on Sundays for the French people.  It really pays to be in high places with friends who are just as highly placed.

For their soiree through France’s capital city, America’s first family had a thirty car motorcade that included their brand new one of a kind Cadillac super tank.  And where ever their entourage went, parts of the city were closed down for their exclusive use.  Even Oprah Winfrey’s renowned celebrity couldn’t buy her such recognition.  Ms. Winfrey came back from France suspecting that she had been treated like a commoner and kept out of stores after closing hours because she was black.  And that was on a regular weekday.  Poor Ms. Winfrey would not have had any chance to do any real shopping on a Sunday.  What’s a billionaire to do?

Before his presidential inauguration, Mr. Obama published an article directed to his daughters describing what he wanted for them and for every child growing up in America.  He wanted his children to grow up in a world without limits on dreams and no achievements beyond their reach.  Mr. Obama said that he wanted his daughters to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world.  But treating those girls like they’re young versions of Paris Hilton entitled to privilege will do little to help build such character.  Being treated like royalty will no doubt lead them to believe that they can achieve their own hopes and dreams, but the compassion to help assure that others do the same might not be so nurtured.

No doubt while living in their home back in Chicago, the Obama girls kept busy schedules of sports, dance, drama, music, and gymnastics.  They used to do the kind of things that a lot of kids in America did.  But life in the White House will change these two in ways very few people can imagine.  I would think that someone of Ms. Obama’s character would be sensitive to such things.  She’s still my most favorite person in the world of politics.  Her star simply doesn’t shine as bright in my eyes as it once did.  But with friends like Mr. Sarkozy who can open high end stores with just a few phone calls, I doubt if she’d care a flying flip what I thought.

Monday, August 10, 2009 - Posted by | ABC News, Affirmative Action, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Politics


  1. I can see your point. But in her role it comes with the territory that she will be hangin around the rich and powerful, whether she likes it or not. Best she take advantage of it no? So long as she keeps things in perspective. She is only human after all. Doing a better job than I would in such a high profile role.

    Comment by Jason | Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | Reply

  2. The only problem with this thinking ” best she take advantage of it, no?”, is that she WILL lose perspective. There is no way to live the life of royalty without it affecting your viewpoint of things.

    If you listen to a lot of actors, especially black ones before they became famous, they had a lot to say about how racism affects the world. But as soon as the money rolled in and they were rubbing elbows with the elite white and black alike, these fools couldn’t see disparity to save their lives.

    It is the case with anyone stepping above their previous social class. You see it daily with sports stars and anyone else. They always say that they will remain the same. At least until the fame, fortune and opening french stores up on Sunday to do some exclusive shopping rots their brains out.

    I have never been a fan of Obama nor his wife. I personally saw her and him as a bunch of phony, “I’m better than you” folks. And this just shows me that my thoughts were right on the money.


    Comment by theblacksentinel | Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | Reply

  3. What is this ‘Mrs. Obama’ thing. You did not refer to her by name once. That is not a reflection of Michelle. Her efforts to help the French retail economy and let Americans know that it is all right to purchase foreign goods should be commended.

    As for the kids. I suspect that having a Mom who grows vegetables in the garden may be the most memorable experience they will take from the White House, and now that they have bees in the garden they will learn some useful skills and get half their sex education.

    She ain’t no phoney Jason. She’s the real thing.

    Comment by Chris Tidman | Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | Reply

  4. Chris Tidman,

    Are you trying to say her name isn’t Ms. Obama? I do believe that I am referring to her by her name. I think what you’re trying to say is that I didn’t refer to her by her full name. And I must say that I really didn’t think it was necessary. I do believe to refer to her as Ms. Obama is much more respectful than to call her Michelle. This particular point of yours is pretty moot.

    And how is Ms. Obama taking advantage of her position to do some private shopping not a reflection of her? Ms. Obama could have made the choice not to do such high profile shopping against French law. But she didn’t. That was the choice she made and a total reflection of her values. To try and spin it as Ms. Obama showing Americans that it’s okay to purchase foreign goods is rather ludicrous.

    Hey America look at me! It’s okay to buy foreign goods! Especially when the goods come from stores closed to the public but opened exclusively for my family’s benefit! Hey Oprah! Eat your heart out!

    And the point that her kids will find vegetables growing at the white house more memorable than to do the exclusive shopping in France is pretty far-fetched as well. I’m sure Sasha and Malia were in that high-end Paris boutique looking over all those pretty items and thinking to themselves that they just can’t wait to get back to their white house garden.

    This is the real deal alright.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | Reply

  5. Sorry, Mrs. Obama is not what Michelle puts on her e mails.

    I ran into them at the art gallery and I turned to may wife and said “Hey it’s Michelle and what’s his name.” and the whole darn place broke up.

    She was a guest in France and was just being polite. I am sure she didn’t ask for the favor. The store obviously offered.

    Be patient, sooner or later someone will interview the kids and then we will know for sure.

    The point is that your perception of things is just what is in your mind, and if you have a dirty mind you think dirty things.

    Comment by Chris Tidman | Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | Reply

  6. Sorry Chris,

    I don’t refer to her by what she puts on her emails. I would have to say that’s a rather absurd criteria for how to refer to someone. I’m not so familiar with Ms. Obama to call her Michelle and I’m quite comfortable with my references to her. There is nothing disrespectful about calling her Ms. Obama. Remember, dirty minds have dirty thoughts.

    As far as your comedy routine goes, sounds like you should go on the road. Michelle and what’s his name? You sound like a regular riot.

    And of course the store offered to open its doors to Ms. Obama and her entourage against French federal law. The fact that news articles said that Mr. Sarkozy and the American embassy made phone calls arranging the outing was just thrown in to put people off. Genius! She was just being polite. Your comedy gets better and better.

    Lastly, you said dirty minds think dirty thoughts. So would it be true that empty minds think empty thoughts? The point is that if we spend so much time making excuses for the things that we see we end up trying to shape reality to fit our preconceived ideas and we fail to comprehend what’s really happening and refuse to think anything at all. It’s the typical American condition.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | Reply

  7. While I do have a soft spot in my heart for Mrs. Obama because she has challenged some of the beauty standards and is also representing to America at large an alternative view of Black woman, I have to say, I am disheartened to hear about this shopping trip. But, I guess, it’s what is to be expected. In order to be first lady, Ms. Obama had to modify many aspects of her presentation just to fit the role. I remember when folks were all in arms because she was wearing a baseball cap to drop the girls off at school. She probably doesn’t own any baseball caps now. I do agree that it’s almost impossible to stay true to your roots when you switch social classes especially without a focused and concerted effort. But I can’t say I blame her too much–when it comes to the Obamas, the saying actions speak louder than words could not be more true.

    And maybe I’m one of the few left. I was taught to refer to someone who I wasn’t close personal friends with as Mr. or Ms. and their last name if addressing them or by their full name or last name writing about them unless that person expressly gave me permission to call them by their first name. The media throwing around first names to me is highly disrespectful and nothing made me cringe more than Bush calling Condoleeza Rice “Condi” in public.

    Comment by Chi-Chi | Sunday, August 16, 2009 | Reply

  8. Thanks for the feedback Chi-Chi,

    “And maybe I’m one of the few left. I was taught to refer to someone who I wasn’t close personal friends with as Mr. or Ms. and their last name if addressing them or by their full name or last name writing about them unless that person expressly gave me permission to call them by their first name.”

    It’s good to see someone else who learned some old school manners! When I was little I was taught that referring to someone as Mr., Mrs., or Miss and their last name was a sign of respect as well. But since then, I learned that to refer to a woman as Miss or Mrs. could be construed as less respectful by indicating a woman’s married status as when there is no such constraint on a man’s marital status. So I adopted the use of Ms. as an exclusive. The idea that it is disrespectful to refer to someone by Mr. and Ms. is a foreign one to me.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Sunday, August 16, 2009 | Reply

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