Friday, August 28, 2009

Stop fussing with the Obama family!

Ok, I know that I had all but drunk the kool-aid with the Obama campaign a year ago. It will come as no surprise that I was a HUGE Obama supporter--and that I continue to have faith in this administration, even though President Obama has not taken the kinds of progressive stands I would like him to take, most especially with respect to issues of same-sex marriage, benefits for same-sex couples, and the issue of "don't ask, don't tell" in the military. In point of fact, I am disappointed that he has not been a stronger advocate for these issues--although I have not given up hope that he will make great strides in this area in the future.

But really, there are some really ridiculous things going on in the media/public/popular culture with respect to critiques of Barack Obama and his family (perhaps with the exception of Sasha & Malia and the family dog Bo--people don't seem to have sunk as low as critiquing these youngest Obama family members).

What am I talking about?

*The Birther phenomenon--you know those people, no let me amend, those CRAZY people who insist that Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen because he was born in (A) Kenya (B) Indonesia (C) Australia (D) their home planet--because these people must be from another planet not to believe all the evidence that Barack Obama was born in the U.S.

*Michelle Obama's wardrobe. I mean, I know that people have always been interested in the FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States). And we are a fashion obsessed nation. But really people--is it such a slow news month that we need to have polls asking people what they think about the appropriateness of the first lady wearing shorts on a family vacation to the Grand Canyon and/or while disembarking from Air Force One? And all that flap before about her bare arms--esp. back in February during President Obama's first address to Congress. Don't we have other things to worry about and preoccupy ourselves with? Leave Michelle Obama alone! Stop the no-news stories!

*Where the First Family is vacationing. The President and his family will be spending their family vacation time on Martha's Vineyard. And apparently they have caught some flack about this because of its bougie associations--that the only African Americans who vacation on the Vineyard are Buppie snobs. Well, this piece in The Root does an excellent job of refuting those notions and explaining the history of African Americans vacationing on Martha's Vineyard. But more to the point of this post, really people, why should we care about where the Obamas are spending their vacation? If they owned a private home in Kennebunkport or upstate New York or rural Texas I'm sure people would find a way to critique and criticize their private homeownership and/or having more than one home. Again, if people want to criticize the Obama administration, focus on real issues--substantive issues--like health care (I wish Obama would go farther and was highly disappointed that the public option was taken out).

Essentially, I wish the public at large would hold off on the silly stuff--the personal critiques of the Obama family--where they are born, what they wear, where they vacation. Lets just leave them to be a family and do the things that families do. There are too many important things to concentrate on than us sweating the small stuff. And THIS is definitely the small stuff.

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