First Lady Obama Speaks Truth To Power In Commencement Address
First Lady Michelle Obama gave a fiery fascinating defense of her husband and his presidency yesterday in her commencement address at Jackson State University, a Historically Black University in Jackson, Mississippi.
I absolutely loved what she said, and want to post a bit of her remarks here.
When I hear words like dignity and excellence, I think about my husband. See, I know I’m biased — and I do think he’s cute, too. But as I’ve walked this journey with Barack, I’ve gotten a pretty good look at what it means to rise above the fray, what it means to set your eyes on the horizon, to devote your life to making things better for those who will come after you. I have seen how, no matter what kind of ugliness is going on at any particular moment, Barack always stays the course.
And then there’s the countless times when that language gets personal and is directed at my husband — charges that he doesn’t love our country. The time he was called a liar in front of a Joint Session of Congress. The nonstop questions about his birth certificate and his belief in God. …In light of today’s 24-hour news cycle — in this era where our Facebook feeds are limited to the voices of folks who think exactly like we do, and our TVs and radios are exclusively tuned in to those who tell us only what we want to hear — it’s not surprising that our disagreements have become more personal, more intense.
I wish I could say otherwise, graduates, but the question isn’t whether you’re going to come face-to-face with these issues; the question is how you’re going to respond when you do. … [A]re you going to take a deep breath, straighten your shoulders, lift up your head, and do what Barack Obama has always done — as he says, ‘When they go low, I go high.’
That’s the choice Barack and I have made. That’s what has kept us sane over the years. We simply do not allow space in our hearts, minds, or souls for darkness. Instead, we choose faith — faith in ourselves, in the power of hard work. Faith in our God, … Our love for our country, which has given us so many blessings and advantages. …
And we choose excellence. We choose to tune out all the noise and strive for excellence in everything we do. No cutting corners. No taking shortcuts. No whining. We give 120 percent every single time, because excellence — excellence is the most powerful answer you can give to the doubters and the haters.