Michelle Obama reunites with her SC kith and kin

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Michelle Obama (center), her brother Craig (left), and the extended Robinson family in Georgetown, SC this afternoon.  

While she grew up on the South Side of Chicago, Michelle Obama’s trip this afternoon to Georgetown, SC was really a homecoming. Michelle’s grandfather, Fraser Robinson Sr., was originally from Georgetown and, while she was growing up, Michelle and her family regularly spent part of their summers visiting their extended relatives in the Low Country town.

Joined by her brother Craig, Michelle’s afternoon in Georgetown started with a reunion and some sweet tea with her cousins Connie Jones, Dorthy Robinson, and Harolyn Siau at the Robinson family home near downtown Georgetown.

The meeting also provided Michelle and Craig with an opportunity to take a look at fmaily photos Cousin Dorthy keeps on top of her piano.

After meeting with her cousins, Michelle went down the street to her grandfather’s old church, Bethel A.M.E., in historic Georgetown, where she spoke to a packed house of South Carolina Obama supporters that included over thirty-one of her own family members from the area.

 

During her speech, Michelle touched on the concerns that some have about whether or note Barack has enough experience to be President.

While he may not have the long Washington resume of other candidates, Michelle noted, with Barack’s background as a community organizer in Chicago — working right along side the people he sought to help — and eight years as a State Senator (more years in the kind government that’s closest to each of us than anyone else in the race) in the rough and tumble world of Illinois politics, he clearly has the kind of experience that the country needs right now.

It’s not that Barack isn’t ready, Michelle said,

The challenge for us is to ask, “What are we ready for?” This one is on us — see, we like to talk about change, but we don’t really like change. We want easy change, we want change that will make us feel comfortable, but that’s not how change happens, it’s not something that’s just going to come to you passively.

Things aren’t gong to get better when you wish for it or you hope for it: Things get better when regular folks take action to make change happen from the bottom up. Every major, historical moment in our time it has been made by folks who said “Enough,” and they banded together to move this country forward — and now is one of those times.

 Hat Tip: Obama for America

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Hillary’s Billionaire Minstrel

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Black billionaire Bob Johnson, CEO and founder of the internationally embarrassing Black Entertainment Television, took his turn serving as a blackface minstrel for Hillary Clinton at a South Carolina black church.

Sounding like the fictional Pierre Delacroix in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled, he lodged the following bomb at Barack Obama, As an African American, I am frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues, when Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood, that I won’t say what he was doing in the neighborhood but he said it in his book…”

His allusion to Barack Obama’s youthful indiscretion with drugs, discussed in his book “Dreams of My Father,” is unmistakably clear despite his later denial.

After smearing on another coat of burnt cork and adjusting his snappy corporate minstrel costume, he defended Bill and Hillary against their unjustified and racially patronizing comments that inflamed prominent African Americans like House Majority Whip James Clyburn and former Gore Campaign Manager Donna Brazile. He characterized as crazy the thought that “these two people would denigrate the accomplishments of civil rights marchers.”

In one fell swoop, Johnson unraveled Bill’s and Hillary’s damage control efforts of this weekend. After his remarks were disseminated to the media, they were immediately challenged by the Obama campaign.

They issued a statement from former state representative “I.S.” Leevy Johnson of Columbia, an African American and one of the first blacks elected to the legislature since reconstruction.“It’s offensive that Senator Clinton literally stood by and said nothing as another one of her campaign’s top supporters launched a personal, divisive attack on Barack Obama,” former representative Johnson said. “For someone who decries the politics of personal destruction, she should’ve immediately denounced these attacks on the spot.”

Senator Clinton said on Meet the Press that, “I don’t think this campaign is about gender, and I sure hope it’s not about race. It needs to be about the individuals. Each of us is running for the highest position, the most difficult job in the world. And, you know, I am, I think, very clearly someone who’s gone through a tremendous amount of criticism, you know. That’s fine. I’m more than willing to shoulder that. I think voters and viewers can draw their own conclusions when they watch whatever it is that we are doing.”

We damn sure can draw our own conclusions. Hillary’s calculated actions and those of her surrogates deliberately use criminal stereotypes about black men to raise suspicions and doubt about Obama. Her transparent efforts to manipulate folks into voting for her does not speak well of her or her blackface minstrels.

Lastly, her use of Bob Johnson, a corporate vampire willing to sell out black folks on social security, sends an unmistakable signal to brotha’s like me that another Clinton term will lead to a further evisceration of the social safety net with powerful corporate minstrels like Johnson enlisted to play defense against the financial interests of their own people.