Saturday, December 20, 2014

The help

The Obamas say they're still affected by everyday racism. Treated like "the help"? That might be true, but the examples they give are less than convincing.

First Lady Michelle Obama told about a trip to Target. While there another customer in the store asked for her help reaching an item (The President's wife in 5'11" tall). The customer did not recognize her as the first lady of the United States. That's not treating someone like "the help". That's just asking for help.

The President stated, "There's no black male my age, who's a professional, who hasn't come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn't hand them their car keys." Surely he intended that as hyperbole! Otherwise, I can't believe it.

Trying to identify with the plight of other African-Americans in the U. S. may be hard for this couple. After all, in a sense they are the most powerful couple in the United States. These stories don't say as much to me about discrimination against the first couple as it speaks to their own place of privilege. We underlings, "the help" who perform service jobs, should not be so far beneath them that they are insulted when identified with us.

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