I know, I know…it has been forever and a day since I last
I’ve been practicing the fine art of bitchitude offline…
…but now I’m back.
Yesterday, an activist interrupted a speech by Michelle Obama
to demand an executive order from President Obama granting civil rights and
protections to LGBT people. I support those who stand up and speak truth to power, even when folk
take that stand in locations the powerful feel are activist free.
This shit had truth but methinks it was misdirected.
Let’s back up and review what happened.
Michelle Obama was giving a speech. An activist stood up and shouted out
the demand for an executive order.
According to witnesses, Michelle Obama stopped her speech, said, "One
of the things that I don't do well is this," and approached the
activist. Michelle Obama then
inviting the activist to "listen to me, or you can take the mic, but I'm
leaving. You all decide. You have one choice." The crowd said they wanted
FLOTUS to continue her speech…the activist was escorted from the event.
As I said, I support folk who speak truth to power.
The problem here is that FLOTUS doesn’t have the power to
issue an executive anything.
Now the donors in the room certainly have power…but I’ll get
back to that in a bit.
So, the activist that was escorted from the event
"Basically, I was asked by the first lady to be quiet,
and I can't be quiet any longer. ... I was surprised by how negative the crowd
seemed to be. It was actually a little unsettling and disturbing."
"She obviously thought she was going to make an example
of me or something. I wasn't scared at all."
I have the feeling that if Michelle Obama wants to tell
someone to be quiet…she tells that person to be quiet.
In this case, she didn’t tell the activist to be quiet. She
made it clear she wasn’t going to try to talk over someone…acknowledged the
activist by approaching her…and even offered to mic to said activist. If anyone told the activist to be quiet
it was the crowd in attendance to hear Michelle Obama speak.
That same crowd that was full of donors…yeah, I’ll get to
As for the activist’s “surprise” over how the crowd reacted,
I call bullshit.
What exactly did she expect? And I’m being serious here. I’ve interrupted my fair share of events…to speak to folk
who are hard to get access to and who actually have the power to do the shit I
was demanding…and I can tell you that my ass expected all kinds of reactions
and wasn’t surprised by any of them when I did that shit. This was a DNC fundraiser of some sort
and you’d have to be one hell of a naïve activist to expect that crew to stand
up and cheer you on when you interrupt Michelle Obama.
For the record, I too want to see an inclusive ENDA
passed. Hell, I even like the idea
of an executive order…Lawd knows the House isn’t going to pass ENDA unless we
can make the case that LGBT people are actually a firearm.
Okay, tis time to get to that shit about the donors in the
Given the Democratic Party’s lack of energy for ENDA, both
in grooming candidates and educating the electorate, methinks the activist
should have stood up and turned toward the audience and told those folk to
pressure the administration to grant an executive order…or at least said
something to them about ensuring that their donations go toward supporting folk
who will get ENDA passed.
Because money still talks…and if the money in that room
qualified for a speech by Michelle Obama then the money in that room probably
has the power to make shit happen.
The last time I checked, political activism is about
moving toward the prize.
Otherwise tis just poorly staged and badly acted theatre.
That brings me back to what the action was supposed to
accomplish and we can evaluate that through how it is being covered.
If the activist was trying to talk to Michelle Obama, that shit didn't work out well.
If the activist was talking to motivate the crowd to support an executive order, that shit didn't work either.
Are people talking about ENDA and why we need it?
Or are folk talking about how Michelle Obama reacted to a
public display of a lack of home training?