|First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks Of The Racism She and President Obama|
Has Faced In Life in Graduation Speech to Tuskegee University
I reflected on my own experience with racism while listening to First Lady Michelle Obama speak. She spoke about the times her and the President were at Galas and were assumed to be "the help" by others attending. She spoke of being followed in retail establishments by clerks who assumed because she was black she would steal. She spoke of being referred to as "Barack's Baby's Momma" by Fox News and she warned the Graduating class that they would encounter many in society who would never consider the fact that they were college graduates and who would treat them as if they were ignorant and unintelligent because they were black.
This last statement mirrored my experience while living in Texas. Michelle Obama made the powerful statement that no matter how excellent many blacks are, it will NEVER BE ENOUGH to be considered EQUAL by those whose minds and hearts are stuck in the past.. those who have a narrow minded view of the world. This hit home. WOW. What a powerful statement from a powerful woman. I admit I struggled for a long time with the concept of fairness and equality in America after seeing so many African Americans pushed into lower rung, lower responsibility jobs in Texas while seeing white counterparts with far less skills and qualifications taken by the hand and 'groomed' for the Executive Suite. That angered me so much and for a long time I absolutely hated America for I found America to be a great hypocrite. A liar. But it's not America. It's certain groups of people in this country who still hold to abhorrent bigoted views and they will not let go of those views. They have decided to take that hatred with them to their graves. These are the people who walk around Corporate America like they own the damn world. White males who are fully aware of the racial divide within this country and how they are benefiting from it.
I've learned not to let the racism I face in this life change me. Break me. I've learned that I must simply rise above it. We all must rise above it.
One way I've taken control of my life and buffered myself against racism is by becoming an entrepreneur. We live in the internet age. There are unlimited opportunities for wealth generation with very little capital and we must seize these opportunities. As African Americans we must look upon the internet (and the free market) as great "Equalizers". For these two can FREE US from the BONDAGE of having to work in a white male dominated corporate structure where our efforts are disregarded repeatedly by those who refuse to recognize our worth. Regardless of our qualifications.
As African Americans we MUST become financially independent. We MUST look beyond America as well. Not just for economic opportunities but for homesteads also. There are other places in this world with much less racism.
Notable Statements From Speech.
Watch the Entire Speech Below.