By Sean Yoes
AFRO Baltimore Editor
During a speech for the ages during a time for the ages, First Lady Michelle Obama stayed true to form and went high, yet somehow managed to surgically filet the lowest president in the history of the United States.
It was Obama, as only she can, who magnificently prosecuted the case against Donald John Trump and set the tone for the first of its kind virtual Democratic National Convention.
“…Here at home, as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and a never-ending list of innocent people of color continue to be murdered, stating the simple fact that Black life matters is still met with derision from the nation’s highest office,” Obama said during her pre-taped prodigious take down of the 45th President of the United States. And she was just getting warmed up. “Because whenever we look to this White House for some leadership or consolation or any semblance of steadiness, what we get instead of chaos, division and a total and utter lack of empathy.”
Then Obama shifted to the nation’s virulent polemic inflamed by Trump, a man who has told at least 20,000 lies since he has entered the office, has already been impeached, and faces possible criminal prosecution after he leaves office, and the impact on the nation’s children and young people.
“They see people shouting in grocery stores, unwilling to wear a mask to keep us all safe. They see people calling the police on folks minding their own business just because of the color of their skin. They see an entitlement that says only certain people belong here, that greed is good, and winning is everything because as long as you come out on top, it doesn’t matter what happens to everyone else,” Obama said.
“And they see what happens when that lack of empathy is ginned up into outright disdain. They see our leaders labeling fellow citizens enemies of the state while emboldening torch-bearing White supremacists. They watch in horror as children are torn from their families and thrown into cages, and pepper spray and rubber bullets are used on peaceful protesters for a photo-op. Sadly, this is the America that is on display for the next generation. A nation that’s underperforming not simply on matters of policy but on matters of character. And that’s not just disappointing; it’s downright infuriating.”
Then the eloquent and elegant First Lady aimed that fury directly at the man at the center of all the chaos and confusion, the most unintelligent, incurious and lazy man to ever occupy the White House.
“So let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is,” said Obama as she twisted the knife using Trump’s words against him as he shrugged off America’s COVID-19 death toll during a recent interview.
“Now, I understand that my message won’t be heard by some people. We live in a nation that is deeply divided, and I am a Black woman speaking at the Democratic Convention. But enough of you know me by now. You know that I tell you exactly what I’m feeling. You know I hate politics. But you also know that I care about this nation. You know how much I care about all of our children,” she added.
“So if you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this: if you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can; and they will if we don’t make a change in this election. If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it.”
And they do.
Sean Yoes is the AFRO’s Baltimore editor and the author of Baltimore After Freddie Gray: Real Stories From One of America’s Great Imperiled Cities