By Micha Green
AFRO D.C. Editor
When a Black woman says “It is what it is,” most of the time, it must be so- and, while Michelle Obama may have been taking a jab at President Donald Trump, who used the same phrase when talking about COVID-19 deaths– in her speech for the Democratic National Convention (DNC), the former First Lady was transparent in her sentiments about the current administration, emphasized the need for empathy and urged audiences to vote for Joe Biden in 2020.
“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 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,” the former First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) said.
In her DNC speech, former First Lady Michelle Obama was in her disdain for President Trump’s administration, passionate about a need for empathy and fervent in her call to vote for Joe Biden in the 2020 general election. (AP Photo)
In about 18 minutes, Obama held no punches about her negative feelings for Trump and politics and simultaneous love for her country. She was frank and kept it real- an approach that made her speech feel more like a conversation with a trusted family member than a kickoff to a political convention.
“Michelle Obama showed her Michelle Lavon Robinson from the South Side of Chicago side last night in her DNC remarks. She spoke to us as a trusted Auntie- loving, but stern with sage advice,” Dr. Rhonda Gans, a family physician from Chicago told the AFRO.
“’It is what it is’ from Michelle referred to her description of Trump ‘being in over his head,’ as POTUS. Using his words of irritation and condescension to condemn him is pure South Side! Shade- albeit in an elegant form,” Gans added.
You might be able to take the girl from the South Side, but you can’t take the South Side out of the girl; and you might be able to take the woman from out of the White House, but the values she showed as FLOTUS are still very much part of Obama’s tactics as she pushes for Vice President Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D- Calif.) to win the 2020 election. Obama promoted “going high,” as she famously said in her 2016 DNC speech.
“Over the past four years, a lot of people have asked me, ‘When others are going so low, does going high still really work?’ My answer, ‘Going high is the only thing that works.’ Because when we go low, when we use those same tactics of degrading and dehumanizing others, we just become part of the ugly noise that’s just drowning out everything else. We degrade ourselves, we degrade the very causes for which we fight,” Obama said. “But let’s be clear, going high does not mean putting on a smile and saying nice things when confronted by viciousness and cruelty. Going high means taking the harder path. It means scraping and clawing our way to that mountaintop. Going high means standing fierce against hatred, while remembering that we are one nation under God, and if we want to survive, we’ve got to find a way to work together across our differences.”
The former FLOTUS also recommended empathy as a cure for this nation’s challenges.
“Empathy- that’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. The ability to walk in someone else’s shoes, the recognition that someone else’s experience has value, too. Most of us practice this without a second thought. If we see someone suffering or struggling, we don’t stand in judgment. We reach out because, ‘There, but for the grace of God, go I.’ It is not a hard concept to grasp. It’s what we teach our children,” Obama said passionately.
Empathy is not saying, “it is what it is,” like Trump did in an interview when talking about the more than 1,000 Americans dying daily from the pandemic. Trump’s lack of empathy is exactly what Obama was warning against as the 2020 elections approach.
“’Being President doesn’t change who you are, it REVEALS who you are,’” said Obama. The implication is that this man who shows such contempt for the people he serves was revealed to everyone. We cannot afford to suffer any longer with him in office,” Gans told the AFRO.
“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 got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it,” the former FLOTUS said.