Michelle Obama likes to flout her college education in our faces. Wait … not just any college but her Princeton and Harvard education. Time and again, references to it pop up, sometimes in the oddest places. Recently she was speaking to an MSN reporter about her pet issue, the fight against childhood obesity when this particular comment came from her:
“Before coming to the White House, I struggled, as a working parent with a traveling busy husband, to figure out how to feed my kids healthy, and I didn’t get it right. Our pediatrician had to pull me aside and point out some things that were going wrong. I thought to myself, if a Princeton and Harvard educated professional woman doesn’t know how to adequately feed her kids, then what are other parents going through who don’t have access to the information I have?”
Let’s ignore the extreme condescension demonstrated here, along with her constant misuse of the word “healthy” where “healthily” is proper, and move on to the notion that a thirty-something woman, regardless how busy she might have been, just had no clue what food she ought to serve her children. Michelle Obama was born ten months after me. I learned the edibles that would provide me proper nutrition as I grew up from my mother. Not only did my mom have no Princeton or Harvard education, but the first ten years of her life were spent away from her family with the Sisters of Mercy nuns at an orphanage a distance from the family home – somehow she managed to figure things out without the help of Ivy-League professors or the Federal government mandating nutritional labels and portion sizes.
I recently read another astounding comment made by Mrs. Obama that has me scratching my head and wondering, how does one my contemporary, with the vaunted collegiate degrees, so woefully lack some pretty basic knowledge? This time it was reference to The Founders, at the June 18th Naturalization ceremony, she had this to say to the newly-bestowed American citizens:
“It’s amazing that just a few feet from here where I’m standing are the signatures of the 56 Founders who put their names on a Declaration that changed the course of history … and like the 50 of you, none were born in America, they became American.”
Forgive my cynicism, but just what grade school did this woman attend? By the time I was in the fifth grade I knew the definition of the word “founder” and the fact that country was called the United Colonies of America prior to the change, which became our permanent name, the United States of America. The Declaration of Independence was not the founding document but was a public letter explaining the grievances of subjects to the English crown to garner world support for their position: the legitimacy to separate from England. It is the Constitution of the United States which is the founding document, the creation of the government. While some of the signers of the Declaration were indeed delegates to the drafting of the Constitution, not all were, but it is a fact of history that most of the 1787 delegates were natives of the thirteen States, then Colonies of America, thus they were most certainly Americans. Only 9 were born elsewhere: four (Butler, Fitzsimons, McHenry, and Paterson) in Ireland, two (Davie and Robert Morris) in England, two (Wilson and Witherspoon) in Scotland, and one (Hamilton) in the West Indies.
Did she just happen to miss this part of Civics/American History class when this was taught? Did not her grade school … or junior high school … or senior high school teachers instruct on this most basic understanding of the history of our nation? Michelle Obama turned 50 earlier this year, I reached 51, so it cannot be a generational explanation; frankly, I have none to offer. Of course, what do I know, there is only a high school diploma on my wall.
But for what it is worth, I would like to have all Americans, new, old, native or naturalized, know the facts of the matter, and perhaps I make some headway into putting an end to these false notions before the truth is lost to political correctness.
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