American Thinker falsely accuses Michelle of blaming obesity on racism

On the subject of Michelle Obama’s recent speech to the NAACP, Kevin Jackson, another of American Thinker’s endless supply of half-baked writers from the heartland, repeatedly accuses her of blaming the obesity of black children on racism. Yet he does not present a single quote from her speech in which she actually makes such an accusation:

Fat Black Kids Showcase America’s Racism

The most recent statement by Michelle Obama baffles me, as she compared black children’s health to the age old Democrat policies of slavery and Jim Crow laws:

“We are living today in a time where we’re decades beyond slavery, we are decades beyond Jim Crow, when one of the greatest risks to our children’s future is their own health… ”

Thankfully Obama illuminated an often overlooked (by me and the rest of America) aspect of racism in this statement:

“African American children are significantly more likely to be obese than are white children. Nearly half of African American children will develop diabetes at some point in their lives. People, that’s half of our children.”

Imagine my surprise to learn that one can recognize racist policies caused fat black kids. Here I thought racism was when black men intimidating white voters are not prosecuted for obvious voter intimidation, by a black Attorney General, simply because the perpetrators were black.

I erroneously believed that racism had occurred when a black president speaks out (without any facts) on behalf of a black professor behaving badly, and who is given preference over a white cop doing his job.

Michelle Obama goes on to praise the work of the NAACP in stemming the tide of America’s racist health policies in this statement:

“And if we don’t do something to reverse this trend right now, our kids won’t be in any shape to continue the work begun by the founders of this great organization … “

To ascertain the facts, I read Michelle’s speech. It is true that the rhetorical framework of her speech consists of congratulations of the NAACP for its work against racial discrimination. But that is merely to be expected. Everything in the world of organized black America is approached through the lens of racial inequality and its overcoming. It is the only common reference point blacks have for discussing their problems, and thus is obligatory in any speech by or to blacks. However, in the main body of Michelle’s speech, which is about obesity and what to do about it, she never once says or hints that obesity is due to racial discrimination. She blames the problem on lifestyle, families, entertainment. Indeed, she places the main burden of responsibility on black families, who she says must start having healthful meals.

Thus Jackson’s accusation, for which he supplies not a single supporting fact, which in turn raised my suspicions, is disproved by Michelle’s speech.

This is just one example of how the mainstream conservative Web has become in large part an instrument, not for informing and persuading readers, but for whipping up their partisan passions. I am not saying that the mainstream conservative Web as a whole is bad, and I am not saying that American Thinker as a whole is bad. But the badness has become endemic. And no one in the mainstream conservative world mentions it.

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Jim C. writes:

I listened to the YouTube clip: she makes an implicit link, not explicit—but a link nonetheless. And why didn’t she compare the Negro children to Asians? It was a racist accusation in code (remember, someone with half a brain wrote the speech for her, because if Michelle (thank-you) Obama had written it herself the racism accusations would have been more obvious.

LA replies:

Show us the text. In any case, the AT writer did not say that Michelle “implied” anything; he repeated said that she attributed obesity to racism, period. But she didn’t.

Paul K. writes:

I commend you for pointing out the falsity of thie American Thinker piece. It is odd that with all the legitimate grounds for criticizing the administration, many of the conservative rabble-rousers find it necessary to add spurious accusations as well. It undercuts their credibility and gives their opponents a useful stick with which to beat them.

A right-liberal blogger whom I follow, Ann Althouse, regularly points out such incidents, as when Newsbusters recently headlined an article,

“CNN Host Calls for Crackdown on ‘Bloggers’ in Wake of Sherrod Incident”

despite the fact that nowhere in the linked video did he do any such thing.

In this, as in other matters, I respect your integrity.

Tim W. writes:

The thing that stood out most to me in Kevin Jackson’s article was this gem:

“The most recent statement by Michelle Obama baffles me, as she compared black children’s health to the age old Democrat policies of slavery and Jim Crow laws:”

The fact that Democrats once supported slavery and Jim Crow is an obsession, and I mean that literally, at just about any mainstream conservative website. Yes, it’s true that the Democrats did support those policies once upon a time, but that ended a long time ago and the Democratic Party today is a totally different entity with an agenda that is diametrically opposite to any white supremacist agenda.

On an almost daily basis at FreeRepublic or other conservative sites, someone will post a diatribe about how racist the Democrats once were against blacks. Inevitably, someone will then opine that if only blacks knew about this racist history, they’d dump the Democrats and join the GOP by the millions, which is nonsense.

What the mainstream conservatives ignore is that the far left booted those old southern segregationists out of the Democratic Party a long time ago and transformed the party into an anti-white juggernaut that bends over backwards to give blacks everything they want. The Democrats today are racist all right, but they’re racist against white people, not blacks. But the mainstream conservatives can’t point that out because, as you’ve noted recently, that would require admitting that the liberal Democrats are the enemy of our historic nation. It would also mean noting, heaven forbid, that white people have rights.

They can’t do that, so instead they dwell on anti-black racism committed by long deceased Democrats in an era many decades before the likes of Ted Kennedy and McGovern and Obama and Pelosi seized the party. It’s a lot safer to give yet another speech against long buried Jim Crow laws (oh, excuse me, Democrat Jim Crow laws) than to point out that Obama’s administration is anti-white. To the mainstream conservative mind, pointing out anti-white racism is anti-black racism.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 25, 2010 03:15 PM | Send

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