I am at a loss to understand what constructive purpose first lady Michelle Obama (and Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and others) hopes to achieve by constantly talking about the race issue.
Last Friday, Michelle Obama chose to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling -- in which the U.S. Supreme Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional -- by reminding graduating high-school seniors in Topeka, Kansas, that racism is still alive and well in America today.
Mrs. Obama said: "No matter what you do, the point is to never be afraid to talk about ... the issue of race, because even today, we still struggle to do that. ... This issue is so sensitive. It's so complicated, so bound up with a painful history."
To whom was she directing her comments? There are no doubt plenty of white people who won't touch the race issue with a 10-foot poll, because they fear that anything they say might be twisted and lead to the accusation that they are racially insensitive or racist. But I doubt that too many minorities are afraid to talk about racism for fear of reprisals of any kind.
In fact, people can't even raise legitimate questions about Barack Obama's racialist comments in his books or the overt racism of his longtime pastor Jeremiah Wright without having the questions turned around on them as some sort of evidence of their own racism.
Barack Obama has frequently invoked the race issue, in rallying supporters to vote for him on the basis of race and in his racially contoured comments in the Henry Gates and Trayvon Martin cases, to name two. Attorney General Eric Holder, with Obama's full blessing, on one occasion scolded the country for being afraid to talk about race and, on another, suggested that people were attacking him as a way to get at President Obama, because they are both African-Americans.
Mrs. Obama also said, "We know that today in America, too many folks are still stopped on the street because of the color of their skin, or they're made to feel unwelcome because of where they come from, or they're bullied because of who they love." I don't know how much bullying of homosexuals is still going on, but I do know there's a lot of bullying of people who don't share the liberal view on same-sex marriage, and I don't hear Mrs. Obama speaking up on their behalf.