What is it about white privilege that Fox’s Sean Hannity doesn’t get? After everything we’ve seen in the news, Hannity watched Michelle Obama’s searing graduation speech at Tuskegee University in Alabama, and can’t understand why she’s so angry and so black.
Actually, Obama didn’t even come across as particularly angry, Hannity just doesn’t like to hear the truth about how horribly White America treats black people. It’s much easier for him to portray our first lady as a reverse racist. Ellen Brodsky from NewsHounds (they watch Fox so you don’t have to) caught Hannity on the air weighing in on Michelle Obama’s speech, and called it “shocking.”
“But first, tonight, shocking comments from Michelle Obama while giving the commencement speech at Tuskegee University in Alabama this weekend. Now, he used the opportunity to express her own views on racism and discrimination in America. Take a listen, and look at this.”
Cue selective clips that bolster Hannity’s appalling views of Obama as a racist. Like the part where our first lady talks to the 2015 graduating class at this historic black university about the “sting of those daily slights” they will encounter as they launch their careers in White America.
“We’ve both felt the sting of those daily slights throughout our entire lives — the folks who crossed the street in fear of their safety; the clerks who kept a close eye on us in all those department stores; the people at formal events who assumed we were the ‘help’ — and those who have questioned our intelligence, our honesty, even our love of this country.”
Any person of color — along with Anglo/white people who bother to care — have seen this dynamic at work and know it’s true. And instead of sounding angry, Obama even makes reference to how lucky she and her husband, the president, are compared to so many black people we’ve seen in the news lately:
“And I know that these little indignities are obviously nothing compared to what folks across the country are dealing with every single day — those nagging worries that you’re going to get stopped or pulled over for absolutely no reason; the fear that your job application will be overlooked because of the way your name sounds.”
It’s only natural that Obama would talk about race on the site of former cotton plantations worked by slaves at a college founded to train black teachers for segregated schools. But Hannity prefers to accuse FLOTUS of racism for daring to talk about race and call America out on our racism. He then trots out three black conservatives, plus one black token liberal to ensure he’s got someone he can bully and shout down.
First Hannity introduces Ron Christie, former special assistant to president George W. Bush and author of the disturbingly-titled book, “Blackwards: How Black Leadership is Returing America to the Days of Separate But Equal.” Also on his panel are Mike Meyers from the deceptively-named New York Civil Rights Commission; Denene Borelli, outreach director for the vile, Koch-funded libertarian group FreedomWorks; and political activist and former Hillary Clinton advisor Jehmu Greene,
Hannity and company’s derogatory comments on Obama’s speech included the following:
- Hannity: “My initial observation is […] Barack Hussein Obama got elected by a majority of white America. Why is she so angry?”
- Deneen Borelli: “Listen, I see this as propaganda. Instead of promoting how America is an exceptional country, Sean, she took that route to play the race card and race bait.”
- Mike Meyers: Which racial ideologue do you know that’s not angry? She sounded like Hillary Clinton in that racial dialect. [Proceeds to make monkey noises, no I am not kidding]
- Christie: Her message should have been uplifting […] It was a ‘poor me’ speech […] She just sounded so angry and so defiant.
Only Greene stood up for Obama, declaring that our first lady gave a speech that was not only moving, it embraced conservative values of hard work and self-reliance.
“What speech did y’all hear. I think some folks need to clean their ears out, because what [Obama] actually did, she was frank, she was candid, and she gave a conservative speech. “
Greene pointed out that Obama even took a potshot at the kind of “feminists” Hannity loves to hate, who’ve criticized her for putting family before career, and then dished out a little tough love.
“She said if you feel brought down, if you feel that people are against you, if you think you’re going to be treated negatively, guess what? Get over it, you cannot use it as an excuse.”
“No,” Hannity objected, “That’s not the speech I heard.”
Well, of course Hannity can’t hear when he refuses to listen. Greene called him out for playing selective clips, and Hannity turned to someone more likely to say what he wanted to hear. Christie obligingly sneered about Obama’s “negative, poor me speech.”