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Michelle Obama: “Museums Don’t Welcome Non-White Visitors… the Way They Welcome Whites”

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Published on: May 7, 2015

It’s interesting to hear people say that as a society, we have progressed. The question is “progressed to what?” In general, society has become morally decrepit and ethically inept. There are or were certain issues that our society has been willing to tackle in order to create a more unified citizenry. One of those issues was race. While everyone knows racism, in some form or another, will always exist, signs of overt racism were being overcome. That is, until the election of Barack Hussein Obama to the office of the presidency. Now, racism is once again becoming overt, in speech, if not also in practice. However, those exhibiting the most overt racism reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC.

In case it escaped notice, minorities are not welcome in “museums and concert halls” as they are intimidating and unaccommodating to people that are not white. Of course, there are no signs outside any museum or concert hall that state “whites only”; however, Michelle Obama claimed, at the opening of New York’s Whitney Museum, “Museums and concert halls just don’t welcome non-white visitors – especially children – the way they welcome whites.” Her appearance was the perfect opportunity to continue to fuel the flames of racism by focusing on the past instead of focusing on the positives.

Michelle Obama stated:

You see, there are so many kids in this country who look at places like museums and concert halls and other cultural centers and they think to themselves, well, that’s not a place for me, for someone who looks like me, for someone who comes from my neighborhood. In fact, I’ll guarantee you right now, there are kids living less than a mile from here who would never in a million years dream that they would be welcome in this museum.

Why anyone would invite this woman to speak at an opening of this nature is puzzling. No museum, concert hall or other cultural center has a “whites only” policy nor discriminates against anyone who chooses to enter the doors in order to broaden their horizons. What does take place is a labeling of blacks, adults and children alike, who would visit these centers by other blacks as “trying to be white” or “becoming an Uncle Tom.” It is the attitude in certain neighborhoods that possibly keep many individuals from visiting these treasures, which are open to the general public. Instead of focusing on the “neighborhood culture” that suppresses expansion of knowledge in favor of oppression and encouraging visits to museums, concert halls and cultural centers, Obama turns the tables and blames, not surprisingly, the very places she was there to promote.

Another facet to escape the racist Obama is the economic situation of all American families that may prevent visits to some museums, concert halls and cultural centers due to the cost. Discretionary income is hard to come by these days for the middle class; it’s even harder for those that are poor, living in poverty. Let’s face another fact. Many individuals would rather spend their money going to the cinema to see the latest piece of trash movie production than visit a place to expand their knowledge and horizons. This does not fit the agenda promoted by the Obamas so it is conveniently discarded in favor of a lie.

According to Western, Michelle “school children should eat garbage and go hungry” Obama never mentioned how she came to this conclusion that museums are “whites only”; but shared a “blast from the past” moment – her past – to make an emotional point.

She continued:

And growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I was one of those kids myself. So I know that feeling of not belonging in a place like this. And today, as first lady, I know how that feeling limits the horizons of far too many of our young people.

Interesting also is the fact that Obama’s remarks went almost unnoticed outside of the event until a local radio station program host reported on museums being white places. When the radio station asked on Twitter whether museums could be intimidating or unaccommodating to people of color, one individual responded, “Can Black/Latino/Native art museums be intimidating or unwelcoming to white people?”

That one question sums it up quite nicely.

If individuals are not accessing museums, concert halls or cultural centers, even when they have the means, it is because they “choose” not to do so. It has nothing to do with “intimidation” or “being unaccommodating” on the part of the institution. People have choices and are responsible for their actions and feelings. At times, individuals will label themselves or have a false perception that is not based on facts. There is also the stigma of being labeled a “nerd” or “geek” or “sell out” in certain sects of society should an individual visit a place of this nature. Museums, concert halls and cultural centers exist so that “all” people have the opportunity to see great works of art and exhibits, hear classical musical masterpieces and learn about other regions, cultural practices and history. Those choosing not to go are doing themselves a great disservice; but, again, it is “their” choice.

Since Moochie grew up on the South Side of Chicago, she is probably familiar with, or maybe not, a black man that stands outside the museum across from the start of Route 66, who points out exhibits of interest inside the museum and provides little tidbits of history and trivia to those passing by or entering the museum. This man is not an employee of the museum but visits it frequently. In talking with this intelligent man who loved the museum and history, it was quite clear he never felt “intimidated” or “unaccommodated” by the institution. His excitement and joy with being able to see the museum exhibits produced enthusiasm in passers by, myself and family included. It was irresistible – we had to go in. He made sure to say, “Don’t miss the Seurat.” The fee to enter was quite nominal at the time, which was in 2000. Whether the same man is still there or not, I don’t know; but, we all took his advice and saw Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon.”

I wonder what he thinks about what Moochie had to say.

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