Richard Cohen, who normally has a column in the Washington Post, has a column in Investors Business Daily. He whines that in her book, Sarah Palin is taking him back to a time when he saw the word “colored” in front of a rooming house in D.C. back in 1952. See, Palin dared to take Michelle Obama to task when the current First Lady said the following during the 2008 campaign:
“For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.”
Conservatives rightly blasted Mrs. Obama for that ridiculous comment; there is nothing wrong about Palin mentioning it again because it truly does display a complete lack of respect for the thousands upon thousands of people who died, dying to allow Obama to say something like that. But for Palin-hater Cohen, Palin bringing it up is outrageous outrage.
What’s funny is seeing Cohen twist himself into a pretzel trying to justify Michelle Obama’s statement:
Michelle Obama quickly explained herself. She was proud of the turnout in the primaries — so many young people, etc.
Oh-kay. But that doesn’t explain her whole statement, especially the “first time in my adult life” part.
But Cohen twists even further:
It’s appalling that Palin and too many others fail to understand that fact — indeed so many facts of American history. They don’t offer the slightest hint that they can appreciate the history of the Obama family and that in Michelle’s case, her ancestors were slaves — Jim Robinson of South Carolina, her paternal great-great grandfather, being one.
Let me tell something to Mr. Cohen. It’s appalling that Michelle Obama and too many others fail to understand the many facts of American history, including the fact that slavery ended over 145 years ago. It’s also appalling that Cohen likes making up his own facts [emphasis mine]:
It was the government that oppressed blacks, enforcing the laws that imprisoned them and hanged them for crimes grave and trivial, whipped them if they bolted for freedom and, in the Civil War, massacred them if they were captured fighting for the North.
Excuse me? The government massacred Union soldiers who were black during the Civil War if they had been captured fighting for the North? Which government was that, the federal government? If I remember my history, and I do, the government of the North was THE federal government. If there was a government massacring these Union soldiers, it was the Confederate government, the government of the South; this was the government hellbent on keeping slavery intact that incited the hideous rebellion known as the Civil War. That government was destroyed a short time before the federal government, the government of the North, worked to abolish slavery once and for all. And what of all those Union soldiers, regardless of the color of their skin, who fought and died in the Civil War, especially after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to give the Union a moral imperative, freedom for all Americans, black, white, and any other color, for victory? Notice how Cohen doesn’t bother addressing them at all in order to justify Michelle Obama’s hateful rhetoric. Mr. Cohen is entitled to his opinion, but not his own facts.
Cohen continues with his made-up “facts”:
Besides Princeton, Michelle Obama is a graduate of Harvard Law School. It’s hardly possible that she is not knowledgeable about the history of African-Americans — no Ellis Island for them, immigrants in their colorful native dress waving at the camera.
Earlier in the piece, Cohen acknowledges that Michelle Obama’s family is descended from slaves while her husband’s family isn’t. The President’s father didn’t go through Ellis Island (it was closed by then), but he was most assuredly an immigrant from Africa. In fact, any African who had come to this country after the passage of the 13th Amendment to end slavery, would have been considered an immigrant. By today’s liberal standards, I would think Barack Obama, Sr. would be considered an African-American, although with liberals, who knows since anything goes. So it seems the history of African-Americans not only consists of those people who were descended from slaves, as is the case with Michelle Obama, but also those who were descended of immigrants, as is the case with President Obama. These are more facts that Cohen willfully ignores in his idiotic column.
Sarah Palin teases that she might run for president. But she is unqualified — not just in the (let me count the) usual ways, but because she does not know the country. She could not be the president of black America nor of Hispanic America. She knows more about grizzlies than she does about African-Americans — and she clearly has more interest in the former than the latter.
Actually, Sarah Palin knows a helluva lot more about her country than either Richard Cohen or Michelle Obama (or Barack Obama, for that matter). Plus, she wouldn’t be “the president of black America nor of Hispanic America”, because those Americas don’t exist; even Barack Obama isn’t the President of those countries. There is one United States of America, one that Cohen is shown to know very little about.
This stuff is just stupid:
Did she once just pick up the phone and ask Michelle Obama what she meant by her remark? Did she ask about her background? What it was like at Princeton? What it was like for her parents or her grandparents?
Based on the follow up that Cohen provides, Michelle Obama provided a fairly and deliberately incomplete update on what she meant, so having Palin ring her up would be kind of pointless, don’t you think? As far as the rest, I don’t remember hearing about how Obama called Palin to ask her the same things.
Remember when Michelle Obama also said that America is downright mean? She’s right about her fellow liberals; Cohen concludes his piece by being nasty:
I can offer a hint. If they [Ed. note – Michelle’s parents and/or grandparents] were driving to Washington, they slowed down and stopped where the sign said “colored” — and the irritated Palins of the time angrily hit the horn and went on their way.
Uh-huh. Yeah. Remember who is saying this: liberal Democrat Richard Cohen. Cohen said this earlier:
Even after they were freed they were consigned to peonage, second-class citizens, forbidden to vote in much of the South, dissuaded from doing so in some of the North, relegated to separate schools, restaurants, churches, hotels, waiting rooms of train stations, the back of the bus, and the other side of the tracks, the mortuary, the cemetery and, if whites could manage it, heaven itself.
Who put out those signs that said “colored” on them, and did the vast majority of the above? Liberal Democrats. But Cohen doesn’t mention that either. Cohen also believes this of Palin and other conservatives:
Why do politicians such as Palin and commentators such as Glenn Beck insist that African-Americans go blank on their own history — as blank as apparently Palin and Beck themselves are? Why must they insist that blacks join them in embracing a repellent history that once caused America to go to war with itself?
Actually, politicians such as Palin and commentators such as Glenn Beck don’t ask African-Americans to go blank on their own history. They do say that Americans who are black shouldn’t allow themselves to indulge in a contrived and pointless victimhood and shouldn’t tolerate politicians, like the Obamas, and commentators, like Cohen, to lead them down that path.
It would really help if commentators like Richard Cohen would stop deliberately going blank on the sordid history of the Democratic Party and liberalism. But I guess it’s easier for liberals to unleash their unfounded hate on other Americans than it is to tell the truth.