President and First Lady Obama have done an excellent job at keeping their daughters, Malia and Sasha, behind the scenes and out of the press during his 7+ years in office. They are occasionally seen in passing, walking to an event, coming down the steps of an airplane, but personal details are few and the girls have been given the opportunity to lead as nearly a normal life as possible under the circumstances. If there was ever any doubt that this is sound parenting and essential to the children’s safety and welfare, it was extinguished today.
The announcement was proudly made over the weekend that Malia, who will turn 18 on July 4th, has been accepted into and plans to attend Harvard University beginning in 2017. She will take a year off first, known as a ‘gap year’, which many of us do. Given that news of the Obama girls is infrequent, naturally the media outlets all jumped on it and the story was widely reported both at home and abroad. Harvard is certainly a good school with high entrance standards, and this young lady is obviously qualified, else she would not have been accepted. No surprise there, since both of her parents are highly intellectual and well-educated people who obviously place a high value on education. So what is the problem?
One of the media outlets that reported the story, naturally, was Fox News. To their credit, they did so in pretty much the same manner all the other outlets did and there was no slanting, no typical Fox-isms involved. The problem this time was not with Fox News itself, but rather with its followers. In the online version of the story, racist, hate-filled comments so rapidly filled the airwaves that Fox was quickly forced to remove all comments from their page and close the page to further comments. I am conflicted whether to post some of these comments, however I am going to do so because I think it is important for us to all realize the level to which so-called human beings in this nation have sunk. The screen name of the commenter is in ( ) next to the comment because yes, it is indeed my intent to humiliate and ridicule these people.
- “Hopefully she gets cancer/aids or one of those colored diseases.” (ashestodust)
- “First her parents have NEVER earned anything in there life, it was always given to them by G. Sorous or Malkim X. As for her earning any thing I doubt it as she is ridding on her parents coat tails.” (brucemsheldon)
- “We will love to know how did she score on her gpa? 1K points for her skin color, 200 from Affirmative Action and the rest from her last name.” (amitorelocato)
- “WHO GIVES A CRAP ABOUT LITTLE MONKEY” (greg14)
- “LITTLE APE SHOULD GO TO COLLEGE IN AFRICA” (greg14)
- “I wonder if she applied as a muDslime..or a foreign student..or just a Ni@@er” (BarnabySmithfield)
There is more, but this is a pretty typical sampling and I simply cannot bring myself to continue. Notice that most of these comments come from people who are obviously uneducated. I did not use [sic] when quoting misspellings within the quotes, as would have been proper, because I would have quickly become sick of [sic]-ing. I am already sick simply from seeing this level of cruelty, of racism, and of downright inhumanity. I have said many times in this blog that no matter what you think of any politician or political candidate, you never ever go after his/her family, especially the children. I actually twittered my own comments to a couple of these commenters when I first read this and my rage was fresh and red. Since then, my rage is still fresh, but now I am mostly just heartbroken. I doubt that young Malia can be shielded from these comments and my heart breaks for the pain they will cause her. And all because some people are stupid and have sold their humanity down the river.
I notice that as of this evening, every reputable publication that I checked has disabled comments on this story. I do not know if there were the same type of negative, racist comments on other sites, or if it was merely a precautionary measure, but I am very glad they have done so. Even though Fox News reported the story in a straightforward and respectful manner, their norm is to stir the pot, incite hatred toward President Obama and other democrats, so in this sense, they must share in the blame. But truly, it is the fault of the people who so unthinkingly wrote these comments. I wonder what they would say if somebody spoke to their children in this manner. I wonder how we can end this nightmare, this horror, this “man’s inhumanity toward man”? How have we come to the point that we are willing to say the most vile things to a 17-year-old girl who is only trying to do the right thing, to make a life for herself? Why?