It’s time for urban news sites to call out right-wing media when they lie about the Barack and Michelle Obama.
If you need proof that the first black president is being held to a double standard, then there’s just one number you need to remember: 879. That’ll be important later.
Right before the entire nation enjoyed a vacation on the 4th of July weekend, Republicans were attacking Michelle Obama, as well as her daughters Sasha and Malia Obama, for a recent trip to Morocco. While you can count on a black news site to give the Obama women fair coverage, many conservative outlets start foaming at the mouth every time Michelle Obama opens her mouth.
Far right-wing website The Washington Free Beacon ran a headline declaring, “Michelle Obama’s One Night Stay in Morocco Cost Taxpayers $612,322,” and then attacked the First Lady for wearing a $1,750 designer dress, enjoying a lavish celebrity dinner, and staying in a luxury five-star hotel.
So what was Michelle Obama doing in Morocco, besides presumably lighting taxpayer money on fire? As the EUR/Electronic Urban Report has previously reported, Michelle Obama was there supporting her education initiative Let Girls Learn, a collaboration with the Peace Corps that ensures teen girls in Africa get the quality education they deserve. Oh, and that designer dress she wore? She looked flawless in it, like always.
“You don’t have to be somebody different to be important. You’re important in your own right. Nobody wants you to act like a boy. People want and need to value you because of who you are, because of your story, because of your challenges. That’s what makes you unique.” —@MichelleObama talking with young girls in Unification Town, Liberia. Follow along with the First Lady during her #LetGirlsLearn trip to Africa & Spain on Snapchat ? ‘MichelleObama’
As black news sites were talking about Let Girls Learn, of course Tea Party Republicans found a way to spin this diplomatic visit into something sinister. The same thing happens any time one of the Obamas goes on vacation or steps out of the White House, no matter the reason.
So while urban news sites like EURweb report current news like Malia’s new internship in Spain and Michelle Obama’s education project, the far right is spreading rumors that Michelle is actually a transgender woman.
How Many Vacation Days Has Obama Taken Compared To George W. Bush?
Right-wing websites might be too busy obsessively adding up the expense of every hotel room and dress, but this black news site did some real number crunching. Remember that number 879? That’s the number of vacation days former President George W. Bush took while he was in office.
Yes, that means George W. Bush spent one in four days of his presidency on vacation! As of January 2016, President Obama had taken just 189 vacation days, far fewer than any modern Republican president. And that’s been true from the beginning of Obama’s presidency. In January 2010, FactCheck.org reported that “Obama had spent 26 days on ‘vacation’ during his first year in office, fewer than the first year totals for Presidents [George W.] Bush, George H.W. Bush or Ronald Reagan.”
When the Obamas were criticized for their annual Christmas vacation in Hawaii, a yuletide tradition among certain conservatives, White House spokesman Eric Schultz had a simple response.
“The president recognizes that he is president of the United States 24 hours a day, seven days a week, wherever he happens to be,” said Shultz. “We believe the American people would not begrudge their president for taking some downtime with his family around the holidays.”
It’s normal for half the country to disagree with the president’s politics at any given time. But Obama’s critics don’t just disagree with him. Many seem to genuinely hate Obama, accusing him of some vague plot to destroy America from within as some kind of Kenyan-Muslim-but-also-atheist-communist-but-also-Wall-Street-loving sleeper agent.
Of course, the depiction of Obama as some kind of antichrist runs headlong into the picture perfect Obama family. Michelle is perhaps the most intelligent, articulate, stylish, all around awesome First Lady in memory, while Malia Obama was literally born on the Fourth of July.