I should not have been surprised to read that First Lady Michelle Obama was booed at Homestead-Miami Speedway yesterday. Disgusted yes. But surprised, no.
The First Lady and the vice president’s wife, Jill Biden (photo above), were there to promote their charity supporting military veterans and their families. But that didn’t stop them from getting booed.
There’s a lot of the Old South left in Florida – the Confederate flag in the rear windows of those pickup trucks, for example. And racism is rampant. Most of them will probably deny it’s because they’re racist, but white Floridians vote Republican. In my part of the state, the Democratic Party is nothing more than a group of black people trying – in vain – to get their piece of the pie.
And auto racing is by far the most popular sport hereabouts.
I think its popularity is an expression of racism. You won’t see many black drivers in the sport. Spectators, either.
Black fans go to basketball games.
Just goes to show that sports are not yet integrated. In America there are churches for black people and churches for white people. And it’s pretty much that way in sports, too. Boxing is basically black – or at least “non-white.” So are basketball and track. In fact, so is just about everything besides auto racing, swimming, tennis and (now that Tiger’s been eclipsed) golf.
In the South, white “athletes” drive cars. Why that makes them athletes beats me. Seems the cars are the athletes. But whatever…
There is no reason on earth to boo the First Lady. Even Republicans… even Floridians… should realize that.
Michelle Obama has been the most perfect first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt. She has put the emphasis on “lady,” conducting herself with dignity and aplomb. And she has devoted herself to the welfare of the American people – especially the troops and the young.
But some people are too mean spirited to acknowledge her picture-perfect performance. And I suspect it’s because she’s black.
That’s too bad. It shows this society has a long way to go before it can claim to be civilized.