NY Times: Don’t Blame Obama For Not Fixing Race Relations

NY Times columnist Charles Blow is Very Upset that people, especially Rush Limbaugh, are criticizing Michelle Obama

Of Museums and Racial Relics

Recently, Rush Limbaugh lambasted the first lady, Michelle Obama, for bringing up the idea of diversity among museum visitors at the opening of the new Whitney Museum in New York.

According to Limbaugh, the first lady said: “Museums and concert halls just don’t welcome nonwhite visitors — especially children — the way they welcome white people.”

What the first lady actually said was:

“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 guarantee you that 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.”

Blow goes on to write

And, the first lady was right. A 2010 report by the Center for the Future of Museums (an initiative of the American Association of Museums) found that:

“African-Americans and Latinos have notably lower rates of museum attendance than white Americans. Why is that so? In part, it is the legacy of historic discrimination. A summary study of S.P.P.A. [Survey of Public Participation in the Arts] data from the 1980s on white and black attendance at arts events concluded that the measurable difference in participation could be tied to ‘subtle forms of exclusion.’ ”

Hmm, data from the 1980’s.

The report cited data that shows “historic patterns of segregation and exclusion as one reason that fewer African-American families instill museum-going habits in their young children. More recent studies have identified a distinct cultural psychology among African-Americans, rooted in historical and social experience, which has produced heightened sensitivity to stereotypes and real or perceived racism.”

So, why won’t Blacks and Latino’s go to museums in the 2010’s? Because of something that may (or may not) have happened 30+ years ago? Can anyone point to actual discrimination at museums? Does anyone think that lawsuits, protests, etc, wouldn’t occur if there was discrimination?

If it’s the content of the museums, which tend to be odes to the accomplishment of European Whites, along with things like, oh, simple natural history, then why do most of the “African-American” museums fail? Wouldn’t you think that Blacks would go to those? Almost no one visits the Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The Reginald Lewis Museum in Baltimore likewise has poor attendance. The Charles H. Wright museum in Detroit has very low attendance. This is repeated over and over again. You can’t blame Whites for racism, as Blow attempts, when Blacks won’t even go to museums dedicated to Blacks.

Here’s where it gets cute

Obama’s sin, using this line of logic, is that he failed to undo the system of oppression that he had no hand in constructing. It is that 400 years of damage was not undone in two terms. It is that he didn’t encourage silence about inequity so that its benefactors could enjoy the cumulative fruit of centuries of racial graft without current-day guilt.

Interesting. White people are blamed constantly for a “system of oppression” that they had no hand in constructing. There is not one person alive who own slaves in the United States. Well over 50% of the US population wasn’t even alive prior to the passage of the 1968 Civil Rights Act. A goodly chunk have no relatives who were even in the US when slavery was legal. Most of the others have no relatives who owned slaves. Yet, Whites are blamed for any perceived raaaaacism. Such as Blacks not going to museums and performing arts and concerts and stuff. Something that they can do if they want to.

And yet, all of America must face the reality that for as much progress as has been made, much remains to be made. America must face the fact that the electorate is an of-the-moment entity, but racial oppression is an of-the-ages monstrosity. It is a resilient relic. And it was never within Obama’s capacity to dismantle it. This structure must be demolished by its architects.

Is any White stopping any Black from going to any museum, concert, art exhibit? Of course, what Charles forgot to mention is that people feel that race relations haven’t been this bad since the 1990’s (weird how they seemingly got better in the Age Of Bush43, eh?).

If this is an issue that concerns Michelle O and Charles B, rather than whining about perceived racism in the past, they could have used the opportunity to challenge those in the Black community to go to museums, zoos, aquariums, plays, art exhibits, classical concerts, etc. Tell the parents to bring the kids. No one is going to stop them.

What is interesting is that so many in the comments at the opinion piece are simply assuming that most Blacks are too poor to afford the cost of attendance. These are Liberals, there is no doubt, based on the full flavor of the comments. If you want racism, why do liberals always assume Blacks are too poor too afford something, like driver’s licenses and the fee to attend a museum?

Crossed at Right Wing News.

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4 Responses to “NY Times: Don’t Blame Obama For Not Fixing Race Relations”

  1. drowningpuppies says:

    – If you think Mooch is whining now, wait till she has to actually start paying for her vacations.

  2. Jeffery says:


    – If you think Mooch is whining now, wait till she has to actually start paying for her vacations.

    Like Reagans’ wife, Nasty Reagan; George H.W.’s wife, Barbarian Bush; and W’s wife, Low-rent Bush.

    And I’m still waiting for the police to question me about your charges.

  3. drowningpuppies says:

    So you’re still diddling the grandkids?

    Is that an Ozark inbred hillbilly thing or what?

  4. Jeffery says:


    It’s your attack, dog. I thought you were gonna grow a pair and turn me in to the police.

    No? Lose what little nerve you have?

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