Florida Republicans Try to Block First Lady From School

5 years ago

There is just no way this would happen to Laura Bush or Hillary Clinton.

First Lady Michelle Obama is not welcome at a local high school in Miami by its Republican school board members.

The campaign stop went on as planned at Barbara Goleman Senior High in Miami Lakes despite criticism from local GOP members. The Miami Herald reports:

“Miami-Dade School Board member Renier Diaz de la Portilla has called for the event to be cancelled and board member Carlos Curbelo has asked the board attorney to reconsider his opinion that the event meets legal muster.”

July 11, 2012 - Miami, FL, USA - First lady Michelle Obama spoke to supporters and volunteers at Barbara Goleman High School, Tuesday, July 10, 2012, in Miami, Florida. (Credit Image: © C.W. Griffin/Miami Herald/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com)

As it so happens, REPUBLICAN Diaz de la Portilla is running for state House and Curbelo has worked as a political strategist for the REPUBLICANS. Shocking, I know.

Curbelo wrote in a letter to the school board attorney:

“Allowing the first lady of the United States to use one of our schools explicitly to benefit the president’s reelection campaign is inappropriate and sends the wrong message to our students, employees, and to taxpayers – even if the president’s campaign is willing to pay for all costs resulting from the event.”

I’m wondering what wrong message that is, exactly…considering Republican candidate Mitt Romney held a town hall meeting right around the same time at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colorado. Apparently their school board members didn’t freak out that his campaign rented the school for the event.

That’s how these things work…the campaigns rent out the schools or halls or wherever for their speeches (the kids are on summer break) and it is all paid for by the campaigns, NOT taxpayers or the schools.

Funny how this never seemed to be an issue before if then First Lady Laura Bush attended a rally for her husband. Or if then First Lady and now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fired up a crowd to re-elect her husband.

Dare we even ask why First Lady Michelle Obama is met with such disrespect when doing something other First Ladies and surrogates have done for campaigns for decades?

I want badly to play the race card here. But it’s almost too easy. And over done. At this point it’s so obvious it almost no longer needs to be brought up. What is equally as important, I’m afraid, is the total lack of respect shown to this Administration – be it East or West Wing – from the other side of the aisle on inauguration day and the meeting and handshakes held binding the GOP to make sure the black man does not get another term and leaves their White House.

Disrespect. A party that tolerates outbursts of ‘YOU LIE’ during our country’s most honored traditions. A party that tolerates actual questioning of just how ‘American’ this sitting President really is…and if he truly loves his country. A party that encourages the First Lady not be allowed to speak on behalf of her husband…as EVERY FIRST LADY HAS DONE, simply because the other side…well, why is it then…because the other side didn’t want her to speak? Because they were afraid of what a strong, black woman would have to say to hundreds of supporters?

Or because they couldn’t stand the thought of this happening in ‘their’ school? In ‘their’ district? Heaven forbid the Obamas campaign, legally, on ‘their’ turf?

This is the woman who intimidates them simply by eating right and wearing a sleeveless shirt, obviously they can’t handle her on stage in their territory.

I guess we should expect nothing less from the party that wants women back in the kitchen and out of the board room. Who wants to legislate us from controlling our own reproductive fate. Who have spent the past several years waging war against our gender on everything from equal pay to access to health care.

They certainly can not handle this First Lady, who stands for everything they can not comprehend and wish to destroy- an educated, accomplished, strong, mother who can kick ass and take names while she and her husband proudly call themselves feminists.

Add in that she is a woman of color and most of the old guard faints…and hits the floor for lack of their ‘man’ being there to catch them. You see this President, and his amazing First Lady, have provided programs and opportunities for that ‘man’ so he no longer need wait on Mr. GOP Greed White Male.

So go ahead and continue these weak attempts to block our First Lady from speaking across this great nation of ours, and you, sad, sad Republicans, will continue to fail. And our First Lady will continue to bring the roof down as she gets people FIRED UP and READY TO GO for FOUR MORE YEARS.

And if you must, continue to show your true colors by disrespecting our President and First Lady. We have watched it go well beyond politics and we all now know what this is about, and it’s time for the old guard to change. As we know, change is hard. Change takes hard work. But change is here.

Get used to it. 
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