"I think, at this point, everybody's qualified and everyone should run," Obama said, in jest. "I might even tap Sasha!"
We've never had a POTUS and FLOTUS like the Obama's before, and we've never had a Trump before. Two very different presidencies, one wrought with bigotry, racism and rampant white supremacy, and scandal, the other full of hope, unity and service. Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama says we need to pay attention to who is qualified in the next presidential election.
"I implored people to focus and think about what it takes to be commander-in-chief," Obama told Robin Roberts in a "20/20" interview, in reference to women electing a misogynist in 2016 instead of a qualified female candidate.
She expressed the importance of voting, but went beyond that to describe the kind of person qualified to run this country.
"The commander in chief needs to have discipline, and read, and be knowledgeable. You need to know history, you need to be careful with your words," she said.
"I'm going to be looking to see who handles themselves and each other with dignity and respect so that by the time people get to the general (election), people aren't beat up and battered," the former first lady, who said she will not run for president, stressed.
"I think this (Democratic nomination) is open to any and everybody who has the courage to step up and serve."
She even joked that at this point, anyone is qualified to run for president —even her daughter.
"I think, at this point, everybody's qualified and everyone should run," she said on Good Morning America "I might even tap (her younger daughter) Sasha!"
.@MichelleObama on whether Hillary Clinton should run for president in 2020: "I think at this point everybody is qualified and everybody should run. I might even tap Sasha!" https://t.co/E6lGKfK6oR pic.twitter.com/Axrvs7SDZQ
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 13, 2018
Obama and her husband were about service before, during and after the presidency.
Candidates like Trump, drunk with power, have a past, present, and future that mirror that intoxication.
Coming off midterms there are questions about what to do next — investigations of Trump, what lessons did we learn articles, predictions of the 2020 election, but getting back to what a leader, a public servant of this country is supposed to do — lead by serving its people — is a message that voters can review candidate criteria with.
"It's amazing to me that we still have to tell people about the importance of voting," she said. "People have to be educated, they have to be focused on the issues and they have to go to the polls if they want their politics to reflect their values."
Obama explained, "Where I'm at right now is that we should see anybody who feels the passion to get in this race, we need them in there. Let's see who wants to roll up their sleeves and get in the race. That's what the primary process is for."
In looking at Trump's record, most of his decisions have been made to serve himself. His record of cheating employees out of money, not paying taxes, discriminating against Blacks in terms of who could claim residency in his buildings, misogynistic comments, scandals around payoffs for affairs — none of it shows signs of service.
Obama writes in her new memoir "Becoming" how Trump's division and bigoted messaging tactics to garner a movement to propel his campaign impacted her own family's safety:
"The whole [birther] thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed. But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks."
In current times, his decisions in the White House usually involve a lot of divisive words to spark attention from white supremacists, "look what I did" moments on twitter for validation, and little about what the country needs, but instead what the country should be afraid of.
And that is not why you get the job in the first place.
Meanwhile, his wife's social media refers to Nazi death camps as "work camps."
A Halloween event for families, "Trail of Treats," took place in Owensboro, Ky., and one father thought it would be a good idea to dress his 5-year-old as Adolf Hitler and himself as a Nazi soldier.
Bryant Goldbach's response: Anyone that knows us knows we love history.
The public and social media were not amused.
Goldbach said on Twitter, in defense of his son, that people came up to him shouting obscenities and threatening to rip that costume off him.
This dude is f*cking nuts. “Tolerant left." 😂. You can't justify this one man. #nazidad pic.twitter.com/EazvMd4Vt5
— Amber Burdette (@AmberBurdette) October 26, 2018
He initially was angry, telling people how dare they threaten a child.
He continued, "Yes liberalism is alive and well. And we had the displeasure of dealing with the fruits of the so called 'Tolerant Left.'"
When the backlash continued, Goldbach then told the The Owensboro Times, "I wasn't trying to make a statement or put my son in any position. It was bad judgment. I want people to know I am sorry."
"My brother is half-Iranian," Goldbach said. "I have Black friends. My last name is Jewish."
Local Rabbi Gary Mazo at Temple Adath B'nai Israel said:
"The fact that the father apologized is important; the fact he did not know the costumes would be offensive is a very sad reflection on our society.
"A good rule of thumb would be: 'if your costume calls to mind an event where millions were killed, choose another costume.' As we are learning through Megyn Kelly's words as well, costumes where someone dresses up deliberately to mock someone's race, religion or nationality should be avoided. If the purpose of Halloween is to have fun - bigotry, anti-Semitism and racism are not fun. That should be common sense. This is not being "politically correct" this is simply being respectful, understanding and kind.""
While Goldbach performs in both Civil War and World War II reenactments and dressed as a Confederate soldier for Halloween last year, he denied being a racist, referring to white supremacy as "disgusting."
But wait—if he didn't know the costumes we be offensive, why does it still smell like racism? Let's ask his bride, MaryAnne Goldbach, because she's not shy about her anti-Semitism. Posts recovered by Huffington Post showed comments in response to the backlash:
"This is what the mass media has portrayed the Holohoax. The truth is the media is controlled by Zionists. The so-called 'gas chambers' were delousing showers. He created work camps, not death camps."
Social media uncovered that Goldbach has had some rhetoric posted on his social media account:
"White pride doesn't mean hate… There is no need to feel guilty because of the past. If that offends you, your racist" said a flyer.
He lives in my town. He owns Goldbach's Watch Repair on Frederica St. It is not fake pic.twitter.com/OGS5x832Ev
— Les Hail Yes (@LesHailYes) October 26, 2018
They also claim that he works for Verizon and that his kids are in danger of his parenting:
This is Bryant Goldbach, an employee of yours in Owensboro, KY. He enjoys cosplaying himself and his family as nazis. And follows a few dozen Nazi/right wing extremist groups on social media. But I'm sure he just “appreciates history" pic.twitter.com/paUuepYRmE
— Tom Wolfson (@tom_wolfson) October 26, 2018
@CNN @NBCNews @GMA @TODAYshow Saw this man who calls himself Bryant Goldbach from Owensboro, KY and works for @verizon. This is not ok. @MSNBC @14news pic.twitter.com/DPdeuRhf4O
— Amber Burdette (@AmberBurdette) October 26, 2018
Someone from children's protective services needs to do an interview with the parents! I fear these kids will be taught hate to harm others.
— Mary Elizabeth 2Ω3Ω (@OldSoul_1111) October 27, 2018
This tone-deaf act happened just days before a shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue that ended 11 lives.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo blames Trump and Republicans for the violence. But, New York City has a history of violence from racists.
The far-right men's organization "Proud Boys" violently beat protesters Friday night following a Republican event in Manhattan. After inaction by the New York Police Department during the attack, three members of the racist gang were arrested — finally.
"I had more people at my niece's baby shower than this," said a counter-protester.
White supremacists gathering for the Unite the Right 2 rally on Sunday in Washington, D.C., showed up 40 strong. Meanwhile, thousands of people met in the city prepared for a counter-protest.
We are long past needing to be understanding of his supporters.
It's been one year since the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. And now, we are all bracing for what is being called Unite the Right 2, planned for this weekend in the Washington, D.C. area. A state of emergency has been declared in Virginia ahead of the gathering of white supremacists and Neo-Nazis.
Products with anti-Black imagery as well as items with Nazi imagery for kids are being sold as corporate policies need to tighten.
Neo-Nazis are able to generate revenue, propagate their ideas and grow their movements because of the Amazon affiliate program's "inadequately enforced policies," according to a report released Friday.
"They see campuses as a fertile recruiting ground," said Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.
White supremacist group Vanguard America vandalized a Black History Month poster at Middle Tennessee University last week with propaganda, along with "plastering college campuses with fliers, demonstrating the trend shows no signs of stopping," according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
John Schnatter is axed by the board. Crappy pizza, not protests about law enforcement injustice, to blame for declining sales.
John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's International and basher of NFL protests and the Affordable Care Act, will step down as chief executive weeks after the brand was coined the "official pizza of the alt-right."
DeAndre Harris, almost killed during the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, faces the same charge as the men who assaulted him.
DeAndre Harris was almost beaten to death at the white supremacist "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12. Harris' bloody image circulated social media, resulting in shock and outrage.
More than 200 players joined in solidarity Sunday to protest Trump's assault on their right to protest racial injustices.
The response this weekend by NFL players and other professional athletes to President Trump's attacks on their right to protest could best be summed up by a comment from a Twitter user going by the name of Frederick Douglass: "Sons of bitches join up with the nasty women and bad hombres and take back our country."
A meme posted on the Chelan County Emergency Management page encouraging killing protesters receives backlash on social media.
"All Lives Splatter" is the title of a meme that a Chelan County Emergency Management employee shared on the department's Facebook page on Monday — the 16th anniversary of 9/11 — and three weeks after a vehicular murder took place at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. The image features an SUV running over three protesters and includes the text: "Nobody Cares About Your Protest."
Credibility is at the core of a successful diversity management effort. Secretary Tillerson provides a teachable moment.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is speaking about race as I write this. Humiliated by his boss, he's trying his best to sound like a nice guy who doesn't believe that Nazis and people who oppose Nazis are equivalent. He is going to try a diversity effort at the State Department.
He's making some classic mistakes. When a white man says "regardless of" race/gender/orientation/disability — look out, they don't mean what they're going to say next. If we are addressing existing disparities, it is never regardless of; it is because of. "Regardless of" dismisses the person you're referring to. It assumes a neutrality a white man like Tillerson simply doesn't have. Was Tillerson able to become the CEO of Exxon regardless of the fact that he was from Texas, an engineer and a white man? The person who succeeded Tillerson at Exxon is from Texas, has an engineering degree and is a white man, not an Asian woman with a nursing degree. If you cannot start the conversation with honesty, insight and clarity, you will never have the credibility to earn a successful conclusion.
He also quoted "my friend" Condoleezza Rice with another classic phrase of (perhaps well-meaning) clueless people: "It doesn't matter where you came from." Oh yes it does — especially for the State Department. Where you come from is going to shape your point of view and how you approach problems and solutions. I would think that the State Department should especially desire differences of where people come from (even from within the United States). When you dismiss people and their backgrounds with "it doesn't matter," you fail to honor or respect who they are. Not the basis to start a relationship. Certainly not the way to get the maximum productivity and advantage out of the differences — if you fail to recognize them as assets.
Secretary Tillerson is also describing diversity management initiatives that are very 20 years ago. The "Rooney Rule" for senior positions is just foolish if you're limited to promoting from within and your organization has not developed talent equitably. You are never going to be successful if you don't have goals, the means to accomplish them, an executive diversity council to oversee the efforts and the guts to hold specific people accountable.
After we have all recently seen white male behavior in Charlottesville and subsequent white male behavior from the president of the United States (the stereotype stings, but that's how most non-white, non-male people see it), white male leaders need to be very careful in their communications and efforts. The level of scrutiny, distrust and frustration has never been greater. I recommend white men be well-read and well-informed. It is offensive to assume the imprimatur over a diversity effort simply because you are/were a CEO, just as it would be offensive to go to MIT with your 40-year-old engineering degree and start teaching 400 level math. Start with books: "Chokehold," "Slavery By Another Name," "The New Jim Crow," "White Rage" and "My Bondage and My Freedom."
Engage in honest dialogue, perhaps through your resource groups, with people who don't look like you and are not from your privileged background. Listen more than you speak in those encounters. Understand it may take some time for people to trust you enough to be honest with you. Have (and express) some humility for your ignorance — you will find it received with great warmth and acceptance. Remember that actions speak louder than words; volunteer in places where you may pick up some first-hand experience and knowledge.
I wish Secretary Tillerson success, but I'm not betting on it.