Archive for Michelle Obama

Un-“Common” Thoughts

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America with tags , , on May 12, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Raynard Jackson

May 12, 2011

Last night Michelle Obama hosted an “Evening of Poetry” at the White House.  She invited an eclectic group of poets to recite their poetry.  But, Fox News and right wing radio has singled out one performer—the Grammy award winning rapper Common—to be on the receiving end of their ire.

I don’t listen to his music, but from talking with friends who know him, he seems to be a nice enough guy and is very talented!  But, he has one song about shooting a policeman, therefore conservative media objected to him being invited to the White House.

These conservatives are now making the argument, that since Common was invited to the White House, President and Ms. Obama, must agree with his lyrics.  Anyone with a brain knows this is idiotic, but welcome to the world of right wing media.

The Obama’s have a right to invite whomever they choose to the White House.

You can’t take a single or few events in a person’s life and let that be the definitive narrative of his life.  For example, Michael Vick should not have his whole life defined by his run it with the law if he continues to exemplify the level of maturity he has in the past year.  We all make mistakes.

Common, born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., hails from Chicago, IL.  He had a middle class upbringing and attended Florida A & M University where he studied business.  He has earned two Grammys (best R & B song in 2003 for “Love of My Life and best rap performance by a duo or group in 2007 for “Southside”).

Though an unabashed liberal, he has dedicated himself to trying to make a positive difference in the lives of the youth.  For this, he should be commended!

What I find amazing about right wing media is they seem to be for free speech—as long as they agree with what you are saying.

If they were consistent with their feigned outrage over Common, then I could accept their views.  But, I find their outrage very inconsistent and very selective.  They make it seem as though Obama is the only president to associate with an entertainer who have expressed some controversial things.

Where was their outrage over former president Ronald Reagan’s tribute to Bruce Springsteen?

On September 19, 1984, Reagan was at a campaign stop in Hammonton, New Jersey and he said, “America’s future rests in a thousand dreams inside your hearts…it rests in the message of hope in songs so many young Americans admire…New Jersey’s own Bruce Springsteen.”  Springsteen is best known for his monster hit song “Born in the U.S.A.”  But, on this same album is a song titled “Working On The Highway.”  The song is about a man who has sex with an underage girl and is subsequently arrested by the police and convicted in a court of law.  Here are a few of the words:

“I saved up my money and I put it all away
I went to see her daddy but we didn’t have much to say
“Son can’t you see that she’s just a little girl
She don’t know nothing about this cruel cruel world”

We lit out down to Florida we got along all right
One day her brothers came and got her and they took me in a black and white (police car)
The prosecutor kept the promise that he made on that day
And the judge got mad and he put me straight away
I wake up every morning to the work bell clang (jail)
Me and the warden go swinging on the Charlotte County road gang

Working on the highway…

President Nixon invited racist Elvis Presley to the White House.  Presley spent a lifetime letting people know how he felt about Blacks!

President Carter invited the legendary group, Crosby, Stills, & Nash to visit him in the White House.  According to their own biography, “One of us, and I will not say who, lit a joint in the Oval Office just to be able to say he’d done it, you know?”

The other irony is that a lot of these same conservatives claim very publically their friendship to entertainers whose lyrics are no different than those they criticize Common for.

Sarah Palin is a huge fan of rocker, Ted Nugent.  Here are the words to one of his songs, “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang.”

That Nadine, what a teenage queen…She lookin’ so clean, especi’lly down in between…She’s so sweet when she yanks on my meat.”  Is this the type of “family values” Palin has in mind?

Last year Elton John was reportedly paid $1 million to perform at Rush Limbaugh’s wedding reception.  John is the same person who referred to Christians as “Jesus Freaks” in his hit song “Tiny Dancer.”

When right wing media begin to show their moral outrage evenly, then and only then, can I support their feigned righteous indignation.  But, until then, they should remain quiet and focus on the more pressing issues facing our country.

They should also show some respect for the office of the president.  This should be a common courtesy!

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm.  He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine ( & U.S. Africa Magazine ( 

President Obama Reaches Out To The Black Community On The Web

Posted in Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Gary A. Johnson, Music and Video Releases with tags , , , , , on April 23, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Gary A. Johnson

As the President gears up for his re-election campaign, it should be no surprise that the Obama administration recently unveiled a new web site to highlight its work and increase its connection with the black community.  The web site is the administration’s way of reaching out and sharing information of interest to black Americans.  According to the web site:  “Since his first day in office, President Obama has been working to secure the future prosperity of the African American Community through efforts such as increasing access to health care, creating jobs, revitalizing schools, and the development of targeted job creating investments in underserved communities. While much more needs to be done, we are making progress. This site is a tool for you to learn about how the President’s Agenda is helping to win the future among African-American Communities.”

The site has the latest blog post, fact sheets and more.  Click here to visit the web site.  You can even sign-up to receive e-mail alerts, browse through a photo gallery and watch videos such as the White House tribute to The Sound of Young America:  The History of Motown, a panel discussion with Motown Founder Berry Gordy, singer Smokey Robinson and singer John Legend.

The direct link to the White House Web site is:

Michelle Obama: The True Image of an African American Woman

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Women's Interests with tags , on April 6, 2009 by Gary Johnson


By H. Lewis Smith

For many years, African Americans were perceived as being ignorant creatures incapable of thinking and successfully holding leadership positions and roles. However, African Americans are constantly defying this perception and reaching heights beyond any individual’s greatest expectation. For instance, blacks were supposedly incapable of playing the position of quarterback in football-at any level-because they were perceived as lacking the brainpower to lead a team.  Doug Williams, former NFL player, dispelled that myth when he led his team to victory in the 1988 Super Bowl XXII and was selected as the MVP. As well, blacks were supposedly incapable of coaching an NFL football team, yet both 2007 Super Bowl head coaches were African Americans. And today, the first African-American family chairs the highest office in the United States and resides in the White House. Repeatedly, blacks have proven, when provided the opportunity that they will rise to the call of duty and excel.

Michelle Obama, in her first 100 days as First Lady, is making many racist-thinking people very uncomfortable as she shatters their world of stereotypical assumptions through spreading goodwill, knowledge, and a solid persona of the African-American woman all over the world. Radio host and political commentator Tammy Bruce’s recent tirade labeling Mrs. Obama as ‘trashy and fake’ because of a personal speech she delivered to a classroom of students in Washington, DC, confirms the fear and anxiety that consumes the hearts of such racist desperadoes. Clearly, Michelle Obama is a lady of elegance, pride, intellect, appeal, charisma, and carries the image of First Lady admirably, and as long as Mrs. Obama is the First Lady, she will be a threat to the racist mentality everywhere.

The First Lady’s embodiment of the role invalidates any and all stereotypical suppositions that have been spoon fed to a nation of people via its institutionalized system for almost four centuries. Tammy Bruce’s attempt at character assassination of First Lady Michele Obama is an example of the ideologies that have been imposed upon unknowing intellects; and because this is what people like Tammy Bruce have been taught, they are fearful of the unknown-anything different from “the norm.” In response to this type of change, they panic, blindly continue to protect their sad mentality, and will go extreme distances to preserve the image and pigeon-holed perspective they possess of the black race in general.

Michelle Obama has stated that her school peers would mock her, saying that she talked “like she was white.” Quite often, blacks who speak with the proper diction and English-non-slang, non-street vernacular-are pronounced as “trying to be white” by other black kids. This situation raises the question that if speaking properly means that one is “trying to be white,” then does it mean that speaking ignorantly means that one is “trying to be black”? It makes one wonder what percentage of our black youth are being raised in an environment that mocks education, which leads to youth devaluing education and playing-up the street-cool personas just to “fit in.”

America is not accustomed to a black woman in Michelle Obama’s position receiving such favorable recognition and feedback. The norm has always been to support rappers and entertainers that humiliate and degrade black women and make a mockery of their own race. America is accustomed to hearing rhetoric that contributes to the emotional, psychological, spiritual, and cultural extermination of black race by African Americans. The music industry has made billions stomping on the dignity of black women.

First Lady Michelle Obama as well as President Obama brings to light that side of the African-American people that represents dignity, intelligence, and true dedication to hard work and self-respect-the key attributes our fore ancestors fought hard to maintain and pass down through generations in this new, unequal land. The Obama’s bring a genuine dignity and regality to the White House that will be a continual upset to the bigots of America, yet a stepping stone to the progress of the African American, and the American society.

Because Mrs. Obama is not living up to the pre-conceived stereotype many expected her to embody, they feel compelled to manufacture preferred images of her and try to sell this ideology to the American public. However, America has not fallen victim to the hype because again and again Mrs. Obama continues to consistently convey a solid and distinguished aura steadied on a foundation of integrity, sagacity, aplomb and fortitude.

H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc., a writer for the New England Informer Online, and author of Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word.

Stay Up-To-Date with The President-Elect

Posted in Barack Obama, Black Interests, Black Men with tags , , , on November 18, 2008 by Gary Johnson


Watch President-Elect Obama’s weekly radio, get the latest transition news and learn about the Obama – Biden administration’s agenda at the official transition web site You can even apply for a job with the Obama administration.


Barack Obama’s television approval ratings are through the roof.

The 60 Minutes television broadcast featuring the president-elect and wife Michelle Obama, yielded 24.5 million viewers according to the Nielsen rating system. CBS said the audience was the newsmagazine’s biggest since January 1999. The show dominated every major demographic group, even kids 12-17. You can watch the 60 Minutes sit down interview with Barack and Michelle Obama from our video library on this blog.

Michelle Obama: The “Fist Bump” That Rocked The World

Posted in Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Gary A. Johnson with tags , , , on June 6, 2008 by Gary Johnson

The date was June 3, 2008. The place was St. Paul, MN. The mainstream media are still all a buzz about the now famous Michelle Obama “fist bump” also known as a “fist pound.” Hey America, this is nothing new in the black community.  C’mon in.  This Is How We Do It!

When I saw Michelle give Barack some “dap” (dignity and pride) I had to take a double take.  I loved it! This certainly appears to be a true loving and supporting relationship.

Barack Obama told NBC News correspondent Brian Williams that the fist pound “captured what I love about my wife — there’s an irreverence about her and sense that for all the hoopla, that I’m her husband and sometimes we’ll do silly things.”

Make no mistake, Michelle and Barack are changing some aspects of today’s popular culture. Watch and see how many other folks start “dapping” and “pounding” after watching that magic moment.  You don’t believe me?  TIME Magazine has a feature called “A Brief History of the Fist Bump.”

What do you think of Michelle Obama’s fist bump?

Gary Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In, a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In Blog. Gary is also the author of the new book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.”

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