News that is not news

Why is NBC’s Today Show presenting Michelle Obama’s family history with shock and awe? An African-American woman has ancestors who were slaves? My Lord, how bizarre.

I am glad that this is considered “news” this morning because it means there are no terrorist acts, child negligence or abuse, or other horrid lead stories.

In the words of Norah O’Donnell, it is truly remarkable that an African-American descendant of a former slave girl lives in the White House!

No, it is neither news nor remarkable. What is remarkable is that it took 140-plus years after the end of legal enslavement on our shores for an African-American man to be considered so safe, so intelligent, so capable that he was electable. What is remarkable is that in our quest for true diversity, we have so few stories of minority leadership in numbers that are representative of the general population’s diversity. What is remarkable is that Obama’s election, for cynics, is a complete acquittal for every crime of discrimination being promulgated in the American corporate, academic and social community. What is remarkable is that the Obama’s personal story is so remarkable. What is remarkable is that there is so little true racial reconciliation and mutual understanding and respect. And all sides own that failure. All of that is remarkably pathetic.

And the sorrow of the matter is that behind Barack Obama, there seems to be a cold, bleak chasm separating him from any other African-American or female, or other minority (since we’re on it) candidates who are electable. Not qualified, mind you . . . electable. Let the newsmakers start reporting on that. That might be news.


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