OK, all party affiliation aside — can we as a society PLEASE agree that enough is enough when it comes to how we treat the family members of our elected officials, especially when those family members are minor children?
Quite frankly, it’s a nauseating distraction that only further poisons the national dialogue.
It’s a malady of thought that somehow manages to afflict BOTH sides of the political spectrum. It’s the tasteless slut-shaming and wild conspiracy theories directed at Bristol Palin during the 2008 Presidential campaign, and a generation earlier, it’s Rush Limbaugh flapping his pill-popping gums and referring to a young Chelsea Clinton as the “White House dog.”
In the Internet era, this translates into unprecedented levels of factually-debased, outrage-seeking cyber “reporting.” Put it on the Internet first, then find out if it’s true later. Hell, even if it’s not true, some of it will stick.
From an imagined order to stand down in Benghazi, to salacious bath house rumors painting the President as a closet homosexual — the Obama Presidency has certainly seen its share of tabloid-quality, hack online “journalism.”
But targeting the President is one thing, picking on his 16-year-old daughter is another altogether…
Just last month, Malia Obama was the victim of an Internet hoax originating from the fake news site, “EmpireNews.” The fake story, claiming that the First Daughter was pregnant, managed to make its way across the Internet to thousands of Snopes-impaired right wingers all-too-eager to start lobbing misogynistic insults in the direction of a sixteen-year-old girl.
And since that panned out to be complete and utter fiction, the folks over at Young Conservatives have decided to turn an innocuous selfie taken by Malia into a scandalous headline designed to scrutinize the young girl’s character. The headline in question?
Oh noes! So what terrible organization is Malia Obama supporting? From this headline, one would suspect that President Obama’s daughter had come out in support of ISIS or some violent terrorist organization. Nope, it’s a hip hop collective and their accompanying clothing line.
Though it remains to be seen how the hip hop collective known as Progressive Era, or Pro Era for short, came to be in possession of the First Daughter’s selfie — you can see from the above screen capture that the Brooklyn-based musical outfit was excited to see Malia supporting their art and took to social media to brag about it — nothing done out of taste, nothing even remotely scandalous.
Unless, you’re a right wing blogger. . .
It turns out that the founder of Pro Era, Joey Bada$$, was recently involved in an altercation with a security guard before a concert in Byron Bay, Australia. Bada$$ allegedly broke the man’s nose and is due back in court sometime in March.
This is the shady behavior that the right wing is pretending is unacceptable for the child of a sitting U.S. President: wearing the t-shirt of a musician who punched someone in the nose.
Of course, musicians as white-bread as Willy Nelson and members of The Beatles have been arrested before. Do you think the right wing blogosphere would react with outrage over Malia wearing a Beatles t-shirt? Of course not, but Paul McCartney doesn’t look like one of these fellows:
They don’t even try to hide it. It’s right there in black and white: “the type of people.” Post a picture of some urban youth and watch the racist conservative base feast on the red meat thrown to them.
And then of course, it’s back to the same old refrain of blaming Obama:
Let’s be real. This isn’t responsible parenting. Allowing his daughter to be involved with these people, even from a distance, gives them an even bigger platform to express their ideals, which are questionable at this point. Also, why isn’t greater care being taken to make sure photos of his children aren’t being scattered across the Internet? Surely the president has access to top notch cyber security. The bottom line here is if a man can’t lead and protect his own family, how in the world can he lead and protect a country?
Enough with this already.
It’s just a picture of a teenage girl wearing the t-shirt of a contemporary musical act. Literally THOUSANDS of teenagers across this country do the same thing every day, but this isn’t just any teenager. It’s the President’s daughter. And, for some reason, that makes it justifiable to force a sixteen-year-old girl to live her life under the national microscope.
Enough. Leave the kids out of it.
Featured image: Wikipedia