Sunday, June 28, 2009

Defending Our Great First Lady

I had a lovely, albeit scorching hot, weekend, which included birthday parties on my side of the family as well as my wonderful husband's side. It was great to see my two boys play with one set of cousins on Saturday and the other set on Sunday.

During the course of the weekend, I had a conversation/debate with, well, I'll just call the individual "Right-Wing Cousin" -- RWC for short. Although RWC tried to assure me that RWC listens to all sides and keeps an open mind, somehow, according to this family member, Democrats are at fault for almost everything and President Obama has done nothing good for this country.

The conversation has inspired this post, which may be the first of a series to counter fantastic statements RWC made with the total conviction that they were the absolute truth.

First -- I have to defend our great first lady, who was disparaged with the contention that her hospital job (Vice-President for Community and External Affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals) was a "no-show" job that she only got after Barack Obama was elected Senator. Unbeknownst to me, there is a chain e-mail that was circulating where RWC may have gotten this false information.

Check out the reality in this article from Did Michelle Obama make $317,000 a year while working part-time at the University of ...

Basically, the University of Chicago Medical Center has stated that Michelle Obama (who is Harvard and Princeton-educated) was worth her weight in gold and was hired "before Barack was Barack". When she was promoted, she received a raise that made her salary consistent with others at the same level and also was competitive with other offers she was considering at the time. When she started ratcheting down her hours as her husband started his campaign to run for president, her pay was pro-rated until she went on an unpaid leave of absence in 2008. Tax statements prove this out.

So, is it sexist or racist to assume that Michelle Obama couldn't have possibly earned and actually performed this high-level, well-paying position? For those who have created this pack of lies, I'm sure it is both.

I only wish I had this information at my disposal while I was talking to this family member, so I could enlighten with the truth. Oh well, next time!

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