‘The world as it is just won’t do’

Mrs. Obama urges support for U.S. military servicemen. Photo: Ansar Muhammad

DENVER ( – When Michelle Obama, wife of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, planted trees and filled care packages for U.S. military troops overseas at Curtis Park, she was far from the southside Chicago neighborhood she grew up in. But she was continuing a personal commitment to help others.

Mrs. Obama brought along her mother, Marianne Robinson, daughters Sasha and Malia, and brother Craig Robinson to help launch the Democratic National Convention’s Delegate Service Day with a press conference.


“We have been blessed as a family, as individuals throughout our lives and not just because we were able to go to school. But when you are raised in a home where you have love and security and people who are sacrificing for you making sure that you have more than they have, we were taught that you have an obligation to give back,” Mrs. Obama said Aug. 27.

She expressed similar sentiments two days earlier when gracing the Pepsi Center stage for a primetime, live national address as the Democratic National Convention opened. Mrs. Obama touched on memories of her hardworking father, her hopes for her daughters, the value of education, women’s issues, the struggles of military families and the need for national healthcare.

Above all, she defined herself as a sister blessed with a brother who was her mentor, protector and friend, a loving wife who believes her husband will be an extraordinary president, and a mom whose girls are the heart of her life and the center of her world. Her speech beat back right wing rumors that she was an angry, radical Black woman, who didn’t love the United States and was married to an elitist.

“All of us are driven by a simple belief that the world as it is just won’t do. That we have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be. That is the thread that connects our hearts. That is the thread that runs through my journey and Barack’s journey and so many other improbable journeys that have brought us here tonight,” said Mrs. Obama, who also stressed her love for America and gratitude for opportunities she has enjoyed.

Hanifa Shabazz, 4th District councilmember for Wilmington, Del., told The Final Call, “They have painted her as being so hard and rough before, but she’s a no-nonsense sister and strong Black woman. And she is also gorgeous, a mother, knows how to take care of her husband, her home, her children, and also has the intellect to go out into the work force and do what’s necessary there.”

Mrs. Obama’s conversation also demonstrated that she knows all of the characteristics of a family and what comes first, she added.

“It was just such an emotionally overwhelming address. A Black woman, any woman, speaking of the love for her husband, her children, her mother, it’s just what life and love is all about. You can just feel it when she talked about the common thread and word is bond, you can feel her heart,” said Norma Lester of Memphis, Tennessee.

Margarita Mecure Hibbs, who attended the DNC as a guest of New Mexico-based My Rule America, said, “She addressed the core American values of a working class family that she grew up in and the values that she has incorporated in her own family and raising her own children. It’s so obvious the way those children behaved, so natural, so infusive, so thrilled to see their daddy and so proud of their mamma. It was important to see an all-American family and convey that for every American, whether you’re Hispanic, African American, Anglo, Indian American, whatever.”

Related links:

I Understand Michelle Obama’s Comment (FCN, 07-15-2008)

Right wing attacks on Michelle Obama hit new low (FCN, 06-19-2008)