Every right-thinking person in America is against racism, and should challenge those who hold bigoted or stereotypical beliefs. Therefore, there is no reason to disagree with Michelle Obama’s admonition that college graduates should challenge ill-founded stereotypes and prejudices.
At Senior Appreciation Day in Topeka, Kansas, Michelle Obama made the following remarks:
Now, our laws may no longer separate us based on our skin color, but nothing in the Constitution says we have to eat together in the lunchroom, or live together in the same neighborhoods. There’s no court case against believing in stereotypes or thinking that certain kinds of hateful jokes or comments are funny.
So the answers to many of our challenges today can’t necessarily be found in our laws. These changes also need to take place in our hearts and in our minds. (Applause.) And so, graduates, it’s up to all of you to lead the way, to drag my generation and your grandparents’ generation along with you.
And that’s really my challenge to all of you today. As you go forth, when you encounter folks who still hold the old prejudices because they’ve only been around folks like themselves, when you meet folks who think they know all the answers because they’ve never heard any other viewpoints, it’s up to you to help them see things differently.
The First Lady clarified her remarks further:
And the good news is that you probably won’t have to bring a lawsuit or go all the way to the Supreme Court to do that. You all can make a difference every day in your own lives simply by teaching others the lessons you’ve learned here in Topeka.
Maybe that starts simply in your own family, when grandpa tells that off-colored joke at Thanksgiving, or you’ve got an aunt talks about “those people.” Well, you can politely inform them that they’re talking about your friends. (Applause.) […]
Nothing to disagree with there. Although it should be added that false accusations that certain people are “racists” whenever they merely have differences of opinion is counter-productive and is just as bigoted as an off-color joke or racially insensitive remark. As a whole, the First Lady is right that racism should be challenged wherever it is found.