A newly released CBS News/New York Times poll finds that 61% of Americans say “race relations in the United States are bad, the highest percentage since 1992.” Maybe part of the reason for this giant step backward is that the first lady, who is black, views everything through a prism of race. Ask her to dedicate a new museum or concert hall, and she’ll tell you that “museums and concert halls” aren’t as welcoming to non-white visitors, especially children, as they are to whites.

The most recent occasion for this brand of grievance-mongering was Monday. Michelle Obama was here in New York to celebrate the opening of a branch of the Whitney Museum of American Art in the city’s up-and-coming meat packing district, which she did by revealing that she grew up thinking that museums were not places “for someone who looks like me.”

You see, there are so many kids in this country who look at places like museums and concert halls and other cultural centers and they think to themselves, well, that’s not a place for me, for someone who looks like me, for someone who comes from my neighborhood. In fact, I guarantee you that right now, there are kids living less than a mile from here who would never in a million years dream that they would be welcome in this museum.

And growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I was one of those kids myself. So I know that feeling of not belonging in a place like this. And today, as first lady, I know how that feeling limits the horizons of far too many of our young people.

Continue reading →