By Tanya Wilson
I am still on the fence with my opinion of First Lady Michelle Obama’s recent actions at a June 6th Democratic National Committee fundraiser. GetEqual activist Ellen Sturtz decided she could not remain quiet any longer and yelled out during the First Lady’s speech. Interestingly, Mrs. Obama moved toward the protester and said “Listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving.”
The First Lady was in the midst of talking about opportunities for our young people, when Ellen Sturtz interrupted her to call for an executive order that would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
When I saw the news report showing the First Lady getting directly in Ellen Sturtz face, I could hardly believe my eyes or my ears, particularly when she prefaced her comments with “one of the things I don’t do well is this!” A part of me wanted to stand up and cheer her on for not competing for her space at an event she was an invited guest of, and the other part of me was saddened that Michelle Obama felt it necessary to confront a heckler head on.
Much of the reported feedback from various news outlets is in support of Mrs. Obama and how she handled the situation, and then others were all too pleased to spew negativity.
The First Lady is not the first, nor will she be the last person that has been frustrated, or even flat out angry about how they are being treated in a give situation. But who wins? Both women were passionate about their positions and that is a good thing, how they handled it is questionable.
Heckling while it may gain attention, the real issue is equal rights and ensuring that the laws reflect fairness for all people. Walking off the podium to confront a heckler is not only a questionable action, but dangerous and could have exposed the First Lady to undue harm.
Exodus 14:14 NIV offers a solution to consider “The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.” The most important for me, is the value of being still. Sometimes, it’s just best to be still knowing that we are already well taken care of.
What do you think?
Tanya M. Wilson is an inspirational speaker and writer living in Charlotte N.C. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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