Note to would-be hecklers: Don’t mess with First Lady Michelle Obama.
Ten minutes into a campaign fundraising speech in Washington, D.C. Tuesday evening, Michelle Obama firmly handled a gay rights heckler, Ellen Sturtz, who openly disrespected Obama by shouting and demanding that President Barack Obama sign an executive order on gay rights.
Watch video below.
“I don’t care what you believe,” the first lady said in a stern voice, before leaving the podium and walking straight toward the woman. “One of the things I don’t do well is this.”
Michelle Obama was furious – and for good reason. I’m sure the first lady is tired of ill-mannered, impertinent people who feel they can say anything to First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama. Where is the respect for the first lady of this nation? When did it become acceptable to shout at the First Lady at a private gathering?
Obama, who may have channeled her hometown — the South Side of Chicago – stepped away from the lectern and walked right up to the heckler.
“Listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving,” Obama said. “You all decide. You have one choice.”
I’m glad Michelle Obama took charge of the situation. She didn’t ask for back-up from the Secret Service; she didn’t retreat; she didn’t try to play nice. She confronted a troublemaker – directly. It was a great decision and a good lesson for our children: Don’t back down to bullies.
“She came right down in my face,” Sturtz, an activist with the GetEQUAL campaign group, which campaigns for lesbian and gay rights, told The Washington Post. “I was taken aback.”
Sturtz was “taken aback” because the first lady put her in her place after Sturtz disrespected Obama? What did she expect Michelle Obama to do? Ignore her? Run away like a frightened child?
Michelle Obama once again showed her formidable side; her no-nonsense side; and her willingness to push back against those who are rude and obnoxious.
The first lady has nothing to lose: Her approval ratings are high and President Obama is beginning his final term in office. She no longer has to take the crap from hecklers because it’s the politically correct thing to do. If she wants to go toe-to-toe with a heckler, then she can bring it.
And she did.
The fundraiser benefitting the Democratic National Committee was hosted at the Northwest DC home of Karen Dixon and Nan Schaffer. There were some 200 expected guests who paid between $500 and $10,000 to attend the reception, according to a DNC official. At one point, the crowd started shouting that they wanted Michelle Obama to stay and one woman standing near Sturtz said “You need to go!”
As Sturtz was escorted out, the heckler shouted: “…lesbian looking for federal equality before I die.”
But Michelle Obama, poised, composed and focused, didn’t let Sturtz distract her from her core message to the audience.
“So, let me make the point that I was making before,” the first lady continued. “We are here for our kids. So we must recapture that passion. That same urgency and energy that we felt back in 2008, 2012. Understand this — this is what I want you all to understand. This is not about us. No one back here. It’s not about you or you or your issue or your thing. This is about our children.”
Michelle Obama is a first lady with style, elegance and grace – but she’s also a dignified black woman from the South Side of Chicago who refuses to be disrespected.
Good for her. We’d expect nothing less.
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