A comment on Elizabeth Lauten’s Facebook page


“Why are you folks telling Elizabeth Lauten to apologize?? Aren’t people allowed to have opinions? Also, do you really believe the Obama children read Facebook posts? You only want an apology for yourself. That’s pretty selfish.” https://www.facebook.com/elauten 

(I have a screenshot.)

Elizabeth Lauten has changed the settings on her Facebook page so that you have to be a friend to comment. At least one person got in a comment admonishing Lauten to apologize (one must presume for her remarks about Sasha and Malia Obama) before Lauten changed the page settings.

Why am I hammering on about this subject? It’s because of the response above. Let me break this down. I’m going to pretend I’m explaining this to the simpleton who wrote the response.

1. Yes, people are allowed to have opinions, but when we express our opinions, we should expect to face criticism and consequences. I’ve said things online that I dearly wish I had expressed in a better way. I’ve gotten into stupid pointless arguments that I wish I hadn’t. I’ve offended people by stating my own opinion. AND SOMEONE HAS ALWAYS CALLED ME ON IT, FOR RIGHT OR FOR WRONG. Having the right to express your opinion is not a get out of jail free card for reactions.

2. I am quite sure that the Obama children are very aware of everything that Elizabeth Lauten said about them. They’re 13 and 15. I have no doubt that they’ve read every word Lauten wrote. They may very well (and this is what I hope) have dismissed her as yet another malcontent who hates their father, but really, such an ugly, abusive, passive-aggressive screed is bound to leave anyone, PARTICULARLY a young person, with confused and/or uneasy feelings. President Obama’s daughters aren’t going to forget this. They can’t. It’s going to be on the Internet forever.

3. I can only speak for myself here, but I don’t want an apology for myself. I want a genuine apology on behalf of Sasha Obama and Malia Obama, and I want Elizabeth Lauten to do some real praying and change her nasty attitude. Here’s where race becomes an issue. There’s a sleazy undertone of racism in Lauten’s diatribe. I’m white. I don’t have to endure the white privilege attitude that black women deal with every day…EVEN THE FIRST LADY AND FIRST DAUGHTERS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Elizabeth Lauten took a huge despicable presumptuous step and she owes an apology to the First Lady, and Malia Obama, and Sasha Obama, and to President Obama for insulting his family, and quite frankly to every woman of color who has ever been talked down to by a white person in a similar manner. Because what Lauten did was just perpetuate that dreadful behavior that so many of us want desperately to move beyond. We want to leave this behavior in the past, never forget it, but leave it in the past, but the Elizabeth Lautens of the U.S.A. keep dragging us backwards.

Liz (I’m going to be familiar and call you what I feel like calling you because that’s what you did to Sasha Obama and Malia Obama) the apology that you issued and then deleted was simply not heartfelt. Stretch yourself. Rise to the occasion.

Do better.


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