Monday, April 19, 2010

Success and Possibility Knows No Gender, Race, Class or Language

First Lady Michelle Obama landed in Mexico City last week and received a welcome that is analogous to rockstar status. Thousands of people lined the streets in Mexico City wherever she traveled. Young women cried and waved the Mexican flag high above their heads as they jumped up and down to get a glimpse of the First Lady. Her message as she traveled from Ayiti, after the devastating earthquake that has resulted in approximately 250,000 deaths, and approximately 1 million homeless, to Mexico City is for young people in our society, especially the young women in developing countries that “success and possibility knows no gender, race, class or language.” First Lady Obama’s thoughts regarding her committment to assist the young people in our society, and the shared values with the people of Mexico are available here.

Jose Jaime Enriquez Reynoso, a law student from Universidad Iberoamericana, introduced First Lady Obama with an inspiring speech of his own. He stated in his solemn, yet commanding voice that, “to understand society you must look at the young people in that society... The young people are scarce natural resources whose potential has yet to be tapped... Education without knowledge is like hearing without listening... To be informed the young must be educated....” Reynoso’s full speech is available here.

The American media was quick to note that Mexico “embraced” First Lady Obama. As if there had been some doubt as to the type of welcome she would receive. First Lady Michelle Obama's first official stop when she arrived in Mexico was at the the residence of President Felipe Calderon, to meet privately with First Lady Margarita Zavala. A woman with whom First Lady Obama gladly admits that she shares many values. They are both smart, passionate, and committed women. They are also mothers, wives, and as First Ladies they believe that they bear a special responsibility to the young people in society.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit to Mexico has gone very well. The friendship and shared values between the two First Ladies as well as the mutual respect between President Calderon and President Obama has led the White House to announce that the second state dinner of President Barack Obama’s administration will be in honor of Mexico, on May 19th.

1 comment:

  1. Historically, the American media has always tried to create a divide between African Americans and Latinos. Yet, despite their thinly disguised attempts we always find our way back to each other. We come from a shared history of colonization and oppression. We have much to be angry about and to celebrate. The friendship of Michelle Obama and Margarita Zavala evidences our shared tragedy, struggles and success. United we stand. Divided they will take us down.


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