Sojourner's Place

open invitation to continue the debate: alec baldwin show some respect  

Posted by SjP in ,

As many of you are aware, I am a weekly contributor to the Michelle Obama Watch created by Gina of What About Our Daughters. Often a post appears there that evokes much discussion and debate. Such is the case with my most recent MOW post entitled "Alec Baldwin: Show Some Respect".

Little did I know that the following statement would result in a debate that would take a turn that to what some might perceive as a generational war of words:

But, I do know that it is a very sad commentary about our society when it is thought to be a good idea for the First Lady to appear on a sitcom as the love interest of a man who can’t seem to keep a job and known for “declaring that he’d funded a “gay bomb” that makes enemy soldiers want to have sex with each other“.
I have invited the commenter with whom I have had a "lively" discussion to continue the debate here rather than at Michelle Obama Watch; as MOW is not - in my opinion - the place for the level to which I believe our debate was sinking. But, this is SjP's Place where I am more than capable and quite eager to tell MY TRUTH and defend it.

So here are my responses to the last issues or questions posed to me:

1. are you not saying that you think it is disrespectful and inappropriate for Alec Baldwin to ask Mrs. O to appear on the show to play a questionable character, and that it speaks to our society that he finds this is okay to do? (if this is the point you are trying to make, then I did not “miss the point of the post” as you claim)

No, I am NOT SIMPLY saying that it is disrespectful or inappropriate for Alec Baldwin to ask the First Lady to appear on the show. And YES, you did miss the point of the post. My point remains the fact that he thought it perfectly okay to do so is a sad commentary on where we are as a society for him to think it appropriate.

It is about the fact that we have entered a time when it is considered by many that proclaiming a desire to have sex with a First Lady of the United States; or implying that a President of the United States is saluting something other than a marine; or attempting to delve into a First Couple's intimacy to be good fodder.

This is the commentary of which I speak and Baldwin's "request" is just another illustration. One that is so much larger and far less shallow than an actor trying to beef-up his ratings on a sitcom.

2. So appearing on Jay Leno, ESPN and shows of this nature ridicules them in YOUR eyes, but not to the eyes of a majority of Americans who tuned in to these shows to watch him, because to me personally, it humanizes him, and does not make him any less “president.”

My exact words were: ...our leaders should not be put in situations where they might be held up for ridicule to the rest of the world no matter how small it may seem. To do so, marginalizes the office held as well as the person holding that office. How you got out of that statement that appearing on such shows ridicules them in MY eyes is beyond me.

3. ...So these stale ideas that he should be held on a pedestal is old, and outdated, and im glad he is opening up these new venues for the post.

I don't have an issue with the POTUS or FLOTUS utilizing new and innovative ways to connect with the citizenry or the world. Frankly, I am taken aback for your continued charge that I do. This is of course 2009, where the information highway is instantaneous rather than delivered by the pony express. But, regardless of the venue used by the POTUS,the office of the President of the United States will always be on "a pedestal" regardless of who he or she may be.
4. If you are unable to respond to my critisim, then fine, but to blame your inability to respond to my critique on my age, and the implication that I am somehow too young and/or immature to understnad, what you are trying to say is a cheap cop out, and perhaps speaks about you.

Your criticism? How interesting. I thought you were attempting to provide an explanation for your opinion. A critique is something that is generally offered by an expert in a particular area or discipline upon request. I did not solicit a critique from you - nor do I consider your comments any more than your opinion. One which you are certainly entitled to. Your opinion, however, is shaped by your life experiences to date which provided me with some context to your frame of reference. No more - no less. It is unfortunate that you felt it to be a cheap cop rather than my understanding, of where you are - your mind set - your frame of reference at this point and time in your life.
Finally, it is truly unfortunate that you took my congratulatory comments for your academic accomplishments as well as those in reference to your age as condescending. Had I wanted to be condescending or "put you in your place" as you imply, my comments would have been much more direct and certainly much more specific. Believe me - I can and will "go there" when and if the situation and circumstances warrant such action. But, our exchange over at MOW was NOT that situation or circumstance. As it is important for me to "leave the pile higher than I found it" to have done, as you contend, would have been contrary to who I am as mentor, educator, mother or even a blogger.

I look forward to your comments.

Obliged to you for hearing me,
and now old SjP ain't got nothin' more to say...
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This entry was posted at Thursday, April 09, 2009 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

4 sojourners hollin' back

IMO - It's more of a generational or cultural disagreement.
Many of today's youth were raised to see their parents as their friends - and by extention, those in authority.
Earlier generations would have never though this way.

April 9, 2009 at 9:06 PM


I jumped over here in hopes of reading something to soothe my temper down after my personal lively debate with someone else.

However, I should of known that we would be working on the same frequency! LOL! I just cut it off because it was about to become ugly on my end.

I read the comments.It was difficult for me not to jump in. I didn't want to start a second fiyah on MOW.

But I don't find Baldwin's sitcom premise to be flattering to any black woman or man. It is just the same old s***.

It does sound like a generational disagreement. Which does not surprise me. Check out site and you'll find reasons to laugh at this situation.

April 10, 2009 at 1:02 AM

Thanks for bringing this debate to my attention. I have to say, that I was totally unaware of this controversy. I love the MOW website, but I've been buried under a pile of work as of late. Anyway, I have to say that it would be completely inappropriate for the First Lady of the United States to appear on any sitcom, let alone as as the love interest of one of the characters. Not even former presidents and their wives make such appearances. I wonder why anyone would think it would be appropriate for the wife of a sitting president.

April 10, 2009 at 1:24 AM

@ UB John,

Could not agree more.

@ Hey Twin,

LOL!!! Should have known we would be on the same wave-length. This is just too funny! But, we've certainly come to expect that!

::SMH & LOL::

@ BAC,

My point exactly!

April 10, 2009 at 3:09 AM
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