Michelle Obama knows a thing or two about speaking to the American people. The former first lady doesn't post every thought that pops into her head on social media, and Obama threw a subtle jab at President Trump's Twitter habits on Wednesday. Speaking at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, she said:
You don't just say what's on your mind; you don't tweet every thought.
Now, the former first lady claimed she was talking about everyone on social media — not one person in particular — but the laughter and applause that broke out among the audience suggested people had the current commander-in-chief in mind. And much of what Obama said on the subject could easily be applied to Trump.
Since he was on the campaign trail, President Trump has repeatedly claimed he doesn't care about being politically correct, and his tweets often reflect that. However, Obama explained Wednesday that she thinks that mindset ridiculous. "This whole 'tell it like it is business' — that's nonsense," she said.
She also warned people in power that what they say — or type — carries a lot of weight with others, saying that "when you have a voice, you just can't use it any kind of way." Because of this responsibility, she later advised that it's usually helpful to take some time to formulate a proper thought before posting it for millions of people to read: "Most of your first initial thoughts are not worthy of the light of day."
That wasn't the only shade the former FLOTUS threw at the "tweeter-in-chief's" posting habits, either. "You need to think and spell it right and have good grammar, too," Obama quipped.
President Trump, and his administration at large, continuously make egregious typos in tweets, memos, and schedules. From misspelling W.E.B. Du Bois' and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's names, to using the wrong form of "principle," the White House is constantly called out online for grammar and spelling mistakes. And how could anyone forget about the infamous and mysterious "covfefe" tweet that shook the internet in May?
After offering her sage social media wisdom, Obama had some more advice for men and parents raising young boys. While many parents make a point to empower their daughters, they sometimes "nurture" their sons too much, according to Obama.
It's powerful to have strong men, but what does that strength mean? Does it mean respect? Does it mean responsibility? Does it mean compassion? Or are we protecting our men too much so they feel a little entitled, and a little self-righteous sometimes?
The former FLOTUS noted that women talk to their female friends about their problems and "straighten each other out" when someone's behaving poorly. She thinks men need to do the same. "Y'all should get you some friends," Obama told the male population. (She included her husband, explaining that she sometimes has to remind the former president to talk to people other than his best friend and chairman of his foundation, Marty Nesbitt.)
Although she didn't mention it specifically, her words on male entitlement alluded to the national discussion around sexual harassment and assault that stemmed from film mogul Harvey Weinstein's downfall. Obama's advice about thinking before tweeting also holds true for one's actions. And men who feel entitled to do and say as they please need to be checked by friends who know they're behaving inappropriately, whether in the workplace, at home, or in public.
"Y'all need to go talk to each about your stuff. Because there's so much of it. It's so messy," Obama told men. "Talk about why y'all are the way y'all are."