If you were watching the funeral for George H.W. Bush earlier this week, you might have noticed Barack and Michelle Obama being civil to Donald and Melania Trump. And that’s a huge problem, apparently. At least according to former ESPN host and current Atlantic staff writer Jemele Hill:

Hill writes:

The Obamas didn’t go low when they interacted with the Trumps, because that’s just not how they operate. And it’s not like I expected anything different at a state funeral. Former President Obama has always, always exhibited a maddening allegiance to institutional respect, even if it wasn’t returned. (All too often, it wasn’t.)

Still, it was infuriating to see the Obamas graciously engage with the man who spent years vociferously promoting the racist conspiracy theory that the former president is a Muslim who wasn’t born in the United States. Also recall that Donald Trump repeatedly challenged Obama to produce his college-admissions records—because it wasn’t enough for Trump to try to invalidate Obama’s presidency, he had to question Obama’s intellect.

That’s one of the many burdens of racism for people of color: It is ridiculously one-sided. Only one side is expected to show compassion. Only one side must practice restraint. Only one side is pressured into forgiveness. It’s bad enough having to stomach being wronged. It’s downright shameful being stuck with the responsibility of also making it right.

OK …

What if — and we’re just putting this out there — civility has nothing to do with race?

What if people are capable of civil to one another because it’s just the right thing to do?


And if anything, in light of all the birtherism garbage, the Obamas’ civility toward Donald Trump only makes them look better. Jemele needs to find something worth getting pissed off about. Because this ain’t it.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with an additional tweet.