Thursday, August 14, 2008

Black and BLACKER: The RACIAL Politics of the Obama Marriage? WTF? Here we go again



Yes, this is an actual title of an actual article in New York Magazine.


When the cover is THIS, you know we're already in trouble.


There was a discussion that I had in the comments section here a few weeks ago with other posters. My question was why Obama's White mama and White grandparents don't seem to get the 'respect' that they should -in raising him.

I would believe that his accomplishments would be a testament of how well they raised him.
Columbia University
Magna Cum Laude at Harvard University Law School
President of the Harvard Law Review


I thought these would be talked about as to how well they had raised him, but where's the pub?

I wondered why.

And, then it it me - Michelle.

His marriage to Michelle negates all of those accomplishments..because..

If they had raised him ' right', then how come he married Michelle?

You know Michelle, humble beginnings Michelle, who wound up going to Princeton and Harvard Law - that Michelle.

But, somehow, his marriage to Michelle shows the 'mistake' his mother and grandparents made.

The PSYCHOSIS behind THAT isn't something that I can relate to, so I had to shrug my shoulders when I came to that realization and move on.

I've just been waiting...the attacks on Michelle have been circling this memo, but none had actually come out and said it.

UNTIL NOW.

I get so tired of being insulted by RACIST TRIPE, and then have mofos try and tell me that I 'misunderstood', that I 'misinterpreted' the English Language.

That, JUST CAUSE it's in New York Magazine, I'm not supposed to call racist #*$& when I see it.

BULL.



There's so much to choose from, but here are some select quotes:
A prospective First Lady carries a heavy symbolic burden, but the notions that have coalesced to tongue-tie Michelle Obama are particularly dense. She’s a type we’ve rarely seen in the public eye, a well-educated woman who is a dedicated mother, successful in her career, and happens to be black. This has created confusion for some people, who seem desperate to find a negative quality in her: She’s too big, too masculine, too much like a drag queen. While Obama may be able to play with urban tropes, like dusting off his jacket à la Jay-Z or speaking in a black patois when the time calls for it, Michelle has been increasingly forced to curtail her personality during the campaign, lest she attract rumors of uttering a verboten, anachronistic word like “whitey” or find herself labeled a “baby mama.” As much as any political campaign is an extended meditation on authenticity, the question of just how black the Obamas are has become particularly loaded. Michelle must project herself as black to one community, but she also must act white to another, whatever either adjective means nowadays.

So much tripe, so little time. But, I must.

She’s a type we’ve rarely seen in the public eye, a well-educated woman who is a dedicated mother, successful in her career, and happens to be black.

Well, nothing special about that. Black women like Michelle Obama are all over the country.

As much as any political campaign is an extended meditation on authenticity, the question of just how black the Obamas are has become particularly loaded. Michelle must project herself as black to one community, but she also must act white to another, whatever either adjective means nowadays.

Well, if you don't know whatever either adjective means nowadays, why the hell did you say it? I believe I've recorded darn near every speech Michelle Obama has given on C-Span. And, I've told folks, I've never paid to hear Barack Obama, but I have paid to hear Michelle, multiple times. In front of predominantly Black audiences. I'm trying to discern this ' Black' Michelle Obama that I paid to see vs. the supposed , what ' ACTING WHITE' Michelle Obama I see on C-Span?

Um....there is no difference.
The description of the Obamas’ life together displays no evidence of their connections to black culture, especially now that it’s not prudent for them to join a new church before the election. They take pains to make sure their lifestyle is as boring as possible. They’ve easily resolved knotty personal issues: Michelle’s 71-year-old mom, Marian Robinson, takes care of the girls, so they don’t have to hire a nanny, which would make them look a little too buppie. (The girls still have the packed schedule of upwardly mobile kids: soccer, dance, drama, gymnastics, tap, tennis, piano. Obama doesn’t like them watching TV.) “When we’re all together in Chicago, we like to play games like charades,” Michelle tells us. “We also love a busy house, which means potluck dinners with our close friends and family as often as we can.” We have little idea of the racial makeup of such potlucks.

The description of the Obamas’ life together displays no evidence of their connections to black culture, especially now that it’s not prudent for them to join a new church before the election.

1. Um, if they are Black in this country, and they live in an urban setting, as they do, they have connections to 'Black Culture'. - I think, but but but.....
2. WTF does she mean by ' Black Culture'?
3. So, when I was searching for a new church home and didn't belong to any permanent church, I had disconnected from BLACK CULTURE? Just asking.

They take pains to make sure their lifestyle is as boring as possible.

Cause we all know, if Barack wasn't running for President, he and Michelle would be out clubbin' every night, drinking 40's until dawn.

They’ve easily resolved knotty personal issues: Michelle’s 71-year-old mom, Marian Robinson, takes care of the girls, so they don’t have to hire a nanny, which would make them look a little too buppie.

So, if Malia and Sasha were left to fend for themselves, that would be 'authentically Black'? My Mama made sure there was always an adult with HER children, so did that make Mama buppie? I thought making sure that a responsible adult was looking after the children was what a good parent does?

White folks call it Nanny. Black folks called her ' Big Mama', or ' Mis Sis', or 'Mis Mabel' or 'Mama T', and she's been around the Black community since we've been here.

“When we’re all together in Chicago, we like to play games like charades,” Michelle tells us. “We also love a busy house, which means potluck dinners with our close friends and family as often as we can.” We have little idea of the racial makeup of such potlucks.

WE HAVE LITTLE IDEA OF THE RACIAL MAKEUP OF SUCH POTLUCKS.

AS IF, it's your business who the Obamas invite into their home.

I'd like to know when you're going to ask about the racial makeup of the McCain dinner parties. I highly dout that Straight Talk and the Pill Poppin' Piece-On-The-Side have 'potlucks'.
She’s not quite as smooth a political player as Barack: “Whenever Obama enters the room, there’s a sense of calm and satisfaction,” says a former campaign aide. “Michelle can get a little more tense. Before she goes on-camera for interviews, we’d have to give her a couple of minutes to compose herself. She’ll sit down, raise her hands over her head, and go, ‘Ugh, God!’ ” That’s a mask she’s wearing in public, most of the time, and we aren’t sure what is underneath. When she uttered her fateful words about how, for “the first time in my adult life, I’m really proud of my country,” she unleashed an explosion of emotion, because everyone who’s awake could read between the lines—she was angry about the treatment of black people in America. And anger will not do. Besides, what does she have to be angry about, with her Ivy education and Hyde Park mansion? Isn’t she herself an example of the fact that racism is over in America?

That’s a mask she’s wearing in public, most of the time, and we aren’t sure what is underneath.

Oh, and when you see the Pill Poppin' Piece-On-The-Side, she's pouring out her soul for all to see?

Uh huh.
“the first time in my adult life, I’m really proud of my country,” she unleashed an explosion of emotion, because everyone who’s awake could read between the lines—she was angry about the treatment of black people in America.

If you're Black, and you can think for yourself, please explain to me, what logical reason would you have to NOT be angry?

You don't even know that's what Michelle meant.

She could have meant, after watching Reagan, Bush 1, and the last 8 Years of The Constitution being torn asunder (Michelle is a lawyer, ya know); of seeing people be discouraged, and dismayed at what OUR country was turning into, with the Corporations stealing this nation blind, that maybe Michelle was blown away, by the grassroots activism that impressed the hell out of my cynical behind when I first went to Camp Obama.

MAYBE, it was that that made her REALLY proud in her adult life.

But, maybe you're right - she was channelling her inner Angela Davis.

And anger will not do.

No, I guess we're supposed to be happy as clams. After all, Pat Buchanan tells us we should be so happy about slavery-it brought us to America.

Besides, what does she have to be angry about, with her Ivy education and Hyde Park mansion? Isn’t she herself an example of the fact that racism is over in America?

Say it with me, people.... YOU UNGRATEFUL DARKIE, YOU!

I mean, Michelle couldn't have actually WORKED for anything she has. I mean, that would be too much like right.

Let me explain this to White people....it doesn't matter how much money you have..

YOU'RE STILL BLACK IN AMERICA.

Now, the more money you have, you get the creature comforts and luxuries.

But, YOU'RE STILL BLACK IN AMERICA.

" If you forget you're Black when you wake up, by 5 p.m. that day, someone would have reminded you." - MULTI-MILLIONAIRE Percy Sutton

Do you really think they're a financial level you attain, and suddenly, ' You're not Black' anymore? Now, I'm not saying that it doesn't happen with some folks thinking that they can tear up their Black cards (Michael Jackson, OJ, etc.), but invariably something happens to remind them.

YOU'RE STILL BLACK IN AMERICA.

The rest of this insulting piece of trash was just to get to this paragraph, because this IS the crux of the matter:


And nearly 70 percent of whites, according to a CBS/New York Times poll from last month, say that America is ready to elect a black president—in theory. But it seems that a lot of white Americans are wondering about what promised land, exactly, the Obamas are going to lead us to. Even if Obama is the kind of black politician that middle-American white voters can get behind, the secret fear is that he could be a black Trojan horse with all sorts of passengers like Wright—or onetime compadres Bernie Mac and Ludacris—peeping out from under the canvas. He could be ... Michelle. Or at least what Michelle represents: a smart, angry black person in the White House.

Barack Obama as TROJAN HORSE....

Barack Obama as Manchurian Candidate....

Sigh.

HE's alright...until you look at who he's married to.

Uh huh.

He could be ... Michelle. Or at least what Michelle represents: a smart, angry black person in the White House.

Oh my...a smart, angry Black person in the White House.

I asked in the comments, will someone show me the Angry Michelle. As someone who is a verified Michelle-A-Holic, I have to admit, that I've missed the Angry Michelle. Will someone point me in the direction of Angry Michelle?

I hear repeatedly from White folks about ' Angry Michelle', but all I see when I look at Michelle Obama, and when I read the interviews, and when I watch the speeches on C-Span and paid my own money to hear her is:

An educated, thoughtful, conscious woman who obviously loves her husband, children and country.

Sisters Gina and Nichelle summed it up well at Michelle Obama Watch:
The message from the article is that Black women are not suitable mates for successful Black men and you can’t trust him because he married HER.

Exactly. That is always the undercurrent in coverage of Michelle Obama. I guess the media is so used to seeing successful, educated Black men like Barack with women who are non-black or very light-skinned if they are Black. Historically, that has been the case so to see Barack with brown-skinned-clearly-black-not-mixed Michelle is making a lot of people lose their conservative AND liberal minds.

Good:)

The Obamas as Racial Rorschach Test, Version Number 29382983.

3 comments:

The Angry Independent said...

What is it with these New England magazines?

I couldn't stomach the whole article. And I couldn't determine the authors point in her focus on Michelle. Marrying a Black woman is framed as a regression for Barack.

And yet again, the undertone was.... Black = inherently defective.... Be afraid. Different also = defective.

This is another result of the fact that the media does not understand Black families in this Country who have reached a certain level. Instead of trying to get a genuine understanding of them.... writers, pundits and reporters let their myths and fantasies run out of control.

"She’s a type we’ve rarely seen in the public eye, a well-educated woman who is a dedicated mother, successful in her career, and happens to be black."

This is what we have discussed before... they don't know what to think about Michelle... so they speculate. Both Barack and Michelle seem so foreign to them that they don't know what to make of them. It's that "exotic" thing again.

Michelle and Barack don't fit into the stereotypical molds set by the media gatekeepers...and that makes a lot of folks upset.

Some of that is the fault of Blacks as well. That's what I am always complaining about regarding the need to improve the Black image in America. Blacks have been the victim of so much negative imagery (often at the hands of others of the same ethnic group) that many Americans expect these negative images to be internalized even by those who don't match the stereotypes. When they find something that is otherwise.... the particular Black person is seen as "strange". That's the same thing I ran into in high school... I was seen as abnormal because I actually wanted to study and get decent grades.

I guess the media is going to have their own narrow view of Black folks, no matter how much evidence that they find to the contrary. There are thousands of Obama families... but unfortunately America rarely sees them.

We have to blame BET too.... that's why I despise the network and have so many problems with the images coming from modern Black culture...

But even with all that...the message from this report seemed overly negative.

I'd like to know who put the author up to this article...

zinjanthropus said...

There's a coworker of mine named Pete. Pete's White and an avid hunter. He's a very good hunter as far as I can tell; judging by the remarks of lesser hunters and also judging by his increasingly frequent appearances in magazines with names like “Doe Monthly” and “American White Tail.” He does stuff like make glue out of deer pus and fabricating his own slugs that he loads himself. He’s got a long beard and mustache and wears mostly camouflage clothing.

Got the picture? Imagine our dear Black Snob being sent by Essence to cover his campaign. One can imagine how many redneck stereotypes she would perpetuate and the vast amount of assumptions she would make about good ole Pete. I can visualize sentences like. “His wife was NOT related to him before they wed” and “There was no visible porn in his library.”

It’s not Snob’s fault that she has no idea of how the average “outdoorsy” hunter type lives and what he believes in…or is it? Haven’t sportsman/ fisherman/ rural/ Libertarian NRA members been on television and run for office and written books? Aren’t there enough of those types of people in sitcoms, on talk radio, on trial and in publications for snob to have gotten at least a fleeting glimpse? Of course there are. If Ted Nugent became a serious presidential candidate, a major magazine would either;

1. Send another reporter or

2. Make sure Snob was sufficiently armed to do the job.

Well Snob would’ve been or she wouldn’t even have the damn job.

The writer of the offensive Obama piece employs good punctuation, decent grammar and concise prose. I can see, in her writing, an attempt at even handedness and impartiality. It’s just that she has no basis from which to comment. This is the true crime. That in this day, there are still people who have such limited views on American lives, and that they actually have jobs.

Who the flying fuck would hire a writer without enough knowledge about several “types” of Americans anyway? I could understand if they’re a specialist, knowledgeable about one discipline. But it’s not likely that any sane editor would send Jay-Z to do a piece on Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The Obamas are not that rare anyway. There are hundreds of Kenneth Chenault, Jessye Norman, Franklin Raines, Colin Powell or Wynton Marsalis types and many times more Cornell Wests, Henry Louis Gates(es?), not to mention the dozens of thousands of midlevel management types who, raise their children and pay their taxes and vacation a few times a year and possess PHD or master’s degrees.

This woman’s frame of reference is all backwards. No one taught her to flush her mind so she’s had to write through the shit that’s still there.

WTF? Indeed.

Anonymous said...

zinjanthropus,

Bravo my friend. You framed it perfectly.