Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Michelle Obama: The Angry Black Woman?

Michelle Obama is in the middle of controversy after recent remarks made during a speech in support of her husband, Senator Barack Obama. Conservative publications and some liberals have attacked Mrs. Obama after hearing her remarks.

Speaking at a rally in Milwaukee, Michelle Obama, said, "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change."

Considered a strong role model for black women (and all women everywhere), Michelle Obama has been called unpatriotic and selfish by many conservatives.

Sasha Issenberg of The Boston Globe said, "So what did Michelle Obama think of the United States before her husband decided he wanted to run the place?"

Mickey Kaus at Slate.com said that Michelle Obama "seems to have a non-trivial chip on her shoulder and it's not a winning quality."

Jim Geraghty at The Campaign Spot, a conservative publication called the Michelle Obama remark "strikingly ungracious."

Jonathon Last at The Conservative Weekly said, "Do these comments provide a glimpse of her general political worldview--one that is surprisingly critical of America for the wife of a presidential candidate? Or do they suggest a certain narcissism about the Obamas and their view of themselves? Or both?"

The comments by conservatives strike a tough chord with those who support Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama has been called "my rock" by her husband, and is considered to be one of the strongest potential first ladies in American History. However, to manage the controversy, the Obama campaign issued a statement in response to Michelle Obama's remarks.

"Of course Michelle is proud of her country, which is why she and Barack talk constantly about how their story wouldn’t be possible in any other nation on Earth. What she meant is that she’s really proud at this moment because for the first time in a long time, thousands of Americans who’ve never participated in politics before are coming out in record numbers to build a grassroots movement for change."

Many are concerned that Michelle Obama's "realness" as a black woman can be a liability, especially in an historically racist country such as The United States. Stereotypical images of black women as being angry, defensive and mean toward others show themselves in the reactions of conservatives and even liberal whites.

Senator Obama has been able to dodge the stigma of "the angry black male" primarily because he has shown enough diplomacy and soft talk to make whites comfortable. However, the honesty of Michelle Obama, who reflects the sentiments of millions of Americans, does not match the polite, all-accepting disposition typically taken by the First Lady.


Anonymous said...

She needs to chill out on her "ghetto mouth." He's running for President. She's supposed to make him look good. This is important; it's not like she can act like the typical black woman pissed off about her Church's Fried Chicken order, you know. This is the presidency we're talking about, not food stamps.

Anonymous said...