Michelle Obama said depictions of friction in a new book, "The Obamas," between her and former top aides to her husband, President Obama, aren't true.And this is just one of the reasons why I admire this woman as much as I do. From nearly the day it looked as if her husband had a shot at winning the presidency, the opposition went all in on Michelle Obama like she owed them money. Almost immediately, the "angry black woman" meme began to rear it's ugly head, and of course, the media jumped on it with an almost maniacal glee. Respected news sources began to repeat it like it was gospel, and blogs and magazines alike seemed to go out of their way to print or post the angriest, most unflattering pictures of her they could find. She's been putting up with this stereotypical BS for over four years now, and even in the act of refuting this nonsense, she keeps it classy.
In a wide-ranging interview with "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King, the first lady also said that some have tried to portray her as an "angry black woman" since Mr. Obama first announced he was seeking the presidency.
" ... I guess it's more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here and a strong woman and-- you know? But that's been an image that people have tried to paint of me since the day Barack announced, that I'm some angry black woman."
"The Obamas," written by New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor, reports that there was tension with former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and with former presidential Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
But Mrs. Obama told King that simply wasn't so. (CBS News)
Of course, it took no time at all for the people who played the race card to accuse her of playing the race card. It always facinates me that these people say all sorts of vile, hurtful things about black women, but we're not supposed to react with anything other than a smile and a cheerful, "Please sir, can I have some more?"
Like many black women, I've been called "angry" for simply (and calmly) stating my opinion, not allowing people to disrespect me in the workplace, or for getting upset over something that any normal person with a heartbeat would find distressing. I've spent far too many hours of my life defending myself against this stereotype with various unpleasant results (getting tattled on by co-workers, enduring meetings with managers, suffering through "well-meaning" lectures from supervisors), but at least I could essentially tell people to kiss my natural black ass and keep it moving.
Unfortunately for the First Lady, she doesn't have the luxury of going off the way I'm sure that she'd like to. She's in the biggest spotlight in the world, and I'm sure that she knows that the haters are looking for something, anything, to substantiate their claims (because right now, these folks are just making crap up and they know it).
Intellectually, I know what the haters are trying to do and I know why they're doing it, but it still makes me see red. I think it's fair to say that Michelle Obama is one of the most admired First Ladies that we've ever had, and she has done nothing to deserve this irrational, racially-coded derision.
I'm going to leave on a high note however, because really...I don't think Ankh could have summed up the First Lady's life any better than this:
Michelle Obama is the ultimate hater-magnet. And no matter what broadside is leveled at her, she goes home to her mansion, looks at all her millions, her world-class wardrobe, and her gorgeous husband.Why, yes...yes, it does.
God, that must sting for some people.
That's what makes this whole thing so damn fun.