During a commencement speech at Tuskegee University on Saturday, Michelle Obama spoke openly about what is was like being a black woman during the 2008 presidential campaign, and empathized with the black students in the audience who have no doubt been subjected to discrimination in their everyday lives.
As potentially the first African-American first lady, I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations, conversations sometimes rooted in the fears and misperceptions of others…Was I too loud or too emasculating? Or was I too soft? Too much of a mom and not enough of a career woman?
She went on:
We’ve both felt the sting of those daily slights throughout our entire lives. The folks who crossed the street in fear of their safety, the clerks who kept a close eye on us in all those department stores. The people at formal events who assumed we were the help…and those who have questioned our intelligence, our honesty, even our love of this country, and I know that these little indignities are obviously nothing compared to what folks across the country are dealing with every single day. Those nagging worries about whether you’re going to get stopped or pulled over for absolutely no reason. The fear that your job application will be overlooked because of the way your name sounds.
It is a well known fact that upper middle class white people are experts on what it is like to be black in America, and actually know more about it than black people. So almost immediately after the First Lady’s speech the right wing media leapt into action to correct Michelle Obama’s misconceptions about what it is like to be an African American. Here was Eric Owens at The Daily Caller
Globetrotting, Ivy League-educated, Marchesa gown-wearing first lady Michelle Obama’s commencement address at Tuskegee University on Saturday described the trials and tribulations she believes she has faced as the first black first lady in American history.
The intense media scrutiny, occasional critical and disparaging remarks — it’s all too much and she said it has led to sleepless nights either in the White House or in posh, five-star hotels where she and her retinue stay, according to The Hill.
Known race expert and very white person Laura Ingraham also chimed in with the following insight:
Race certainly kept her out of the wonderful Chicago whiteshoe law firm known as Sidley & Austin. The woman has struggled.
And Rush Limbaugh, Florida’s finest radio sociologist claimed that white support during the Presidential election meant that there was no such thing as racism:
Michelle Obama is on a roll, she is playing the race card, she is doubling down on it…to think of the opportunity this couple had, look at the hope that was invested in them throughout the election, look at how many well intentioned, otherwise fine citizens, look at how many white people voted for this couple.
Finally Sean Hannity, a well known psychologist specializing in the black psyche stated that Obama’s recent speech was:
A culmination of anger, deep rooted anger, that has built up in Michelle Obama…It’s kind of sad. There’s a bitterness here to the whole experience of being first lady, a lack of appreciation for the opportunities that they’ve had.
(h/t Media Matters)
Thank God for wealthy right wing white people and their brilliant insights! How would future generations understand black life in America without them?
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.