Check out this article in the New York Times today…
Michelle Obama Looks for a New Introduction
Michelle Obama’s eyes flicker tentatively even as she offers a trained smile. As her campaign plane arcs over the Flathead Range in Montana, she is asked to consider her complicated public image.
Conservative columnists accuse her of being unpatriotic and say she simmers with undigested racial anger. A blogger who supported Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton circulates unfounded claims that Mrs. Obama gave an accusatory speech in her church about the sins of “whitey.” Mrs. Obama shakes her head.
“You are amazed sometimes at how deep the lies can be,” she says in an interview. Referring to a character in a 1970s sitcom, she adds: “I mean, ‘whitey’? That’s something that George Jefferson would say. Anyone who says that doesn’t know me. They don’t know the life I’ve lived. They don’t know anything about me.”
Now her husband’s presidential campaign is giving her image a subtle makeover, with a new speech in the works to emphasize her humble roots and a tough new chief of staff.
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I guess I’m confused about how and WHY Michelle Obama needs an image makeover. In my opinion, Michelle Obama is an excellent role model for young women to aspire. Definitely the type of black woman I’d like to see sitting in the white house: educated, sophisticated, driven and passionate. So often we see these caricatures of what a black woman is supposed to be like…and the media often glamorizes that false image. I think what really pissed me off was this statement, made surprisingly by one of Michelle’s close friends:
It’s such uncharted waters,” said Verna Williams, a Harvard classmate and friend. “In a sound-bite era, where you have to come with a quick and dirty take, she doesn’t fit what it means to be an African-American woman.
Ok…so what exactly does it mean to be an African-American woman????? Can an African-American woman not be Harvard educated? Is she not well poised, well spoken, well dressed? Does her ass have to be hanging out in order for ‘whitey’ to accept her?
Ok so the whitey thing was way harsh…and might I add that entire rumor is laughable. Nobody I know even uses that term, so I’m fairly certain that Michelle never used it. Its just a prime example of some of the challenges that Barack and Michelle are going to run into in this race. This is the most sophisticated example of an African-American couple that society has ever seen, and I guess its just too big of a pill for some people to swallow. An educated black woman? No way! Cant be! So lets attack her for being ‘too black’ and try to create an image out of her that, frankly, I just dont see.
I dont know…I guess I’d just be interested to hear some perspectives on what her friend meant by not fitting the mold of an African American woman.