Expressions of A Mad Black Woman

Sounding off on any and everything!

Racism In America: We Still Got It June 23, 2008

Filed under: Politics — ambie321 @ 2:30 pm
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Washington Post: 3 in 10 Americans Admit to Race Bias

According to this Washington Post article, published yesterday, 3 in 10 Americans admit to race bias. Key word..ADMIT. I’d be willing to argue that the number is considerably higher, but since when is it cool to admit that you have racist feelings?

I remember in high school, we took a trip the Museum of Tolerance, which pays tribute to the Holocaust victims and survivors. At one point during the tour, we were asked to pick a door to go through. One door had ‘Prejudiced’ plastered across the frame, the other said ‘Not Prejudiced.’ Naturally everyone (including me) headed for the ‘Not Prejudiced’ door, only to find that it was locked. Nobody could go through that door because, essentially, nobody is free from prejudice in some way, shape form or fashion.

This resonated with me because I realized at that point that no person is truly free from prejudiced or racist thoughts. Regardless of the intent behind it, I think we’ve all at least thought something rude when the Asian man cuts you off on the road, or when you’re trying to order food at McDonalds but your order gets jacked up because the person behind the window doesnt speak English.

Racism is still alive and kicking in America. Obama did an excellent job of explaining this during his speech in Philadelphia a few months ago, but unfortunately it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Racism is something that plagues our country, and despite how unpopular it has become to be openly racist, the sentiment is most definitely there. I find it interesting, but not surprising, that more people were not willing to admit it during the study referenced in this article. Maybe they all need to take a trip to the Museum of Tolerance and get the same rude awakening that I got.

Yes, I’ve had racist feelings. Yes, I’ve thought rude things about people of all races and ethnicities (including my own). Am I a racist? Absolutely not! But that doesn’t excuse me from buying into the stereotypes and negative feelings that American culture conditions us to embrace. The sooner my fellow Americans acknowledge and accept this painful fact, the sooner we will be able to get past the racial tensions that hold us back, and move on. The movie ‘Crash’ depicted it the best. Our subconscious prejudices direct our behavior more than we realize.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in this historical presidential election…



Michelle Obama: Not your ‘typical’ Black Woman June 18, 2008

Filed under: Politics — ambie321 @ 6:23 pm

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.

Read More here

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.