Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

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RIP Ben Bradlee

RIP Ben Bradlee
One of our nation's best.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ann Romney: Angry White Woman?

Imagine if Michelle Obama had said anything remotely similar to this:

"[It's] getting harder and harder to be cheerful…. I am so mad at the press [that] I could just strangle them! And, you know, I think I’ve decided there are going to be some people invited on the bus and some people just aren’t going to be invited on the bus."

"I am so mad...I could just strangle them!"


So, where are the rightwingers on this?  Why haven't they spilled gallons of ink and taken up miles of bandwidth in analyzing this ANGRY WHITE WOMAN's outburst--this angry white woman who could possibly occupy the White House?

I challenge anyone reading this to find a quote by Michelle Obama saying, in a fit of rage, that she "could just strangle them!"

You won't, and you won't hear any rightwing blogger bothering about Mrs. Romney's threatening and angry remarks because that type of outburst, to them, is applicable only to their "scarey black person narrative.

When a white woman/man engages in that sort of rhetoric, it's merely righteous anger and not threatening anyone.

We all know what is behind this sort of racial bias, and we all understand why the bigots in the GOP--especially bigoted bloggers engage in it.

Blogger, Angry Black Woman, explains:

As Mother Jones’s Adam Serwer rightly pointed out on Twitter today: Imagine what would happen if Michelle Obama had said anything even remotely similar, adding:
You know, for such an angry black woman, I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard Michelle Obama talk about strangling anyone.
But she does like to encourage kids to exercise, and we all know that’s straight-up Kenyan Communism, mirite?!!1!?

Exactly.

Kathleen Parker writing for the WaPo:

"...Fox News' Sean Hannity asked his show's panel if they knew any "prominent" person who used those words ["angry black woman"]. The panelists, who clearly didn't want to say anything critical of the first lady, couldn't produce a name. Indeed, it may be that this trope has evolved from the swamp of the blogosphere, where anonymous trolls say despicable things from the cowardly comfort of their subterranean wormholes. Comment threads on right-wing blogs frequently feature hateful, racist remarks about the first lady. They don't deserve a pica of my column space, but suffice to say, they need no translation.

Meanwhile, what isn't said explicitly by prominent people is often implied. Attempting to prod his guests into saying something negative about Mrs. Obama, Hannity pulled out the old clip of Michelle saying that she was proud of her country for the first time when her husband was running for the Democratic Party's nomination. This has been played and replayed thousands of times and presented as evidence that Mrs.Obama doesn't really love her country, that she wasn't proud of it until her husband was running for president.

So what.

These perhaps were not the best words for a future first lady, but I have no trouble understanding how she felt in that moment. It may be easy for fortunate whites to say they've always been proud of America, though they're probably lying. It is less easy for someone whose ancestors were slaves, and whose own parents remember when blacks couldn't vote and were lynched for trying in some parts of the country. Given that history, one can forgive a few ill-chosen words uttered in an emotional moment.

But no. Michelle Obama has been paying for her remarks ever since. If she isn't smiling at the camera or looking riveted by every instant of her public life, she's an angry woman.

Despite the pain these critiques cause Obama and other African-American women who identify with her, I do believe that these feelings are not particularly widespread. Most see the first lady as she is: a beautiful, gracious, intelligent, elegant, devoted wife and mother of whom we can be proud.

Those who insult her insult us all and, yes, we should be angry."

16 comments:

dmarks said...

I don't see the point in bashing her for her skin color.

Shaw Kenawe said...

dmarks, I know you don't. So let's just leave it at that. mkay?

dmarks said...

Actually, you did right from the start. Sorry, I know it.

dmarks said...

"Given that history, one can forgive a few ill-chosen words uttered in an emotional moment."

And I don't believe in giving someone a free pass on such things due to their skin color. That's quite plainly racist. It doesn't matter one bit someone's skin color if they say the "proud of my country" line.

Shaw Kenawe said...

dmarks, you just DO NOT understand the meaning of this post.

Kathleen Parker rightly points out that Michelle Obama said, in an emotional state, that for the "first time in my ADULT life I'm proud of my country."

And was labeled an "angry black woman" because of that.

Ann Romney actually uses the words "mad" and "strangle" to describe her anger, and no one is labeling her.

If you don't understand what could have informed Mrs. Obama's emotional statement, then I can't help you, but go back and read what Kathleen Parker wrote, maybe her words can.

Your obsessing only on giving someone [Mrs. Obama?] a pass on her "proud" comment is not the point of this post.

It's the labeling. One woman {an African-American] gets the "angry" label attached to her; the other [a white woman] says something truly angry, and is tefloned.

What do you suppose makes that true?

dmarks said...

"And was labeled an "angry black woman" because of that."

It's telling then, when you google such words as

michelle obama scary black woman

almost all of the results are this meme bouncing back and forth in an echo chamber that is entirely on the left side. A meme that might even trace back to a statement by the First Lady herself, instead of some right-wing blog.

"If you don't understand what could have informed Mrs. Obama's emotional statement."

Sorry, I am not a racist. I don't give her a special pass for her gaffe. There's nothing good that can inform such an unfortunate statement.

"What do you suppose makes that true?"

What makes it true that First Lady Hillary Clinton got mocked and bashed and derided on a level comparable to First Lady Michelle Obama... and she was white? And black woman Condoleezza Rice, at one time more powerful than any First Lady, while criticized, got off relatively scott-free?

Or what makes it true that candidate John Kerry's wife, a white woman, was constantly raked over the coals for many reasons (few of them valid, IMHO), as badly as Candidate Obama's wife?

Sorry, reality produces so many major examples to blow skin color generalizations, on this subject anyway, out of the water.

And do you honestly think that the criticism of Michelle Obama would not exist, if she were white? Yeah, just ask former first lady Hillary about that one. Sorry, it's not that simple.

Shaw Kenawe said...

dmarks: "Sorry, I am not a racist. I don't give her a special pass for her gaffe. There's nothing good that can inform such an unfortunate statement.


That, my friend, is excruciatingly racist. For you to think there is nothing in Mrs. Obama's family's history to inform that remark is evidence of white privilege. In your contorted effort to say you are "not a racist," you have, IMO, shown your tendency to racism by ignoring the suffering and humiliation endured by American citizens for centuries in this country because of the color of their skin.

By pretending this is not still in play, you trivialize that past and suggest all experiences by all Americans are equal.

Mrs. Obama's childhood was very different from Ann Romney's privileged childhood. Their experiences are not the same, nor would anyone send around a cartoon of Mrs. Romney looking like an ape.


Mrs. Clinton was never attacked because she is a blonde white woman. Mrs. Obama has been and still is, with unrelenting references to her "gorilla" looks and large butt.

Condoleeza Rice, IIRC, was criticized as being a plantation A.A., as was Colin Powell. Both were scurrilous labels and I rejected them then and I do now, completely.

dmarks: "You think that the criticism of Michelle Obama would not exist, if she were white? Yeah, just ask former first lady Hillary about that one. Sorry, it's not that simple."


Wrong. Hillary Clinton was never attacked on account of her race.

As you said, google the term "angry black woman" and you'll come up with millions of hits on Michelle Obama--"angry black woman" is a disgusting stereotype that white privileged men and women place on women of color who speak their minds openly and with conviction.

Hillary Clinton, and Condoleeza Rice, to the best of my knowledge, were never labeled as such when they gave their forceful, and sometimes deservedly angry, statements.

dmarks said...

"That, my friend, is excruciatingly racist. For you to think there is nothing in Mrs. Obama's family's history to inform that remark is evidence of white privilege."

No, it is just recognition that someone's skin color does not give them a special right to make a lousy gaffe.

"Wrong. Hillary Clinton was never attacked on account of her race."

Of course, only the criticism of Michelle Obama that is based on race is racist. The problem is when you go out on a limb and shield her from any criticism in a special way just because she is black.

""angry black woman" is a disgusting stereotype that white privileged men and women place on women of color who speak their minds openly and with conviction."

Again with the colored people.... But anyway.

Did you go and Google this? Did you see how the links mentioning this term and using it came from the Left? I wonder how far you have to dig before you find conservatives calling her one.

Dining Room Table said...

Shaw, give up arguing with dmarks.

dmarks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
billy pilgrim said...

i don't have much sympathy for people with 250 million bucks.

i know they're job creators and i owe them a lot but i'm just a petulant child at times.

Infidel753 said...

Shaw -- good comments by you on the Jo-Joe Politico thread. The ones I saw, anyway. I didn't have the stomach to continue past the surfacing of the Michelle=gorilla comparison, which I've seen these types use before.

If the righties can't see why that's flamingly racist, while simply asking why a white politician's wife isn't held to the same standard as a black one isn't racist at all, well, there's not much point in arguing with them.

While clearly many conservatives are not racist, there is just as obviously an utterly disgusting undercurrent there that's worse than I would ever have imagined before 2009. I've posted some examples myself. Santorum would have shown some real humanity if he'd chosen that, rather than Kennedy's respect for the Constitution, as the thing he said made him want to vomit.

Leslie Parsley said...

Oh my God. Is dmarks still proclaiming he's not a racist? Me thinks he does protest too much.

Billy: You crack me up. I like it when you're petulant. : )

Thanks for the Parker piece. She is one of the few conservative columnists for whom I have any respect these days. She's sharp and articulate. "These perhaps were not the best words for a future first lady, but I have no trouble understanding how she felt in that moment. It may be easy for fortunate whites to say they've always been proud of America, though they're probably lying. It is less easy for someone whose ancestors were slaves, and whose own parents remember when blacks couldn't vote and were lynched for trying in some parts of the country. Given that history, one can forgive a few ill-chosen words uttered in an emotional moment." Right on. And it's time you did likewise, dmarks. Good Lord.

Rational Nation USA said...

While dmarks makes rational comments here is how I see it in my limited scope.

Michele Obama was simply saying that see was proud of America because Americans (generically as a people) have finally recognized the capabilities of African Americans.

It is not necessarily unnatural that one who's ancestors were slave might make this comment.

While the comment was ill advised for a women of her intellect it is time to put it down and move on. NEVER LOOKING BACK.

Shaw Kenawe said...

DRT, funny.

billy, you're welcome to be petulant here anytime.

Infidel753, I think what happens to dmarks is that when I point the finger at racism vis-a-vis Obama, dmarks gets hung up on staring at the finger.

Leslie, it is so discouraging to see this continuing. Just look at my latest post above this one.

RN-USA, the conservatives will never let it go, because they have so little else to go on.

dmarks said...

Leslie: Of course. There's no evidence of it.

Infidel: ". I didn't have the stomach to continue past the surfacing of the Michelle=gorilla "

I agree that is horribly racist, and if I find it in blogs, I let them know what I think of it.

Calling Michelle an "Angry Black Woman" is racist also. But who did this? As I said, if you Google this and related phrases, all you find is quotations FROM Michelle Obama and discussions of this from the Left. Is this a smear Limbaugh, Breitbart or others actually used against the First Ladyt?