Ego and Ambition: Privileges That Only White Men Are Allowed To Enjoy (Recycled Meme Edition)

by matttbastard

Shorter George Will:

“Uppity. N*gger.”

Yeah, um, 2008 called — it wants its racist dogwhistle back. For fuck’s sakes, George, put down the thesarus, stop wasting our time and Katharine Weymouth’s money and just say what you *really* mean. Oh, and you can choke on that goddamn bow-tie, too (sorry, MHL — your uncle is still tres cool).

Background:

Race Bait and Dogwhistles

Arrogant: The New Uppity

Ego and Ambition 1

Ego and Ambition 2

Ego and Ambition 3

Ego and Ambition 4

(image originally uploaded by Barack Obama, posted under a Creative Commons license.)

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Ego and Ambition: Privileges That Only White Men Are Allowed To Enjoy (Georgia, Sweet Georgia)

by matttbastard

Shorter Verbatim Lynn Westmoreland:

“Just from what little I’ve seen of [Michelle] and Mr. Obama, Sen. Obama, they’re a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they’re uppity… . Uppity, yeah.”

Thank you, Rep. Westmoreland (R, GA), for saying what you really mean.

Previously:

Race Bait and Dogwhistles

Arrogant: The New Uppity

Ego and Ambition 1

Ego and Ambition 2

Ego and Ambition 3

Ego and Ambition 4

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On Misogyny, Racism, and the US MSM

by matttbastard

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said, in the course of covering the Obama candidacy, and I’m paraphrasing,
” He (Barack Obama) brings none of the ‘ bad stuff’, you know?”

By ‘Bad Stuff’, he meant the legacy of enslaving Africans in this country and then keeping them as second-class citizens until 1965, a mere 11 years before this country celebrated its 200th anniversary. So, for 189 years from its official founding as a country, and tack on another 150 years pre-Revolutionary War, and you’ve got the ‘ Bad Stuff’ done to people of African descent. You know, ‘the original sin’, or ‘ the birth defect’, as Condi Rice called it.

But, guess what…..despite being ‘ oh so smart’ by supporting Barack Obama, the ‘Bad Stuff’ smacked White America in the face.

First, with the revelation that his White Side was still involved in ‘the bad stuff’ (slavery), only as SLAVEOWNERS.

I had a good chuckle on that.

But, also, he comes home every chance he can, to ‘the bad stuff’.

To the ‘ Bad stuff’ wife and ‘ Bad stuff’ children he had with said wife.

And there it is: the 400 years of ‘ Bad stuff’, wrapped up in Michelle Obama.

When that came to me on the elliptical machine this morning, it all made sense.

Michelle Obama is a direct threat and lightening bolt against White Superiority.

Because, she’s Black…

VISIBLY BLACK…

But, does not, in any way, shape, or form, contour to the acceptable Black Pathologies that enable White Supremacy to sigh with relief.

– Rikyrah, Update: Michelle Obama As Racial Rorschach Test (h/t Michelle Obama Watch)

Thanks to Alberta: Get Rich or Die Trying for the video (by way of MOW)

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Invisibility and the ‘Double Burden’

by matttbastard

(image originally uploaded by My Hobo Soul, posted under a Creative Commons License)

Attorney Sophia A. Nelson on Michelle Obama and being an accomplished black woman in contemporary American society:

Sad to say, but what [Michelle] Obama has undergone, though it’s on a national stage and on a much more prominent scale, is nothing new to professional African American women. We endure this type of labeling all the time. We’re endlessly familiar with the problem Michelle Obama is confronting — being looked at, as black women, through a different lens from our white counterparts, who are portrayed as kinder, gentler souls who somehow deserve to be loved and valued more than we do. So many of us are hoping that Michelle — as an elegant and elusive combination of successful career woman, supportive wife and loving mother — can change that.

“Ain’t I a woman?” Sojourner Truth famously asked 157 years ago. Her ringing question, demanding why black women weren’t accorded the same privileges as their white counterparts, still sums up the African American woman’s dilemma today: How are we viewed as women, and where do we fit into American life?

“Thanks to the hip-hop industry,” one prominent black female journalist recently said to me, all black women are “deemed ‘sexually promiscuous video vixens’ not worthy of consideration. If other black women speak up, we’re considered angry black women who complain. This society can’t even see a woman like Michelle Obama. All it sees is a black woman and attaches stereotypes.

Black women have been mischaracterized and stereotyped since the days of slavery and minstrel shows. In more recent times, they’ve been portrayed onscreen and in popular culture as either sexually available bed wenches in such shows as the 2000 docudrama “Sally Hemings: An American Scandal,” ignorant and foolish servants such as Prissy from “Gone With the Wind” or ever-smiling housekeepers, workhorses who never complain and never tire, like the popular figure of Aunt Jemima.

Even in the 21st century, black women are still bombarded with media and Internet images that portray us as loud, aggressive, violent and often grossly obese and unattractive. Think of the movies “Norbit” or “Big Momma’s House,” or of the only two black female characters in “Enchanted,” an overweight, aggressive traffic cop and an angry divorcée amid all the white princesses.

On the other hand, when was the last time you saw a smart, accomplished black professional woman portrayed on mainstream television or in the movies? If Claire Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” comes to mind, remember that she left the scene 16 years ago.

The reality is that in just a generation, many black women — who were mostly domestics, schoolteachers or nurses in the post-slavery Jim Crow era — have become astronauts, corporate executives, doctors, lawyers, engineers and PhDs. You name it, and black women have achieved it. The most popular woman on daytime television is Oprah Winfrey. Condoleezza Rice is secretary of state.

And yet my generation of African American women — we’re called, in fact, the Claire Huxtable generation — hasn’t managed to become successfully integrated into American popular culture. We’re still looking for respect in the workplace, where, more than anything else, black women feel invisible. It’s a term that comes up again and again. “In my profession, white men mentor young whites on how to succeed,” a financial executive told me, but “they’re either indifferent to or dogmatically document the mistakes black women make. Their indifference is the worst, because it means we’re invisible.”

As they say, read the whole damn thing.

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Quote of the Day: Michelle Obama and the ‘Ultimate Outsiders’

by matttbastard

It’s interesting…how John McCain’s hotheaded ways are admired as part of his so-called maverick qualities, a willingness to follow his passions and go against the grain; it’s part of his essential Americanness. Michelle Obama’s candor, by contrast, is seen as entirely foreign and not a little threatening. Yes, he’s given more slack because he’s a man. (And yes, Teresa Heinz Kerry, another independent-minded presidential candidate’s wife, got similarly roughed up by the media in 2004.) But Michelle is given zero slack because she’s a woman and black. And let us never forget, in the bigger picture, black anger — or even just plain old dissatisfaction — always raises the specter of slavery and the unfinished business of social justice. In any context, to say nothing of a presidential election of historic proportions, such anger threatens a still widely accepted narrative of America as a good place, a fair place. Presidential elections are all about voters connecting emotionally to candidates, identifying with them, and Michelle is not making that connection happen as easily people would like. But her reasonable expectation that we see her reality, some of which is shaped by a difficult racial reality, is part of the paradigm shift that we are resisting like mad. In a discussion of what Obama’s candidacy could mean, NBC’s Chris Matthews lauded Barack but dispensed with American racial matters as “all that bad stuff in our history.” A recent New York Times profile, in distinguishing Michelle’s background from that of her husband, described her as being “a descendant of slaves” — as if that’s a unique fact rather than a collective one that applies to the vast majority of the millions of black Americans whose families have been here for hundreds of years. That slavery is even remarked on at all says much about how blacks are still viewed by their fellow Americans, even sympathetic ones, as the ultimate outsiders.

– Erin Aubry Kaplan, Who’s afraid of Michelle Obama

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Quote of the Day: Projection is Illuminating

by matttbastard

It looks as if the concerns that some people have about Mrs. Obama tell us less about her and more about them. Once again, we seem to have an abundance of paranoid white folks who see a black separatist lurking around every corner.

Even in elite corners. How did a corporate lawyer with degrees from Princeton and Harvard and a record of bringing together whites and blacks in her position as a hospital administrator get transformed, in the minds of some, into a black militant with a chip on her shoulder and a score to settle with white America?

[…]

What did the 44-year-old mother of two girls do to deserve the accusation, or at least the insinuation, that she’s anti-white? In the words of one of her friends and classmates at Harvard Law School, what she did was shatter the assumptions of many people about “what it means to be an African-American woman.” Here you have an accomplished, intelligent and outspoken black woman, and many Americans are at a loss about how to handle that combination. They’d rather try to destroy her than have to deal with her.

– Ruben Navarette, Michelle Obama’s Bad Rap

Related: Rupert Cornwall does his goddamndest to wrest the WOTD title from Justin Gimelstob with this straight-to-the-bottom-of-the-birdcage column from today’s Independent on how Michelle Obama is oh-so “prickly and resentful.” Well, I’m pretty sure she resents bogus racist/sexist ‘analysis’ from asshat pundits like Cornwall. Kate Harding and Michelle Obama Watch (h/t) have more on Cornwall’s crass idiocy.

Also see this Comment is free post from MOW founder Gina McCauley on the inevitable Stepford rebranding of Michelle Obama.

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