The president and first lady gave an interview to People magazine in which they shared some of their experiences with racism, both overt and subtle. Judging from the reaction of the right wing, you’d think they came out dressed as Malcolm X and shouted “death to whitey!” rather than giving a few examples of implicit racism.
“I think people forget that we’ve lived in the White House for six years,” the first lady told PEOPLE, laughing wryly, along with her husband, at the assumption that the first family has been largely insulated from coming face-to-face with racism.
“Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs,” Mrs. Obama said in the Dec. 10 interview appearing in the new issue of PEOPLE…
“There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys,” said the president, adding that, yes, it had happened to him.
Mrs. Obama recalled another incident: “He was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee.”
Things have gotten better, both Obamas agreed, but there’s still more progress to be made.
“The small irritations or indignities that we experience are nothing compared to what a previous generation experienced,” President Obama said.
Naturally, his totally-not-racist enemies are flipping out over it. Look at the comments at this conservative website, like this one from Herman:
The “funny” part?
The Obama’s have succeeded because of their race. (Michelle Obama at Harvard Law School? Please)
Not in spite of it.
They are truly disgusting people.
Is there some reason why it would be surprising that Michelle Obama graduated from Harvard Law? She graduated high school as the salutatorian and was a member of the National Honor Society. She was a Princeton undergrad, which is certainly a feeder school for Harvard Law, and she graduated cum laude. She was by all accounts an excellent student. Wanna take any bets on whether Herman could get into Princeton and Harvard? But she’s black, you see, so she must not have earned it. Black people never earn anything, dontchaknow.
The right wing blosophere is alive with accusations of “playing the race card” and “race-baiting” and “using race to divide America.” These people really do want to believe, and want others to believe, that there is no racism in America other than those ungrateful dark-skinned people who won’t just shut up and pretend it’s all a meritocracy. As usual, they’re completely out of touch with reality.
Study after study after study shows that race is still a huge factor in how we evaluate people. When two people apply for the same position, try to rent an apartment or try to get a loan, even if their qualifications are absolutely identical, the black person is far less likely to be given the opportunity. But those facts are inconvenient, so they pretend they don’t exist and scream about reverse racism in order to cover up their own ignorance and racism.