Thursday, May 7, 2009

Michelle Hits Her Stride

By Janet Crain

Michelle Obama said; " I hope that Sojourner Truth would be proud to see me, a descendant of slaves, serving as the first lady of the United States of America." Well, at least she is a descendant of slaves because Obama sure isn't the descendant of any African slaves held in America.

In truth we are all the descendants of slaves. I can assure you if you have any Native American blood you descend (if not directly then collaterally) from slaves. And they were held in legal bondage by European settlers. Additionally you have ancestors (if not directly then collaterally) who were indentured servants and they were held in legal bondage, some for life by persons with enough money to buy their indenture cheaply and work them to death in many cases.Many did not voluntarily enter into these contracts, but were kidnapped "kidnabbed" by thugs who sold them to ship captains, who resold them to the highest bidder in the Colonies.

Before that many were held in legal bondage as serfs in Europe and other countries. They were forbidden to leave the estate they were born on and eventually died on. They worked for a hovel to live in, rags to wear and swill to eat. No salary. The Vikings kidnapped slaves from Ireland and the coast of England for a very long time. The word slave comes from Slav, blond European people, often enslaved and sold to the Middle East.

So having ancestors as slaves is not unique, nor does it give you any special cred. It is sad and unfortunate your ancestor had to suffer but you didn't. So I am appalled that the First Lady is behaving in such a prejudiced manner in her invitations to the White House, as described in Newsweek's "Michelle Hits Her Stride".

References to the slavery of indentured servants and Native Americans.

Indian Slavery in Colonial Time


From Newsweek:

The first lady's diverse approach to diversity.

There have been plenty of un-veiling ceremonies for new statues at the U.S. Capitol. But when Michelle Obama peeled the cover off the bronze bust of abolitionist Sojourner Truth last week, the moment was heavy with symbolism. Truth is the first African-American woman to be honored with a statue in the Capitol. In a way no first lady before her ever could have done, Obama connected the dots between herself and the black feminist pioneer. "Now many young boys and girls like my own daughters will come to Emancipation Hall and see the face of a woman who looks like them," she told the gathering. "I hope that Sojourner Truth would be proud to see me, a descendant of slaves, serving as the first lady of the United States of America."

It was just the kind of scene I'd been hoping for when Barack Obama won the presidency last fall. I knew that Michelle Obama was already changing the way we see ourselves as African-American women. But I also hoped she would begin to knock down ugly stereotypes and educate people about American black culture. What's remarkable now—just over that much-hyped 100-day mark—is how quickly and decisively Michelle has taken on the issues that matter most to us.

From the start, Michelle never shied away from being an African-American role model. "I think it's clear that Michelle Obama is very comfortable in her own skin,'' says Debbie Walsh, director of the Center of American Women in Politics at Rutgers University. "She's not sending a message that I'm the first lady who just happens to be African-American. She's saying I'm an African-American first lady. There is a difference, and she's not afraid to show that.''

One place that difference is already showing up: the White House guest list. When Michelle held a daylong program for Women's History Month in March, white celebs Sheryl Crow and Fran Drescher were among the invited "role models." But "I would say that 80 percent of the women role models were African-American," says Debra Lee, chairman and CEO of BET Holdings, who was asked to speak. "And that was just amazing to be a part of because these women are just not given that type of recognition enough."

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© Janet Crain

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keyboard.jockey said...

So the message of the guest list Michelle Obama is the first lady of 13% of the population? Not everyone's first lady?

That's really not special, that's spiteful.

History Chasers said...

Don't expewct an invite unless you're Sheryl Crow or Fran Drescher. Remember Sheryl Crow, touring with Larry David's wife all Summer touting Al Gore's nutty theories. One of the things they advocated was to use ONE piece of toilet paper to wipe with. I hate to think of her even sitting in the historical chairs at the White House.

keyboard.jockey said...


Sheryl Crow got paid a whole lot of money from one of those companies we bailed out with taxpayer money. Tarp money went to hire the likes of Sheryl Crow to perform that wasn't the point of the TARP. I remember Imus was really down on her and Larry David's wife. Phonies- Phony as the day is long. Liberal because that's the brand to be in Hollywood.

keyboard.jockey said...

Why does it seem that no one notices that this trivializes the issue in the first place? A superficial treatment of a subject, that appears few really know anything about.

But the photo op is what depicting an Earth Mother? Give me a break.