“he could get it” i say about men who aren’t even close to wanting it
It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.
“First Lady Michelle Obama is known for her incredible intelligence, grace under pressure, and her charming amiability. As a result, she is one of the most popular political figures in the country. And quite honestly, she has to be; as the first black First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama must navigate a dual terrain of sexist and racist stereotypes and bigotry with a friendly, open, and non-confrontational demeanor. But after she confronted a heckler during her speech at a Democratic fundraiser on Tuesday night, the response revealed what feminist and anti-racist activists have known all along: Michelle Obama cannot win, and it is because she is a black woman.
The crowd responded with support for the First Lady while Sturtz was escorted out. And that’s where, if the First Lady was a white woman, the incident would have likely ended. But of course, Michelle Obama is not a white woman.
When interviewed after being escorted out of the fundraiser, Sturtz said of the First Lady, “She came right down in my face. I was taken aback.” Interesting. Sturtz assumed that because the First Lady is supposed to be the embodiment of grace and cool, that she should stand at her lectern and silently endure what she felt was blatant disrespect. Instead, Michelle Obama decided that she had had enough and instead of shouting from across the room, spoke to Sturtz face-to-face and demanded respect. I can’t help but think that if Hillary Clinton or Laura Bush had done the same, that we would all be nodding our heads in support of the First Lady defining how she wishes to be treated.
Notice the language Sturtz uses to describe the encounter. Rutgers Anthropology Ph.D student Donna Auston emphasizes that Sturtz’s word choice of “taken aback” is one of distinct privilege; Sturtz sees herself as above reproach in this situation. As Auston inquires, why was Sturtz surprised at Obama’s response? “Is it because you did not expect her to exercise agency? Did you not expect her to assert that she is your equal?” Auston asks. Either black women are supposed to tacitly accept maltreatment and disrespect, or when they do exercise their agency, they are branded as the “Angry Black Woman.”
The choice of words Sturtz employed indicate that she has cast the First Lady as the aggressor who over-zealously responded to reason with anger. And once you label a black woman as “angry,” you have, in essence, invalidated any response, no matter how justified or rational it may be. You can silence any challenge or dissenting thought from a black woman by even remotely alluding to this offensive stereotype. Writer and creator of This Week in Blackness’ “Angry Black Lady Chronicles” Imani Gandy perfectly emphasizes this point: “Anytime [black women] speak up, not even to just defend ourselves, but just to say anything, all of a sudden it’s ‘Why are you so angry?’”
The response has revealed the troubling reality that if you’re a strong, independent, educated, empowered black woman, you are held to a different standard. Everyone from New York Timescolumnist Nicholas Kristof to recent heckler of President Barack Obama and co-founder of Code Pink Medea Benjamin tweeted their disapproval at Michelle Obama’s response, criticizing the First Lady for her “lack of “diplomacy” and snidely labeling it as “not her finest moment.” These comments criticize both Michelle Obama’s intelligence and rationality. As feminist media activist Jamia Wilson tweeted, to attack a woman of color’s communication skills “is old hat & reiterates damaging stereotypes.” Kristof and Benjamin are brazenly perpetuating those stereotypes in their responses.
If you make the choice to heckle a speaker, fine. But to interrupt a speech by the First Lady of the United States and then, when she confronts you, claim you feel threatened, is a fairly inane reaction. The First Lady is a person, like any of us, and she has the right to determine the way she is treated. She has the right to speak in her own defense, just as you have the right to speak in yours. And she should not be caricatured, lectured, and demonized as hyper-aggressive or overly sensitive, phrases that we are so quick to call out when directed at white women, for defending herself and setting boundaries.
I’m sure that Michelle Obama is reminded of her identity as a black woman daily, and as this response has shown, in ways that reify that identity as less-than. She has previously dealt with the racist, sexist mischaracterization of the “Angry Black Woman,” and this instance most certainly will not be her last. The fact remains that if you are a black woman in the United States, your actions, words, tone, appearance, characteristics, personal associations, etc., are subject to intense scrutiny and perpetual chastisement. Black women cannot defend themselves or express normal human emotions without expecting and receiving the sad reflection of our racist, patriarchal societal norms in return.
At the end of the American day, black women just cannot win.
This is my fifteen year old sister, Hannah. She has a cyst on her pineal gland, which is in the middle of her brain. (From what I understand, a cyst is like a tumor but filled with liquid.) We’ve known about it for about two years, and it constantly gives her horrific headaches, that can last weeks. Her vision is getting very bad because of it too, and so is her quality of life, she’s started fainting and had a couple seizures recently. Just last week we had a Skype conference with one of the two neurosurgeons, in the world, who would potentially perform the surgery to remove it. (A lot of people have trouble getting this surgery approved, but because Hannah’s is one of the largest cysts in one of the youngest patients, it was approved.) Praise God. The surgery will take place in June, but only if we can pay the $50,000. We really need help raising this money.
This is the link to the fundraising site.
Any amount helps.
Please keep her in your prayers.
Seriously guys, get on this. If my followers alone donated a dollar each it would make a huge difference. Please, you don’t know what this means to me, or Hannah, Natalie and Timmy for that matter.
Even if you can’t donate, reblogging helps too.
My mom has this. I am terribly sorry and will reblog whenever I can
I gave what I could, but I’ll give a signal boost too!ߌ0ߌ0ߌ0ߌ0ߓᰟӡߓᰟӡ
Philadelphia: High school students walk out of class and march to City Hall to protest severe budget cuts and planned school closings, May 9, 2013.
The budget cuts are absolutely horrific. Here are some of the proposed changes:
- Schools with more than 1,000 students would no longer be required to have librarians or librarian assistants.
- Schools would no longer be required to have counselors, and counselors’ caseloads would no longer be capped.
- Teachers could be assigned to unlimited classes outside their subject area, and high school teachers could be assigned an extra class without pay. There would be no limit on amount of consecutive time taught in a school day.
- There would be no limit on class size
- The district would no longer be required to provide copy machines, or “a sufficient number of instructional materials and textbooks.”
- Counselors would no longer be guaranteed to have rooms with privacy and confidentiality, a telephone, a locked filing cabinet and a door.
There’s more here.
Again, every time I see stuff about this, I’m like “We shouldn’t be calling him ‘Mayor Nutter’ come on guys we’re better than that” and then I realize, again, that it’s his real name. Um, but for real. These budget cuts are downright cruel.
“The last eight years of my life have been the happiest, best eight years of my life- best time ever. You make me so happy. You’re amazing. I love you. Happy birthday.”
WHY CAN’T STUFF LIKE THIS GO VIRAL? Morehouse Whiz Kid is Causing a Stir: 13-Year-Old Dominates College. LOVE THIS STORY PLEASE READ MORE…
PLEASE SHARE! SHARE! SHARE!!!!!!
At thirteen years of age, Stephen Stafford is causing quite a stir at Morehouse College. Stafford has a triple major in pre-med, math and computer science. Though he loves playing video games and playing his drum set, he is no typical teenager. He is exactly the kind of student I had in mind when I wrote the book, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College,” because he shows the power of the black male mind when we put our energy into things that matter most. Over the 17-years I’ve spent teaching at the college level, I have never seen anything more impressive, nor more reflective of what black men represent.
“I’ve never taught a student as young as Stephen, and it’s been amazing,” said computer science professor Sonya Dennis. “He’s motivating other students to do better and makes them want to step up their game.”
Stafford began his college career at the age of 11, after being home-schooled by his mother. Stafford’s mother said that when Stafford began to teach her instead of being taught by her, she knew he needed to be in a college environment. Since that time, he has excelled in his classes and continues to grow intellectually.
you know why this stuff isn’t viral
regardless, this is an amazing story
Officially jealous of a 13-year-old boy. Kudos, kid.
© Sebron Snyder
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