Who knows what lies in the hearts of sistagirls...

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You've all heard about the Michelle Obama whitey tape, the rumors that Obama is a Muslim, that he doesn't say the pledge blahblahblah. But in the secret counsels of Delta and AKAs, in  closely guarded meetings of the Links, in the offices of Essence magazine, in book groups where black women ruminate over the deeper meaning of Sula, there is a shadow lurking, a possibility so devious, so menacing, so unholy that it has never been spoken in mixed company--UNTIL NOW.

The great fear is that, at some point in this campaign, it would be revealed that Barack Obama was having an affair with--wait for it--a white woman. Since 2004, sisters across the nation have been treated to a great black love story. If Love Jones were on CNN, it would be Barack and Michelle. OK, not really, but I can't think of many other black romantic comedies that are any good. Work with me people. Anyway, sisters everywhere have been caught by the idea that their basketball playing, Harvard educated, smooth talking chocolate brother is just around the corner. Most of them will end up a Leroy, a Dashawn--or a Ta-Nehisi, even. But that isn't the point.

With any fantasy there must be some threat, and it's not uncommon, when in the company of four or more black women who happen to be discussing the awesomeness of Barry and Michelle, to hear something like the following,

Sistagirl #1: They're so great! And did you see the fist-bump?
Sistagirl #2: And did you see his little girls??
Sistagirl #3:  I love you Daddy! Awwwww...."

And then it comes like shot of venom through honey,

Sistagirl #4: He better not be cheating on her with a white girl...

All Sistagirls the world-over, in unison: Mmmmhmmm

Oh the horror. Oh the humanity. So, for you honeys out there, here is Barack speaking on your deepest fears. May I add that Katie Couric goes there for you. So ya'll need to stop the hate. Also you can just cut it off when McCain comes on. No one cares what he's doing.

P.S. Please no comments like "Yes, but Barack IS HALF-WHITE!!" We know this, white folks. It's fear. It's not supposed to be rational.


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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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