It's Funny Because We're White, Cont.

This morning I suggested that:
...it's worth trying to imagine any black man associated with a credible black candidate for the presidency, joking about beating down the incumbent president of the United States. Racism isn't just in what you do and don't say, but in the terrain you walk. It is baked in the cake -- a fact which is hard to understand when you are the party of white people... [emphasis added]
Katrina Trinko at National Review responded to my request for said black man, by pointing to Michelle Obama:
In Wisconsin, I asked her if she was offended by Bill Clinton's use of the phrase 'fairytale' to describe her husband's characterisation of his position on the Iraq war. At first, [Michelle] Obama responded with a curt 'No'. But, after a few seconds, she affected a funny voice. 'I want to rip his eyes out!' she said, clawing at the air with her fingernails. One of her advisers gave her a nervous look. 'Kidding!' Obama said. 'See, this is what gets me into trouble.'
To point out the obvious, the phrase "black man" was not accidental. In America black men, specifically, enjoy the stereotype of being hyper-violent -- one which regrettably spans the political spectrum. Michelle Obama is many things. "Black man" is not one of them.

UPDATE: One other thing. The more I think about this line...
Yes because a good whippin' would teach that Obama boy to mind his place.
...the less I like it. I can think of any number of "arguments" by which I might make myself right. But the reality it is an attempt, not to strengthen the primary point, but to turn anger into words that hurt. I try really hard not to do that. But I am human. 

See why I left Twitter?
Presented by

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.

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

More in Politics

From This Author

Just In