The Washington Post ran two pieces that ostensibly defend Michelle Obama. But not really. Both authors try to look at Michelle Obama through the lense of upper-class black America--more upper-class than black. I could pull together a long post about dangers of looking for race and racism around every corner. But I've had my "OK, white people you have a point" moment for the month. I'll simply say that for most of my professional career, I've been either the only black person or one of a precious few black people on the job. The same thing is true of my partner. Frankly, I have no idea how race affected my tenure at any of my stops, and I never spent much time trying to figure it out. I've been in stores and gotten the "Do you work here?" treatment from old white ladies. Was it because I was black? Or was she confused. I don't know. And I don't much care.
My point is that I think those two pieces outline a pretty big break between my own politics, and the politics of some of the folks I went to school with. To me, the struggle--at this moment--is about tangibles--incarceration rates, home ownership rates, the wealth gap, public schools etc. I have almost no interest in sitting back, looking out my window on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon and wracking my braing trying to figure out what white people think of me. I just don't have time.
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