It's worth considering the full context of Tammy Bruce's comments on Michelle Obama yesterday. Bruce said this of the first lady:

"That's what he's married to," Bruce said. ... "You know what we've got? We've got trash in the White House. Trash is a thing that is colorblind, it can cross all eco-socionomic ... categories. You can work on Wall Street, or you can work at the Wal-Mart. Trash, are people who use other people to get things, who patronize others, who consider you bitter and clingy."

Right. Nothing that makes a racist comment more obvious than a self-conscious attempt to qualify it as not being racist.

In any case, this is what Bruce was reacting to:

As a kid growing up on the south side of Chicago, Michelle Obama remembers being ridiculed for trying to be educated and get good grades.

"I wanted an "A." I wanted to be smart. I wanted to be the person who had the right answer. And I didn't care if it was cool -- 'cause I remember there were kids around my neighborhood who would say 'ooh -- you talk funny. you talk -- like a white girl.' I heard that growing up my whole life.”

So Obama was telling children -- black children in particular, to pursue scholarly excellence even in the face of ridicule for talking "like a white girl." It's hard to see what's offensive about this advice. Except when you consider that Bruce previously suggested Bill Cosby caused his son's death by giving him access to an expensive car and that civil-rights luminaries Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks had "pushed us into the maze of Thought Police totalitarianism that we face today." You start to get the impression that Bruce's hostility toward Michelle Obama really isn't personal at all. She just has a problem with black people, particularly black people who deign to rise above their station. Bruce's words are just a clumsy attempt to put Michelle Obama back in her place.

Good luck with that, Tammy.

-- A. Serwer

You may also like