Richard Cohen $hits the Bed
Cohen attacks Sarah Palin for repeating Michelle Obama’s words:
In her new book, she reportedly takes Michelle Obama to task for her supposedly infamous remark from the 2008 campaign: “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.”
It wasn’t “supposedly”. She actually said it. In a bit of twisted logic, Cohen then explains that she didn’t mean what we all (including himself) thought she meant.
Michelle Obama quickly explained herself. She was proud of the turnout in the primaries – so many young people, etc. Evan Thomas, writing perceptively in Newsweek, thought – as I did – that she was saying something else. He dug into her senior thesis at Princeton – “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community” – to find a young woman who felt, or was made to feel, “more aware of my ‘blackness’ than ever before.” This was not a statement of racism. This was a statement of fact.
Huh? Which is it? Was Michelle talking about pride that young people were voting or not?
It’s appalling that Palin and too many others fail to understand that fact – indeed so many facts of American history. They don’t offer the slightest hint that they can appreciate the history of the Obama family and that in Michelle’s case, her ancestors were slaves – Jim Robinson of South Carolina, her paternal great-great grandfather, being one. Even after they were freed they were consigned to peonage, second-class citizens, forbidden to vote in much of the South, dissuaded from doing so in some of the North, relegated to separate schools, restaurants, churches, hotels, waiting rooms of train stations, the back of the bus, the other side of the tracks, the mortuary, the cemetery and, if whites could manage it, heaven itself.
So, Michelle was talking about being proud, for the first time, as a black person. I’m confused. Did she lie when she clarified her comment?
It was the government that oppressed blacks, enforcing the laws that imprisoned them and hanged them for crimes grave and trivial, whipped them if they bolted for freedom and, in the Civil War, massacred them if they were captured fighting for the North. And yet if African Americans hesitate in embracing the mythical wonderfulness of America, they are accused of racism – of having the gall to know more about their own experience and history than Palin and others think they should.
Waitaminute. So, it’s “racist” for calling out Michelle, who has seen more than the average amount of success in her life, for only being “proud” of her country when her husband wins a primary? Michelle was speaking truth to power, or something.
Why do politicians such as Palin and commentators such as Glenn Beck insist that African Americans go blank on their own history – as blank as apparently Palin and Beck are themselves? Why must they insist that blacks join them in embracing a repellent history that once caused America to go to war with itself?
Oh. I see. African Americans are supposed to go blank on their recent history. In the ivy league educations they receive, high paying jobs , and the superior advancements despite the horrible racism running rampant through America. Michelle Obama had to suffer through a job that only paid her $317,000 a year. Practically slave wages, when you think about it. She came from a working class background , to making $317,000 a year. Yet, never had a reason to be proud.
Sarah Palin teases that she might run for president. But she is unqualified – not just in the (let me count the) usual ways, but because she does not know the country. She could not be the president of black America nor of Hispanic America. She knows more about grizzlies than she does about African Americans – and she clearly has more interest in the former than the latter.
Sarah Palin is unqualified because she does not know the country? That didn’t seem to stop Obama from being qualified. A man that admitted that the suburbs bored him.
Many of the administration’s most high-profile initiatives have tended to reflect the views of urban interests – roughly 20 percent of the population – rather than suburban ones.
When the president visits suburban backyards, it sometimes seems like a visit from a “president from another planet.” After all, as a young man, Obama told The Associated Press: “I’m not interested in the suburbs. The suburbs bore me.”
80% of the population of the United States bores Obama. Yet, he was qualified to be president.
Back to Cohen:
Did she once just pick up the phone and ask Michelle Obama what she meant by her remark? Did she ask about her background? What it was like at Princeton?
Yes, what was it like at Princeton? Interesting question, that. Our horrible, racist society never gave poor Michelle a chance.