Monday, August 25, 2008

DNC 08!: it's Michelle's turn! (or, The Last Idealist)

9.23 pm - the Michelle Obama intro. OMG. I am a total sucker for a romance story.

(Grrr! I'm kicking myself a little bit. I totally could have met Michelle Obama this week through a professional connection. Dangit!)

Though the bio was just as slick as any other, it was a good piece to counter claims of 'uppity-ness' or 'elitism.' I really don't get it. You can put Michelle Obama next to Cindy McCain and, yet, we're supposed to believe that Cindy McCain is 'of the people' while Obama lives in the rarefied airs of the elite. What a topsy turvy world our pundits and political strategists have created for us.

(Incidentally, I wonder if the convention's soundtrack would be available on iTunes. It kicks ass.)

Ahh. 'Looking down on' vs 'looking over.' Nicely done. (Believable? Maybe.)

What I'm hearing in her speech is the same narrative that I, and other people of color like me, have lived. It's familiar to us. It's a narrative, however, that mainstream America still cannot believe about communities of color; like the Mark Penns of this country, mainstream America can't grasp the fact that black, brown or non-white people have the same American dream as they and that they have lived by that dream and hoped for the day when their lives as full Americans will be acknowledged.

I was saying to a friend today that people of color are the last idealists in this country. Fundamentally, we believe - despite the slights and the snubs and the daily presence of racism - that the Great American Story of fairness, hard work and reward for that hard work still has the possibility to exist. Oh, we can be disappointed; daily, we are disappointed. But we still believe in it and we believe in the application of fairness. This is our creed: If the world works one way for some people, we want the world to work the same way for the rest of us.

What could be more American than that?

That's what her speech has done - it has subtly re-established Black Americans as citizens of this country, the Mark Penns of this country be damned.

Go 'head on with your bad self, Michelle Obama.


Songbird said...

I am baffled by the inability of people to get that she has lived the American dream! And that it's wonderful! It was a great speech.

ding said...

it was a fantastic speech. for those who think she's a militant black woman, it must have caused some cognitive dissonance.

Anonymous said...

White america does not understand the strong and successful black woman, or strong black woman period! They said she did not love her country because of a remark taken out of context. They do not understand black america, if they did they would listen more to us and seek to understand the issues that have divided us for centuries.

Michelle did her thang, and she did it well. Too bad she could not really tell them what she was really thinking, oh, that's right, she would come across as an angry woman ready to take whitey down,hehehhe. I hate it when people have to be politically correct. Michelle is as american as any person who continues to live with hope in this country. I will be glad when they get it!

In Michelle, I see my mother my sisters and of course me!