Last year, an AP headline described Michelle Obama as "sassy," this year she is "uppity" and "angry." Exhibit A, this video at the New York Times Bloggingheads TV. Ross Douthat of The Atlantic Monthly and Debra Dickerson of Mother Jones "debate whether Michelle Obama's anger will hurt her husband's campaign." Is she "entitled to it? Will it cost her husband the campaign? Douthat:
"There's something about Michelle Obama's anger that rubs me the wrong way... It's not like she doesn't have the right to be angry on behalf of the people still living in poverty, blacks on the South Side of Chicago ... It's when she gives the impression that she is angry on behalf of her self. There is something that rubs me the wrong way, I guess."
The New York Times panel also used "entitlement" to describe Michelle Obama and her supposed anger. That term is becoming becoming popular. Last month, Associated Press columnist Ron Fournier said the Obamas were "arrogant" and "ooze a sense of entitlement." Ironically, the "entitlement" phrase was originally a Republicans frame against the Clintons, but, has been recently adopted by the Obama camp. Can't say we didn't see it coming.
More typecasting of Michelle Obama as the stereotypical "angry" black woman. Exhibit B, MJ Rosenberg at Talking Point Memo's TPM Cafe recently described how "white" Obama supporters were put off by Michelle Obama's "edge."
[Obama] grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia. He's mixed race. His father was African not African-American.He's easier to take for people uncomfortable with African-Americans. He does not seem like one of those civil rights activists or freedom riders. She does.
She seems like an "uppity" black woman and just the thought of her as First Lady sends shivers down some white spines.
Oh, and let's add that Rosenberg is an Obama supporter. Presumably he believes that gives him license to make racial generalizations and dismiss "those civil rights activists or freedom riders" as upsetting footnotes to history. Seems to be a trend in that crowd. Michelle Obama is no more "angry" than the average highly successful black professional, but, it's interesting that the supposed "anger" of a successful, Harvard and Princeton educated attorney is routinely dissceted by the punditry like a well-documented fact.