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01 June 2007


Andy in Seattle

Here, here--after the frozen-rictus-smile years of Laura Bush, the White House needs a sistah to shake things up.

What will be interesting to watch is how the media treats Mrs. Obama's feistiness as "sassy" instead of "energetic," and see if the ambient racism of the culture starts to show...


Looks like the realness of the election is getting started. These sorts of quips and stereotypes are only going to get worse. Sassy? I thought that was a term used with the likes of Nell carter and other black women who have played the loud, over the top women in comedy. Sassy? This woman has achieved more in her life than anyone on that paper I would venture a guess, but, since she is black and speaks her mind, she's just "sassy", I guess the only thing that they left out was she was a "sassy mammy." As much as things change, they sadly remain the same here. Sassy? Wow.


The "Peoria" angle is interesting, but the correct and even more difficult realization is that this was from the Pretoria newspaper in South Africa, not Peoria, Il. But of course, racism and sexism play as well in post-Apartheid South Africa as in the racially challenged US. The greater story is that views of intelligent black women are threatening all around the world, even Condeleeza Rice is not immune. Hopefully, with more dynamic African American women taking the international stage, the language will change. The language must change and we can no longer accept the racist and sexist short hand used to patronize and denigrate our success and our power.


It is odd that Michelle Obnama's imnpressive credentials were never mentioned. But the dominant soicial culture in this nation--and obviously South Africa--has been to present black women as stereotypical.

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