The right-wing blog American Thinker is no stranger to racist rhetoric. It routinely publishes articles by Colin Flaherty, the author of the book White Girl Bleed A Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It, which makes the specious argument that there is ongoing racial violence against white people by angry black Americans. Flaherty attempts to “prove” this by taking every crime where the perpetrator is black and the victim is white — regardless of the motivation for the crime — and weaving this disparate evidence into the narrative of a bloody race war. (In a YouTube video promoting his book, Flaherty not-so-subtly plays rap music while showing clips of black people allegedly committing crimes.)
Thus it is only fitting that American Thinker, like other conservative news publications, savaged First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech to Tuskegee University, a historically black college.
In a newly published article titled “Michelle Obama riles up graduates with black power speech”, conservative columnist M. Catharine Evans employs racist and sexist tropes to attack the First Lady for her candid remarks on race and racism in America, referring to her as “a radical, black nationalist caught in the grip of a fanatical, anti-American, anti-white ideology” who engaged in “manipulation of clueless blacks”:
The Tuskegee University graduating class of 2015 applauded as Michelle Obama roused the spectre of slavery, Jim Crow, lynchings, and the civil rights era in a commencement speech on Saturday.
Michelle told the mostly black audience the angst they’re feeling over ongoing discrimination is “rooted in decades of structural challenges that have made too many folks feel frustrated and invisible, and those feelings are playing out in communities like Baltimore and Ferguson and so many others across this country.”
. . .
If Michelle sounds like a radical, black nationalist caught in the grip of a fanatical, anti-American, anti-white ideology, it’s because she is one. The First Lady’s transparent manipulation of clueless blacks this past weekend in Alabama would be comical if her black brothers and sisters weren’t killing each other at alarming rates (including aborted babies).
Mrs. Obama, a former corporate lawyer raised by middle-class parents, then a University of Chicago Medical Center administrator involved in patient dumping of poor, black patients, and finally, a woman who shares power in the White House with a millionaire Chicago slumlord, had the audacity to tell the graduates:
The road ahead is not going to be easy. It never is, especially for folks like you and me. Because while we’ve come so far, the truth is those age-old problems are stubborn, and they haven’t fully gone away.
Seven years after her husband’s grotesque “A More Perfect Union” race speech, Mrs. Obama is still whining and complaining about being an oppressed, victimized black woman trapped in a ‘down right mean’ country. Why? It’s all about getting out the vote.
. . .
In the same speech, Michelle calls out the media in faux outrage over the ‘name-calling’ she endured during the presidential campaigns. She says she was rattled when a depiction of her sporting an afro and holding a machine gun appeared on the cover of the very liberal New Yorker magazine. The cover cartoon showed a fist-bumping Michelle and Barack in Muslim garb with an American flag burning in a fireplace below a picture of Osama bin Laden.
. . .
Mrs. Obama wants people to see her as an Angela Davis black radical. The fact that she chose to share her feelings about the incendiary 2008 New Yorker cover with her audience is a dead giveaway. Most in the class had probably never seen it, or forgotten about it. Better to remind them.
Michelle Obama, for even discussing race and the very real issues plaguing the black community from Ferguson to Baltimore to Cincinnati to New York City makes her an angry black radical. (I’m surprised that Evans didn’t tell her to smile.) As Blair L.M. Kelley, an associate professor of history at North Carolina State University, notes, this stereotype’s long, sordid history can be traced at least as far back as the television show Amos ‘n’ Andy. The popular program featured as a character “finger-waving, neck-snapping Sapphire” who “complained incessantly” about the shortcomings of her husband, George “Kingfish” Stevens.
Even before that, in the 1830s, Kelley points out, “the first ‘black women’ American audiences saw on the American stage were minstrel ‘Negro wenches.'” Black women were “ridiculed on the minstrel stage,” a world filled with such caricatures as the Jezebel — black women who were depicted as “fair-skinned, disloyal, greedy and hypersexual” and who “yelled at their spouses and acted loud and inappropriately in otherwise genteel, public spaces to demonstrate all the ways that they were different from white women.”
It is also telling that Evans disregards an entire class of college graduates — men and women who worked hard and succeeded in higher education and who are unquestionably brighter than most Americans — as being nothing more than “clueless blacks.” Moreover, she takes time to condescendingly lecture the black community about morality, pointing out that the First Lady’s “black brothers and sisters” are “killing each other at alarming rates” which, she believes, includes “aborted babies.”
Here’s a tip for Evans and the rest of American Thinker: Whitesplain to someone else about racism in America. Your unlettered and bigoted opinions aren’t appreciated by anyone with a functioning cerebrum.