Newsweek’s Allison Samuels bluntly took Michelle Obama’s side against liberal New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor, who somehow caused the First Lady to assert she was being painted as an angry black woman, so sad to blacks who Samuels wrote “were certain the mere presence of Michelle Obama on the international stage” would fix things.
“Surely it would be impossible to ignore the grace, charm and intellect of the 5’11” Chicago native, with her Harvard Law degree, committed marriage, and two young daughters,” pleaded the Newsweek writer. “Society would come to realize that Michelle Obama was not the exception but more often the rule in the black community. “
Samuels aggressively made the poor-Michelle case from the get-go:
Four years ago, few could have predicted the first African-American FLOTUS would still be defending herself against the slur that never seems to lose its appeal to the mainstream.
The fact that a conversation about the attitude and disposition of Mrs. Obama remains such a hot-button topic is a major disappointment for those who thought times would change after her husband’s election in 2008. Many in the African-American community were certain the mere presence of Michelle Obama on the international stage would effect perceptions of black women worldwide...
Magazines would have covers featuring women of all hues and Hollywood would expand storylines to offer more detailed and diverse descriptions of women of color. Terms such as “angry black woman’’ would die a fitting and long overdue death.
Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case. The release of Jodi Kantor’s book, The Obamas, four years later makes it clear that Michelle Obama’s arrival on the scene has done little to change the way in which black women and race are still viewed in America.
“The looming shadow of racism is always there and it’s very sad,’’ says Mikki Taylor, a former editor at Essence and author of Commander in Chic, about Michelle Obama. “Who was more feisty than Barbara Bush? Laura Bush always spoke her mind, but Michelle Obama takes the heat for being an independent-thinking woman. It’s so clearly based on race and backward ways of thinking.’’
Samuels is supposed to be a journalist – one which would presume to care about precisely how the First Lady fits into the policy-making picture, even hope she’s an active policy-maker. Instead, she forwards the First Lady claiming it’s imaginary that she squabbled with White House aides. Black women apparently never get angry -- it's too stereotypical to notice if they do:
The first lady told Gayle King on CBS This Morning that she hadn’t read Kantor’s book but she’d grown tired of the constant attacks on her character. “I guess it’s more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here and as a strong woman--you know? But that’s been an image that people have tried to paint of me since the day Barack announced, that I’m some angry black woman.”
...“I guess people don’t want to see that aspect of her talked about,” says Taylor. “She’s supporting her husband. But that sounds too much like a real marriage or a good marriage and black folk don’t have those, you know. Michelle is concerned about doing the work and serving her purpose in helping others. She’s concerned about raising her children well. She’s not in the White House fighting her husband’s staff.”
Kantor isn't a "right-winger" trashing Michelle as an angry harridan. She's a reporter for The New York Times, for Pete's sake, which hasn't exactly been anti-Obama. Kantor was trying to report some kind of news out of the inner circle, and then somehow she's race-baiting.
PS: Check out who supported Mikki Taylor's Michelle-boosting book with a blurb:
“Mikki Taylor unlocks the secret of the First Lady's great style--and delivers a totebag full of practical, must-have advice on how every woman can dress with style and flair.” -- CNN’s Soledad O’Brien