OK, I know the Obamas are trying to downplay the race issue, because people don’t want them to be “too black” (!) But I really have to say something here about Michelle Obama and race because, in my experience, being a gifted black female is extremely dangerous. Over the centuries, people have grown used to seeing black women in positions of servitude to everyone else; the stereotypes all rely on a presumption of your inherent inferiority. I’ve found over and over again that, when you don’t fit into degrading molds, the mob gets hostile. In fact, the more gifted you are, the more of a liability it becomes, because people take your very existence as a threat to their (often unconscious) worldview in which they are superior. As a result, many will go to insane lengths to destroy you, while accusing you of being aggressive (and insane). Though they usually fabricate nonsensical rationalizations for this, the truth is that many people literally want to kill you, simply to keep you from shaking their worlds.
I know all too well that our First Lady must have been under lifelong pressure, even coercion, to be less gifted than she is. The reason I admire her is that she nonetheless went right on being bright, educated, attractive, powerful, successful, and stylish. I think this is a big deal for everyone, whether you are white, black, male, female, or anything else.
Because human degradation extends WAY beyond the hardships of just one demographic. Capitalism is built on a conflict between ownership and servitude, and even white male wage slaves suffer under this system. Nowadays, I see people from all backgrounds clinging to mediocrity, just because they are afraid of what would be done to them if they stood out from the crowd. Michelle Obama (along with her husband) stands as a reminder that, contrary to the messages that we receive every day, it’s possible for you to be true to yourself, become successful, and change the world, all at the same time.