Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Calling Michelle Obama Trash

Right wing radio crackpot Tammy Bruce called Michelle Obama "trash" yesterday. Her comments were in response to a visit by the First Lady to a school in Washington DC, and to her comments to the students.

Obama noted that when she was growing up, African American kids often had to hide their intelligence or risk being mocked by the other kids for acting "too white." Of course, this still happens today, which is why Obama used this anecdote, to try to encourage young black kids to excel in school and to not worry about whether or not getting good grades was cool.

Because Tammy Bruce is ignorant of this very simple fact, she chose to lash out at Obama by saying "we've got trash in the White House."


During the Presidential campaign, Bruce, like other right wing idiots, called the Obamas "elitist" because "elitism" is code word for smart, and we have arrived at a place in this country where intelligence, thoughtfulness and education are characteristics to be mocked.

But now Michelle Obama is not only elitist, but trashy?

It's difficult to understand how an epithet used to disparage working class whites (and ignorant ones at that) could be used to criticize the highly educated First Lady. Perhaps because she was talking about herself? Or because she lapsed into a more "black" sounding accent when talking to the kids? (This is called code-switching and is done by millions of people who speak different dialects.)

Or perhaps it's because Tammy Bruce wanted to really call her "the N word" but couldn't risk it, and thought that trash would easily substitute.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous post, Margo. Thank you. And thanks for the "code switching" explanation -- I never knew there was a word for how people change the way they talk in different environments, but it always seemed like a no brainer to me that they would so!