Proving Our Worth: Michelle Obama’s Speech at the Democratic National Convention

Michelle Obama makes me proud to be a Black woman. She is graceful, beautiful, intelligent, accomplished, strong, passionate, opinionated, and a loving mother and wife. Judging by the tears streaming down many faces and the applauses, more than a few folks at the Democratic National Convention were equally moved. It has been said that Michelle had much to “prove” during her speech. Therein lies the source of my dismay. It is sad that she had to prove her family is an “All-American family.” That she and Barack, both U.S. citizens, are not foreign or un-American. That she had to present herself in such a way that Americans would be able to “relate” to her. That she needed to get people “used to her” and “comfortable” with the idea of seeing “her” as a first lady. That she had to show she came from hard working, determined parents just like everyone else. That she was anything other than an angry black woman. That she was anything other than a white-folks-hating daughter of handouts and affirmative action. That she and Barack eat, sleep, breathe, bleed, love and hurt just like everyone else.


Do we impose such requirements on White candidates and their families? Do we require that the McCains demonstrate their All-American values? And why is it assumed that Americans can better “relate” to the millionaire McCains – John having married up (rather than having worked for his wealth) and unable to remember how many homes he owns, and Cindy having been born into her wealth? Why must people stretch their imaginations to epic proportions and be cajoled into seeing Michelle Obama as a first lady? I don’t see such doubts hurled at the medication and recipe stealing, drug-addicted, can’t shake hands without getting a sprain, airhead-looking, Mrs. “I just want to make it known that I’ve always been proud to be an American” Cindy McCain. Why would it ever be hard for Americans to relate to the Obamas, both of whom came from humble beginnings and worked hard to achieve all that they have?  


Be that as it may, Michelle Obama proved all of that and more. Stevie Wonder’s song, “Isn’t She Lovely” was the perfect end to a perfect speech. Michelle, you go girl!!! 

4 thoughts

  1. The millionaire Michelle Obama allow her children to sit in a church and listen to Jeremiah Wright say “God damn America” so she lost all my respect for her as a mother!

  2. goodtimepolitics,

    The millionaire Michelle Obama grew up in a working class family and married a millionare man who also came from humble beginnings. The millionaire Michelle Obama is married to a millionaire man who became a millionaire by selling many copies of his autobiographies over the past few years. The millionaire Obamas are two people who abided by the rule “If you do all the right things, then you will succeed in life.” Therefore, the millionaire Obamas are not any less “relatable” than any of the other millionaire candidates in this race. But, I do digress.

    For the record, Michelle Obama did not “allow her children to sit in a church and listen to Jeremiah Wright say ‘God damn America.’” In fact, the Obamas were not at church on the day that sermon was given, as confirmed by various sources. However, Barack Obama stated on numerous occasions that Rev. Wright’s comments were offensive and has repudiated them, even going so far as to sever his relationship with Reverend Wright.

    It is never good to take comments out of context. In that sermon, Reverend Wright highlighted the ways in which our government has failed many of its citizens while continuing to exude a sense of moral superiority. Yes, Reverend Wright feels that America must atone for its own sins. But, irrespective of the accuracy of such sentiments and whether you agree with them, they are not unique to Reverend Wright. Let me remind you of the White evangelical ministers Jerry Falwell, Pat Robinson, and John Hagee – whose support McCain has received in the past. There was that Sept. 13, 2001 televised exchange between Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, who blamed the attacks on America’s abortionists, feminists, gays and A.C.L.U. lawyers. And let’s not forget about John Hagee, who said God created Hurricane Katrina to punish New Orleans for its sins, particularly a scheduled “homosexual parade there on the Monday that Katrina came.” OK, so its OK to say that America was punished because of gays, abortions, feminists, and the lawyers who defend them, but its not OK to say that America must pay for having mistreated its own citizens?

    I can accept your opinion that you lost all respect for Michelle Obama because she associated with Rev. Wright or was a member of his church, if you are willing to say that you have also lost all respect for John McCain, who aligned himself with these evangelical ministers. Otherwise, by golly, I think we might call that hypocrisy. Imagine that.

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