During the past two presidential elections, the Republican party and right wing conservatives have been remarkably successful at tarnishing the reputation of Democratic opponents. In 2004, a Democratic senator who lost both arms and legs fighting in Vietnam was transformed into a disloyal American while draft dodgers like Dick Cheney came across as paragons of patriotism. Michelle Obama is the latest target of the smear artists who want to create an image of an angry black woman who hates America. A Hillary Clinton supporter last month claimed that Mrs. Obama had preached hate of white people and she allegedly referred to them as “whitey.” As Mrs. Obama recently told a reporter: “You can be amazed sometimes at how deep the lies can be, I mean, ‘whitey?’ That’s something George Jefferson would say. Anyone who says that doesn’t know me. They don’t know anything about me.”
It is interesting the white Clinton blogger used a term that was common on a TV program that aired years ago in which a black working man verbally fights with a white racist bigot and both employ hateful slang expressions. Mrs. Obama is an Ivy League graduate and it is highly unlikely she spent her years in graduate school talking in such a manner. The swiftboaters are out in force and so far have been rather successful misquoting her comments. The expression, “for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country” is widely circulated on the Internet although the remaining part of the sentence is conveniently left out–“and not just because Barack has done well but because I think people are hungry for change.”
Ironically, Michelle Obama represents what right wing critics have been urging she be the model for black Americans. She comes from a hard working black working class family which spent energy urging their children to obtain an education. They were successful and now the critics are condemning the children for having obtained education. It is amazing that a black woman could emerge from a working class background and now be accused of being an “elitist!!” Hopefully, Americans will not be swayed by the distorting words of swiftboaters.