Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey: False hope for black women
Michelle Obama gave a star spangled performance for U.S. imperialism in her final white house interview with Oprah Winfrey. It had everything: black vernacular, martyrdom, symbolism and Oprah, of course.
The interview provided one last chance for black women who are not politicized to idolize the wife of the outgoing commander in thief and the matriarch of the black petty bourgeoisie.
Before the interview started, we were shown images of Michelle Obama’s time as first lady. The photos were meant to illicit tearful nostalgia. Slides across the screen showed the time she danced with Ellen Degeneres, gardened on the white house lawn, danced with some brown children, gave a speech heralding the U.S as the greatest country on Earth, danced with some more children, and finally one of her hugging a dog.
Apparently, presiding over settler colonialism and parasitic capitalism makes negroes revert to dancing the jig and producing massa’s food.
Petty bourgeois aspirations are not gonna get us free
The scene changes, and we are drawn into a room where Obama and Winfrey sit in gold accented chairs in front of a roiling fire, discussing the first White House interview they did together. They giggled about taking their shoes off and setting schedules for the children; basically #blackgirlmagic in all its petty bourgeois exceptional vileness.
These two African women, one who has made her career out of pandering to white audiences and the other who occasionally sounded off in support of the terrorist decisions made by her husband, are regarded as the highest example of black woman success, mostly by women whose highest aspirations are to be accepted as equals by the white ruling class.
The line is often blurred for women who clamor at any examples of achievement under dominant white rule.
Instead of wanting to be like freedom fighter Assata or some other revolutionary woman, black women are left to idolize vapid women whose main accomplishments to date are championing black death through the U.S. presidential seat and making millions of dollars for herself.
Michelle Obama is white power in black face
During the most recent U.S. presidential race, the Obamas campaigned hard for Hillary Clinton, a known enemy of black people; black women especially. So it was a devastating blow for Obama to have to welcome the Trump camp and transition them into their roles as the first family.
According to the interview, however, “she is supportive of the transition,” saying, “if Trump succeeds we all succeed.”
Succeed at what? If Trump’s cabinet choices are any indication, we will succeed at deepening U.S. aggression and exploitation, both inside and outside of the U.S. borders.
While Michelle Obama was “shaken to the core” by Trump’s disparaging remarks about women and being called an “angry black woman,” she barely batted her false eyelashes when her husband showed his black face and cool dance moves as a way to cover his anti-black policies and military campaigns that destroyed so many communities.
But these are hard hitting issues, and Winfrey didn’t interview Obama to talk about all that stuff; she set up the interview to talk about things like transforming the white house into “the house of the people” by allowing everyday common folks to eat off the china, before they hobble back to SE Washington, D.C. to fight gentrification. It was about celebrating the first painting by a black person to hang in the white people’s house.
And still some black women fall over themselves to kiss the manicured toe nails of wealthy black women who have not done a thing to forward the interest of our people. They have, however, forwarded the interests of white power by “going high,” so high that they are far removed from the interests of the poor and working class.
Dangerous rhetoric misleads our people
Instead, Obama feeds us dismissive rhetoric, about being afraid of each other for “things that don’t matter,” such as “color and wealth,” which does not take into account the millions of people who have mobilized around the country against issues that facilitate theft from African people based on nationhood, class and gender; issues that are rooted in a capitalist system of oppression, which began with the assault of Africa.
The only people who don’t care about color and wealth are the African petty bourgeoisie, mainly because they are groomed to tell African people that we can accomplish anything if we just pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.
Nevermind the 600 years of colonial exploitation that has destroyed and taken ownership of everything we produce. As a result, it would take “the average black family 228 years to achieve the wealth of a white family,” according to an August 2016 article published by The Nation.
Kill symbolism and demand that our agenda be met
We are learning everyday to tear ourselves away from the symbols that serve to keep us from rebelling, such as an Obama and Winfrey. For eight years, Barack Obama helped to quell the potential uprising of our people, and in many cases garnered support from African people for policies they would have challenged had he been white. But toward the end of his regime, the curtains were being pulled down and exposing how little he or Michelle have done in the interest of African people.
African women have a deep history of resistance. From Nzinga to Fannie Lou, and Harriet to Assata Shakur, these women challenged the status quo and brought colonialism to heel. Let us see ourselves in women who pushed the oppressor back for the people instead of seeing ourselves in women that hope to be accepted into the oppressors system.
The African National Women’s Organization (ANWO) is a place for you to do that. Learn more about us at anwouhuru.org