In light of the election results, I find myself disgusted, but not shocked. After the exit poll statistics were released, the group getting the most side eye on the internet today is white women, with a whopping 53% of them supporting Trump, and that number skyrockets to 62% among white women without a college degree. Again, I’m not surprised. This is basically the epitome of “white feminism,” and time and time again we see white women choosing race over gender and empathy for others. Miss me with the argument of internalized misogyny and “Stockholm Syndrome” – white women knew what they were doing.
And with that harsh reality, people on the internet are practically begging Michelle Obama to run for office in 2020, a call that has gotten louder and louder since her speech at the Democratic Convention. But Michelle isn’t having it -President Obama explicitly stated on Sway in the Morning that she will “never run for office,” stating,
“She is as talented and brilliant a person as there is, and I could not be prouder of her, but Michelle does not have the patience or the inclination to actually be a candidate herself. And that’s one thing y’all can take to the bank.”
Still, people continue to plead. It’s kind of similar to a small child asking their mother for a new toy and repeatedly being told no, but it doesn’t register. Well, Michelle, I hear you. I don’t want her to run, although I think she would make a brilliant politician. For the past eight years, Michelle Obama has been subjected to a plethora of racist and sexist attacks. Just a couple of days ago, the New York Times Style Twitter account received massive backlash after applying the “angry black woman” stereotype to the First Lady. And unfortunately, that was tame compared to the abuse she’s fallen victim to over the years.
The level of selfishness in asking Michelle Obama to sacrifice her well being further for “the greater good,” is astonishing. She clearly is doing work to improve communities across the world, leading Let Girls Learn, Reach Higher, Joining Forces, and Let’s Move!, and will continue to be involved in initiatives that support her core values once President Obama leaves office. This type of work, while different than politics, is valuable and needed in this country. She already showed up. And yet, America is asking a black woman to put herself aside to attempt to bail them out of the mess we’re currently in.
Black women were highly active in the suffrage movement, yet rarely receive credit. On election day, hundreds decorated Susan B. Anthony’s grave with their “I voted” stickers, yet no one mentioned Sojourner Truth. Anthony blatantly did not see black women as equal to her, stating,“I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman.” And yet, black women strongly supported the movement, joining the American Equal Rights Association, National Woman Suffrage Association, and the American Woman Suffrage Association. Those women showed up.
Whether we wanted to or not, we came to the polls and voted for Hillary Clinton. 93% of black women voted for her – NINETY THREE. WE showed up.
If you love Michelle Obama so much, respect her wishes and her time. Don’t demand that she do something that she clearly doesn’t want to do because you feel it would be in your best interest when it’s not in hers. Let her live her life and support society in her own way. There will most likely never be another First Lady like Michelle Obama, and her legacy will not go unnoticed, political run or not.
*This article also appears on Black Girl with Long Hair.