Is it Race, Gender . . . or Both?

In my humble opinion Michelle Obama gave an impressive speech at the Democratic National Convention on Monday, giving us a picture of the Barack she knows, as well as dispelling the myth surrounding her disloyal sentiments about her country, misguided as it was at the time, tossed out unthinkingly, I’m sure, during a grueling campaign that must get awfully tiring as you’re judged and analyzed at every turn. According to some of the blogs we read, there are a lot of Hillary supporters who still don’t like her, contributing to their reluctance to vote for Obama. Her personality is a problem. She’s been charged with being too aggressive, having a chip on her shoulder, being hateful and spiteful to name just a few. It even bothered me a few months ago when she said she’d have to think about whether she’d throw her support to Hillary if Barack should lose. Hillary had already stated that she intended to support the Democratic nominee no matter who that person was.

Even Hubby has hinted that he has problems with her personality. However, he feels that Michelle Obama’s personality is not relevant, but that he thinks Barack Obama’s resume is woefully thin for such an important office at this point in his career. He’s even said he may not vote for Obama because in Utah our Democratic votes won’t count anyhow, so if the Democrats lose he will not have contributed to that loss.

Could it be that the real problem is that people still have a problem with strong (that can mean bitchy is that’s your definition) women, white or black? I’ll continue to believe that was part of the country’s problem with Hillary Clinton.

The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerence. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors, and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance.

Those words were uttered by Maya Angelou, one of my favorite writers since I discovered her through her first book I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS published way back in 1969. Naturally I thought of her a lot as I’ve been watching the Democratic convention this week, remembering her prominence at Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993 as she recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” as well as her strong and loyal support for Hillary Clinton during the current Democratic campaign. I wonder if the quote wouldn’t be just as effective if you were to take the words “American Negro” out of the sentence making it read just “adult female.” I’m pretty sure it would be.

So if the aggressive, even tense (nervous?) personality of the current nominee’s wife is one of the things that you think negatively of as you consider who will get your vote November 4, please consider Maya Angelou’s words in the above quote. I don’t know the real Michelle Obama, and I’m pretty darn sure the woman that emerges throughout the media won’t necessarily be accurate either, but those are the words I will remember as I continue to fully support our Democratic nominee, Barack Obama. I will put aside my initial hurt and disappointment that my choice didn’t win the nomination and I’ll vote Democratic, because I know this is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT election I will ever have voted in, and I’ll be better off with a Democrat in office rather than a Republican for even four more years!