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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Dear Michelle Obama:

This is just a note to say that I think you’re gorgeous. I’ll thank you not to share that with your husband, given that I have no desire to open my door and find a predator drone waiting for me. Or, worse, an IRS auditor.

And yes, as a 21st century U.S. male, I am well aware of the minefield a guy enters when he assays public discussion of a woman’s looks. But I take the risk in order to express the head-snapping disconnect I feel whenever some white person attacks you on the basis of being insufficiently pretty for their tastes.

Obviously, it’s sexist, this implicit notion that you exist for their approval. But for me, it also calls their eyesight into question. I always find myself wondering: Are they seeing the same woman I am? Are they seeing this statuesque lady with lively eyes and a smile full of fun?

They aren’t, of course. That’s the entire point. I see an attractive wife and mother, a lawyer, author, activist, educator and fashion trendsetter. But they see you — more accurately, fail to see you — while looking through a prism of their own fears and stereotypes, a broken-glass refraction of hateful images whose repulsiveness ultimately says more about them than it ever could about you.

This has happened repeatedly. In November, some bureaucrat in West Virginia called you “an ape in heels.” Last month, a GOP official in New York said you should “return to being a male” and live with an ape in a cave in Africa.

The bureaucrat swore she was “not of any way” racist. The official swore that race had nothing to do with his words. They did this with straight faces. One would guess they now sleep the untroubled sleep of the truly righteous — and utterly clueless. We’ve had over eight years of this. Now we reach the point where the Obama era is measured in days. And I, like many people, find myself reflecting on what your husband and you have meant to the nation.

I’ll address myself to him in a few days. For now, for today, I just want to express how awed I am by the grace with which you have carried yourself through nearly a decade of racial denigration from ugly, stupid people. They’ve denied your patriotism, your femininity and your humanity. They watch even now in acquiescent silence as the incoming president plays tonsil hockey with Vladimir Putin, but they acted like you were the reincarnation of Joseph Stalin when you planted a garden and encouraged kids to exercise.

It would be enough to make anyone bitter. But you never gave them the satisfaction of your attention, much less your bitterness. Instead, you just did you. And “you” was enough. By the time your husband had been in office six months, many people could no longer remember what the fuss was about.

But too many others are still like the West Virginia bureaucrat and the New York party hack. Too many others still offer too many stark reminders that where race is concerned, America remains an unwell nation. And that it’ll probably get worse before it gets better.

Yes, I know what you’d say: “When they go low, we go high.” I don’t mind telling you that I’m finding that easier said than done. But your example challenges me, and that’s not nothing.

So, farewell, Mrs. Obama. Please know that, as an American — and particularly as an African American — I am proud of how you’ve conducted yourself as first lady. At risk of political incorrectness and IRS audit, I reiterate what I said coming in.

You, madam, are gorgeous — in many more ways than one.

IMAGE: U.S. first lady Michelle Obama speaks during an event to mark Nowruz on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at the White House in Washington, D.C. Nowruz is a holiday that is celebrated by more than 300 million people in diverse ethnic and religious communities across the Middle East, Central and Southwest Asia, and Eastern Europe. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
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41 responses to “Farewell, Michelle Obama, You’ve Made Us All Proud”

  1. Dominick Vila says:

    A sign of the times: one of the most intelligent, poised, glamorous, articulate, and honest First Ladies of the United States is about to leave public life, at least for now, to be replaced by a Slovenian center fold adored by family values pseudo patriots, courtesy of a political strategy designed to Make America Great Again!

  2. yabbed says:

    Michele Obama has been simply magnificent. Never a misstep, no scandals, nothing but grace and class and warm intelligence. She has made America proud.

  3. A_Real_Einstein says:

    Pure Grace!
    Thanks Michelle for being such a role model for everyone, especially my girls.
    We love you!

  4. marriea says:

    Sometimes people begrudge those things they can’t have.
    By saying those things about Michelle, they try and satisfy their minds by saying they don’t want it and these are the reasons why.
    That’s ok, because Michelle wouldn’t give them the time of day without laughing so hard, she’d be in a deep sleep laughing at them for even the thought.
    They would wish to have and be as classy and classical a woman as Michelle.
    That’s why Mr. President sought to woo her.
    As for the women who tried to begrudge Michelle’s beauty, I’d bet that this woman will be trying botox, plastic surgery and whatever other means to hang on to her definition of beauty, when beauti is really found on the inside and radiates itself out ward.
    In the future Michelle will still look the same, albeit older, but just as beautiful as now.

  5. Wolfesgang says:

    A fantastic First Lady! All the best to you and your family, Michelle!

  6. Eleanore Whitaker says:

    All I can say is that I am glad we are going out with a beautiful, gracious, hugely intelligent, ethical, principled First Lady. The best role model young women could have.

  7. DOUG MCLEOD says:

    are we talking the united state of america?

    • dpaano says:

      Yes, but they haven’t been very united in the past several years and we have the Republicans to thank for that. They will only make it worse in the next 4 years, and we can only hope that we can live through it!

  8. 788eddie says:

    Thank you Mr. Pitts, for expressing what so many Americans have felt over the past eight years. She has shown us the graciousness and yet down-to-earth qualities we would want the rest of the world to see as American qualities.

    What an honor to have had her as our First Lady.

  9. 2ThinkN_Do2 says:

    Thanks for judging a specific group through your hateful eyes Mr Pitts; and you wonder why society is the way it is . . . sad. If you wanted to praise the woman, praise the woman, but you couldn’t leave your hate out of it, could you?

    • Katstiles says:

      Hate is it? Republicans criticized Michelle Obama for wearing sleeveless gowns. The next First Lady has sure exposed more than that! I guess if you are white the bar for appropriate behavior is much lower!

  10. Whistleblower47 says:

    Puke! That is my reaction to this obsequious puff piece concerning the consort of the most ineffective leader of the US in decades. Ex Marxist radical and follower of Saul Alinsky and supporter of Black Power movement her only claim to fame is FLOTUS and one can only hope that she will fade back into obscurity where she belongs.

    • Nativegrammy says:

      As ever I am not at all surprised by the disgusting narrow minded ignorant brainless dolts, like yourself, who regardless of the facts and evidence of a superior human being like Michelle Obama, you nevertheless prove hateful ignorance is alive and well in this country. Hopefully wretches like you will disappear sooner rather than later and we will be rid of the intolerance, hateful mind set and utter idiocy your waste of a life boils down to. And BTW, everything your have written down is an complete lie and the same asininity we have all been hearing for 8 years from the far right cesspool of meager minds and haters.

    • Deskjet says:

      LITTLE PEOPLE SHOULD BE NEVER HEARD!!! GO BACK WHERE YOU CRAWLED FROM!!!

    • dpaano says:

      Gee, how much does Putin’s government pay you to say these stupid things? Apparently, you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 8 years! You think things were bad with President Obama….you ain’t seen nothing yet! Hang on to your hat because things are going to get worse!

      • Whistleblower47 says:

        Your paranoia is showing. I have no time for Mr Putin and his Communist thugs, and I form my own independent opinions without being paidby anybody.

        I have not been hiding under a rock at all, and I am a keen observer of politics internationally.

        Unfortunately for the world the US gets the politicians it deserves because of its collective abysmal ignorance which is why we’ve had Bush and Obama as equally incompetent Presidents. In my opinion the jury is still out on Trump , but he couldn’t be any worse than Hillary Clinton.

  11. wjca says:

    So, farewell, Mrs. Obama. Please know that, as an American — and
    particularly as an African American — I am proud of how you’ve conducted
    yourself as first lady.

    As an American — specifically a blue-eyed blond (and conservative!) American — I feel exactly the same way.

    • Ivan L. Flynn says:

      Yes. There are decent people of a few good words that can erase a thousand vile ones from a very unkind and lonely person.

  12. ps0rjl says:

    Michelle Obama is a truly classy woman. She came from a lower middle class upbringing but studied hard and rose to become a very smart, classy woman. I personally would like to see her someday become a justice of the Supreme Court.

    • Whistleblower47 says:

      She has had limited experience as a practising lawyer, and has neither the background or experience necessary for a judge appointed on the grounds of competency rather than political correctness

      • ps0rjl says:

        She was a practicing lawyer when she got out of law school. We have historically appointed white males who are infinitely less qualified than she is. Judge Thomas comes to mind as one who is less qualified than she is.

        • Whistleblower47 says:

          I have not introduced racism into the argument but you have.
          I am merely commenting on implied capacity, whether “white” or “black”. It is a source of some amusement for me that those of mixed race background seek to identify as “black” whilst rejecting their “honky” racial origins!

        • Whistleblower47 says:

          FOR THE RECORD:
          Extract from the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois:
          Michelle Obama admitted as a lawyer May 12 1989
          Illinois Registration Status: “Voluntarily inactive and not authorised to practice law – Last Registered year 1993”

      • dpaano says:

        Most of the Supreme Court judges have limited experience as practicing attorneys. And, most of the nominees that Trump has put forth have had very little actual experience before the bar! In fact, if I’m correct, there have been Supreme Court justices who have had NO actual experience in jurisprudence!

    • idamag says:

      Yes, I agree with you.

  13. idamag says:

    I am not a white person. When I put my hand on a piece of paper, it a kind of ugly pink and beige, but not white. I am not brown. I am not Black. I have never seen a Black person, either, but then I have a well developed eye for color. So, I feel qualified to say that Michelle Obama is one of the most beautiful first ladies. As my mother used to point out, beauty shines from within. Michelle Obama has also been one of the most graceful first ladies and one of the most intelligent. She is tall. So, that is a reason for the fascists to try and say she is transgender. All of you tall women, you have been dissed also. We don’t have to wonder about the incoming first lady’s sexual identity. Her Hustler Magazine pose where she is lying on her back, naked with her legs spread wide, leaves nothing to the imagination.

  14. Deskjet says:

    President Obama & Michelle You have been MY PRESIDENT and MY FIRST LADY !! I will always have a spot in my HEART FOR YOUR FAMILY!! GOD BLESS!! I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU!!!

  15. dpaano says:

    Mr. Pitts….you said what many of us have said all along. There has never been a First Lady (at least not since Jackie Kennedy) that has done so much for this nation as Michelle Obama. She will not be forgotten for her grace under fire! She will NOT be forgotten as one of the greatest First Lady’s ever! I can only wish her and her wonderful husband the very best of luck in the coming years. I just hope that she and the president realize that there are many of us here that know what they did for this country and appreciate it! It’s going to hurt many of us to see all of this dismantled by someone who has absolutely NO qualifications to hold the job of president and NO idea what it takes to run this country. He’ll run it all right….he’ll run it right into the ground and we’ll be back where we were when President Obama took over after GWB! That’s the saddest part….watching all the good being dismantled! But, in the meantime, we love you and your family and will always thank you for your 8 years of service to this nation!

  16. Jan Willem van Waning says:

    Thank you Mr. Pitts, for expressing what also many non-Americans have felt over the past eight years. Michelle Obama has shown us the graciousness and yet down-to-earth qualities we would want the world to see as pure American qualities.

    What an honor for the USA to have had her as its First Lady.

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