[FoRK] Political race codespeak
<gojomofork at xavvy.com> on
Wed Apr 23 15:39:11 PDT 2008
I don't think there's any racial/coded dimension to Michelle Obama's
It's just a wink-wink joke -- "see how I managed to compliment myself in
a roundabout way?" -- ironic immodesty.
Of course, standards of 'beautiful' vary. To this beholder, Michelle
Obama is well above average in physical attractiveness -- so there's no
dissonance when she's labeled "beautiful", by herself or others.
I kind of wonder where your friend is from, that Michelle doesn't rate!
Lisa Dusseault wrote:
> A foreign female friend reported to me that Michelle Obama was talking
> about John [Edwards? McCain?] and her husband in a speech, and said
> something like "They have a lot of things in common. They both have
> beautiful wives."
> My friend then said Michelle is not beautiful and asked why she said
> that because in her opinion it only drew attention to her lack of
> beauty. I did not have a good answer although of course I immediately
> suspected my friend took the statement literally when it was meant
> Remember, I grew up in Canada and literally was not exposed to race
> politics, let alone US-specific politics. Is this code for the
> substitution "Black is beautiful" and she's saying "I'm black"? But
> John's wife is not...? I have a feeling she's hinting at a world of
> meaning here, and that she's maybe even giving coded messages that will
> be decoded differently by different people. Is that possible? What do
> you hear in the phrase?
> I looked for a citation for this or to confirm the quote but could not
> find it. I believe it was on TV within the last week.
>  My friend reports ordering coffee in Philadelphia and the barista
> said "Do you want your coffee with cream, or beautiful?"
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