Michelle Obama says she is ‘depressed’ by America
Former First Lady Michelle Obama on her podcast complained that America has given her a “low-grade depression” due to issues ranging from racism to the pandemic. The remark again raises questions not only about her mental fortitude but about her alienation from America.
“Not just because of the quarantine,” she explained about her “depression,” according to NBC News, “but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting.”
Obama has had a litany of complaints about America since breaking on the scene as the wife of Barack Obama.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, she was derided for saying that she was never proud of the country until people supported her husband for president.
“For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback,” she told a campaign crowd in Wisconsin, which prompted Cindy McCain to say that she was always proud of America.
As Newsweek noted shortly thereafter, it wasn’t just Cindy McCain who questioned the remark from the-soon-to-be First Lady.
“[A] lot of voters did and will wonder: how could someone who graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law School and won a job at a high-paying Chicago law firm—who was in some way a beneficiary of affirmative action—sound so alienated from her country?” wrote Newsweek.
In comments on her podcast, the former First Lady also said her pride was short-lived after her husband won the 2008 campaign because Americans never accepted a Black man in the White House.
“The reaction to it on all sides, the vast discomfort with the notion that a Black man could be sitting in the highest level of office, we saw that. We saw the signs, we saw the nooses, ” she said.
NBC News claims that the nooses were the result of the widespread abuse and attacks by the right wing.
But Newsweek claimed that Michelle Obama’s dissatisfaction with white America is something that was already clearly visible as early as her time at Princeton.
“I have found that at Princeton no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my White professors and classmates try to be towards me,” she wrote in her thesis, Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community, “I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don’t belong. Regardless of the circumstances under which I interact with Whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be Black first and a student second.”
While Newsweek claimed that Obama had “assimilated” into white culture as a kind of second Jackie Kennedy, it’s clear from her current complaints that assimilation comes with a great deal of alienation, too.
“I’d be remiss to say part of this depression is also a result of what we’re seeing in terms of the protests, the continued racial unrest that has plagued this country since its birth,” she said.
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