(Published on July 20, 2016)
Go to Newsbusters for the original post.
Some folks, like Cosmopolitan writer Brittany Cooper, see racism everywhere.
Melania Trump’s Monday night speech sparked ridicule and outrage from people on both sides of the aisle. Plagiarism is stupid and dishonest, and denying it in the face of evidence is…stupid and dishonest.
But for the unhinged Brittany Cooper, any defense of Melania is just another example of white privilege. The Rutgers Women’s and Gender Studies professor wrote that Michelle Obama “had a lot riding on her 2008 convention speech.” That speech was “not only a referendum on her husband’s fitness for the presidency, but on her fitness for the position of first lady.” According to Cooper, Melania Trump did not have that same pressure riding on her RNC speech. She “did not have to prove the worthiness of white women to be granted the status of ladyhood, in the same way that Obama had to do as a representative black woman in 2008.”
Obama’s comments “on the campaign trail caused Americans of all stripes to characterize her as angry and divisive.” True, and well-deserved. Her husband’s nomination was, in Michelle’s own words, the first time the Ivy-League-educated, six-figure earner with her own chef had been proud of her country.
In truth, Michelle got a pass for that and other “divisive and angry” statements. The media was no more interested in holding her accountable for her words than it was in holding her husband accountable for his. Instead, they talked about her style, her sculpted arms, and mothering skills.
Somehow, to Cooper, that wasn’t enough, because she abhors the spectacle of the Trump campaign circling around Melania. This “is the essence of white privilege — even clear fuckups get explained away and come with little consequence. Meanwhile, if you’re black, telling the truth can cost you everything.” Obama, the current First Lady of the United States, definitely lost everything.
In addition, Michelle Obama has had her femininity “challenged on multiple occasions, as congressmen have referred to her “large posterior” and bristled at her audacity in taking an official portrait with her arms showing. Trump’s femininity will not be adjudicated in such terms.” That has less to do with white privilege than it does with the fact that Trump is a model. Like, a paid-to-be-pretty model. No, pundits probably won’t comment on her arms. But Brittany, please keep blaming everything on race.
And she does. Cooper claims that “there is a larger principle at play in the way that a Republican vision of the world relies on both the manual and intellectual labor of black women, while hating black women in practice.” For instance, Republicans are against abortion and taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, which “poor women of color rely on.” Ms. Cooper must not be aware that abortions disproportionately murder more black babies than any other American minority.
“And now pundits and commentators on the right and the left suggested on morning news programs that we should feel sympathy for Trump.” Some have, sure. But Newsbusters revealed that overwhelmingly, the media has been hammering away at Trump since the plagiarism claims first surfaced. In fact, they’ve attacked Trump four times as much as when Obama made a plagiarism gaff back in 2008. White privilege, you say?
Cooper also lays into Taylor Swift, who has “profited from this vulnerable white femininity narrative by trafficking in ideas that she was being picked on by Kanye West.” Or, maybe people just didn’t want to side with a jerk who makes music videos of naked celebrities.
Funny, Cooper didn’t bring up Hillary’s emails.