About Michelle Obama’s DNC Speech and the White House That Was Built by Slaves
Michelle Obama. Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama the GAWDESS. First of Her Name. Sasha and Malia’s mama. Barack’s wife. Queen of my Heart. Slayer of Haters. Shader of Intellectually Inferior Walking Cheetos. She Who Shall Not Be Outdone.
She stepped on the stage of the Democratic National Convention on day 1 and showed people why Black women are made of unicorn tears, essence of phoenix and a scoop of eye of newt.
We are otherworldly in our awesomeness.
Michelle is unable to flaw. Flaw-deficient. No flaw left behind on her. Flaw looks at Michelle and goes “Nah, I can’t go there.” For 15 minutes, she commanded the stage, stole our hearts and spoke truth to power. She made folks jealous of Barack Obama for getting to stand in her glory. She spoke about her brilliant family, about her growing girls, and about her position as a Black woman who is living in a world that really doesn’t stand for us. She threw immaculate eclipse at folks and didn’t even have to name them for it to hit.
Her entire speech was one giant quotable, and me talking about my favorite lines would be me literally transcribing her whole speech. But the line that people cannot stop talking about is when she said:
“I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves and I watch my daughters – two beautiful, intelligent, black young women – playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.”
That line is an instant classic, and it was piercing in its raw truth. That line is one folks have been “fact checking” for the last 36 hours. What the fuck are folks fact-checking? What is there to confirm? IT IS THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH. So help me, Father Gawd.
There are certain things that are facts. One of them is that cockroaches are the devil in bug form. The other is that the United States of America was built and sustained by the labor of enslaved Black people.
As the men who founded this country touted “All men are created equal,” they owned slaves, and those were the people who built the house that was supposed to represent freedom. Ground was broken to build the White House in 1792. Who do you think was doing the work? Gifted white laborers being paid a fair wage? HAHAHAHANO. It was Black people who had no agency over their own lives. It was Black boys, girls, women and men, who were being whipped into laying those bricks. It wasn’t some construction crew in hard hats. It was slaves.
Lemme repeat for the upper decks: THE WHITE HOUSE WAS BUILT BY SLAVES.
So it makes zero sense to me that white people could be clutching their pearls in shock about Michelle Obama mentioning that history. Well, then again, it makes perfect sense. Because part of the privilege of whiteness is not having to think of the malice of your ancestors. Because when you’re white, you don’t have to think about the fact that Black folks are here because the trans-atlantic slave trade imported Africans, like they were bags of rice. Because whiteness protects you from having to acknowledge that YOUR history, and your people are the ones who forced Black folks to be here in the first place. And that you owe us a hell of a lot.
The point of slavery was not because white people needed Black friends and needed to know what having rhythm and seasoned food was like. Nah. It was used to create the largest economy in the world. It was used to build an empire that is still reigning today. All that old money folks are sitting on? It’s because they used Black bodies as currency. The blood and sweat and tears of Black folks are in every piece of America.
But white people have managed to excel at fictional storytelling when it comes to history. It’s laughable that they think they did anything but whip this country into being built. They will go out of their way to talk about slavery like it was summer camp.
This is why numbnuts like Bill O’Reilly can fix their slack ass jaws and say that slaves were well-fed and had housing, so it wasn’t so bad that they were made to build the White House. BITCH slave labor built this country and the forefathers and their dusty wigs do not get props because they decided to do the absolute minimum to keep them alive!
The fuck, yo? White folks have legit spent a lot of time revising history, and have convinced themselves that they haven’t spent 400 years exploiting, denigrating and killing Black people. There are Texas textbooks that call slaves “workers” like they had 401(k)s and benefits. You wanna spit shine slavery, you can try. There’s no gloss there. It was ugly. It was evil.
But the part that is most aggravating of all? The fact that white folks will turn around and call US violent. And lazy. They have managed to uphold a system that has convinced them (and some of us, unfortunately) that we are sloths who are prone to aggression when WE DID ALL THE WORK AS THEY SAT AROUND BEATING US. Who is lazy and violent? Because it surely ain’t us.
We’re the ones you’ve tried to break. We’re the ones you’ve stolen from. We’re the ones you try to kill. But WE are the ones who are the problem? Nah, whiteness.
This is why SLAVERY is WHITE HISTORY. Just as much as it’s Black history. This is part of the legacy of whiteness and no amount of denial will change that. They surely have tried. Not acknowledging your bullshit is a great way to sit in bliss.
WE DID ALL THIS SHIT AND YOU ARE WELCOME, WHITE PEOPLE. This is why if we were to take everything we’ve contributed to this country for BLAXIT, all white folks would have left is birkenstock sandals and kale smoothies.
Oh and when Hillary Clinton wins the election and moves in to that White House for the second time – this time as Commander in Chief – she can thank Black women for making it happen for her.
We get shit done.
P.S. ALL HAIL MICHELLE OBAMA.
P.P.S. I wanna take this moment to brag that I went to the same high school as FLOTUS Shellie. Shoutout to the Whitney Young Magnet High School Dolphins!
I’m at the DNC all week. Follow me on social media (@Luvvie everywhere) for what I get into.