I truly believe that each of us has a ‘pet peeve’; meaning something that is relatively inconsequential yet for some reason it disturbs us at an unconscionable level. There are times when your ‘pet peeve’ can make you scream. I have found that my longest running pet peeve is when others around me ‘pop gum’; my sister, an infamous gum popper, relates that the only reason the activity disturbs me so much is because I can neither pop gum nor make a bubble.
As a person who gleefully spends a significant portion of his time around books and ideas, it is predictable that popping gum would eventually be replaced by something dealing with words. When I sat down to write this post, it did not take long for me to pin-point my greatest ‘pet peeves’. It is the following phrases, “I am waiting for my Barack”, the secular equivalent to Christian sisters’ assertion that they are “waiting on their Boaz”, “behind every good man is a good woman” and finally the assertion that “Michelle MADE Barack.”
Now let me be forthcoming and state that this is not some type of sneak or covert attack upon President Barack Hussein Obama, so sisters please put away your weapons; one would have to be living under a rock to not recognize the uncommon love that you all possess for this brother. This post is not aimed at President Obama, rather its target is aimed at ALL of the wannabe Michelle Obama’s. Let me definitively state without any equivocation to those that fit this bill, YOU ARE NOT MICHELLE OBAMA!!!!!! There I said it and it needed to be said!!!!!!
This uncanny obsession that so many African-American women have expressed for Barack Obama permits us to exam the tendency of many women to pat their self on the back for what their man has become or accomplished. When success is bountiful and adulations are being handed out, Black women tend to opportunistically and gleefully glow under a banner that reads, “behind every good man is a good woman”.
It is reasonably understandable that African-American women believe that in regards to President Obama, his wife and America’s first lady, Michelle Obama is the good woman standing behind her man. Despite Conservative pundits repeated attempts to tear down the first family, there is no doubt that Michelle Obama has encouraged, prodded, challenged, and supported Barack Hussein Obama as he soared to heights and reached landings that he could have never attained without her aid; a process that I am certain the first couple would relate began well before Barack secured his first political office. I have even heard a few overzealous sisters state that Michelle “made” Barack. I tend to smile at that assertion, because those who are articulating such thoughts have little understanding of what they are implicitly stating about African-American women and the men that they forge relationships with.
Many African-American women see no contradiction behind the statements of “I am waiting on my Barack” and Michelle “made” Barack. They illogically posit that if they could find one good man, like Barack, then all of their relationship issues would dissipate. The logic behind this belief is simultaneously oversimplified, yet convoluted and muddled. I routinely giggle inside at the droves of women who speak these words, yet fail to comprehend what they are actually saying.
Most African-American women I have discussed this issue with refute my assertion that if it is true that “behind every good man there is a good woman”; well, then the opposite, “behind every no good man is a no good woman” must be just as valid. And considering the current state of the African-American community and Black men, there must be legions of ‘no good women’ in our midst. So I caution my sisters against haphazardly using such phraseology, because it may very well return to ‘bite you in the butt.’
For the record, I neither believe that the failings of African-American men are directly attributable to ‘no good’ African-American women, nor do I believe that Black men’s success can be totally attributable to some nameless good woman lurking in the shadows.
It may be time for our community to back away from such simplistic thinking and try supporting one another with all of our might, regardless of who receives the credit. I am certain that if you were to ask First Lady Michelle Obama, she would relate that she and the President are a team and they share their victories and defeats as partners. Although I have never met President Obama, I am certain that he would take great issue with the assertion that Michelle has been behind him at all times, he would most likely prefer for us to state that she has been by his side, just as he has been by her side through their entire journey.
James Thomas Jones III
© Manhood Race and Culture 2014