My President is STILL Black, but what if the 1st Lady wasn't

So me and some friends (I actually came in on the tail end of the conversation... a day later when it was brought back up) had a heated conversation about how Barack Obama would be perceived if he had married a white woman, or a black woman that was so light that she looked white.

For the most part we (the black people) all agreed that he would still have won the election, but wouldn't have had nearly as many votes from the African American community. One white person in the bunch begged to differ and no surprise to me because a white person will never truly understand why that would be, just like they claim to not understand why we can use the word Nigger and they can't.

Personally, as a black woman that was an avid Hilary supporter until I learned more about Barack (and didn't decide on voting for him until 3 weeks before the primaries), I can honestly say that if his wife were white he may not have even gotten the democratic nomination. Hilary had a lot of African American female supporters and would have had even more if Barack's wife were white. Now granted this is solely my RBW perspective, but the fact of the matter is black women do not like to see black men of high social status, celebrity, or with a lot of money with a white woman on their arm. Its like a slap in the face to us that when you get on a certain level, that black women are no longer good enough for you. Even if that isn't the case, that's how we generally feel.

I know its something we probably need to get over, but its there, and I can't see it going anywhere anytime soon.

I don't want to take anything away from this great moment we are having in history but I did want to get the perspective from my Renaissance Black People about the matter. So hit me up in the comments and let me know how you feel about that. Do you agree or disagree that Barack wouldn't have the appeal that he does with the African American community if his wife were white. Do you agree or disagree that as close as the nomination was between him and Hilary that there is a huge chance she would have beat him if his wife was white.

To me they are the most beautiful first family I have ever seen in my life and I can't get enough of looking at them.

How chocolate Michelle is, how tall she is, I can't wait to see what the girls are going to look like in 4 years when its time to re-elect Barack because they are going to be gorgeous and coming into their own as teenagers.

The neverending gestures of public affection that Barack shows for the 3 women in his life, but especially Michelle.

The way he looks at her with so much love and admiration.

They are truly the American dream. They make me smile, they make me proud, they give me hope that my family can be just as beautiful; that the Cosby Show lifestyle is not so far fetched.

I'm back in NYC, but still on a DC high and I can't come down!


Keith January 22, 2009 at 9:37 AM

I think you are right when you say that if his wife had been white he wouldn't even have gotten the Democratic nomination...(There are white people, who that would have bothered, not just Blacks.)

On the real, I'm glad he's married to Michelle..I like her and I like them as a couple. Makes me feel good just looking at them together.

It serves as an example that Black
Love is still alive and well.

Just Jasmine January 22, 2009 at 9:41 AM

I truly love this family but i agree that he may not have gotten the primary had he had a white wife. In politics appearances are everything and Michelle is every bit of a factor for his success as his political history and record.
Still a very great moment in US history.

ToshaRenelle January 22, 2009 at 9:43 AM

I don't know, Eb, I mean, I want to say that the black vote would've still supported Barack, but the things you mentioned are true. People would've deemed it typical if he had a white wife. In fact, many were probably expecting. For those who hadn't heard much about Barack before his election as Senator and his book releases, probably expected him to be a "Tiger Woods" of politics. I can't even really answer your questions, though, because I can't wrap my psyche around things being any other way than what they are. He has a true SISTA for a wife, through and through and it's so much of a beautiful thing, I just can't picture anything else. Like you, I can't look at them enough. They are THEE most fabulous First Family EVER! And after witnessing Barack's swag, and even though his mom was white, something tells me a white woman never really did it for him. Even if he dabbled in dating them in his past, look who he chose, adores and loves to no end!

My President and his wife are BLACK and that's clearly how God wanted it to be, or else it simply wouldn't!

fantasy queen January 22, 2009 at 9:43 AM

i hate getting in the middle of the whole 'white/black' issues.
rather than dwell on 'if she were...' lets just celebrate what is, cos the truth is we can agrue all we can but we'll just never know, would we.

i teared up as i watched obama and michelle dance at the ball, they looked so glamorous and in love. they always seem to send this aura of how into themselves they are....and its refreshing cos i know when it comes to love, you cant pretend.

Angel January 22, 2009 at 10:15 AM

If she was white most people I know wouldnt have even followed it. We are NOT impressed when we see black men rise to such heights and then take a white wife its a complete slap in the face. Its like they are not really black. Over here the whole thing had so much support its like we had the vote ourselves!

They are such a beautiful family.

Eb the Celeb January 22, 2009 at 10:16 AM

@Keith - That's another thing we argued... that white people wouldnt be as acceptable of it either

@Fantasy Queen - I wrote the post to get the perspective from other black people because I wanted to make sure in my head it wasn't just a couple of us black folks gaining up on the only white person in the room. Fact of the matter is the white person in the room is the one who brought this whole conversation up and the thought would have never even crossed my mind if he hadn't. That's why I stated I didn't want anything to take away from this moment, but still felt the topic needed to be addressed.

The Jaded NYer January 22, 2009 at 10:32 AM

I would hope that it wouldn't have been a problem (seeing as his mother was white- wouldn't it stand to reason he's want someone like his mother?) but who am I kidding??

I would have called him an uppity negro and rolled my eyes at him all day long as my gut reaction.

Would it have cost him the Dem. nomination? I don't think so- Hilary proved herself to be oh-so-shady towards the end of her campaign and it turned a lot of people off (according to the "liberal media" lol) so who knows.

(fŭng'kē) [blak] [chik] January 22, 2009 at 10:42 AM

A few years ago when I first told my aunt about Pres. Obama, and that he was married, the first question that popped out of her mouth was if his wife was black.

I think the more things change the more they stay the same, b/c there are people who will always have problems with interracial relationships, white & black alike.

Would it have kept him from office? I'm not to sure about that...

Super Dave Van Buren January 22, 2009 at 10:43 AM

I agree that it would be a completely different vibe if his wife was white. Black people wouldn't embrace him the same which is kinda messed up because he would still be the same person, just in love with a different woman.

Creative1k January 22, 2009 at 10:44 AM

I have to agreed that it would've made a vast difference in the beginning, but what God has for you is specifically for you. With that I believe that Barack would've won either way.
Its sad that most women feel disrespected, (me included) when a brother chooses a white partner or spouse over his equally made sista. I'm so thankful that we have a strong example to follow for our families. I agree with you, EB. I hope that my family will become as beautiful.

Chris January 22, 2009 at 10:59 AM

That is just an awesome family. Sasha's the star of the bunch to me because she's just the precocious kid that we all know or are related to that just runs the show.

As far as Barack and Michelle's dynamic, it never gets old. Two accomplished, intelligent down-to-earth black people who love and LOVE EACH OTHER is something that hopefully will inspire a change in the relationships (or lack thereof) our community's been hampered by in recent years.

A.M. January 22, 2009 at 11:08 AM

i need time to read this when I get on the train in a n hr that's what I'll be doing. Me, da 2 train, and ya post :)

Eb the Celeb January 22, 2009 at 11:16 AM

@Jaded NYer - Yes, Hilary really showed her colors at the end of the campaign which made it easier for me to switch.

@Chris - That is exactly what I am hoping for too. That the statistics of kids in the African American community growing up with 2 parents in the home increases, the black love reaches an all time high, that more of us are getting married and staying that way.

Anonymous January 22, 2009 at 11:37 AM

I was a Clinton supporter at first too, and although I would like to think that Barack marrying a white woman wouldn't have changed my vote, it probably would have. The thing about our voting process is that we look at EVERYTHING. I think most African American woman loved seeing the image of a family man and made our decision before we even looked at his plans and ideas. We automatically feel the connection between this family who "is" and what so many of us are trying to "be". Him being married to a white woman would have changed the dynamic and made the connection less strong.

I just love that they are not reserved in their love for each other. We've had so many first couples act cold and distant towards their spouses, it's refreshing to see how Barack & Michelle hug and kiss and just be real. It gives us another couple to look up to, like Martin&Coretta, Ossie&Ruby Dee, and so many others...even Cliff&Claire!

Amber-Alert January 22, 2009 at 11:47 AM

hmmm good post cuz i never even thought about would have been a huge issue just like his own racial background (or whatever u wanna call it) was a big issue and was dissected to no would it have kept him out of the white house?? i honestly have no idea i would like to say i hope not but u never kno. but yea i hope more black men follow BOs example...

.:jeni:. January 22, 2009 at 11:57 AM

I completely agree. Who a man takes for his wife says a lot about him. If Barack had chosen a white women to be his spouse, it would have undoubtedly changed his standing with the African American community, especially the women.

For me personally, seeing a successful black man with a white wife makes me say 'well was a black woman not good enough.' I know it's something that I need to work past because I know nothing about the relationship and could damn sure be wrong, but still, it is what it is.

I think Michelle being the woman she is, intelligent, successful, and chocolate hued, and coming from the family and community she did definitely helped Obama gain votes in the Black community. She appealed to so many woman that looked like her, an appeal that a white woman could never spur.

Rich Fitzgerald January 22, 2009 at 11:58 AM

I definitely agree with your take. Black women would rather back a powerful white woman than a powerful black man with a white woman.

I wonder if he would have lost some votes from white men. hmmm

Anonymous January 22, 2009 at 12:36 PM

I don't think he would. I am all for love who you want, but sisters everywhere would have secretly been hot that a sister wasn't on his arm during his attempt at the White House. I love the vision of black love and having it end up on Penn. Ave.

Charles January 22, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Its a damn shame that certain black women feel that way about black men when they're with a white woman. And when they're celebs, or men in power or whatever, some black women show anger and all sorts of other negative emotions to those black men...but yet, its okay for the few, when n***** ain't shit, or 'I'm gonna go out and get me a white man' or whatever. Its stupid, and something that we as people just need to get the hell over. In a couple more generations, races are going to be hard to distinguish anyway, because we're all gonna be mixed, so this is just more foolishness that we're gonna look back on with disgust, much like we do on segregation.

But not to take away from this great moment, the Obama's are definitely the real life Huxtables...and it just gives me so much pride and hope. To see how great family and especially love is, many should look at this as an example, and stop increasing the divorce rate.

Much love Eb.

Eb the Celeb January 22, 2009 at 12:58 PM

@Charles - Black women usually go to white men as a last resort for happiness... not a first and only option like some black men do. Its a huge difference! With that said, I don't condone blatant disrespect against interracial couples either. Every person does have the right to choose who they want to love, but it does hurt black women to see since there are so many single black women to choose from that a black man would go elsewhere. I have no problems with interracial couples, hell my little brothers and sisters are mixed. My mother got to a point where she had enough of black men and stopped dating them.

A.M. January 22, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Eb my dear, I agree with you 110 percent. A lot of Black women do feel slighted when our Black men run off to date the other race. My mom is in love with President Obama(ooowwww doesn't that sound great ) but I'm sure if our first lady were white...she wouldn't have respected him as much. Hill was a strong contender and Blk women would have def went with her.

But I dunno I've always loved my Barack, I mean Michelle's Barack he he, and he would have gotten my vote. I'm too much of a romantic to base love on a color. My dad's wife is white, and she's a pretty cool chick. Pays my phone bill every month since I've been in college hahah.

But seriously, when you said the way he loves the three women in his life, his family, assures me that I too AM going to and will meet the right one for me.

He has just become our president and has showed us sooo much already. His demonstration of love, commitment, vigor,and Sprite seriously shows me that IF I work for whatever it is I want, life's gonna be sweet :-)

Coming to you from the 2 train,
A.M :)

Lucky January 22, 2009 at 1:37 PM

I cosign 110%
My friends and I go to HBCUs and that was one of the early things we talked about, if Barack's spouse had been white. I think that would have added more fuel to the "is he Black enough" argument. But I think a) I still would have voted for him and 2) it's important that THIS black man won, with his black wife and black kids and multi-ethnic background...

We're all-around legit! :]

RiPPa January 22, 2009 at 2:24 PM

He would not be where he is period point blank. Trust me, they would've dug up a sex tape with him and Paris Hilton that would have derailed him.

MzInspiredMind81 January 22, 2009 at 3:00 PM

I wholeheartedly agree w/ all that you said. If Michelle was white, things would have been very different. To the average(and by saying average I don't really mean 'average' but I digress) black person, when we see a black man of status w/ a white woman on his arm..we automatically think sell out. It may not be right, but it's true. If Michelle was white, the black vote would have been very very different.

Michelle embodies everything that is beautiful and everything that America as a whole is not used to when defining beauty. America sometimes defines beauty as skinny(read frail in my opinion), fairer skinned and not gorgeous, shapely, tall Michelle.

As for the love they have for each's simply beautiful. I can't stop watching the video of them dancing to 'At Last'. It brings tears to my eyes and as cliche as it sounds, gives me hope for that black love that I so desperately want for myself.

and1grad January 22, 2009 at 3:11 PM

I dont believe black women would've voted for Barack if his wife were white. Personally, I think its sad that some black people allow themselves that form of racism, regardless of whatever convenient excuse that is conjured up, yet still consider themselves a proponent of change.

Anyway, another question is, what if black men DID support Barack with a white wife and black women did not? Would that have created a further divide?

Jada January 22, 2009 at 3:25 PM

This is not the first time I have heard this discussion. If Barack's wife was white...he absolutely would NOT be President.

Black women would have supported a white woman before a black man with a white wife...and so would white folks. It is what it is.

I think that I would have a subtle disappointment if he were married to a white woman as well.

kayellejaye January 22, 2009 at 3:28 PM

I'm down with the swirl and all, but I definitely would've felt some kind of way if BHO's wife wasn't a sista. Granted, he is half white. I just don't think America would've been ready for that much change.

T.C. January 22, 2009 at 4:45 PM

i love what this represents...i LOVE that its showing BLACK INTELLIGENT LOVE on all he respects his wife, his daughter, HIMSELF, his mother-in-law but he still loves his heritage you know...

i do agree that if she were white it would have probably set him back but again as someone stated his mother is white...however if she were light skinned do you really think it would have been an issue? i only ask that because being a high yella gurl myself it sometimes takes me aback how many folks have an issue with us light skinned women as if we have ASKED to come here this color...i think ALL black women are beautiful ALL of us so any shade of black love i'll take it!

Eb the Celeb January 22, 2009 at 5:29 PM

@T.C. - I really really wish it weren't that way. I personally feel that if she was a red bone that I wouldn't have felt any different about her but I truly feel that if she was lighter than Barack that some people would have turned up their noses. I just think its a beautiful thing that she isn't the conventional idea of what America thinks a black woman is. She is tall, she is shapely, and she is chocolate and I love it!

Jada January 22, 2009 at 5:42 PM

@TC...I think if she was a light skinned sista...he would have had a tougher time.

CC January 22, 2009 at 6:10 PM

RBW- I couldn't help but wonder this too and I have to agree with you. In one since it would seem so typical (popular black man marries white woman) and therefore that might be off putting to some black women and perhaps even some black men, heck maybe even some white men! I'm glad it worked out the way it did though. This makes the biggest statement of what society is willing to accept. Because he is biracial had he been with a white woman or a biracial woman maybe it wouldn't have made as big a statement?

Tuotierugif >^..^<© January 22, 2009 at 7:16 PM

I think you and your friends hit it on point!* I've always thought the same thing about the turnout if his had been white or light skinned.

I want a beautiful family like his one day...'sigh'

Mizrepresent January 22, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Gurl, to tell you the truth...i don't want to even think about him being with anyone other than Michelle! Their relationship uplifts me...if he was with a non-black women, i just might be reluctant to vote for him, just because of what we've been through in the past...but i believe Obama to be the man he portrays, his choice in his woman came long before his aspirations, and so i know this man is grounded in his beliefs and what he loves...i that's what i love about him.

Miss BB is... January 22, 2009 at 8:01 PM

I didn't read any of the comments today cuz I'm tired as HELL so I apologize for repeating anything that I'm sure has been said already:

HE wouldn't have gotten close to winning the primary because white folks would NOT have voted for him. Sure, black women would have been PISSED and we may not have liked him for it but b/c he's Black, some of us would have still BEGRUDGINGLY voted for him.

White people? Hell nawl. You're not going to take "one of theirs" and still get the vote. No way. Even though our (black women) was a big part of the vote, he could not have won without the white vote.

ShellyShell January 22, 2009 at 8:34 PM

Since I am the one who had the initial conversation with said white person I must comment! And that person is no longer my friend either!

I think Barack would have still won if Michelle were white but I don't think he would have had such overwhelming support from black women! He was the best candidate for the job but if Michelle were white I still would have voted for him but it would have been like "dang another brother in a position of power married to a white woman." I don't think all the uproar would have came from black women either. Some white people would have had a problem with it as well! It's unfortunate that we are even talking about this but it's real. I personally am thrilled that Michelle is brown skin and has hips and is smart as hell. I think black america truly needed to see this picture of black love!

K January 22, 2009 at 10:08 PM

Eb I agree with you on this although I am not American I was supporting Obama from across the sea's (I'm african but reside in Australia) from day one but I think what really sealed the deal besides his politics was his wife and kids. He spoke of change and was living the change. Over here African Americans are represented through sport, entertainers or through the "ghetto" aspect through shows like I love New York etc

So it was good to see Barack be the face of a black family reminiscent of Cosby show days. I also tackled the whole issue of black men and black women dating in my recent post and how statistics prove that black women are justified in being a little hurt when a black man reaches a higher social and educational status his options widen in regards to dating. Whereas the higher a woman's professional, social and educational status rises she is hard pressed to find a mate who is equal to her and for various reasons her only options to date have been to be loyal to the idea of finding the perfect black man.

Mimi January 22, 2009 at 11:24 PM

I'm not gonna even sit here and front and say that I wouldn't have given a second thought to placing my vote for President Obama had his wife been white.

I do feel like a lot a black go for women of other races once they get a lot of cash. It's sad, but true.

It's annoying and frankly insulting. IDK...those fools don't deserve black women anyway! lol

suga January 23, 2009 at 2:45 AM

Black women would have had an issue but I think white people having an issue with his choice of wife is what really could have cost him the presidency. If you think about it in numbers, Black people only make up,,,whats 11-13% of the population. How much of that small percentage is made up of women over 18 who can vote? Whatever percentage, it wouldn't be enough to make sure Barack lost. But if white men took offense to Barack marrying one of their women? Now THAT is what would have stopped him from even getting the Democratic nomination.

Hey Shae! January 23, 2009 at 2:55 AM

I agree that he would not have had as strong of a following with the African American women had his wife been white. I was also a strong Hillary supporter because I didn't know much about Barack. But once Hillary became desperate and showed she would not be able to handle pressure in a graceful manner, I made it my business to learn more about Barack and it was clear that he was the better choice. The black man, white woman wound runs deep in the African American community and you are right, some people just won't understand it, but the reality of it is some people wouldn't have gotten past it. Would he have still won? I think if he did, it would not have been by so much.

MyLoveMyLife January 23, 2009 at 4:55 AM

VERY, VERY interesting post. i love them as a couple. i have never noticed a first couple PDA as much as they do. and it is BEAUTIFUL, and APPROPRIATE. they will lead a good example in showing how respectful love and PDA show be. how it should honor one another.
honestly i would go as far as to say they are my FAVORITE public couple EVER.

nia January 23, 2009 at 9:47 AM This comment has been removed by the author.
Sha Boogie January 23, 2009 at 12:44 PM

I dunno..I think the whole 'we love Obama' thing would have been different if Michelle wasn't a sista. I read on one blog that you can tell a lot about a man by the type of woman he marries -- and I think in this case it speaks VOLUMES.

Urban Thought January 23, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Pardon me for being late on this... I have to agree in some part... A significant amount of Black people wouldn't have voted for him if he was with a White Woman. It makes a difference in minds of people what type of woman you have on your arm. I think it would have bothered Black woman more than it would a Black man. But that is another topic for another day.

clnmike January 24, 2009 at 10:35 AM

To me thats not even a question, I KNOW HIS ASS WOULD HAVE NEVER BECOME POTUS if his wife was white.

Hell he would have had some balls just talking about running for office.

Same thing if he was white and she was black, except it would be black men tripping and black women cheering.

It's sad but true.

Jaesoreal January 24, 2009 at 8:39 PM

If she were white, I don't know if I would have been as ride-or-die for him. I may have chosen Hilary over him myself in that situation. I certainly would have hated the image it put forth for black women. Now that I think about it, I think him being half white would have been played up even more and he would not have been as loved and accepted by the black community. He would have lost. I cannot overstate how much I LOVE seeing that beautiful black family!

Anonymous January 28, 2009 at 12:11 AM

Even though this man's mother is white if he would have had a white wife people who have went nuts. He may not have even made it into office, sadly.

Ms. Jackson January 30, 2009 at 1:32 PM

I think Michelle gave him instant credibility amoung black people, women in particular. Even some of my fair complected friends appreciate that she is a chocolate sister. I love them, but I do think picking her was a calculated move since he knew he wanted to go into politics. Before Michelle he want by "Barry" and exclusively dated white women.

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