Michelle Obama Tells Women Republicans Are ‘All Men, All White’

Michelle Obama Tells Women Republicans Are ‘All Men, All White’

As a lifelong Republican, even I was moved by Michelle Obama’s rousing speech at the Democratic National Convention when she endearingly claimed, “When they go low, we go high.” Mrs. Obama, like her husband, tends to have a way with words. So why, as of late, is she tripping over them?

At the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, Obama said when she attended State of the Union addresses she noticed the Republican side consisted of “all men, all white.” That, she said, was the reason many minorities “don’t trust politics.”

“When you are in the room what you can see is this real dichotomy. It’s a feeling of color almost,” Obama said. “On one side of the room is literally gray and white. Literally, that is the color palette on one side of the room. On the other side of the room, there are yellows and blues and whites and greens. Physically there’s a difference in color, in the tone, because on one side all men, all white, on the other side some woman, some people of color.”

First of all, there are five female GOP Senate members and 22 in the House of Representatives. While the number is a small percentage in Congress, the demographic isn’t simply “all men, all white.” In fact, two of those Republican women helped shoot down efforts to repeal Obamacare. Perhaps Mrs. Obama should thank Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski for help keeping her husband’s health-care legacy in place—for now.

Furthermore, if there’s a distrust of politics, it lies within the moral and ethical indiscretions of the “swamp,” which involves members of both sides of the aisle. Whether it’s former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner’s 21-month prison sentence for sexting with a minor, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s corruption trial, or former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price using public funds for private airfare travel, abuse of power is what rightfully repulses the American public.

The Obama family was the first minority couple to reside in the White House. They represented a sign of equality and the notion anyone regardless of race or background can succeed in politics. It’s understandable Mrs. Obama wants to see more success stories like their own. But identifying a politician’s body of work by the color of his or her skin, age, or sex seems counterintuitive in the efforts to eliminate such prejudices.

That reminds me of the prejudice Michelle Obama displayed for her own sex last week when she publicly said, “As far as I’m concerned, any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice in a way.”

She didn’t stop there. “To me, it doesn’t say as much about Hillary…No, no, no. What does it mean for us as women? That we look at those two candidates, as women, and many of us said, ‘That guy. He’s better for me. His voice is more true to me.’ Well, to me that just says you don’t like your voice. You like the thing we’re told to like.”

My voice doesn’t have a gender. But if you want to separate things that way, 42 percent of females voted for President Trump. A large breakdown of that 42 percent were white women, with Trump winning both those college-educated and non-college educated. Those women voted for him not based on race (both candidates were Caucasian), but rather for tax reform, health-care reform, and stricter immigration laws.

Or maybe they voted for him because he actually showed up—literally in Wisconsin. He spoke directly to working-class people instead of holding a concert with celebrities in the eleventh hour.

Mrs. Obama, stop identifying women only by their sex. Stop complaining about political slights based simply on sex. If 2016 failed to show you this strategy doesn’t work, not much will. Those voices did speak up. Now please accept those voices just weren’t in your favor. If it’s not too much to ask, send Hillary Clinton the message as well.

Britt McHenry is a journalist based in Washington DC. Follow her on Twitter @BrittMcHenry.
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