It’s a bit late now, but the incident of Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, pointing and wagging her finger in President Obama’s face during his visit to the state, is such that I cannot let it go.
The background of the tale is that Gov. Brewer visited Pres. Obama at the White House, and after the visit, she described him as polite and “cordial.” Later in her book, “Scorpions for Breakfast,” she claims Pres. Obama was “patronizing” and “condescending” during the visit.
Then comes the finger wagging/pointing at the airport. The picture is quite telling. It shows an angry woman shaking and pointing her finger “threateningly” in the face of the president, while he tries to charm her down. Yet, she said:
I felt a little bit threatened, if you will, in the attitude that he had, because I was there to welcome him.
The racial undertone of her defensive statement cannot be dismissed. It highlights the racial stereotype about the “nature,” of blacks, as it’s accepted by non-blacks. Society tries to pin negative qualities and attributes to black people, regardless of if the attributes fit the person. Non-blacks have always believed, in full acceptance, that black people are “threatening.” Hence, society is more likely to apply descriptors to blacks, such as “aggressive,” “confrontational,” or “threatening.”
Recently, First Lady Michelle defended herself against accusations she’s an “angry black woman,” a label white mainstream media has been trying to apply to her since her husband declared his candidacy for president in 2007.
Of course, the dilemma for the Obama’s is that they cannot defend themselves. Attempts to do so will become evidence of their “threatening” or “angry black woman” natures.
Thus, while Gov. Brewer’s finger wagging is indeed threatening and disrespectful, the governor is not held to the same descriptor she attempts to pin to him, “threatening.”
It’s a simple fact that she’s white and female, and as such cannot be the aggressor; at least, not when in conflict with or in comparison to a black person. She’s always the victim. His “blackness” and the qualities attributed to it by non-blacks always make him the villain.