Some of the response is certainly tongue-in-cheek. After the wonderful side eye Michelle Obama gave John Boehner during a luncheon after the president’s second inauguration, we all had a lot of fun imagining what the speaker could have possibly said to elicit such a vivid reaction. But what I’m considering here is not that there is no room for jokes, but that all too often, it is black women or caricatures of black women that serve as the punch line.
More than anything, the response to these latest images of Michelle Obama speaks volumes about the expectations placed on black women in the public eye and how a black women’s default emotional state is perceived as angry. The black woman is ever at the ready to aggressively defend her territory. She is making her disapproval known. She never gets to simply be."