When she was speaking at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago last week, Michelle Obama lamented that the issue of "white flight" she grew up with still exists today. She said she "can't make people not afraid of black people," adding: "I can't explain what's happening in your head, but maybe if I show up every day as a human, a good human ... maybe, just maybe, that work will pick away at the scabs of your discrimination." In the New York Times, black columnist Charles Blow writes that he is "saddened" the former first lady, a woman he greatly admires, voiced that sentiment.
"Why should this brilliant black woman spend even a second of her time considering the mind-set of a racist?" he asks. "She shouldn’t. No black person should. No person who suffers the sting of racism should." Obama has degrees from Princeton and Harvard, has lived an exemplary life, and is the most admired woman in the world in polls, writes Blow. "My wish for Michelle Obama is simple: that she never again allow herself to entertain the thought of how she is being perceived by racists and whether or not that is changing any of their minds." Or as he puts it in his concluding line, "Why should cave men be allowed to occupy space in the mind of a super woman?" Read the full column. (Read more Michelle Obama stories.)