The New York Times Style section sent out a questionable tweet this afternoon to promote a story on First Lady Michelle Obama: “How FLOTUS shed an angry black woman caricature and evolved into a political powerhouse.”
Naturally, people were upset, as Obama, Harvard Law School graduate and beacon of poise and class, has not only never embodied such a caricature, but also, you know, why is the Times Styles section, home to showy white affluence, trying to further such stereotypes in a tweet?
Since when was Michelle ever an "angry black woman?" pic.twitter.com/BGtbBCsB04— NATALIE AGUILERA (@HailXtina) November 8, 2016
she was NEVER an "angry black woman". That is what they wanted her to be from the beginning. This is so ignorant!— THEE I Said, What I Said✊🏾💛🐝 (@NIACHIRIE) November 8, 2016
y'all misspelled "how @FLOTUS remained graceful, dope, classy, iconic in spite of the hate and used her voice for 8 years"— me. (@blahzayskippy) November 8, 2016
The tweet has since been deleted and replaced with a non-apology.
Likely, some social media editor made a mistake. However, that doesn’t mean media doesn’t need to understand its blind spots, including our nation’s deeply hurtful stereotypes.