Obama’s Mama

Caryn: Yesterday I got a press release from a Christian publisher touting a new book on the life of Barack Obama. The release detailed who wrote it, what it was about, typical fare. So typical, in fact, that it included this little line: ” [the book] explores the unlikely success story of Obama, the son of a Kenyan sheep herder and a white woman from Kansas.” 

What’s so “typical” about that? The description of Obama’s mom. (Or any mom, for that matter.) While the dad gets an interesting, question-begging description of who HE is, the mom gets to be “a white woman from Kansas.” Really? This is the best we could come up with to describe Barack Obama’s mother, a woman who raised this charismatic, intellegent, potential leader of the free world, of whom Time magazine says: “Barack Obama’s mother was at least a dozen things. S. Ann Soetoro was a teen mother who later got a Ph.D. in anthropology; a white woman from the Midwest who was more comfortable in Indonesia; a natural-born mother obsessed with her work; a romantic pragmatist…”

That’s what they had to say? But really, what more do they have to say about any of the rest of us?

Now I realize I’m just being super-sensitive here, but come on! I’m so tired of moms getting all the plain vanilla or should I say “white women from Kansas” labels. No offense to white women from Kansas. I know many. And they are all terribly interesting people. And all quite capable of raising future presidents. I don’t see what’s at all “unlikely” about that!

Can we at least TRY to give moms a bit more intrigue? Sheesh. 

Carla: Oh Caryn, I’m so proud of you for being outraged on behalf of Obama. I know it’s really his mom, but it’s a step.

On an unrelated note:


this makes me love Minnie Driver more than ever.
This, if you can’t tell, is actress (or maybe I should stick with “white woman from England)” Minnie Driver and her one-month-old son, Henry. This picture, one she herself posted on her myspace page, makes me love her more than I already do. She looks tired, unkempt, and totally in love with her boy. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate her showing the world that motherhood is not a photoshoot.
Caryn: You see how nice I can be, how concerned and loving, about people I never have and never will vote for? Defending his mother’s dignity? (Though, now that I’m typing this, thinking about how much I don’t like Obama’s policies, thoughts, and plans, didn’t he call his grandparents “regular white people” or something? Ugh. Now I’m disgusted again after trying to be SO NICE!)
Moving on….yes, that Minnie Driver photo is fantastic. Beautiful image of motherhood, capturing one of my favorite kind of mom-moments. And that white boy from California is darling. Little mouthie catching flies…..

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