During night two of the Democratic National Convention, Dr. Jill Biden took the virtual stage to address voters about the upcoming presidential election. Over the course of 10 minutes, the former teacher not only discussed the challenges educators are facing during the pandemic, but also explained why her husband, Democratic nominee Joe Biden, is the right candidate to steer this country through economic grief, sickness, and civil unrest.
“I hear it from so many of you – the frustration of parents juggling work while they support their children’s learning,” she said, speaking from Brandywine High School, where she once taught English. “The despair in the lines that stretch out before food banks, and the indescribable sorrow that follows every lonely last breath that follows when the ventilators turn off.”
Biden's speech about her husband’s character and compassion came one night after that of former First Lady Michelle Obama, who spoke powerfully and clearly about why President Donald Trump should not be reelected. “As I’ve said before, being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are,” said Obama. “So let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us.”
Both women were clear and forceful in their messages, even as they delivered different, though connected, sentiments to voters. The biggest contrast in their approaches was that Biden appealed to the emotions of frustrated families, whereas Obama directly addressed the reason for that frustration: Donald Trump. So, naturally Fox News had to weigh in, and give it their own, toxic spin.
In the channel's post-convention coverage, political commentator Brit Hume offered his take on the two speeches — and it was nothing short of racist propaganda, featuring a description of Biden as “very likable,” in contrast to Obama, who he said had a “hard, angry edge.”
Instead of focusing on their messages, Hume employed the racist trope of the angry Black woman. He didn’t elaborate on it, but he didn’t have to: The allegation that Obama was somehow "hard" or "angry" was a clear tactic to invalidate her message and discredit what she had to say. And that harmful stereotype has been used to discredit and invalidate Black women for decades.
Calling Michelle Obama's speech "angry" as a means to invalidate her message is deplorable — but it's not surprising considering from where and whom the message is coming.