I hate Oak Bluffs. A few years ago my mother tried to get me to go to the “Black Part” of Martha’s Vineyard and I declined because I had no interest in spending my summer with a bunch of trash-talking, uppity, social scavenging Black folk. I know it’s a harsh evaluation. But when my mom and sister came back, their reviews were all but glowing. So to imagine that these same folk have the audacity to call Michelle Obama “ghetto” is not too far fetched– but altogether sad considering many Black people of sizable financial means come from humble backgrounds. These people had a lot to say pending the Obamas’ upcoming trip to the vacation spot. In New York Magazine some interesting notes:
…At the same time, there’s also a bit of wariness among the wealthiest ones, an uncertainty whether Obama will affirm them. “Obama is more a man of the people,” says a Vineyarder who’s part of black high society. “He doesn’t seem to identify with affluent black people. His wife definitely doesn’t; she is basically a ghetto girl. That’s what she says—I’m just being sociological. She grew up in the same place Jennifer Hudson did. She hasn’t reached out to the social community of Washington, and people are waiting to see what they’ll do about that.”
and this gem:
…And while the Only Ones embrace each other, they can be dismissive of other blacks. “If you’re too Southern Baptist, too dark-skinned, too street, you might not be insulted by a white person but you may be insulted by a black person,” says Columbia law professor Patricia Williams. “It resembles the way in Britain race and class are inflected. If you’re a Nigerian prince and you speak the queen’s English, you’re okay, but if you’re an island hoodlum, then there are no bounds to the expression of racism.”
The sad thing is, I know a few families that can’t wait to be a part of that scene. And they don’t even have the money for it–they’re just calling our bluff.
Read the article here.