Featured, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

I Don’t Want The Obamas To Ever Come Back

It’s been a little over eight years since the night Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, and the memory of exactly how I saw it happen (on CNN, where the race was called as soon as California’s first polling results came in), where I was when seeing it (sitting on the couch in the living room, at my apartment on Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside), and how I felt immediately afterwards (disbelief, mostly) remain as fresh in my mind as the day after it happened.

It was also a particularly bittersweet time for me. Earlier that day, I visited my mom at West Penn Hospital, where she had been for a week while dealing with a life-threatening bout of COPD. And the joy of seeing Obama elected could only exist after etching and carving out some space within both the anxiety I possessed about my mom’s health and the sadness of not being able to watch it with her because visiting hours ended before the results came in. (My dad was at work, so I couldn’t watch with him either.)

But nothing I experienced that day or that evening was as awkward and surreal and disquieting as the pasticcio of feelings rushing through me later that night, when Obama gave his acceptance speech. I felt warm. And proud. And giddy. And energized. And vindicated. And I also felt an emotion the English language hasn’t yet created a word for; a feeling that can best be described as “HOLY SHIT THEY’RE GOING TO ASSASSINATE HIM RIGHT NOW BARACK AND MICHELLE IF YALL CAN HEAR ME GET THE FUCK OFF OF THE STAGE BEFORE ONE THESE WHITE PEOPLES KILL YOU!”

This melange of competing feelings would grow to be consistent. I felt them when President Obama was inaugurated. And during his first State of the Union address. And any other time he made a public appearance. Fortunately, as time passed, the intensity of that emotion began to subside. By 2010, HOLY SHIT THEY’RE GOING TO ASSASSINATE HIM RIGHT NOW BARACK AND MICHELLE IF YALL CAN HEAR ME GET THE FUCK OFF OF THE STAGE BEFORE ONE THESE WHITE PEOPLES KILL YOU was no longer a present and prominent feeling when I’d see them. But it never quite went away either. It lasted, in some form or another, for the the duration of his presidency. And extended to Maila and Sasha and even the fucking dog.

Of course, I live in Pittsburgh, which is 245 miles from Washington, D.C. And while I possess an affinity for the Obama family, they are not my family. So while I definitely worried about their safety, I’m certain my level of concern paled in comparison to how they felt while under that international spotlight for eight years as both the most famous family on Earth and the most disrespected family to live in the White House maybe ever. Can you imagine the stress of waking up every day and knowing that (at least) a million or so of your countrymen wouldn’t terribly mind if you or your wife or your kids were murdered?

With this in mind — and despite whichever fantasies of the Obamas somehow rescuing the country from Darth Cheeto that continue to persist — I want them to get (and stay!) as far away from here as possible. They already gave us enough. I want them to deep-sea dive and spelunk; to para-sail and learn to practice Kundalini yoga; to spend an entire year milking cows in Aruba and eating fistfuls of Frosted Flakes straight from the box; to binge-watch The Young Pope and BBQ butt-ass-naked. The paparazzi photos and Instagram updates of them doing exactly that are nice, but I don’t even want that. Fuck a postcard, I don’t want to know where they are. Shit, I don’t even want them to know where they are, because they’re too gone off the genetically engineered molly Barack has access to and they’re finally allow to take to give a damn.

I want to feel like Ben Affleck at the end of Good Will Hunting. I want to pull up to the Obama’s driveway, climb up the steps, and knock on the door, and I want no one to answer. I want to peek through the window and see tumbleweeds and hangers and maybe a discarded package of Swisher Sweets. And I want to know that they got the fuck out and away from us and didn’t bother leaving nan note or voicemail or telegram or text.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

    • I love it, the didn’t just have an impact on black Americans but black people globally.

    • JennyJazzhands

      They just really out here chilling like we don’t need them.

    • miss t-lee

      I’m glad they’re out here living their best lives.
      I hope they vacation a full year.

      • NonyaB?

        I’d half expected an announcement about them renting a yacht and sailing around for a year because I think it’ll take that long to fully decompress from all the fxckery that the US put ’em through.

        • miss t-lee

          Seriously though.
          I want them to have a nice long vacay.

        • Mochasister

          Only a year? Nah, we got some real a**holes in this country that really put them through the wringer. Try at least two. Maybe three. HeII, maybe even the rest of their lives.

        • HoneyRose

          I wish I could be a fly on the wall for their decompression conversations, lmao

    • Michelle is my First Lady

      They deserve it. My face lit up when I saw this on IG.
      And I want to try that nail color Michelle has on.

    • Courtney Wheeler

      They both have nice feet….I dunno this reminds me of the season of the Real Housewives of Atlanta when Cynthia had the nerve to show off her awful hammer toes.

    • BrothasKeeper

      (Dey bucky nekkit)

      • This made me anime giggle…

    • Brown Rose

      No foot fetish here. But they deserve all of this. They were best considering the awfulness that they had to negotiate for 8 long years.

      • I dig her playfulness, but he can have that entire giant foot. Toes are not my bag.

        • Brown Rose

          Feet are weird. But they are both tall…so big feet..not a shocker.

    • Gibbous

      He even has young feet!

  • HouseOfBonnets

    Whew…. Though I was gonna have to actually work for a minute there. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/58a5f2c2f5a63202504b8bde63295f0705c7af0ef49c9a5f427a1e3de8de94dc.gif

    • grownandsexy2

      Chile, me too. lol

  • Wowza23
    • [Insert Creative Name Here]

      I’ve looked at this gif for a good minute now in the hopes that it will morph into a video where Michelle says “Negro! Didn’t I tell you to put that phone down!”

      • Courtney Wheeler

        Her hair was so layed in this gif. haha

        • Question

          Swing. Bounce. Everything. I wonder how many hooded dryers they had in the White House.

          • Cheech

            You still talking about hair?

            • Question
              • Johanne Sterling

                The entire reason Barry trapped Michelle is right here in this GIF. I’m convinced.

                • Sweet Ga Brown

                  There is a range of flirty-ness and attractiveness that’s going on here and then some.

                  • Marthacyoung

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                    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
                    !di56c:
                    ??
                    ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialCashJobs345DirectBankGetPaid$97/Hour ????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!di56c:….,……..

              • KMN

                I logged in just to upvote this because THANK YOU for bringing this gif back out…got Pres BarryO making me feel things down souf..good Lord LMAO

        • ms. nylahou

          Love. Her.

      • She is finer than frog hair. #BlackDontCrack

      • Wowza23

        You know he mumbled under his breath as soon as she turned her back…haha. And because black woman/wife/mama hearing – she turned around with ‘What did you say??’

        ‘Nuthin’.’

        • Charles Johnson

          it wasn’t super hearing, it was the spidey sense of intuition that told her “this negro said thing about me and I got to check his aszz about it”

          • Victoriacburmeister

            Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours & have longer with friends and family! !da66c:
            On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
            !da66c:
            ??
            ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialCashJobs356DigitalRevolutionGetPaid$97/Hour ????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!da66c:….,….

          • Judypjones

            Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours & have longer with friends and family! !da188c:
            On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
            !da188c:
            ??
            ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialCashJobs478MediaClipGetPaid$97/Hour ????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!da188c:….,….

      • Sigma_Since 93

        But ‘Chelle it’s Joe…..

    • Sigma_Since 93

      I can picture this happening every time someone from the White House calls

    • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

      First Lady Michelle Obama keeps it real and is honest.

    • Valerie

      I love this dress!

  • HouseOfBonnets

    I think I’ll start posting this every time someone brings up a Michelle/Bernie 2020 ticket,because some of y’all smoking some real potent trees if you think America deserves her. She’s done enough stop it.

    • Michelle is my First Lady

      Exactly – she’s done enough. Folks need to stop being so selfish.

      • Duff Soviet Union

        I don’t know how many times she’s said no, but people just don’t seem to hear it.

    • Marceline

      Nothing sets me off like people saying Michelle should run.

      • miss t-lee

        She’s done enough.

      • Duff Soviet Union

        Right. She’s said no a million times, but some people are just incapable of listening to Black women.

      • NonyaB?

        Yep. They’re already missing having someone to boost then drag down. Even if said out of admiration, the suggestion is ultimately an insult to her because it says not only is she blind/stupid that she didn’t notice the mondo disrespect her family has gotten since 2008, she’s also such a masøchist that she must want more of it and she knows in her Black woman labour mule heart that it’s her job to save the nation. To all of which one must say, GTEFOHWTBS.

        • Mochasister

          They act like Black women were just put on this Earth to take their s*** with a smile. God forgive me for writing this, but they can go f*** themselves. They couldn’t even support Hillary when she ran; like we’re really supposed to believe they would have Michelle’s back.

          • Blueberry01

            “They couldn’t even support Hillary when she ran; like we’re really supposed to believe they would have Michelle’s back.”

            This.

      • Mochasister

        Really. They sound so fake. Leave her alone! Damn, she is not a mule. She doesn’t have to take this country’s crap any more. If I were her, I would throw up my fingers and yell “deuces” as I left this godforsaken country.

    • just_mai

      The memes had me thinking” wth!!! y’all that stupid!” A lot of people are lazy and refuse to be active in there own hobbies and life let alone their community. Let them be at peace. They are people to and have needs.

    • Brown Rose

      Black Americans deserve her. What she went through–the awful names that they called her–no the rest of America does not deserve her and I really hope she does not run for office.

      • HouseOfBonnets

        All of this.

    • Furious Styles

      Exactly. Neither Michelle, Denzel, nor Batman are coming to save us. We are it. Life is not the gotdamb movies.

      • HouseOfBonnets

        All of this.

      • Blueberry01

        I secretly wish Denzel will come and save me…

    • Cleojonz

      It’s like so as usual you expect the black woman to fix it all? GTFOH!!

  • blueevey

    I said it before and elsewhere, if Michelle doesn’t get pregnant during all this, imma be surprised!

    You know they’re *enjoying* themselves. Slip ups happen. And it wouldn’t be the first or last surprise pregnancy.

  • HouseOfBonnets

    Also Barry think he slick, like we don’t notice that he’s aged at least 10 years backwards in less than three weeks while living his best carefree life. We see you zaddy. (winks out of Michelle’s peripheral because I don’t want that smoke) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/84c1a87206c878fc6b178beade49b6865468b0b0e02cdf551ee0aaa80c0bd010.jpg

    • miss t-lee

      I’m not mad.

      • HouseOfBonnets

        at all

    • Lea Thrace

      damn. it should be criminal to be that fine.

      please dont hit me Michelle…

      • Charles Johnson

        Michelle got the NSA on that asz, congratulations Lea you just played ya’ self

      • NonyaB?

        Pssht, Sasha will probably run up on you first. Something tells me she’s the don’t-start-none-it-won’t-be-none goon in the family.

        • Johanne Sterling

          Yup Sasha the one.

        • Zurily

          I’ve long said that Sasha is the hardest one in the family. She’s the one currently consoling Malia and promising that Mom and Dad will come back for them.

          • Asano Sokato

            Malia is Haley, Sasha is Alex.

        • Mochasister

          That’s the “Black” sister. I think Malia took after the white side of the family.

        • Blueberry01

          Sasha is definitely the goon and Malia is yo pusher (wo)man.

    • Brown Rose

      An amazing transformation. A Black Benjamin Buttons for sure.

    • NonyaB?

      SO much fresh in one pikcha!

  • They should. I don’t think there’s anything they could say right now that is politically consistent with who they have been over the last 10ish years that would be useful. They’re degree to professionalism and decorum (which is greatly admirable) doesn’t quite fit the times at the moment. I wonder if their daughters are going to make a concerted effort to stay out of the spotlight though.

    • Michelle D. Jackson

      What are you saying that I’m not grasping?

      • They’re moderate people who speak in moderate tongues. I don’t feel like we are at a place where the language is so situated in reaching across the table. Rather we need more vocal people who draw hard lines in the sand

        • Marceline

          Yeah. We’re not at the place where “we go high” is the best option.

        • i get it, a lot of people like “keep it 1000%” over keep it nuanced…

          but i dunno.
          then again, i’m a moderate.

          • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

            Keep it real people more often than not meet an untimely demise.

          • There’s no nuance in “I don’t believe women should be allowed to have abortions.” You either support it or you don’t. Just an example not a charge against you or anyone specifically. I don’t like Democrats pretending everything can and needs to be negotiated. Take a stance is my policy.

            • LMNOP

              Abortion is a pretty no middle ground issue, but even still, you can believe abortions are immoral but support reducing abortions through Chex ed, birth control and supporting low income families with young children, not by criminalizing abortion. Even on this issue I think there’s room for people of different beliefs to work together.

              • Except for people who believe abortions are immoral almost never support any of those. They are actually vehemently opposed to all of those and have absolutely zero desire to work towards it as has been exhibited over DECADES.

                • LMNOP

                  I know that, but I’m saying that would be a middle ground.

            • there is nuance.
              one could not support abortion, but support the right for someone to choose to have an abortion.

              IMO, belief in having the choice, and whether government paying for it…there’s nuance if you look for it

              • allowed = the legal right to have one. I’m talking about legally. Not a moral argument.

        • Hugh Akston

          The word in the streetz is that O is the moderate one Michelle had to put on some restraints

  • Michelle is my First Lady

    I don’t want them to come back, but I can’t even front, I’ve spent a few nights sitting in the corner and crying and listening to Jagged Edge “Gotta Be” just like that time in the 7th grade when my crush Michael Young ain’t want to dance with me at the back-to-school dance.

    https://media.giphy.com/media/sA4LT9ljReiD6/giphy.gif

  • TheNamesRa

    “Can you imagine the stress of waking up every day and knowing that (at least) a million or so of your countrymen wouldn’t terribly mind if you or your wife or your kids were murdered?”

    If Agent Orange was at all self-aware he would wake up every day and feel this way.

    • Michelle D. Jackson

      Agent Orange ain’t that smart or self-aware. Heck, he can’t spell either term so …

    • Mr. Mooggyy

      You think the Cheeto in chief can be that self aware? Not at all! He still think millions of people were at his inauguration and Mike Flynn is a good guy!

  • grownandsexy2

    I had mixed feelings. I wanted them to leave for some peace of mind and hopefully POTUS not get assassinated on the way out. The other reason was selfish. Getting up everyday looking at a black family in the WH made me smile. Oh well, I got memories, photos, old magazines and my lawn sign when Honolulu Slim ran for office the first time around. My how time flies. **sigh**

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