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Melania, again – Read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Short Story “Janelle Asked to the Bedroom” for NY Times Style Magazine

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Melania, again - Read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Short Story "Janelle Asked to the Bedroom" for the New York Times Style Magazine - BellaNaija

Donald and Melania Trump (L) Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (R)

Writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was commissioned by the New York Times to write a short story during the American Presidential elections, which Donald Trump won.

Her story focused on the now-first ladyMelania Trump – what she felt about her husband, him running, and his daughter, Ivanka.

In this new short story titled “Janelle Asked to the Bathroom,” we see Melania again, this time without her husband and his daughter.

The story was published in the New York Times Style Magazine, which she recently featured in as one of “The Greats.”

Read the story below:

Janelle was surprised when the butler asked her to come up to the bedroom. He looked disapproving, stiffly leading the way upstairs, as though he thought her unworthy to be allowed anywhere farther than the lowest floor where the gym was.

Janelle followed him through the apartment; there was gold everywhere, on the floors and armchairs and edges of walls, that gave the décor a sallow ugliness. It felt to Janelle like an oblivious person’s idea of a wealthy home. She knew the butler expected her to be impressed — he had the sly arrogance of a blindly loyal servant — and for a moment she wanted to burst into laughter. She would not live here if she were paid to. Imagine waking everyday to such crass cheerlessness.

With a sigh in his manner, clearly wishing Mrs. T had not made this unusual request, he knocked on the bedroom door. It, too, was edged in gold. He waited to hear “come in” before ushering Janelle in, and then he lingered a moment, as if he might need to protect Mrs. T.

But Mrs. T waved him away. She was propped against a hundred pillows cradling her laptop.

“Hi Janelle, sit down here,” she said, patting the bed, and Janelle knew right away that something was off.

Mrs. T had changed after her husband won the election. A great lonely sadness had settled on her, stiffening her shoulders and spine. Her Pilates suffered. Simple moves she had fluidly done before failed her: Her back would not flatten doing the hundreds, her legs would not point to the sky. Week after week, Janelle saw the heaviness of her spirit, the purplish bags under her eyes, the way her English worsened and slurred from fatigue.

But today was different. Mrs. T had, until now, never let go of that carefulness that seemed to Janelle a product of being the wrong kind of European, a knowingness, a determination never to be found out. Which perhaps was why she hardly drank and why she spoke of drugs with disdain. But today she looked disheveled, her manner distracted. Was she on something? Had she cracked and taken pills? She seemed like a ravaged flightless bird, and the bed’s carved gold headboard part of an open cage that she inexplicably could not leave.

“Is everything O.K.?” Janelle asked, still standing, her professional face pleasantly blank, her voice even. “If you don’t feel up to it today, we can reschedule for tomorrow.”

“Please sit down,” Mrs. T said.

Janelle remained standing. Of course she had noticed Mrs. T’s overtures over the past months, the lost longing in Mrs. T’s eyes, the tentative invitations. Would you like a glass of juice, Janelle? Do you know a person good in massage, Janelle? You are always in a rush to leave, Janelle. But they had happened less and less since her husband won, as though her sadness had overpowered her longing. And Janelle wasn’t sure what this was about, being asked into this room with its dense carpet and wide bed, but she would entertain no crap.

Read the full story HERE.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

36 Comments

  1. Aisha

    October 24, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Stunningly brilliant

  2. nnenne

    October 25, 2017 at 4:04 am

    Creative as usual!

  3. Ego

    October 25, 2017 at 5:13 am

    For a so called feminist, Adichie does lay into Melania a bit too much. I notice she’s her focus, and hardly speaks/writes about Trump and his misdemeanours, as though Melania is the easy target. Like blaming/shaming her for daring to marry Trump.
    Also the sly comparison to Michelle Obama (whom Adichie clearly worships) I find tacky and tantamount to pitting one against the other. You get a sense that she wants badly for Melania to publicly condemn Trump or say something that would give those who are against him some ammunition. I think Melania is thrilled to be First Lady, she’s been with this guy for many years before she became First Lady, so she’s happy to put up with him.

    I would expect Adichie, a self proclaimed feminist, wife & mother, to understand this. Adichie should write about Trump and leave the women in his life alone. I find her articles about Melania very condescending, and this is because she doesn’t consider Melania smart.

    • Mz_Danielz

      October 25, 2017 at 6:50 am

      Our dear Ng comes across as an intellectual snob. I also feel she has something against females with sex appeal/ those who play traditional feminine roles. Beyoncé, Kosi in her book, Melanie.

    • sisi

      October 25, 2017 at 8:56 am

      I totally agree with you. Adichie abeg free Melanie, let her be.

    • truth

      October 25, 2017 at 9:27 am

      ego I don’t know your definition of feminism, but as far as am concerned it means making sure to keep everyone, especially the women in trumps life accountable for his actions and inactions because they more than anyone else can effectively contain him and speak sanity into his madness. These women are as guilty as trump when they ignore what he does, just as many Nigerians are complicit, especially the wives and children of thieving politicians in Naija. Being a feminist doesnt mean you ignore incompetency of your fellow women, just because they have a vagina.

    • Funms

      October 25, 2017 at 11:32 am

      You judge Chimamanda too harshly imo. Its a light story that touches on tough issues in the American society today :- race being a hindrance to expression, entitlement, contempt for the system, love and devotion etc, Its not a bad read. It felt like I was reading a mills and boon as I was hoping to read that Mr T came in for an affectionate kiss 🙂

    • Olayinka

      October 25, 2017 at 11:41 am

      Ego, thank you for echoing my thoughts. There’s so much hero worshipping, in this case, heroine worshipping. It feels as though everyone wants to judge Melania for marrying Trump or remaining with him even though we all seem to see beyond the fractures of their union, but hey, how the hell is that anyone’s business. There is a constant condescending nature to Chimamanda but woe unto me to ever say this out loud, but yes, I sense a condescending air to her. I adore Michelle Obama, her grace, her choice, her eloquence and her confidence. The way as a an African I can see pieces of myself in her, but to use her as a yardstick for what a woman ought to be is a disservice and disrespect to other women who are in many other ways encouraging yet different from her. Chimamanda, your piece is dismissive and disparaging, especially of a woman you do not know her truth, her fears and what drives her. There are several woman like Melania who marry rich powerful men like Trump for reasons you and I will never understand, but can we please not put them down for choices we ourselves might make if faced with similar situations. You are a fairly good literary figure, but please quit your intellectual judgement of others (especially other women) because truth is, you don’t know it all and Michelle isn’t the only poster child for women more especially, for black women.

    • seriously

      October 25, 2017 at 6:10 pm

      I have mixed feelings about your comment. I agree with you on some parts, yes the article is condescending and a bit harsh on Melania. However, I also see where Ms Adichie is coming from. she writes from her definition and perspective of feminism which is, a feminist is an educated, independent, not known for her sex appeal but her brain, character who is very confident in who she is, strongly opinionated and doesn’t appear weak where she succumbs to a man who abuses her. When we look at someone like Trump, we can’t also ignore the women he’s been around with, his mother, wives and daughters. . They’ve empowered him. We can’t keep bashing men and not put some responsibility on women as well.
      She’s putting it back on women because we have a huge role to play in this fight for equality, freedom and not wanting to be solely identified as sexual objects. It’s not always about bashing men and saying how controlling I’ve heard women verbalize their sympathy towards how unfairly Trump treats her. We women contradict ourselves a lot. Ms

  4. Funmilola

    October 25, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Summary: chimamanda doesn’t like Melanie, she likes Michelle Obama better.

  5. john

    October 25, 2017 at 8:45 am

    What u should know about feminists expecially the radical ones is what they say and do are 2 totally different things….as for her going aganst trump…go and ask the likes of CNN, NBC, MsNbc and new york times how their business have been since they started going after trump talk less of a small cockroach like adichie who I doubt trump even knows she exist…adichie is just a puppet to the liberals to use as they see fit and the moment she decides she won’t be their puppet again or speaks out of turn again ( like the backlash she recived when she spoke against transgenders) ….they will bundle her fast to Nsukka that she wont even knew what hit her

    • Ego

      October 25, 2017 at 8:55 am

      I wouldn’t call her a puppet or a small cockroach. That’s unnecessary. However she does come across as one with a one track feminist mind – in the same way she’s militant about natural hair et al. I’m sure she thinks women who wear weaves are shallow and not deep thinkers. lol!
      She’ll soon come down to earth. That I’m sure of.

    • Bia

      October 25, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      Why do l get this feeling that you are a woman? You must really be miserable in real life. Shiooor.

  6. bubu

    October 25, 2017 at 9:15 am

    I always admire Chiamanda creative style. Even as a woman who thinks feminism is a conspiracy the read did come off as allowing us understand that Melanie is also human with her fair share of battles and not just Trump’s mannequin. Personally, I think feminism has put too much responsibility on females and creats layabout men. The rules are simple – the man provides and protects the woman cares and nurtures. Cant every body just do their bit. In every relationship, be it professional or personal, when one person takes on all responsibility the other becomes complacent. Responsibility makes an individual responsible

    • Ego

      October 25, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Sadly I don’t think that was Chimamanda’s aim – to portray her as one with feelings and not a mannequin. The sly comparison to Michelle Obama contradicts that. She wanted to portray her as an insecure woman who is miserable and lonely, with no one to talk to.
      Melania’s only sin is being married to Trump, whom Chimamanda is clearly not happy won the election. Now she ‘attacks’ the women in his life, instead of attacking the man. Typical!

  7. LL

    October 25, 2017 at 11:36 am

    People just conclude Melania is sad and lonely. When will women just let other women be? You marry poor; they say you’re settling. You marry rich: they say you’re lonely and sad. The feminist campaign these days is beginning to look like a campaign to favour some people.
    And the people that expect Melania to correct her husband forget that people will have their political convictions that will differ from yours. It doesn’t make them wrong. It makes them of a different party. That’s why democracy provided the opportunity to vote.

  8. Site

    October 25, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Chimamanda looks angry in the picture above.

  9. bubu

    October 25, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    “‘She wanted to portray her as an insecure woman who is miserable and lonely, with no one to talk to”‘

    @our personal battles are what make us human. the story is fiction. this may or may not be her struggles. but every one desires affirmation and chooses role models. and you are allowed to have role models for different arears of your life. well for your info she might be studying Mitchelle look out for mistakes she made; so she can avoid them. I had a boss once were there was no love lost between us. yet she was my role model for fashion. she just knew to pull off the decent feminine chic look. i also took a way life lessons of what not to do as a boss.

  10. Lilo

    October 25, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Imagine if Tomi Laren wrote this about Michelle Obama being obsessed and envious or Laura Bush. Sorry but I see nothing brilliant here. This is outright disrespectful

    • Jummy

      October 25, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      EXACTLY. But it’s okay because Adichie does it. Rubbish.

    • Professor X

      October 25, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      Did you just compare Tomi a semi-literate talk show host who deals in false hoods and believes Black Lives Matter is a terrorist group to CNA? Need I remind some people, CNA is a world renounced writer, educated and also a past MacArthur foundation fellow. CNA is a great ambassador for Nigeria to the world.

      Some (Nigerians) sha…

    • Jummy

      October 25, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      Lol at professor x, keep basking in delusions of grandeur.

  11. Diamond

    October 25, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Adichie plays safe. Too safe. She is a conformist, who conforms to the majority. I don’t live in America, but I can’t help but notice that this hate for Trump has become a cliche.. some people just jumped into the bandwagon to hate Trump just because others are in that train, and they think they are winning because their noise is loud. But if their voice was that powerful, Clinton should be president.

    Adichie’s comparison of the two first ladies is crappy, and this whatever she calls it is bullshit. Donald Trump is America president, go for him if you have the guts to, and leave Melania alone!

    Adichie is a wannabe protege of Chinua Achebe, but in fact, she is nothing like him. She is fair weathered and too political.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      October 25, 2017 at 10:49 pm

      If you don’t live in America, you’ll never truly understand the tensions which have led to such widespread detestation of Trump.

      Speaking for myself, I don’t live there either but I’ve noticed that he’s not exactly endeared himself to many, given certain controversies (such as his response to the Charlottesville killing, etc.). And it’ll be unfair of us to judge from the outside and choose to just label their widespread dissatisfaction with him as a “trend”; can you imagine how pissed off we would be if an American in the U.S didn’t bother to find out why Nigerians are getting tired of Buhari, and dismissed our complaints as a “trend”?

      Plus, they did choose Clintonn with the popular vote, she overtook him with nearly 2.8million votes. Their electoral process just doesn’t necessarily follow the winner that the masses choose.

  12. Jummy

    October 25, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Used to be super obsessed with Adichie. She could do no wrong but I’ve come to see some of the things she says/does as problematic.

    Like Ego said, her constant militant stance on natural hair and her constant critic of Melania just makes her look like a puppet of the left.

    It may surprise Adichie that Melania may very well be very happy with Trump and not sad and miserable like the public perceives her to be.

    @truth, why should Melania be responsible for Trump’ s actions? Why should she be accountable for him? Isn’t that the opposite of Feminism? You guys shoot yourself in the foot sometimes.

  13. kkay

    October 25, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Chimanda I admire your literary brilliance but I agree with @ Ego. This your short work of fiction on Melania smirks of subtle bitchiness.
    You are doing your reputation more harm treading this path of literary pettiness.

  14. olanna+odenigbo

    October 25, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Y’all are giving it to much weight…. The narrative is as cliché as it gets. Nothing new, nothing insightful, the writing isn’t even exciting…and for those talking bout it touching on relevant American issues…please! I am still waiting for the point of the article. The part where she throws in ‘race’…felt too forced….I would accuse Melania of Elitism before Racism.

    It would ‘ve been better to just do a proper opinion piece then, it would all make sense….but this….I dont even know what to call it. #Weist!

  15. C

    October 25, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Ms Adichie’s write-up might be fiction, but she’s not so far off the mark in her assessment of the 3rd Mrs Trump.

    For the past several years, the 3rd Mrs Trump unabashedly propagated the Birther lies questioning Michelle Obama’s husband’s citizenship.

    She insisted that the then president was not in fact born in the United States, demanded that he show his birth certificate, and declared “fake”, the birth certificate Obama ultimately released – after Mrs Trump and her husband and their cohorts wouldn’t let up –

    Michelle Obama’s daughters were both minors at the time…the younger 10 years old, the older barely 13. The Birther lies only stoked more hate – and non-stop death threats against the Obamas, from the White Supremacists who the Trumps were cultivating – and who now comprise much of their support and voter base.

    The ginned-up hate and increased death threats against the Obamas, partly on the assumption that he was in fact an undercover Kenyan/Indonesian Muslim who’d somehow snuck into the United States, and illegitimately assumed the presidency under false pretenses.. With absolutely no thought or care for Michelle Obama and her minor kids, Melania Trump went all in with the Birtherism every chance she got over the years; And completely lacking any self-awareness, in her mangled English, this recently arrived immigrant, continued to question the citizenship of the historic, sitting American-born president of color.

    Melania Trump is not some innocent bystander. Albeit hollow and vacuous, she is a callous, calculating, hardened, fraud. And almost as narcissistic and pathological as her vile husband. And just like him, she’s character-deficient. And gleefully complicit.

    For years she brazenly lied about having a college degree, which she did not, lied about speaking 5 languages – which she clearly doesn’t. Not even a rudimentary grasp of the French, Italian or German she and her fans previously boasted she was fluent in – besides of course the hello, and a couple of trite phrases every tourist knows.

    Without prompting, she boasted to an interviewer that she’d written her convention speech herself – until it was found to be plagiarized from Michelle Obama – and Mrs Trump then turned around and blamed it on a speechwriter.

    She boasted about immigrating to America “the right way”, (a lie), while insisting that those brought to the U.S as children (mostly brown and other minoriies, who only realized later as young adults that they were undocumented), be deported back to their parents’ countries of origin. Countries they were obviously now unfamiliar with. And when asked, she insisted that anti-Semitic and violent death threats by her Alt-Right supporters, directed at a Jewish journalist who investigated and reported that she didn’t have a college degree, were “provoked” by the female victim.

    Designer accoutrements and extensive primping, do not cover up a vacant soul. Neither do blatant lies about nonexistent college degrees or lies about being a polyglot, compensate for a lack.

    Indeed, with eyes wide open, she burrowed her way into the deep pockets of a man whose notoriety preceded him. She met and moved in with him when she was 30 years old – no spring chicken; and lived with him for 5 years before he finally agreed to marry her. There was no naïveté involved – she knew exactly what she signed up for. And for all these years, as he fleeced and stiffed vendors, contractors, widows and others – including victims of his phony Trump U., she turned a blind eye; and as he baselessly attacked, insulted and bullied random people for no reason, she’d sometimes parrot some version of his insult/attack, and always proudly justified it in some way, including her boasts about her husband punching back 10x harder.

    She boasts that she encouraged her husband to run for president this time —even told him that he’d win. She had 2 years – the length of the campaign for the office she convinced her husband that he’d win – to prepare for the role she’d play. She stayed in New York for 6 months after the inauguration, and it was all explained away using her 12 year old son.

    Mrs Obama – a reluctant politico-wife – moved to D.C immediately, with her 2, even younger minor daughters aged 8 and 11 at the time. She would have preferred that her minor daughters not switch schools mid-year too; But she still moved because Americans would have balked at the additional security costs footed by taxpayers. And Trump and his White Supremacist base would’ve mercilessly gone after Mrs Obama – besides calling her an “ape”, and a “man”, they’re favorite insults for her, they would have accused her still of being uppity, and ungrateful, and commanded her to immediately move into the White House they ironically never wanted her to live in because of the color of her skin.

    And though Mrs Trump’s handlers and supporters alike pretend that it is Jackie Kennedy that they compare and hold the 3rd Mrs Trump up to —amusingly, it is Mrs Obama and her events, visits, garden, hugs, speeches, alliances, Social media posts and even some of her favorite brands etc., that she appears to have studied, crammed wholesale, and is ripping off/replicating. Sometimes, down to a T.

    It isn’t Jackie Kennedy but Michelle Obama that haunts the 3rd Mrs Trump. In the end, the obsession with the Obamas …one-upping and erasing them, is shared by both Trumps.

    Do pardon the long post.

    • Professor X

      October 25, 2017 at 10:29 pm

      Good write up. You clearly have a good grasp of American politics than some of these commenters here. I’m sure these same people were all over Facebook claiming the Trump presidency was ordained by God.

      People seem love to hate CNA and try to belittle her tremendous achievements.

  16. C.

    October 25, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Ms Adichie’s write-up might be fiction, but she’s not so far off the mark in her assessment of the 3rd Mrs Trump.

    For the past several years, the 3rd Mrs Trump unabashedly helped propagate the Birther lies questioning Michelle Obama’s husband’s citizenship.

    She insisted that the then president was not in fact born in the United States, demanded that he show his birth certificate, and declared “fake”, the birth certificate Obama ultimately released – after Mrs Trump and her husband and their cohorts wouldn’t let up –

    Michelle Obama’s daughters were both minors at the time…the younger 10 years old, the older barely 13. The Birther lies only stoked more hate – and non-stop death threats against the Obamas, from the White Supremacists who the Trumps were cultivating – and who now comprise much of their support and voter base.

    She helped gin-up hate and increased death threats against the Obamas, partly on the basis that Obama was in fact an undercover Kenyan/Indonesian Muslim who’d somehow snuck into the United States, and illegitimately assumed the presidency under false pretenses.. With absolutely no thought or care for Michelle Obama and her minor kids, Melania Trump went all in with the Birtherism every chance she got over the years; And completely lacking any self-awareness, in her mangled English, this recently arrived immigrant, continued to question the citizenship of the historic, sitting American-born president of color.

    Melania Trump is not some innocent bystander. Albeit hollow and vacuous, she is a callous, calculating, hardened, fraud. And almost as narcissistic and pathological as her vile husband. And just like him, she’s character-deficient. And gleefully complicit.

    For years she brazenly lied about having a college degree, which she did not, lied about speaking 5 languages – which she clearly doesn’t. Not even a rudimentary grasp of the French, Italian or German she and her fans previously boasted she was fluent in – besides of course the hello, and a couple of trite phrases every tourist knows.

    Without prompting, she boasted to an interviewer that she’d written her convention speech herself – until it was found to be plagiarized from Michelle Obama – and Mrs Trump then turned around and blamed it on a speechwriter.

    She boasted about immigrating to America “the right way”, (a lie), while insisting that those brought to the U.S as children (mostly brown and other minoriies, who only realized later as young adults that they were undocumented), be deported back to their parents’ countries of origin. Countries they were obviously now unfamiliar with. And when asked, she insisted that anti-Semitic and violent death threats by her Alt-Right supporters, directed at a Jewish journalist who investigated and reported that she didn’t have a college degree, were “provoked” by the female victim.

    • Ahisem

      October 26, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      And so what? I didn’t even bother to read through what you spewed. Are you Chimamanda by any chance, trying to give us the reasons for her hatred of Melania?

  17. C

    October 25, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Designer accoutrements and extensive primping, do not cover up a vacant soul. Neither do blatant lies about nonexistent college degrees or lies about being a polyglot, compensate for a lack.

    With eyes wide open, she burrowed her way into the deep pockets of a man whose notoriety preceded him. She met and moved in with him when she was 30 years old – no spring chicken; and lived with him for 5 years before he finally agreed to marry her. There was no naïveté involved – she knew exactly what she signed up for. And for all these years, as he fleeced and stiffed vendors, contractors, widows and others – including victims of his phony Trump U., she turned a blind eye; And as he baselessly attacked, insulted and bullied random people for no reason, she’d sometimes parrot some version of his insult/attack, and always proudly justified it in some way – including her boasts about her husband punching back 10x harder.

    Mrs Trump boasts that she encouraged her husband to run for president this time —even told him that he’d win. She had 2 years – the length of the campaign for the office she convinced her husband that he’d win – to prepare for the role she’d play. She stayed in New York for 6 months after the inauguration, and it was all explained away using her 12 year old son.

    Mrs Obama – a reluctant politico-wife – moved to D.C immediately with her 2, even younger minor daughters aged 8 and 11 at the time. She would have preferred that her minor daughters not switch schools mid-year too; But she still moved because Americans would have balked at the additional security costs footed by taxpayers. And Trump and his White Supremacist base would’ve mercilessly gone after Mrs Obama – besides calling her an “ape”, and a “man”, they’re favorite insults for her, they would have accused her still of being uppity, and ungrateful, and commanded her to immediately move into the White House they ironically never wanted her to live in because of the color of her skin.

    And though Mrs Trump’s handlers and supporters alike pretend that it is Jackie Kennedy that they compare and hold the 3rd Mrs Trump up to —amusingly, it is Mrs Obama and her events, visits, garden, hugs, speeches, alliances, Social media posts and even some of her favorite brands etc., that she appears to have studied, crammed wholesale, and is ripping off/replicating. Sometimes, down to a T.

    It isn’t Jackie Kennedy but Michelle Obama that haunts the 3rd Mrs Trump. In the end, the obsession with the Obamas …one-upping and erasing them, is shared by both Trumps.

    Do pardon the long post.

  18. Weezy

    October 25, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    I stopped caring about what Chimamanda had to say about anything the day she said Beyonce’s feminism is not her kind of feminism. That was when I realized the woman just enjoys taking extreme positions, changing her tune, then sitting back smugly as people argue about it. After doing TED speech and printing t-shirt that we should all be feminist, its now “but not like Beyonce.” The thing about her I find so annoying is that when people call her out on hypocrisy she will be batting her eyelids, smiling and saying I don’t understand why people are misconstruing what I said. It was the same thing with the transgender thing. One day its, people are misunderstanding me, the next day its people can’t handle “complex truth.” Which one abeg?

  19. C

    October 30, 2017 at 10:24 am

    @Ahisem:

    How are you so miffed …if as you insist, you never read my comment..

    Apologies to everyone for the lengthy/double posts. I reposted in 2 parts after my initial comment didn’t show –

    I’m not Chimamanda. What I am is a fairly engaged person who over the years, has chimed in with what I hope is an informed perspective –

    I sense a distortion of sorts in some of the comments …a stubborn conflation of what seems to be an underlying resentment of the author Ms Adichie; with a rather knee-jerk, unearned absolving and oddly effusive defense of the very complicit 3rd Mrs Trump. Wholesale re-casting of an unabashed accomplice – not just as some innocent damsel to be protected, but also as sympathetic victim of a “villainous” author.

    I don’t know what Ms Adichie set out to accomplish with her short fiction piece. I chime in because it’s important not to lose sight or gloss over pertinent facts. Facts that remain indisputable, regardless of what one thinks of Ms Adichie or her write-up.

    Facts that if ignored, will abet the subtle/not so subtle slide into legitimizing and normalizing things that ought not to be.

    For 8+ years – and still counting, America’s first and only black First Lady has been endlessly and viciously dehumanized, maligned and baselessly attacked in such deeply malicious and personally damaging ways …In ways that would’ve broken most people …brought them to their knees.

    Attacks based entirely on falsehoods, purposefully manufactured/faux-outrage that provides a convenient cover for what is their sustained fear of Michelle Obama’s complete self-possession; A solid sense of self that wouldn’t cower, wasn’t beholden or needy – and was never desperate for validation or approval. The attacks on America’s historic first black FLOTUS persist to this day, and haven’t let up – even though they no longer live in the White House; Attacks far exceeding even that targeted at her twice elected husband -treated a tad less harshly, thanks to his more “acceptable” half-white parentage..

    Much of said attacks are courtesy of the very same White Supremacists the Trumps – including the 3rd Mrs Trump – continue to unapologetically play to and proudly cheer on, complete with extra loud dog whistles. Cultivating and aligning with – and mainstreaming these purveyors of hate and bigotry …and without any qualms, stoking their cultural and racial “anxieties” — and fueling a potential race war that these White Supremacists they gleefully play footsie with, have been seriously jonesing for.

    The Trumps have sought out and self-servingly ingratiated themselves with these vile White Supremacists (the Alt-Right as they’re now “respectably” referred to in the mainstream) …often stoking and exploiting their racist rage by feeding them as much red meat – all at the expense of America’s very fragile union.. And this Alt-Right demographic, continues to make up the bulk of the Trump support/base/staff.

    The 3rd Mrs Trump who handpicked some of the vilest, self-proclaimed “deplorables” for her team of intimates, continues to lap up the support of the vile Alt-Right who cheer-lead for her…slyly goading them on in their vileness as they rally for her; All while now simultaneously trying for a do-over more recently…desperate to be more acceptable to a wider audience beyond the Alt Right – but only superficially so…As a manipulative effort …looking to be cast as the “good” to her husband’s bad… now that the daughter who was originally touted to play that part, has quickly fizzled out …

    A sly and convenient distraction strategy …a vacant, complicit deflection decoy for her husband and their cohorts, as they cruelly unravel and decimate hard-won policies and protections that previously ensured equity/fair play …hard-won policies and protections that have over time, incrementally leveled the playing field in a country notorious for its varied and inconsistent treatment of its citizens as perceived unequals..

    This has all been a stark lesson in race, skin color, privilege, entitlement, expectation, goalposts, shifting and arbitrary bar heights and standards …and who gets away with what…and who doesn’t..

    No way Michelle Obama could’ve ever gotten away with lying about having a college degree..

    No way she’d ever have been allowed anywhere near the White House without one either. She had 2 Ivy League degrees from Princeton and Harvard, and that was still not good enough.

    No way could she have so publicly plagiarized a speech and lied about it, and gotten away with it; Or subsequently had that slate wiped clean for her..

    No way she would have been excused sleazy nudes floating around the internet – or accepted as a dark-skinned foreigner with mangled English, dubious history, and all around questionable choices…and no discernibly legitimate career, résumé, or portfolio to speak of – besides said sleazy nudes as the entire portfolio of a dubious, mostly nonexistent career path now pseudo-respectably and forcibly white-washed and couched as “modeling”…

    No way would Michelle Obama have claimed to be fluent in 5 languages – in a bid to compensate for a lack of any formal higher education…and not made to actually prove it – every single day..

    No way she’d show up in Italy and France, mutter and bungle a couple of the most basic tourist guide phrases…and still brazenly act as if she were even remotely semi-proficient in said languages… And have her people still brazenly touting a nonexistent fluency in “5 languages”… as proof of “intelligence”..

    No way Mrs Obama could strut around as kept woman turned 3rd wife, of a serial adulterer, shyster extraordinaire and captain of repeat bankruptcies, old enough to be her father …complete with overblown silicone balloons in her chest, and have anyone take her seriously or deem her “respectable” – or with a straight face, declare her “classy”, and a “good Christian”…Because she was trotted out that one time to READ – but still seriously butchered the Lord’s Prayer …before yet another grievance rally with White Supremacists who also moonlight on off days as small ‘c’ “christians” and “evangelicals”..

    No benefit of the doubt was ever extended the historic black FLOTUS who was born a direct descendant of slaves; Born without any privilege or advantage in a country that saw her as a 2nd class citizen…She still pulled herself up by her bootstraps, and against all odds in a country that’s never deemed her race worthy, and so never looked out for, protected or provided for black kids – or treated black women as worthy of chivalry or respect or protection …Against all odds, she still did and achieved everything she needed to – the honorable and upright way. And just as society insists all decent people do..

    How ironic that even as the historic black First Lady was and continues to be pummeled, dehumanized and called every name under the sun …it’s been all crickets..

    But there’s suddenly a save a damsel parade quickly rallying for a hollow deflection decoy who’s been brazenly complicit for years – especially as long as there was another Hermès bag to be had…and a squinting, pouting photo-op somewhere in the mix..

    That some fail to recognize the faux-demure, sly act for what it is…A well-known trick of the trade employed by well-worn, 3rd rate courtesans..

    And worse, that there are those who recognize it but still disingenuously excuse and defend – and cast the perpetrator of the con, sympathetically – and as the victimized..

    Terribly amusing too the serious mind-conditioning and psyche-warping it takes to compel those who by dint of race and skin color, are also automatically condemned to the very same fate as Michelle Obama …automatically denied respect, and summarily dismissed …assigned to the permanently reserved colored spot at the very bottom of the totem pole – regardless of accomplishment and character …elevating and playing save the damsel for a recently transplanted Eastern European of the vapid variety, embodying the very worst of entitled white mediocrity at its most subpar…and one who after 20 years in a diverse New York, only recently discovered black children – and as only good for props for the occasional shallow image-restructuring 20 minute photo-op ..But more importantly, to arm her Alt-Right supporters with videos and photographs from terribly obvious photo-ops featuring a black child or two, for their gaslighting purposes: to deny their palpable racism – even as they flagrantly and unabashedly take it up many notches..

    If ever there was a stark capture in time, of race, color, privilege – and the vestiges of racism and colonialism …and its varied versions of Stockholm Syndrome playing out on the sidelines -and even in far away countries..

    This has to be it..

    It’s all playing out for all the world to see …

    How incredibly tragic if in the end, too many of the smart ones miss the point… too busy processing things simplistically …or simply too fighting mad at some author, to actually get it..

    • MScheww

      November 3, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      For your sake I do hope you have a PhD in Obamanology.

  20. Somadina Chidolue

    September 18, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    I remember reading this over and over again.
    It just made me more eager for her next book. I literally cannot wait!

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