Why Michelle Obama’s ‘House Built by Slaves’ Line Was So Iconic

It gave us a dose of what we desperately need: Reality.

I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves,” Michelle Obama said last night, “and I watch my daughters–two beautiful, intelligent, black young women–playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.” In an election season gripped by falsehoods, inaccuracies, corruption, and histrionics, the First Lady delivered a speech at the Democratic National Convention last night that offered an alternative solution: reality.

Politics in America exist in a binary. People on both sides feel that there is “us” and there is “them.” The stakes are high. But these current difficulties are not impossible to overcome.

Make no mistake—reality, and everything the hard truth of reality entails, is not a pleasant concept. It is thick and messy and viscous like a quicksand that will pull one under without notice. Reality is not what we shout online. It is our livelihoods, our day-to-day interactions with other people and the world as a collective body of different races, ethnicities, sexualities, genders, and capabilities. But what the world (and the left in particular) needs now more than ever is a hard and fast dose of reality. We live in an ugly time. That’s the reality.

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