As black people, we are already born at a disadvantage in this country, so why would we celebrate perpetuating other unfair advantages? Even if Hillary Clinton makes it to the White House this time (and I predict that she will), if her daughter runs for office (and there is already speculation that she will), I think a lot of black Americans will not think, “Go Chelsea!” It’ll be more like, “Here we go again.”
Furthermore, modern-day “princes” and “princesses” are essentially just code for “socialites.” Black Americans don’t have time for that, either. When we hear “socialite,” we hear “rich people who don’t work.” Or, worse, “rich people who didn’t earn their money and don’t want to work.”
That’s one of the reasons we ridicule the whole Basketball Wives phenomenon. Even though black women may be the predominant ones watching the show, they are also the women’s primary critics. The reason? In our community, flaunting the fact that you want to live a “fabulous” life without working for it is nothing to be proud of (even if plenty of people secretly wish they could do the same thing).
Middleton, the so-called commoner who married into the royal family, is essentially a basketball wife with a ring and some class. We may watch from afar and think “That must be a charmed life,” but very few of us actually stand up and applaud. Because why should we cheer the concept of simply marrying well in the year 2013?
Instead, our community is too busy celebrating those with power and privilege who got there the old-fashioned way — and I don’t mean by marrying into it or being born into it. I mean working for it. We like celebrating individuals who, despite being born with every disadvantage in life, prove that the smart, poor black kid can end up in the White House and can even end up defeating a white guy from a wealthy family with a famous last name.
And we like celebrating female role models who don’t marry men to make their lives better, but who are the ones men marry to make themselves better. In other words, we’ll take self-made queen Michelle Obama over your run-of-the-mill princess any day of the week.
Keli Goff is The Root’s special correspondent. Follow her on Twitter.