This weekend, when someone released a video of Sasha Obama dancing with a group of friends on TikTok, she probably didn’t expect it to be noticed for a very unexpected reason: The presence of so many white people.
However, the user, who was only identified as @pixiestick222, quickly deleted the video, but not before someone else had recorded it and shared it on Twitter. On this platform it took on a whole new life.
The Twitter user, Kushaan Shah, posted the clip on Twitter on Sunday and noted that “Sasha Obama is about to viralize this girl’s TikTok.
Sasha Obama is about to viralize this girl’s TikTok pic.twitter.com/hji7X0Xtpo
– Kushaan Shah (@kushaanshah) November 30, 2020
Shah was right on this point, but it is unlikely that he could have predicted exactly why it was widely shared and commented on. At first, many viewers hung on Sasha’s long acrylic nails. But then, more recently, some people noticed that some of the young people dancing with the former first daughter, apart from a younger black man behind her, are white.
Author/activist Ariaa Jaeger applauded Sasha, saying that she “does the Lord’s work by teaching rhythm to white children.
Sasha Obama is doing the work of the Lord and teaching white children rhythm. < can I get a Hallelujah! https://t.co/o36Ovn71ag
– Ariaa Jaeger (@AriaaJaeger) December 2, 2020
People who complained, ridiculed or pretended to be surprised that Sasha had white friends usually deleted their comments shortly after publication. However, there were a few left who at least tried to address the issue with humor rather than anger.
These are most of the white people I have seen Sasha Obama with outside WH events pic.twitter.com/1utKHpnSqW
– Queen of the Negroes (@imdakraic) December 2, 2020
This commentator said that blacks should not be judgmental. Others also noted that most people have friends of different races.
Black people who are so prejudiced that the LOL shadow room posted Sasha Obama with her friends, and all the comments that upset them are that they have white friends……. as if she would fucking sit down!! We need a life frfr LOL pic.twitter.com/h4DQt4ugxk
– DDB (@LookAt_DeeNow88) December 2, 2020
More than one Twitter user remarked that they were not surprised that Sasha has white friends, while they claimed that this might be the case because she went to prominent white private schools.
Sasha Obama : * goes to a private school all her life
Twitter : * pretends to be shocked that she has white friends in college * pic.twitter.com/yQlBKoCqcE
– John (@iam_johnw) December 2, 2020
Sasha, 19, is a student at the University of Michigan, although her mother Michelle revealed in late September that both Obama girls have practically resumed school at home. In other words, it is unlikely that this group is a group of random teenagers with her, although it is unclear when and where the video was taken.
However, some people in social media – like the author below – attacked Sasha because they allegedly defied the pandemic protocol by gathering around the house with a group of people, dancing closely together and not wearing masks. (Note: the group appears to be smaller than even the strictest recommendation of 10 or fewer people gathering together, and it is unclear whether or not this group is part of a “quarantine bowl”).
What a surprise that they do not impose a social distance/mask on Sasha Obama.
– Zombies Privilege (@CharlesJhallory) December 2, 2020
Tim O’Brien, columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, joked that she was trendy because her father had not tried to obtain a preventive pardon for her. (He refers to the report Donald Trump allegedly tried to make for his daughter Ivanka before he left the White House).
Sasha Obama is trendy because her father did not try to obtain a preventive pardon for her.
– Tim O’Brien (@TimOBrien) December 2, 2020
This writer did not care if people criticized Sasha’s nails or her friends; they should just leave her alone.
I saw Sasha Obama going in the trend & I was worried for a minute. Then I saw how ppl r got upset about her friends. Or is it her nails? This is my message to those who are upset about it. pic.twitter.com/zcZ0lyHBZw
– Femme du Ciel (@ciel_femme) December 2, 2020
Others focused on the positive, such as this message that Sasha “looks happy, “has a group of normal-looking friends and is just beautiful. Over here we are doing well”.
Our Sasha Obama looks happy, has a group of normal-looking friends and is just beautiful. Over here we are doing well. pic.twitter.com/0JyY9t4cmd
– Mrs Ann (@MsAnn773) December 2, 2020