WHAT CONSTITUTES ‘TRASH’…. We talked earlier about Tammy Bruce, guest hosting for Laura Ingraham’s radio show, attacking the Obama family as “trash in the White House.” I neglected to mention what Michelle Obama said to elicit Bruce’s ire.

As a kid growing up on the south side of Chicago, Michelle Obama remembers being ridiculed for trying to be educated and get good grades.

“I wanted an ‘A.’ I wanted to be smart. I wanted to be the person who had the right answer. And I didn’t care if it was cool — ’cause I remember there were kids around my neighborhood who would say ‘ooh — you talk funny. you talk — like a white girl.’ I heard that growing up my whole life.”

This is what prompted Bruce to go after the “trash in the White House,” adding, “Trash are people who use other people to get things, who patronize others, who consider you bitter and clingy…”

Given controversial comments Bruce has made in the past, Adam Serwer added: “You start to get the impression that Bruce’s hostility toward Michelle Obama really isn’t personal at all. She just has a problem with black people, particularly black people who deign to rise above their station.”

Or, as Ta-Nehisi Coates put it, “[T]he day of figuring out this black-white shit is coming. Hate, however, is eternal.”

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.