All Those Black Folk In The Room And No One Told Kellyanne To Take Her Damn Feet Off The Couch

I don’t know if y’all have noticed but furniture is important to Black folk. Our grandmother’s covered their new sets in plastic. Our parents’ generation has one set for entertaining and another set for regular, everyday use. And while I’m certainly a bit more reckless with my own a-step-above-Ikea furniture, I do feel a deeper level of sadness when something stains my current sofa, even though I know I won’t have it much longer. Our respect for furniture extends to the very way you place your body on it.

I remember my mother sold Mary Kay products for a bit and she took my sister and me along with her pink briefcase full of creams, powders and lipsticks into this older woman’s house. When we got inside and the woman offered each of us a seat, my sister kind of bounced onto the woman’s sofa cushions.

Lord, why did she do that.

You could literally hear the air being sucked in through the nostrils of myself, my mother and the elderly woman who exists in my mind’s eye as a bit bourgie. Realizing immediately that she’d done too much, my sister, who was probably about five at the time, said, “Let me try again.”

It was a phrase my dad said to us when we’d done something wrong and he wanted to give us an opportunity to self-correct. But the woman and my mother didn’t interpret it like that. They thought my sister wanted to bounce on that woman’s good sofa cushions for a second time. By now, the reaction was more than air, the woman made some type of noise to signify that she was shocked and appalled. My mother immediately apologized.

I don’t know if my mom made a sale that day, but I do know I had to defend my sister when we got to the car and I understood even more clearly about my mother and grandmother’s protection of furniture.

It was an attitude I would adopt later when my or my sister’s friends came to our house. I took on the role of Sofa Police. I remember my parents saving to buy a new furniture set. And I knew if my sister and I tore it up or stood idly by while someone else tore it up, there would be hell to pay. I remember the feeling of terror that washed over my body when my sister’s friend started jumping on our couch. One because I was protective over our sh*t but also because I was attempting to save her from the shame and embarrassment that was sure to come if my parents descended the stairs and saw her blond curls flying in the air.

When I first saw the picture of Kellyanne Conway with her knees, legs, feet and shoes on the couch in the Oval Office, I couldn’t understand why I was getting so hot and had to click away so fast. The more I thought about it, the more the picture started popping up in my news feed, and when I saw Kellyanne’s name trending on Twitter, I knew my reaction wasn’t just about the general disgust I often feel for her and the administration to which she belongs.

It’s the fact that homegirl has no home training. And what added insult to injury was the fact that even in lacking the couth and decorum she should have learned as a child, she’s still in the highest office of the land with the bottom of her shoes touching the couch.

Initially, I thought that all the Black folk in the room cringed. I wondered if perhaps some of them had to stifle themselves from reminding Kellyanne to take her damn feet off the couch. But then again, the way some of those people were cheesing and grinning in the presence of Donald Trump and his Chief of The Blacks, Omarosa Manigault, they might not have even noticed.

As much as America works my last nerve, as much as it has disappointed me with its false promises and tried to keep me in the kitchen, enjoying the fruits of my labor without the acknowledgment,  compensation, or respect, it’s still mine. One of the many things that the Obama’s tried to tell us was that the White House was our house, the people’s house. Lord knows we sure as hell pay for it. So in that sense, Kellyanne had her feet on my couch like she was a Rick James impersonator. And that is just disrespectful.


Veronica Wells is the culture editor at She is also the author of “Bettah Days.” You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter @VDubShrug.