Michelle Obama is speaking out about race and how she feels that Black people “don’t exist” to many white Americans. The former First Lady opened up about the issue on episode five of “The Michelle Obama Podcast.”
While speaking with her friends Kelly Dibble, Denielle Pemberton-Heard, and Dr. Sharon Malone, Obama addressed the white community. She speaks about the common issues many people of color in the country face.
“What the white community doesn’t understand about being a person of color in this nation is that there are daily slights, in our workplaces where people talk over you, or people don’t even see you,” she said.
Obama then cited a story about a slight she experienced while getting ice cream with her daughters Sasha and Malia as well as her podcast guest Pemberton-Heard. “We were stopping to get ice cream, and I had told the Secret Service to stand back because we were trying to be normal, trying to go in,” she said. “It was Häagen-Dazs, wasn’t it?”
She says that the way white people perceive her changes when they don’t realize that she is the former First Lady. “There was a line, and… when I’m just a black woman, I notice that white people don’t even see me,” she said. “They’re not even looking at me.”
Obama continues: “So I’m standing there with two little black girls, another black female adult, they’re in soccer uniforms. And a white woman cuts right in front of us to order. Like, she didn’t even see us.”
Michelle Obama Confronts the Woman Who Cut Her in Line at Ice Cream Shop
She then confronted the woman about cutting in line. “And the girl behind the counter almost took her order,” Obama said. “And I had to stand up, because I know [Pemberton-Heard] was like, ‘Well, I’m not gonna cause a scene with Michelle Obama.’ So I stepped up and I said, ‘Excuse me?’ I was like, ‘You don’t see us four people standing right here, you just jumped in line?'”
The wife of Barack Obama says the woman made her feel “invisible” because of the color of her skin. “She didn’t know it was me,” Obama said. “All she saw was a black person or a group of black people, or maybe she didn’t even see that, because we were that invisible.”
According to Michelle Obama, the aforementioned incident is one of many she has experienced. “I can tell you a number of stories like that, when I’ve been completely incognito, during the eight years in the White House, walking the dogs on the canal, people will come up and pet my dogs, but will not look me in the eye,” she said.
Obama concluded by revealing what exhausts her about dealing with these issues on a daily basis. “What white folks don’t understand is, like, that is so telling of how white America views people who are not like them,” she said. “You know, we don’t exist. And when we do exist, we exist as a threat. And that — that’s exhausting.”
[H/T Daily Mail]