While her husband, Barack Obama is often called the Divider-In-Chief, it is Michelle Obama who seems to want to keep racism alive and well in the United States.
Michelle Obama Keeps It Classy… Not!
On the episode titled, “The Gift Of Girlfriends” she also stated to her guests, which included Denielle Pemberton-Heard, the CEO of STEMconnector, that white people don’t see black people as a threat.
The discussion followed an incident about a white woman who was walking her dog ended up calling the cops on a black man who was birdwatching.
Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill
In Michelle Obama’s memoir “Becoming,” she stated, “That incident in Central Park, which infuriated all of us, as we watched it, it was not unfamiliar. This is 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.”
“Denielle and I, when the girls were little, this is when I was First Lady,” Obama continued. “I am Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States of America, and we had just finished taking the girls to a soccer game, 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. It was Haagen-Daaz, wasn’t it?”
Pemberton-Heard: “Exactly. Haagen-Daaz.”
Obama: “And there was a line, and once again, when I am just a black woman, I notice that white people don’t even see me. They’re not even looking at me. 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. And the girl behind the counter almost took her order. And I had to stand up, ’cause I know Danielle is like, ‘Well, I’m not gonna cause a scene with Michelle Obama.’”
Pemberton: “That’s exactly right; it was like, mm-hm.”
Always the Victim
Obama concluded, “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?’ She didn’t apologize; she never looked me in my eye; she didn’t know it was me. 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. 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. They don’t know it’s me. What white folks don’t understand, it’s like, that is so telling of how white America views people who are not like them. You know, we don’t exist. And when we do exist, we exist as a threat. And that, that’s exhausting.”