Michelle Obama Says She Still Faces Racism After Being First Lady: Some People Can't See Past 'My Skin Color'
“Don’t be afraid of the country you live in. The folks here are good," Michelle Obama said
Despite all of her accomplishments – and eight years as First Lady – Michelle Obama says she is still judged by the color of her skin by some Americans.
The wife of former President Barack Obama took the stage at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s 30th anniversary celebration, where she addressed the hurdles she had to overcome as the country’s first black first lady.
Lauren Casteel, WFCO President and CEO, asked Obama what “falling glass” cut the deepest after breaking the glass ceiling of race in the White House.
“The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” she said, according to the Denver Post. “Knowing that after eight years of working really hard for this country, there are still people who won’t see me for what I am because of my skin color.”
She also said being a woman gives her innate resilience, despite constantly being knocked down.
“Women, we endure those cuts in so many ways that we don’t even notice we’re cut,” she added. “We are living with small tiny cuts, and we are bleeding every single day. And we’re still getting up.”
Obama repeated that she would not be seeking public office but would help the nation in other ways.
“Public service and engagement will be a part of my life and my husband’s life forever,” she told the crowd of 8,500.
Although the former first lady stayed away from political talk — save for a few subtle digs at President Donald Trump — and did not address the battle over whether to repeal her husband’s signature achievement as president directly, Obama shared a message of optimism.
“The people in this country are universally good and kind and honest and decent,” she said. “Don’t be afraid of the country you live in. The folks here are good.”
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“I’ve never seen or read in the entire history of the United States anything as rushed as this that has such an impact on Americans,” said Sen. Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey.
“I think they’re making a terrible mistake,” said Sen. Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii. “It’s going to rip health care from tens of millions of Americans and whichever version they vote on [will trash] the American health care system.”
Rather than get into politics, Obama focused on issues she advocated for as first lady, including the empowerment and education of women. She reminded those in attendance of the power that kind words and acceptance can have on young girls.
“Listening and validation can make the difference in a young girl’s life,” she said.