Wait, is Michelle Obama still proud of her country or not? It’s getting hard to keep track.
Speaking at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s 30th anniversary Tuesday night, the former First Lady opened up about what she considers the hardest part of her husband’s eight years as President.
Obama said that after “working really hard for this country,” there would still be people “who won’t see me for what I am because of my skin color.”
Via the Denver Post:
WFCO President and CEO Lauren Casteel commented that Obama broke a glass ceiling by becoming the first black first lady. She then asked which of the falling glass shards cut the deepest.
“The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” she said, referencing being called an ape and people talking about her bottom. “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 said she can’t pretend like it doesn’t hurt because that lets those who do the hurting off the hook.
There are other women in politics who have been mocked for their looks or had disparaging remarks made about them in the past. Nobody has endured more scorn or ridicule on the political scene than former vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin.
Palin was called vile names repeatedly by supposed comedians, and was the subject of sexist media coverage. Anybody remember this photo, run by the Associated Press and Reuters?
It’s the perils of political life – not so much racism as it is ignorance from people who want to tear down their opponents.
Michelle Obama’s criticism of that opposition is very limited when it comes to her own side of the aisle, however.
Where were the cries of racism when Bill Clinton said Obama should have been fetching he and his colleague, Ted Kennedy, coffee? Or the time Hillary Clinton refused to ride a plane with Michelle?
Actually, the Clintons have a litany of examples of racially charged remarks about the Obamas.
Michelle Obama had to endure racism after eight years of an Obama presidency that was supposed to cure America of it.
The morning after Election Day, 2008, The New York Times proclaimed that Barack Obama’s victory had swept “away the last racial barrier in American politics.”
Yet, by any measure, race relations in the country grew far worse after the election of the first black President. Was it the anti-police, pro-Black Lives Matter comments perpetually coming out of the White House? Was it wading into racially charged cases like that of Trayvon Martin and Henry Louis Gates? Was it the demonization of people trying to restore the integrity of elections through voter ID as racists.
It’s difficult to say, but after her husband was the man who brought down “the last racial barrier in politics,” it’s jarring to hear the former First Lady complain about racism nine years later.
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