Michelle Obama: White People Ignored Me as First Lady

In baffling remarks on her latest podcast, former First Lady Michelle Obama contended that she was treated by white Americans as if she didn’t exist when she was the wife of the most powerful man in the country. Apparently having forgotten that white America treated her like the second coming of Jackie O, putting her on a pedestal only exceeded (debatably) by Beyoncé and Oprah, Michelle complained that when she would leave the White House grounds, she was ignored by whites.

This, of course, is some sort of larger statement about inherent racism. Isn’t everything?

“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,” Obama recalled. “That is so telling of how white America views people who are not like them, like we don’t exist. And when we do exist, we exist as a threat. And that’s exhausting.”

Completely incognito. Gets ignored because she’s trying to pass as just anyone else.


Michelle also talked about going to get ice cream with her daughters and her friend Denielle.

“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,” Obama recalled. “There was a line, and… when I’m 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,” she continued. “Like, she didn’t even see us. The girl behind the counter almost took her order. And I had to stand up ’cause I know Denielle was like, ‘Well, I’m not gonna cause a scene with Michelle Obama.’ So I stepped up and I said, ‘Excuse me? 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,” she concluded. “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.”

It’s almost hard to know where to start with this. Michelle speaks to two incidents where she wasn’t treated like the Queen of Siam, and that means black people are invisible to whites? What are you talking about?

The thing is, this speaks to something larger and that is: A lot of people are just oblivious. A lot of people are, quite frankly, total a**holes. If you’re white, and another white guy (or cop) treats you like an a-hole, you just think, “Well, he’s a jerk.” But if you’re black, you might think, “Here’s another racist.” But that’s not necessarily – or even probably – the case. We all get treated like crap sometimes. That’s life.

Stop trying to use it as a way to make things worse.

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