In a recent interview with People, the Obamas recalled racial profiling experiences they have encountered, both before and after entering The White House. Reminding people that her husband was “a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago,” Mrs. Obama also recounted an experience of her own.
“I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf,” she said. “Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”
The First Lady also noted a time where her husband “was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee.” Still, President Obama noted that times have changed.
“The small irritations or indignities that we experience are nothing compared to what a previous generation experienced,” he said. “It’s one thing for me to be mistaken for a waiter at a gala. It’s another thing for my son to be mistaken for a robber and to be handcuffed, or worse, if he happens to be walking down the street and is dressed the way teenagers dress.”
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