Barack and Michelle Obama sat down with People Magazine for an exclusive interview in which they disclosed that they’ve both faced racism in the past.
In the interview with People Magazine, the first lady revealed that both she and the President had experienced racism before moving into the White House.
“I think people forget that we’ve lived in the White House for six years,” Michelle Obama told People. “Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs.”
She went on to tell of an experience in which she was shopping at Target and someone asked her for help.
“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, because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her,” Michelle Obama said. “Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”
The Obamas also addressed the racial tensions in the nation following the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
“There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys,” President Obama said.
“The small irritations or indignities that we experience are nothing compared to what a previous generation experienced," he added. "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.”
Check out the full People Magazine interview here.