'She didn't apologize, she never looked me in my eye, she didn't know it was me. 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.’
She might not live in the White House anymore, but that hasn’t stopped former First Lady Michelle Obama inspiring us on the regular.
In fact, she’s our go-to girl when it comes to pep talks and calling out injustice.
The world was relieved therefore when she launched her own podcast, dishing out endless advice and inspiration and calling out issues that we need to be having bigger conversations about.
This week, the former First Lady made news as she opened up about her experience with racism on The Michelle Obama Podcast, recalling an incident that took place when she was First Lady.
Talking with friends Denielle Pemberton-Heard, Dr. Sharon Malone and Kelly Dibble, Michelle recalled the incident, which took place when she took her daughters Sasha and Malia to get ice cream at a Haagen-Dazs shop.
‘We had just finished taking the girls to a soccer game,’ Michelle recalled. ‘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. There was a line, and once again, when I’m just a Black woman, I notice that white people don’t even see me. They’re not even looking at me.’
She continued: ‘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. Like she didn’t even see us.
‘So I stepped up, and I said, “Excuse me?” I was like, “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. 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.
‘What white folks don’t understand, it’s like that is so telling of how white America views people who are not like them. You know, we don’t exist. And when we do exist, we exist as a threat. And that, that’s exhausting.’
The latest Michelle Obama podcast episode is out now.