Former First Lady Michelle Obama spoke out on Friday to say that she worries about her two daughters Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19, “every time they get in a car by themselves” because they are black.
Michelle said this in an interview with “CBS This Morning” in which she was asked about the statement she and her husband, former President Barack Obama, released in response to Derek Chauvin being found guilty in the death of George Floyd last month. In this statement, the Obamas said that “true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial.”
“The goal is to let leaders lead,” Michelle said when asked about this. “But in certain times, people, you know, look to us often. ‘Well, what do you think? How do you feel?’ We know that while we’re all breathing a sigh of relief over the verdict, there’s still work to be done. And so we, we can’t sort of say, ‘Great. That happened. Let’s move on.’ I know that people in the Black community don’t feel that way because many of us still live in fear as we go to the grocery store, or walking our dogs, or allowing our children to get a license.”
“Aren’t your girls driving?” asked host Gayle King.
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“They’re driving, but every time they get in a car by themselves, I worry about what assumption is being made by somebody who doesn’t know everything about them,” the former First Lady said. “The fact that they are good students and polite girls, but maybe they’re playing their music a little loud, maybe somebody sees the back in their head and makes an assumption. I, like so many parents of black kids, have to — the innocent act of getting a license puts fear in our hearts.”
“So, I think we have to talk about it more, and we have to ask our fellow citizens to listen a bit more and to believe us and to know we don’t wanna be out there marching,” Michelle concluded. “I mean, all those Black Lives Matters kids, they’d rather not have to worry about this. They’re taking to the streets because they have to. They’re trying to have people understand that we’re real folks, and the fear that many have of so many of us is irrational, and it’s based on a history that is just — it’s sad, and it’s dark, and it’s time for us to move beyond that.”
This piece was written by James Samson on May 7, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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