Michelle Obama: Some Americans Never Saw Past ‘My Skin Color’

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 6: U.S. first lady Michelle Obama makes opening remarks at a Spousal Symposium at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on August 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. The symposium, sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama and former first lady Laura Bush, focuses on the role the spouses of world leader's play and the impact of investments in education, health, and economic development through public-private partnerships. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

Former first lady Michelle Obama decried the racism she says she endured while in the White House, speaking at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado on Tuesday.

In her first public appearance since leaving the White House, Obama told the 8,000-plus audience members attending the foundation’s 30th anniversary celebration that some “shards” from the preverbal “glass ceiling” cut her deep.

“The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” Obama said, according to the Denver Post, referencing a West Virginia official who called her an “ape in heels” last November. “Knowing that after eight years of working really hard for this country, there are still people who won’t see me for what I am because of my skin color.”

“For underrepresented people to pretend like it doesn’t hurt, it lets those who hurt us off the hook,” Obama said, according to the New York Daily News.

Obama said women endure small doses of sexism on a daily bases.

“Women, we endure those cuts in so many ways that we don’t even notice we’re cut,” she said. “We are living with small tiny cuts, and we are bleeding every single day. And we’re still getting up.”

While avoiding pointed political issues during the Q&A portion of the night, the former first lady did say that she doesn’t have a future in politics.


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