I really don’t understand. Honestly. Michelle Obama recently talked about how even the First Lady suffers the ravages of racism, but her illustrative anecdote is quite puzzling:
“I tell this story—I mean, even as the first lady—that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target—during that visit, not highly disguised, the only person who actually came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off of a shelf,” Michelle said in the interview. “Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her.”
There you go. This is just another indication of the deep-seated and systemic racism in this country. First, someone had the audacity to not recognize Michelle Obama as the First Lady. And then, horror of horrors, that same person—incidentally the only person in Target even willing to approach the poor, isolated Michelle—had the brazen gall to ask Michelle for help! Doesn’t that person know that it is not the First Lady’s job to help? Should have figured that out by now.
Do you really need any more proof? Not to be outdone, Barack himself recounted some horrible experiences of being asked to serve others:
“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,” the president told [People Magazine].
“He was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee,” the first lady explained of another incident.
So, in all these cases, what do Barack and Obama have bigger problems with? Race or an insult to their high position? Because it seems to me that what they are really angry about is that people didn’t recognize them for the prominent celebrities they believe themselves to be. They want people to treat them with all due reverence, deference, and adulation. Instead, people viewed them in these cases as “normal” people and asked for help or service. I’m sure plenty of white people have very similar stories. That’s just a fact of life.