Michelle Obama on Tuesday dismantled the myth of a post-racial America as she opened up about her experience with racism as the country’s first Black first lady, saying, “The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” the Huffington Post writes.
She made the comment before a crowd of about 8,500 at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s 30th anniversary event in Denver, Colorado, at the Pepsi Center, the same site where she addressed thousands at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, the report notes.
During wide-ranging interview with the group’s president and CEO Lauren Casteel, Obama discussed breaking the glass ceiling. That’s when Casteel asked which shards cut the deepest, according to the Denver Post.
“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,” said Obama, who recounted being called an ape and endured deprecatory comments about her body.
She and her husband, Barack Obama, endured a cavalcade of racist insults during the president’s eight years in office. The racist insults didn’t stop after they left office, with two West Virginia officials losing their jobs after referring to her as an “ape in heels” in a Facebook post celebrating President Donald Trump’s victory, the report notes.
She did not pretend the vicious attacks didn’t hurt, “because it lets those doing the hurting off the hook,” the report says. But the Obamas’ experience in the White House also highlights just how far America has to go before being considered a post-racial society.