Washington DC (Storch Report) — Barack has had trouble catching a cab in Chicago, a short woman asked Michelle to take detergent off a shelf for her while she was first lady, someone coming out of a restaurant handed Barack their car keys, another asked him to get coffee while he was in formal attire, these were among the racial profiling indignities Barack and Michelle Obama cited and had to endure as they discussed racism in America with People magazine.
Imagine having trouble catching a cab in Chicago or New York, unimaginable! Never happened to me. Or, helping a short lady reach something that was out of reach. I would give her a good piece of my mind and being mistaken for a valet or waiter, well that tops all of the racial indignities that could ever be thrust on a black person, least of all POTUS or the First Lady.
This all came about in a 30-minute conversation the president and Mrs. Obama had with People magazine adding their stories to the national discussion of race and racial profiling that was sparked, and if not fueled by the Obama’s, following the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York.
Although they admitted they have been shielded from a lot of unpleasantness, living in their self-imposed protective bubble, but they said they have had their share of encounters with racial prejudice.
But Michelle said, “Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs.”
And then she discussed her highly publicized trip she took to Target, “I tell this story — I mean, even as the first lady . . . not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”
I’m having some trouble understanding the point here, I have helped many a person get something off a shelf, black, white and otherwise and even held the door for a black woman coming out of a store and I’m not a doorman.
“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,” said the president, adding that, yes, it had happened to him
Michelle recalled another incident: “He was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee.”
My my, as though we all haven’t been mistaken for someone else. Perhaps the president thinks “white privilege” precludes this from happening to anyone else.
A man pulled up to the house from the water department, got out of his truck and he was Chinese with a kung fu goatee and I thought he was delivering Chinese takeout.
“The small irritations or indignities that we experience are nothing compared to what a previous generation experienced,” President Obama said. “It’s one thing for me to be mistaken for a waiter at a gala. It’s another thing for my son to be mistaken for a robber and to be handcuffed, or worse, if he happens to be walking down the street and is dressed the way teenagers dress.”
My son? This is the second reference Obama made to a son, the first one in another racial incident, the Trayvon Martin killing.
Well, I guess there’s more where this came from in the new issue of People, on newsstands tomorrow.