(VOFNEWS)– Former first lady Michelle Obama said that “white America” acts like black women — including herself — don’t exist.
She delivered the remarks on her podcast Thursday.
“When I’ve been completely incognito, during the eight years in the White House, walking the dogs on the canal, people will come up and pet my dogs, but will not look me in the eye. They don’t know it’s me,” the former first lady said in “The Michelle Obama Podcast.”
“What white folks don’t understand, it’s like that is so telling of how white America views people who are not like them. You know, we don’t exist. And when we do exist, we exist as a threat. And that, that’s exhausting,” Obama continued.
“What the white community doesn’t understand about being a person of color in this nation is that there are daily slights, in our workplaces where people talk over you, or people don’t even see you,” she said in the episode, which also featured pals Danielle Pemberton-Heard, Kelly Dibble and Dr. Sharon Malone.
Michelle then shared the story of her going with Pemberton-Heard and her daughters, Sasha and Malia, to grab some ice cream after a soccer game during her time in the White House.
“We were stopping to get ice cream, and I had told the Secret Service to stand back because we were trying to be normal, trying to go in,” Obama said.
“When I’m just a black woman, I notice that white people don’t even see me. … I’m standing there with two little black girls, another black female adult, they’re in soccer uniforms. And a white woman cuts right in front of us to order. Like ― she didn’t even see us,” Obama said.
“The girl behind the counter almost took her order. And I had to stand up because I know [Pemberton-Heard] was like, ‘Well, I’m not gonna cause a scene with Michelle Obama,’” she continued. “So I stepped up and I said, ‘Excuse me? You don’t see us four people standing right here, you just jumped in line?’”
Michelle said the woman “didn’t apologize, she never looked me in my eye, she didn’t know it was me. All she saw was a black person, or a group of black people, or maybe she didn’t even see that. Because we were that invisible.”