Former First Lady Michelle Obama has spoken out about the racism that she faced during her time in the White House.
Obama made history in 2009 when she became the first black First Lady of the United States, as her husband, Barack Obama was elected President. She quickly became known for her feminist views and empowering attitude, alongside being a role model and fashion icon.
However, speaking at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s (WFCO) 30th anniversary event in Denver, Obama told the audience how she struggled with the racism and hatred directed at her.
When asked by WFCO President and CEO, Lauren Casteel, what Obama found hardest about shattering the glass ceiling, she referenced a racist Facebook post which referred to her as an ‘ape’.
Following current President Donald Trump’s win, a Facebook user wrote, “It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified first lady in the White House.”
“I’m tired of seeing a ape in heels.”
The post caused a major controversy, not just for its racial undertones but also because West Virginia’s mayor added that the post had “made her day.”
Obama said, “The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut.”
“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 colour.”
However, she also instilled that women should be more open about the adversity they face. She said if women acknowledged such problems then it would encourage younger girls to be more open about their adversity.
She said, “Women, we endure those cuts in so many ways that we don’t even know we’re cut.”
‘We are living with small, tiny cuts, and we are bleeding every single day.”
“And we’re still getting up.”