Barack and Michelle Obama "Could've Never Gotten Away" With Everything Happening in the Trump White House
Michelle Obama celebrated the season finale of her podcast, aptly titled The Michelle Obama Podcast, with her 83-year-old mother, Marian Robinson, and older brother, Craig. What started as a discussion on parenting obviously shifted to politics, with Obama saying that she felt immense pressure during her time as first lady, because as a Black person, she always had to do "10 times better" than the people around her just to be seen as equal.
Obama mentioned her now-iconic "When They Go Low, We Go High" speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, saying that the public saw President Barack Obama and his administration with different standards. Because he is Black, she insisted, the whole family had to do 10 times better just to look like they were performing up to everyone's standards. Of course, she mentioned that because she feels like the Obamas also had to answer to the Black community, the things that Trump is doing now simply wouldn't have been acceptable.
"You're taught, you know, people are gonna assume the worst of you. So you've got to be better than, you've got to be 10 times better than, Obama said. "And when we were in the White House, we could've never gotten away with some of the stuff that's going on now. Not because of the public, but our community wouldn't have accepted that."
Obama noted that Black people are facing huge challenges in the fight for equality and that tight-knit families and communities are helping everyone stay safe and supported. So, the groups and communities that held her up to a higher standard are the same people helping each other now that the fight for equality has a bigger audience than ever before.
"We have communities that stick together, and church groups, and, you know, little league teams. We're piecing together a life with duct tape and glue and a lot of love and a lot of empathy," Obama said. "So when people doubt us, it's frustrating and it's painful and it can make you angry."
In regards to police violence and brutality and systemic racism in America, Obama said that it may seem hopeless, especially as so many young Black people are doing everything they can to fit in and follow the rules, just to be faced with hate and scrutiny. She acknowledged the pain and emphasized the inequality of having to do better than everyone else just to be treated with the same respect.
"You worked, you did your best every day. You showed up. And we did it in the White House, but there are people and jobs all over this community, all over this country, all over this world, who are doing the same thing, because that's how we were raised. We have to be better, to just be equal. So the fact that there are people out there that treat us less than, when we're working so hard to be better than, that's where the pain comes from," she said. "That's what these young people are so angry about. Because they're doing everything right, everything they are told, and it's doesn't matter. A police officer will still stop them and accuse them of stealing a bike that their parents worked hard to get. That hurts."