President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama interviewed with People Magazine about their own experiences in reference to racism.
During the interview, the First Lady told People Magazine that while shopping in a Target, “… 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.”
It’s amazing how ignorant, blind, and or out of touch people can be. As highly publicized as the First Lady of this country is, it’s appalling that even she can be mistaken for “the help.”
The First Lady added that, “He [President Obama] was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee.” President Obama confirmed her claim and even added that he was also once mistaken for a valet. “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.
The Obama’s experience shows how there are still many elements of racism in the United States. These few examples provided by the President and First Lady only exemplifies that black people are treated as the “help” or “incapable of having elite positions” in the eyes of many people. Even if black people are well-dressed, highly educated, or even the President of the United States–for that matter–they will still get subjected to racial stereotypes.