While speaking in Malaysia, former First Lady Michelle Obama said that America still has a racism problem, despite having elected her husband twice.
“We’re Still Not Where We Need to Be”
Michelle Obama made these comments at the Obama Foundation’s leadership conference in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.
“We’re still not where we need to be in the United States of America when it comes to race. People thought electing Barack Obama would end racism,” she said. “That’s 400 years of stuff that was going to be eliminated because of eight years of this kid from Hawaii? Are you kidding me?”
WATCH: Michelle Obama speaks about racism at an Obama Foundation event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: "We're still not where we need to be in the United States of America when it comes to race." pic.twitter.com/7Bj8dTfniv
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 13, 2019
Her speech follows similar comments she made about migration and the phenonmenon of “white flight” at the annual Obama Foundation Summit in October:
As families like ours, upstanding families like ours who were doing everything we were supposed to do and better. As we moved in, white folks moved out because they were afraid of what our families represented. There were no gang fights, there were no territorial battles. Yet one by one, they packed their bags and they ran from us. And they left communities in shambles. I want to remind white folks that y’all were running from us. This family, with all the values that you read about, you were running from us. And you’re still running because we’re no different than the immigrant families that are moving in.
Obama Made Racism Worse
Whilst it is true that America has had its problems with race in its past, the public believed from the 1990s onwards that we were living in a post-racial America. It seemed like everything that would be needed for racial equality was already implemented, or being worked on. The election of Barack Obama was merely evidence of the country moving on into the genuinely bright future that Martin Luther King Jr predicted. What happened, contrary to Michelle’s words earlier, was not that Obama did not only fix racism in 8 years of office, but that he actually exacerbated it.
Speaking in 2018, the former Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said just that.
“Every time there was a controversy with someone of color was involved, he took the side, many times, against the police,” Santorum argued. “He did it over and over and over again. President Obama was to many people out there someone who could have come together, brought this country together.”
I think that Michelle and Barack should take a long look at themselves in the mirror before speaking about racism again.