Thursday, December 18, 2014

Barack and Michelle: 'How We Deal With Our Own Racist Experiences'

Barack and Michelle Obama "open up" in an EXCLUSIVE interview in People, "The Obamas: How We Deal with Our Own Racist Experiences."

Their RACIST experiences?

"I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to 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."

In a 30-minute conversation, the president and Mrs. Obama candidly added their stories to the national discussion of race and racial profiling that was sparked by the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York.

"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, adding that, yes, it had happened to him.

Mrs. Obama recalled another incident: "He was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee."

Give me a break.

I'm white, and on several occasions I have been mistaken for a Target worker. Yes, for some reason, people think I work there and ask me for help.

I began making sure I didn't wear a red t-shirt when I shopped there to try to avoid the issue. It was a little odd, but I wasn't offended that a few people made that mistake.

It happend at Pier 1, too. A woman thought I worked there and asked me for help. Offensive? No. It was no big deal.

I don't think being mistaken for an employee is a "racist experience."

A family member relayed two incidents THIS WEEK of being mistaken for an employee, once at a Walgreens and once at a car dealership. At the car place, a man told him the coffee maker was malfunctioning and asked him to take care of it.

Was he offended? No.

Was he a victim of racism or sexism or some other "ism"? No.

I have more stories like this. This stuff happens.

Apparently when this happens to the Obamas, they like to define the mistakes as "racist experiences."

No comments: