Obama Recalls Being Mistaken For Valet, Waiter In Talk On Racism In America

18 Dec 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

Obama on race relations: I was once taken for a valet.

President Obama revealed how he was mistaken for a valet and a waiter before he became President in a deeply personal interview on race relations in the U.S. “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,” the President told People magazine, confirming that he had experienced being taken for a valet.Michelle Obama said prior to White House life: ‘Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs’ The President and First Lady recalled a time when Barack was handed car keys to fetch the vehicle at valet-parking, while he waited outside a restaurant after dinner. Michelle Obama recalled to People magazine that during one her trips to Target, “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,” she said. “She didn’t see me as the First Lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Wall Street Journal reporter Katie Rosman had previously shared how she witnessed Obama on the receiving end of discrimination at a New York City book party hosted by Tina Brown in 2003.

The President said basketball superstar LeBron James did the right thing when he wore an ‘I can’t breathe’ T-shirt – referring to the chokehold death of Mr Garner – on to the court. So it isn’t anything new.” The first couple spoke about their experiences with racism amid protests nationwide over the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in State Island, N.Y. He says the small indignities they have experienced pale in comparison to young men who have been mistaken for criminals just for being “dressed the way teenagers dress.” He told them to express in peaceful ways what was going on in their lives – but cautioned them not to think all problems could be solved in the short-term.

The Obamas said now their daughters, Malia, 16, and 13-year-old Sasha were older, the family were able to discuss more difficult questions facing the African-American community.

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