Former first lady Michelle Obama says that although she’s worked “really hard for this country,” some people can’t look past the color of her skin to see who she really is as a person.
As the first woman of color to claim the title of the “first lady,” Obama broke the proverbial glass ceiling. Addressing the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s (WFCO) 30th-anniversary celebration on Tuesday, she spoke metaphorically about the wounds she received from the falling pieces.
“The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” Obama reportedly said, “knowing that, after eight years of working really hard for this country, there are still people who won’t see me for what I am because of my skin color.”
The focus of the WFCO is empowering women and the celebration is meant to raise awareness of their activities. A group of over 8,000 people, having mixed racial backgrounds and representing many age groups, attended. The diversity did not extend to gender, however, as the crowd is predominantly made up of women.
Mrs. Obama had an “armchair conversation” with Lauren Casteel, WFCO president and CEO. Topics included education for girls, health, female empowerment and nutrition.
After talking about the wounds that cut her, Obama said as a woman, her natural resilience helped her endure.
“Women, we endure those cuts in so many ways that we don’t even notice we’re cut,” she said. “We are living with small tiny cuts, and we are bleeding every single day. And, we’re still getting up.”
Obama avoided discussing politics, but she could not escape questions about her own political aspirations. According to reports, Obama declared she would not seek public office. She further clarified, “Public service and engagement will be a part of my life and my husband’s life forever.”
According to one Twitter user, Obama also said, “I’m still not running for public office. You’d love me until I was running and then you’d be… annoyed.”
“I’m still not running for public office. You’d love me until I was running and then you’d be… annoyed.” #WFCO
— Nancy Leong (@nancyleong) July 26, 2017
According to a transcript released by the WFCO, Obama spoke about community and found a way to insert her husband’s former campaign slogan, as well.
“I am a strong woman because of other strong women,” Mrs. Obama said. “You don’t mother alone, you don’t grandparent alone, you don’t struggle alone. You find your community.”
“It was never yes he can, it was yes we can,” Obama continued. “When we put so much on a person, on a leader, we absolve ourselves of doing anything else.”
Obama said that Americans want someone to “fix things,” but that we’d have to work together to get it done.
On the topic of women, Obama said, “I want to live in a world that cares for its women. I hope that we can create a world where women are safe. At the core, I want girls to feel safety as they move about the world.”
Obama ended the evening on a positive note, saying, “The people in this country are universally good and kind and honest and decent. Don’t be afraid of the country you live in. The folks here are good.”
— Piep van Heuven (@00Piep) July 26, 2017
— WFCO (@WFColorado) May 30, 2017
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