Michelle Obama opened up about the racism she faced as the first black first lady during an appearance at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s 30th anniversary celebration in Denver, Colorado, on Tuesday, July 25.
Obama spoke about being called an ape and people talking about her body, saying she wouldn’t pretend the attacks didn’t hurt.
“The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” she said, noting comments comparing her to animals and criticizing her body. “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.”
She said women endure those cuts in so many ways that “we don’t even notice we’re cut,” adding that women “are living with small tiny cuts, and we are bleeding every single day. And we’re still getting up.”
Obama stayed away from politics during the talk, but she did warn against the belief that the country is falling apart.
“The people in this country are universally good and kind and honest and decent,” she said. “Don’t be afraid of the country you live in. The folks here are good.”