Michelle Obama says Black parents in America have fear in their hearts. After Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, the former first lady sat down with CBS‘s Gayle King to talk about her feelings following the verdict and the worry she feels for her own daughters, Malia and Sasha, today. “We can’t sort of say, ‘Great, that happened, let’s move on,'” Michelle explained. “I know that people in the Black community don’t feel that way, because many of us still live in fear as we go to the grocery store or worry about walking our dogs or allowing our children to get a license.”
She noted that this fear extends to parenting 22-year-old Malia and 19-year-old Sasha. “They’re driving, but every time they get in a car by themselves, I worry about what assumption is being made by somebody who doesn’t know everything about them: The fact that they are good students and polite girls, but maybe they’re playing their music a little loud. Maybe somebody sees the back of their head and makes an assumption,” she continued. “The innocent act of getting a license puts fear in our hearts. So I think we have to talk about it more and we have to ask our fellow citizens to listen a bit more and to believe us and to know that we don’t want to be out there marching.”
Her sentiments are an extension of a similar message she shared last June, shortly after George Floyd’s death. “Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with,” she wrote on Instagram. “But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it. It’s up to all of us — Black, white, everyone — no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out.” Watch her full CBS This Morning interview, above.
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