Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama said it is “frustrating” for farmers and working class Americans to be lectured about their “privilege” in a campaign video released Monday.
In Obama’s “Closing Argument” video for 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, the former first lady asked “everyone who is still undecided to think about all those folks like me and my ancestors” who “fought and died and toiled as slaves and soldiers and laborers to help build this country.”
She discussed division in the United States of America, calling on Americans to empathize with those who may not “look like us or vote like us.” (RELATED: Michelle Obama Says People Not Voting For Democrats Is Her ‘Trauma’)
“Think about it,” Obama said. “You’ve worked hard all your whole life and for too long you’ve watched the rich get richer. You’ve lost your farms and your livelihoods to corporate greed, you’ve seen your beloved towns shattered by joblessness. You’ve watched families destroyed by drug addiction and mental health challenges. All of this, long before this virus hit.”
She continued: “And it is frustrating to hear some folks say that you’ve been the beneficiary of privilege, that the color of your skin gives you a head start. That is the reality for far too many hard working decent Americans.”
Her comments appear to refer to the concept of white privilege, defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as “the set of social and economic advantages that white people have by virtue of their race in a culture characterized by racial inequality.”
Activists and politicians have particularly stressed the importance of acknowledging and addressing white privilege in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, video of the incident showed.
Obama said that President Donald Trump and his allies are “trying to tap into that frustration and distract from his breathtaking failures by giving folks someone to blame other than them” by “stoking fears about black and brown Americans” and “lying about how minorities will destroy the suburbs.”
The former first lady has frequently spoken out on racial issues in the past. (RELATED: Michelle Obama Claims ‘White Folks’ Are Still Fleeing From Minorities)
“I want to remind white folks that y’all were running from us,” Obama said in October 2019. “And you’re still running.”
In a 2014 interview with People Magazine, she described how she has experienced racism firsthand. The former first lady said that once when she went shopping at a 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,” Obama said. “Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”
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