Former first lady Michelle Obama spoke about her experience during the 2017 inauguration for her husband’s successor, President Trump, including how she felt being only one of “a handful of people of color” in the audience.
“That day was very emotional,” Mrs. Obama told Gayle King at the Essence Festival in New Orleans on Saturday, according to videos taken at the event. “And then to sit at that inauguration and to look around at a crowd that was not reflective of the country, it was just such the opposite. Because during Barack’s inauguration, we made sure that the crowd looked like all of America. … You could look out into his crowd and you could see America, all of it.
“And I had to sit in that audience, one of a handful of people of color, and then listen to that speech and all that I had sort of held on to for eight years — watching my husband get raked over the coals, feeling like we had to do everything perfectly — you know, no scandal, no nothing, no nothing, ya’ll,” she said, sparking a wave of applause from the predominantly black female audience.
“It was a lot emotionally,” the former first lady added. “So by the time I got on that plane, it was a release of eight years of having to try to show up, as we all know we have to do, we have to show up not only perfectly, but a little bit better than perfect to even be considered equal.”
Mrs. Obama said she was less worried about Mr. Trump undoing her husband’s legacy and more about what the Trump administration would do to the country.
“Our upset wasn’t over our legacy. We weren’t there to instill our legacy, but the upset it would cause the country,” she said, Essence reported. “What saddens me is what it’s doing to the country as a whole. What we have to be really conscientious of is what kind of country we’re leaving for our children or grandchildren.”
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