Skip to main site content.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama speaks, emphasizing that women must celebrate their strength, during a live conversation with The Women's Foundation of Colorado President and CEO Lauren Y. Casteel at Pepsi Center on July 25, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jason Bahr/Getty Images for The Women's Foundation of Colorado)

‘Still getting up’

Michelle Obama opens up about how she deals with the pain of racial and sexist abuse

By WITW Staff on July 27, 2017

The public hasn’t heard much from Michelle Obama since President Donald Trump took over the White House in January. Thankfully, the Women’s Foundation of Colorado remedied that problem this week. The group celebrated its 30th anniversary on Tuesday night with an appearance from a special speaker: the former first lady. A packed crowd, made up mostly of women, gave Obama an extended standing ovation before WFCO president and CEO Lauren Casteel jumped straight in, asking Obama whether she had been hurt by any of the shards from the glass ceiling she smashed by becoming America’s first black first lady.

“The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” replied Obama. “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.”

As recently as November, public officials in West Virginia had been seen on Facebook referring to Obama as an “ape in heels.” Over the course of her eight years in office, Obama admitted that she had dealt with more than her fair share of racist abuse. But the insults she suffered, she noted, weren’t just limited to her race.

“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.”

In the end, she added, she had learned to wear the scars from those cuts with pride. By doing so, Obama said, she hopes to encourage younger generations of women to persevere in spite of the adversity they will inevitably encounter.

The topic of conversation also turned to the possibility that she might run for public office one day. Despite the constant rumors, Obama emphasized that she has no such plans right now.

Read the full story at The Denver Post.


Town deals with backlash after mayor resigns over racist Facebook post about Michelle Obama

In 1st appearance since Trump’s inauguration, Michelle Obama explains why she will never run for public office

Michelle Obama made surprise visit to D.C. high school