Michelle Obama’s brother speaks on ‘terrifying’ experience being stopped by police

'The Michelle Obama Podcast' featured her brother, Craig Robinson, telling a childhood story with their mom.

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Michelle Obama’s brother and mother were her guests on her podcast’s season finale, and the subject quickly turned to race in America.

The former first lady’s older sibling, Craig Robinson, recounted a story Wednesday detailing how when he was 10 years old, two police officers stopped him as he rode on his new bike.

Democratic National Convention: Day 2
In this 2012 photo, then-First Lady Michelle Obama sits with her brother Craig Robinson during Day Two of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“You were riding down the street, and you got stopped by the police, and they accused you of stealing your own bike,” Obama said. “And they would not believe you, to the point where you were like, ‘Take me to my home.'”

Robinson said that the experience in his youth was “terrifying” and remained with him.

“I was always taught that the police are your friends, and they’ll believe the truth, and I was telling them the truth, and this guy would not believe me,” he recalled on The Michelle Obama Podcast. “And he would not believe me, and I was absolutely heartbroken, and I finally said to him, ‘Listen, you can take me to my house, and I will prove to you. This is my bike.’”

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The officers drove him home, Robinson told Obama, where Marian Robinson, their mother, was waiting.

Mrs. Robinson said that she explained to the officer that he was “canceling out” the things she had been teaching her children about trusting the police, and she noted the officers were Black. Robinson said she felt like racism and mistrust is ingrained in police culture.

“You know, nobody thinks about the fact that we all come from good families that are trying to teach values,” Obama said, “but when you leave the safety of your home and go out into the street, where being Black is a crime in and of itself, we have all had to learn how to operate outside of our homes with a level of caution and fear because you never know.”

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“We have to be better to just be equal,” Mrs. Robinson contended, “so the fact that there’re people out there that treat us less-than, when we’re working so hard to be better-than, that’s where the pain comes from.”

“That’s what these young people are so angry about,” she said, “because they’re doing everything right, everything they are told, and it doesn’t matter. A police officer will still stop them and accuse them of stealing a bike that their parents worked hard to get. That hurts.”

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