Michelle Obama explains support of BLM, fear for daughters

"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," Obama said.

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Former First Lady Michelle Obama explained her support of the Black Lives Matter movement and her fear for her daughters in an interview on CBS This Morning.

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During the interview with Gayle King that aired Friday, Obama shared why she and her husband, former President Barack Obama, were moved to speak out after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd.

“The goal is to let leaders lead. But in certain times, people, you know, look to us often. ‘Well, what do you think? How do you feel?'” she remarked. “While we’re all breathing a sigh of relief over the verdict, there’s still work to be done. We can’t say ‘great that happened, let’s move on.’ I know that people in the Black community don’t feel that way because many of us still live in fear.”

Michelle Obama thegrio.com
(Credit: CBS News)

She continued to discuss how she also has the same angst in her day-to-day live and how she is anxious for her daughters Sasha and Malia despite their status as public figures.

“Many of us still live in fear as we go to the grocery store, or worry about our — walking our dogs, or allowing our children to get a license,” she said. “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 playin’ their music a little loud. Maybe somebody sees the back of their head and makes an assumption,” she said.

She continued, “Like so many parents of Black kids…the innocent act of getting a license puts fear in our hearts. 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 we don’t wanna be out there marching. I mean, all those Black Lives Matter kids, they’d rather not have to worry about this. They’re takin’ to the streets because they have to. They’re tryin’ to have people understand that, that we’re real folks, and the fear that many have of so many of us is irrational. And it’s based on a history that is just, it’s sad and it’s dark. And it’s time for us to move beyond that.”

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theGrio reported in November, Barack Obama revealed both Sasha and Malia had been active in protests during the spring of 2020 after the murder of Floyd and the shooting death of Breonna Taylor by Lousiville, KY police officers.

“They had a very clear sense of what was right and what was wrong and [of] their own agency and the power of their voice and the need to participate,” Obama said. “Malia and Sasha found their own ways to get involved with the demonstrations and activism that you saw with young people this summer, without any prompting from Michelle and myself, on their own initiative.”

“They didn’t do it in a way where they were looking for limelight,” he added. “They were very much in organizer mode.”

Sasha Malia Obama thegrio.com
Malia Obama (L) and Sasha Obama look on during a ceremony presenting the Medal of Freedom to Vice-President Joe Biden at the State Dining room of the White House on January 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

No officers have been arrested or convicted for Taylor’s death. In April, Chauvin was convicted of murder and the other three officers involved will stand trial this summer. After the guilty verdict in the Chauvin trial, Barack and Michelle Obama released a joint statement, encouraging movements against police violence to continue, theGrio reported.

“For almost a year, George Floyd’s death under the knee of a police officer has reverberated around the world — inspiring murals and marches, sparking conversations in living rooms and new legislation. But a more basic question has always remained: would justice be done?” the statement read.

“We cannot rest,” said the Obamas. “We will need to follow through with the concrete reforms that will reduce and ultimately eliminate racial bias in our criminal justice system. We will need to redouble efforts to expand economic opportunity for those communities that have been too long marginalized.”

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