Women who break through glass ceilings often have scars to show for it. Michelle Obama this week spoke of what it meant to become the nation’s first black first lady — and the racial hatred that followed her and her husband throughout his presidency.
Obama was speaking in Denver on Tuesday night at the 30th anniversary celebration of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado. The group’s CEO, Lauren Casteel, interviewed the former first lady on a stage before an audience of more than 8,000, the Denver Post reported.
Casteel wanted to know: As Obama broke through her glass ceiling, which of the falling glass shards had cut her most deeply?
“The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” Obama said, according to the Post. “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.”
She was referring, among other things, to being called an “ape” while her husband held the highest office in the land.
Pamela Taylor, executive director of the Clay County Development Corp. in Clay, W.Va., took to Facebook after Donald Trump won the presidency in November.
“It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified first lady back in the White House,” Taylor wrote. “I'm tired of seeing a ape in heels.”
Clay’s mayor responded: “You just made my day Pam.”
Taylor’s post went viral and then was taken down. She has since been fired, the state has taken over the development agency, and the mayor resigned amid a local outcry, according to local media reports.
At Denver’s Pepsi Center, Obama said she would not pretend that racist remarks like Taylor’s do not hurt, the Post reported.
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