Oh, the tangled web we weave…!
A witness has emerged with evidence that puts the lie to the first lady’s painful recollection in of a racist encounter she had during her 2011 day trip to a D.C.-area Target. In an interview with “People” magazine, Mrs. Obama recounted how a fellow shopper mistook her for a lowly employee of the discount retail chain, obviously basing that stereotypical presumption on her skin color:
I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that … trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new. [Emphasis added]
But according to the witness, that’s not how the incident went down. The identity of the witness? Michelle Obama. She made an appearance on the “Tonight Show with David Letterman” in 2013 where she told this story:
I have to tell you something about this trip though. No one knew that was me. Because a woman actually walked up to me, right –I was in the detergent aisle – and she said, I kid you not, she said ‘Excuse me, I just have to ask you something.’ And I thought cover’s blown. She said, ‘Can you reach on that shelf and hand me the detergent?’ I kid you not. And the only thing she said–I reached up cause she was short – I reached up and pulled it down. She said ‘Well, you didn’t have to make it look so easy.’ That was my interaction. I felt so good…. [Emphasis added]
“Cover’s blown?” Wouldn’t that suggest that she was wearing a disguise? More importantly, notice that the intimations of racism are to be found nowhere in the lighthearted retelling of the event.
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