- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

President Obama said in a recent People magazine discussion about race relations in America that even he was once mistaken for a valet, and once again, for a waiter.

He also suggested that such mistakes were simply par for the course for being black in America.

“There’s no black male my age who’s a professional who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys,” he said, telling how he was once taken for a valet, the New York Daily news reported.

And first lady Michelle Obama weighed in, recounting for the magazine how he was once a guest at a black-tie dinner and “somebody asked him to get coffee,” she said, the news outlet reported.

Ms. Obama went on: Before moving into the White House, “Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago who had his share of troubles catching cabs.”

She shared her own experience from her shopping trip to Target in 2011, when a woman asked her to grab something for her off a high shelf.

“I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized 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,” Mrs. Obama, who stands at 5‘11,” told People.

“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,” she added.

Mr. Obama also told the magazine that race relations in America have improved — though more progress is needed. His views come on the heels of a recent poll that show many in America think race relations have actually worsened under his presidency.


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