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Michelle Obama Says ‘Making Mistakes Was Not an Option’ for Barack as the First Black President

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Former First Lady Michelle Obama just opened up about race and the unique pressure she and husband Barack Obama faced in the White House during his time as the nation’s first black president.

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She said this in a recent speech in New Orleans,

“Barack and I knew very early that we would be measured by a different yardstick,” Obama, 54, said during a talk at the American Library Association’s annual conference in New Orleans on Friday. “Making mistakes was not an option for us. Not that we didn’t make mistakes, but we had to be good — no, we had to be outstanding — at everything we did. … When you’re the first, you’re the one that’s laying the red carpet down for others to follow.”

She also touched on the dangers of judging people by the color of their skin, something she says she’s experienced first-hand.

“It’s just a shame that sometimes people will see me, and they will only see my color, and then they’ll make certain judgments about that,” she said. “That’s dangerous, for us to dehumanize each other in that way. We are all just people.”

 

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