While Michelle Obama breathed a ‘sigh of relief’ over the Derek Chauvin guilty verdicts, as a Black mom, she still fears for her daughters’ safety.
Michelle Obama is speaking out about how even though a jury convicted former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, many in the black community “still live in fear” just going about their every day lives. That includes worrying about her daughters Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19. The former first lady has concerns about her girls out driving and being the target of an “assumption,” as the simple act of children getting a driver’s license puts a “fear into the hearts” of many Black parents.
The former FLOTUS gave an interview to CBS This Morning‘s Gayle King that will air on Monday May 10. A clip was released on Friday May 7 where Michelle explained about the Chauvin conviction, “While we’re all breathing a sigh of relief over the verdict, there’s still a lot of work to be done. And so we can’t sort of say, ‘Great, that happened, let’s move on.’”
She continued, “I know that people in the Black community don’t feel that way, because many of us still live in fear as we go to the grocery store or worry about walking our dogs or allowing our children to get a license.” That’s when she revealed that her daughters are drivers, and it leaves Michelle with “worry.”
“They’re driving, but 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 playing their music a little loud. Maybe somebody sees the back of their head and makes an assumption,” she said.
Malia is set to graduate from Harvard in the class of 2021, and already has scored a writing gig on Atlanta star Donald Glover‘s upcoming Amazon series. Sasha is a student at the University of Michigan, though it’s unknown what her major is.
“I, like so many parents of Black kids…the innocent act of getting a license puts fear in our hearts. So 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 that we don’t want to be out there marching,” Michelle explained.
“I mean, all those Black Lives Matter kids, they’d rather not have to worry about this. They’re taking to the streets because they have to,” Obama said. “They’re trying to have people understand 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 sad and it’s dark, and it’s time for us to move beyond that.”
Michelle’s husband, former President Barack Obama, revealed that Malia and Sasha did get involved in the Black Lives Matter movement during the summer of 2020 following Floyd’s murder. The 58-year-old told PEOPLE magazine in Nov. 2020, “I didn’t have to give them a lot of advice because 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.”
He the explained, “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.” Obama then revealed the pride he felt in seeing his daughters in action, saying, “They didn’t do it in a way where they were looking for limelight. They were very much in organizer mode. I could not have been prouder of them.”