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Obama: 'No Black Male My Age' Hasn't Been Mistaken for a Valet

Another time, the first lady said, the president was mistaken for a waiter at a black-tie dinner.
Image: Obama family
In this November 7, 2012 file photo US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha(L) borad Air Force One at Chicago O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.JEWEL SAMAD / AFP - Getty Images

The Obamas opened up about their experiences with racial prejudice in an interview with People magazine.

“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,” President Barack Obama said in an excerpt released Wednesday.

He said that it had happened to him, too. First lady Michelle Obama said that another time her husband "was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee.”

The president said that the indignities that the first couple had experienced were nothing compared with those faced by previous generations.

“It’s one thing for me to be mistaken for a waiter at a gala,” he said. “It’s another thing for my son to be mistaken for a robber and to be handcuffed, or worse, if he happens to be walking down the street and is dressed the way teenagers dress.”

The interview appears in the issue on newsstands Friday.


— Erin McClam