The conservative twittersphere blew up when Michelle Obama gave an account of the racism she faced when shopping at Target and a shorter woman asked her for help reaching something on a top shelf. From the interview with People Magazine:
“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. 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.”
But, back in 2012 in an interview with David Letterman, she talked about the incident and didn’t ascribe any racism to the interaction:
At another point, Letterman held up a photo of Mrs. Obama shopping at Target in low-key garb.
“That’s my Target run. I went to Target,” she said. “I thought I was undercover. 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, ‘Oh, cover’s blown.’ She said, ‘Can you reach on that shelf and hand me the detergent?’ I kid you not.”
As the audience laughed, she went on, “And the only thing she said — I reached up, ’cause she was short, and I reached up, pulled it down — she said, ‘Well, you didn’t have to make it look so easy.’ That was my interaction. I felt so good. … She had no idea who I was. I thought, as soon as she walked up — I was with my assistant, and I said, ‘This is it, it’s over. We’re going to have to leave.’ She just needed the detergent.”
Here’s the video:
How awful is that? She turned a funny story that made her feel good at the time into an ugly story of racism just to fit a narrative that America is chock full of white racists. That’s kinda pathetic.