Former first lady Michelle Obama criticized the United States while speaking abroad on Thursday, stating the country is “still not where we need to be” on the issue of racism and scoffed at the notion that former President Barack Obama’s election meant the end of bigotry.
“We’re still not where we need to be in the United States of America when it comes to race. People thought electing Barack Obama would end racism. That’s 400 years of stuff that was going to be eliminated because of eight years of this kid from Hawaii? Are you kidding me?” Michelle Obama said at the Obama Foundation’s leadership conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:
WATCH: Michelle Obama speaks about racism at an Obama Foundation event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: "We're still not where we need to be in the United States of America when it comes to race." pic.twitter.com/7Bj8dTfniv
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 13, 2019
Joining the former first lady at the event were husband, former President Barack Obama, Hollywood actress Julia Roberts, and former Miss Malaysia Deborah Henry to focus on promoting women’s education in Southeast Asia as part of the Obama Foundation’s Girls Opportunity Alliance program. Earlier in the week, Michelle and Roberts visited a high school in Vietnam, where the pair spoke to female students.
Obama’s remarks come after she criticized the U.S. for what she described as a lack of understanding about migrants. During her remarks at the annual Obama Foundation Summit, the former first lady singled out white families for moving out of her childhood neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago while black families moved in, likening her plight to today’s immigrants.