How many times have you been walking through a store when someone has mistakenly thought that you are an employee and asked you for help?
How many times have you made the mistake of confusing another shopper with an employee of the store?
Only the other week I was sorting through some Levi jeans and a woman enquired as to whether a certain size she wanted was in stock. I laughed it off, informing her that I was not a member of staff. She looked a little embarrassed but chuckled and went on her way. No big deal.
According to Michelle Obama, if this happens to a black person it’s RACIST.
In an interview with People Magazine entitled The Obamas: How We Deal with Our Own Racist Experiences, the First Lady describes how “the impact of stereotypes” effects her own family when the protective bubble of Secret Service security is relaxed, with particular reference to when she visited a Target store incognito as part of a lame photo-op to try and prove she was just like everyone else.
“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,” said the First Lady. “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.”
Yes that’s right, Michelle Obama thinks that a woman in Target erroneously thought she was an employee and asked her for help because she was racist and automatically assumed Obama worked there because she was black, and that the request for help had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that Obama is a tall woman who is probably good at taking things off shelves.
Indeed, when the First Lady originally told the story during an appearance on the David Letterman Show, it was obvious that the reason the woman in Target asked Obama for help was not because of her skin color but because of her height.
“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. And the only thing she said — I reached up, because 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.”
“Clearly, she’s had time since then to think about what really happened: RACISM,” writes Jim Treacher. “Let this be a lesson to you, white racists of America (if that isn’t redundant). When you see Michelle and her assistant at Target, get your damn laundry detergent yourself.”
Characterizing the incident as racist takes on added irony given the fact that the very reason for the visit was part of a PR stunt to portray Obama as an ‘ordinary’ person – you know, one that could very well be a Target employee.
Here’s a newsflash for Michelle Obama and the race baiters who will seize upon even the most nondescript and harmless incident to cry racism – we’ve all been mistaken for “the help” no matter the color of our skin.