In the season finale of her podcast, Michelle Obama and her brother recounted an incident from their childhood which Obama said illustrated her claim that “being black is a crime” in America.
According to People Magazine, the season finale of the “Michelle Obama Podcast” featured a round table of Obama’s family members discussing Obama’s childhood growing up on the south side of Chicago. As part of the discussion, Michelle Obama and her brother, basketball coach Craig Robinson, recounted an incident where a 10-year-old Craig was confronted by two Chicago police officers who accused him of stealing his own bike.
Obama recalled that “he was riding down the street on the yellow two-wheeler when the police stopped him and accused him of stealing the bike,” the New York Daily News noted. “He brought the cops back to his Chicago home to prove the bike was his, Obama, 56, said.”
“It was terrifying only because I was always taught that the police are your friends and they’ll believe the truth,” Robinson recalled. “I was telling them the truth and this guy would not believe me.”
Robinson eventually asked the police to bring him home, where his mother could prove the bike was his.
“I was absolutely heartbroken,” he said, “And I finally said to him, ‘Listen, you can take me to my house and I will prove to you this is my bike.’”
The police officers then put Robinson into the back of a police car and drove him home where his mother, Marian Robinson, confirmed the bike was his.
Marian Robinson added some details to the story, including that both police officers who confronted the 10-year-old Robinson were black. She says she lectured the pair on how they “canceled out” what she had been teaching her children about interactions with police.
“What you did was cancel out a whole lot of things that we had been teaching them,” Marian recalled. “And I think you need to come back here and talk to them and at least admit you made a serious mistake, so that you won’t cancel out everything we’ve been trying to teach our children.”
Michelle Obama, though, had a different take on the incident, explaining to her audience that the bike incident reinforced, for her, that systemic racism in policing was a pervasive and persistent problem.
“Nobody thinks about the fact that we all come from good families that are trying to teach values,” she said. “But when you leave the safety of your home and go out into the street, where being Black is a crime in and of itself, we have all had to learn how to operate outside of our homes with a level of caution and fear, because you never know.”
The conversation then shifted to discipline.
As The Daily Wire reported previously, racial justice has been a theme of Michelle Obama’s fledgling podcast. In an earlier episode, Obama claimed that people of color “don’t exist” to white people, after recounting an incident where a woman cut in front of her and her daughters in line at an ice cream parlor.
“What white folks don’t understand, it’s like, that is so telling of how white America views people who are not like them.” Obama said. “You know, we don’t exist. And when we do exist, we exist as a threat. And that, that’s exhausting.”
Author: Emily Zanotti