Michelle Obama offered her take on the political problems plaguing America during a talk at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women on Tuesday, and it’s clear she believes white, male Republicans are to blame.
In a segment on “diversity,” Obama pointed to GOP lawmakers in Congress as the main reason blacks and other minorities “don’t trust politics.”
“One of the most interesting points … usually at the State of the Union address, where, you know, you sit in the balcony and watch the State of the Union … when you’re in the room what you can see is this real dichotomy,” Obama said.
“That on one side of the room, it’s a feeling of color almost. On one side of the room, it’s literally gray and white. Literally, that’s the color palate on one side of the room,” she said, referring to Republicans. “On the other side of the room, there’s yellows and blues and whites and greens. Physically, there’s a difference in color and the tone.
“Because one side, all men, all white,” Obama continued. “On the other side, some women, some people of color.”
Obama said the situation is embarrassing.
“Whenever I was sitting, I would always have a guest in that booth, and I was always the most embarrassed at the beginning when people would see that,” she said. “Because I would say that ‘Is it just me? Am I looking at how governance works?’ And people look down at that and go, ‘Ya, ya, that looks good. That looks right. We’re probably getting a lot done and we’re doing it right.’
“I looked at that and go, ‘No wonder. No wonder we struggle. No wonder people don’t trust politics.’ We’re not even noticing what these rooms look like.”
The problem with too many white people, however, isn’t just an issue with politics, Obama said.
“But it’s not just politics,” Obama said. “I’m sure we can go into any … suite in this country and we’d see the same thing happening. So, until we are ready to fight for that, which means some people will have to be willing to give up their seats to make room or you have to be ready to add more seats, I think we’re going to continue to struggle.
“Because if people haven’t had the experience of being other and out and you’re trying to fix the problems of those folks, it’s hard to come up with the right answer when you haven’t lived it,” she said.
Obama’s comments ignore the more than two dozen Republican women who currently hold seats in the United States Congress – 22 of which serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and five which hold seats in the Senate, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.
Those female Republicans include Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Hispanic representing Washington, Ludmya Love, an African American from Utah, and Amata Radewagon, an Asian-Pacific delegate from American Somoa.
There’s also Sen. Tim Scott, a black Republican from South Carolina, and GOP Rep. Will Hurd, of Texas.
Ironically, both Love and Hurd won their seats in the 2016 election despite fierce opposition from Obama’s Democratic Party, according to The Hill.