Former First Lady Michelle Obama says racial inequality amid the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic has left her feeling “there is some form of low-grade depression.”
“Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial struggle and just watching this administration, watching the hypocrisy day in and day out, is inspiring,” she said in the latest episode of her podcast, released Wednesday.
Obama added that she was increasingly weighed down by fabricated stories about illegally arrested, killed or “dehumanized” black people. And while George Floyd̵
“I would refuse to say that part of this depression is also the result of what we see in terms of the protests, the prolonged racial unrest that has plagued this country since its birth,” she said.
High rates of blacks in prisons, economic disparities, and lack of access to quality health care were among the examples Obama cited.
Obama also discussed the attitudes some Americans had about the country, which opened its first black president when her husband, Barack Obama, was elected in 2008.
“The reaction to it from all sides, the huge discomfort of the perception that a black man can sit at the highest level of the cabinet, we saw that. We saw the signs, we saw the noses,” she said.
Both Obamas have been the target of right-wing attacks and online abuse.
Reflecting on the pandemic, Obama also said he had found people refusing to wear “disappointing” masks.
“It almost seemed like there was a limit for our victim and it was about a month and then we just got tired of the virus,” she said. “It’s repulsive when I see so many people who are tired of staying home because the virus hasn’t affected them.”
Download the NBC News app for breaking news and policy
The country needs to think more about workers who are in basic need, many of whom are financially unstable, have no health insurance and face greater risks of falling ill, she said.
In the episode, Obama talks to journalist and friend Michelle Norris about Washington Post journalism about the rise in protests over racial injustice since Floyd’s death.
Against the backdrop of all the challenges facing the country, Obama said she manages “emotional highs and lows” by trying to maintain a routine, trying not to be difficult with herself, going out and spending time with family. you are.
Obama’s eponymous podcast kicked off last month with an interview with her husband.