Michelle Obama is opening up about the Derek Chauvin verdict — "We're all breathing a sigh of relief" — and how she fears for her daughters "every time they get in a car by themselves."
In an upcoming Monday interview with CBS This Morning's Gayle King, a clip of which was released Friday, the former first lady explained how the guilty verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Chauvin, who murdered George Floyd in 2020, was only a first step in fighting systemic racism.
"There's still work to be done," Michelle, 57, told King. "So, we can't sort of say, 'Great, that happened, let's move on.' I know that people in the Black community don't feel that way, because many of us still live in fear as we go to the grocery store or worry about walking our dogs or allowing our children to get a license."
Michelle explained that daughters Sasha, 19, and Malia, 22, have their driver's license. "But every time they get in a car by themselves, I worry about what assumption is being made by somebody who doesn't know everything about them — the fact that they are good students and polite girls, but maybe they're playing their music a little loud. Maybe somebody sees the back of their head and makes an assumption."
The Becoming author added, "I, like so many parents of Black kids … the innocent act of getting a license puts fear in our hearts. So I think we have to talk about it more and we have to ask our fellow citizens to listen a bit more and to believe us and to know that we don't want to be out there marching."
Of the citizen protests that ensued across the country, as a result of Floyd's death and other people of color who died by police shootings, Michelle said, "All those Black Lives Matter kids, they'd rather not have to worry about this. They're taking to the streets because they have to. They're trying to have people understand that we're real folks. And the fear that many have of so many of us is irrational and it's based on a history that is sad and it's dark, and it's time for us to move beyond that."
After Chauvin's guilty verdict, the former president released a statement praising the jury for doing "the right thing." Barack added, "But true justice requires much more. Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied."
In March, Michelle spoke with People about "stolen moments" with Malia, a senior at Harvard University and Sasha, a sophomore at the University of Michigan while the family quarantined together. "Our girls were supposed to have emptied out of my nest," she told the outlet. "I was sort of celebrating that they were out building their lives and allowing me the emotional space to let them go. Well, they're back!"
"There's something about witnessing your children become adults and developing a different relationship with them," said Michelle. "They didn't come back into the house into the same set of rules, because I didn't want them to miss out on independence. They came back as young women and our conversations are more peer-oriented than they are mother-to-daughter."
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