Tags: obama | valet | president | race | car | attendant

Obama Valet: President Blames Race for Car Attendant Mistake

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 01:04 PM

President Barack Obama told People magazine he was once mistaken for a valet and first lady Michelle Obama said someone once asked him to fetch coffee.

In an interview appearing in Friday's issue, the Obamas shared their experiences of perceived racial slights to contribute to the nation's discussion on race since the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police.

"There's no black male my age, who's a professional, who hasn't come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn't hand them their car keys," President Obama said of the incident that happened to him.

The first lady added, according to People, "He was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee."

The Obamas said there has been great progress made in race relations and but there is still work to be done as evidenced by the tension surrounding the Brown and Garner cases. Protests erupted after grand juries decided not to indict white police officers in their deaths.

"The small irritations or indignities that we experience are nothing compared to what a previous generation experienced," said Obama. "It's one thing for me to be mistaken for a waiter at a gala. It's another thing for my son to be mistaken for a robber and to be handcuffed, or worse, if he happens to be walking down the street and is dressed the way teenagers dress."

Wall Street Journal reporter Katie Rosman told in a 2008 story how she witnessed a man mistaking the future president as wait staff. She said it happened at a 2003 New York City book signing hosted by Tina Brown.

"I was approached by another guest, an established author," Rosman wrote. "He asked about the man I had been talking to. Sheepishly he told me he didn’t know that Obama was a guest at the party, and had asked him to fetch him a drink. In less than six years, Obama has gone from being mistaken for a waiter among the New York media elite, to the president-elect."

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President Barack Obama told People magazine he was once mistaken for a valet and first lady Michelle Obama said someone once asked him to fetch coffee.
obama, valet, president, race, car, attendant
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2014-04-17
Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 01:04 PM
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