‘Becoming’: Michelle recalls death threats against Barack Obama, says 'you hoped people were more ready for us'
Spoilers for 'Becoming'
For a woman who didn't like the idea of politics and said that she didn't think the "country was ready for her husband," former First Lady Michelle Obama was by her husband Former President Barack Obama's side through possibly the most hectic eight years of their life.
Having said that the first time "she stood out" was when she had gone to Princeton and was part of the minorities of the elite university, Michelle Obama went on to aspire her own dreams not wanting to be "an appendage to his [her husband's] dreams.
When she joined the stature of being part of the White House alongside her husband, she now stood out as the First African American First lady — a title that some were not too happy about.
Barack Obama went from being Michelle's "advisee" and driving a yellow Datsun to walking out of buildings with national security teams and people chanting his name. Over the course of their campaigning sprint, Michelle became part of a media frenzy that attacked her as they would a candidate and she had to "define herself before anybody else" did. Michelle said that the way the media had forced her to be more "scripted" in the way she spoke "changes the shape of a person's soul." While that was an uphill battle -- what came further, although expected, affected the Obama family.
After the historic 2008 election, Obama's life drastically changed to briefing books, calls from world leaders, and presidential motorcades. As the crowd chanted with celebrations on the streets, the positivity came with a few hurdles. In the documentary, Michelle says, "I always want to know where the guns are, because what if somebody was really trying to take me out?"
Michelle revealed that when her husband was elected, commentators said that the US was entering a "post-racial era, in which skin color would no longer matter." While the declaration reeked of ignorance and racism, Michelle said she and her husband "lived with an awareness" that they themselves were a "provocation" as 'Obama Bin Laden' posters surfaced.
Bringing up lives lost such as Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Sandra Bland, Michelle wondered how were these "people dealing with the fact that a black family was in what they perceived as their White House?"
"I am a Former First Lady of the United Staes and also a descendent of slaves, it's important to keep that truth right there. People are taught to believe in the ultimate inferiority of people because of the color of their skin" said Michelle.
The documentary then dives into the death threats that were directed against Barack Obama as seven bullets hit the White House during the 2011 shooting. "You hoped people were more ready for us," she says.
We see the effects of racism the Obamas faced even after acquiring titles that made history.
"Now, that we are out of the White House, not to be viewed, judged, and parceled by every other person on the planet," Michelle laughs. "Yeah, it's better!"
Being at the forefront of history doesn't mean change comes with no threats and that is highlighted in this documentary narrative as we see the Former First Lady reminisce on a time on a national pedestal.
'Becoming' is now available to stream on Netflix.