Former First Lady Michelle Obama made her largest public appearance since her husband left office, speaking to 8,500 people at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s 30th anniversary at the Pepsi Center in Denver Tuesday night.
In an address meant to empower women, Obama said she will always be disliked by some Americans because of her skin color.
“The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” she said. “Knowing that after eight years of working really hard for this country, there are still people who won’t see me for what I am because of my skin color.”
Obama said she does not want to stop pretending she doesn’t feel racism because it would let racists off the hook, the Denver Post reported.
“Women, we endure those cuts in so many ways that we don’t even notice we’re cut,” she said. “We are living with small tiny cuts, and we are bleeding every single day. And we’re still getting up.”
The former first lady said she and her husband plan to remain in public service, but she will not run for public office.
“The people in this country are universally good and kind and honest and decent,” she said. “Don’t be afraid of the country you live in. The folks here are good.”
The Women’s Foundation is an organization that was founded to focus on the “feminization of poverty,” which is the idea that women are more likely to be poor because of gender bias.