“I had as a kid seen a minimum of a little cross-section of white people, but individuals who were closest to me loved me more than anything. And so even as an adult, even by the time Im 40, 45, 50, that set of memories implied that if I walked into a space and its a lot of white farmers, trade unionists, middle age – I’m not walking in thinking, Man, I’ve got to reveal them that I’m regular. I walk therein, I think, with a set of assumptions: like, these individuals look much like my grandparents,” Obama explained.
Barack Obama is of Luo, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, German and Swiss heritage. In a 2016 interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates for the Atlantic, Obama stated, “There is no doubt that as a combined kid, as the kid of an African and a white lady, who was really close to white grandparents who came from Kansas, that I believe the working assumption of discrimination, the working assumption that white individuals would not treat me ideal or give me a chance, or judge me on the basis of benefit – that type of working assumption is less ingrained in my psyche than it is, say, with Michelle.” He elaborated, “There is a little bit of a biographical element to this.”
“And I see the same Jell-O mold that my grandma served, and they’ve got the exact same, you know, little things on their mantelpieces. Therefore I am maybe deactivating them by just presuming that were fine.”