2018 ALAAnnual Conference & Exhibition

Michelle Obama Says 'Making Mistakes Was Not an Option' for Her and Barack

Although Michelle Obama has left the White House, she has not left the public eye. She's spoken out about Trump's policy of separating children from their parents at the border, about being tired of seeing men "fail up,", and about how she's absolutely, definitely not running for president in 2020. In a recent talk at the American Library Association's annual conference in New Orleans, she opened up about the expectations that surrounded her and Barack Obama, the nation's first black president, during his two terms in the White House.

“Barack and I knew very early that we would be measured by a different yardstick,” Obama said. “Making mistakes was not an option for us. Not that we didn’t make mistakes, but we had to be good—no, we had to be outstanding—at everything we did.… When you’re the first, you’re the one that’s laying the red carpet down for others to follow.”

She also talked about how some people still refuse to see anything other than her skin color.

"It’s just a shame that sometimes people will see me, and they will only see my color, and then they’ll make certain judgments about that,” she said. “That’s dangerous, for us to dehumanize each other in that way. We are all just people.”

Related: Everything We Know About Michelle Obama's New Memoir