Michelle Obama Talks ‘Standard Of Ethics’ & Lack Of Diversity In Politics With Shonda Rhimes

Michelle Obama

It might be her 25th anniversary with Barack Obama, but Michelle Obama spent her day on Tuesday in conversation with with Shonda Rhimes at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women.

During the girl power chat, the former FLOTUS discussed female empowerment and the “standards of ethics” used in the White House.

Related: Barack Obama Admits He Shed Tears After Dropping Malia Off At Harvard

The lawyer reflected on her family’s time in charge — and the differences facing our country now, joking:

“For the last eight years, we had a standard of ethics, a lot of constraints. What it means to have a commander-in-chief that actually upholds the standards of the White House…”

She went on to encourage women to “speak up” and demand a seat at the table, which is dominated by white men:

“Don’t waste your seat at the table and if you’re scared to use your voice, then give up your seat to someone who can use it because we can’t afford to waste that opportunity. I want women to pay attention, because this is what happens when we don’t stand up. We give our seats up to those who are supposed to be there, because of the stereotypes of what power and success is supposed to be.”

The activist added:

“I’ve been at so many tables and met so many fools who are imposters, but shame on us if we just let an imposter put us down. When you know what’s right and you don’t say anything, you see wrong happening and you sit quietly, that’s what I want women to challenge to be, to speak up. We don’t get to the right answers without raising our voices.”

On the subject of children, Michelle hasn’t lost hope for our future generation:

“I think they’re more open in ways and less tolerant of obvious inequities. This generation will look at what is happening now in the world and say, ├óΓé¼╦£This doesn’t feel right,’ because they know what they were taught. They’ve been raised with an openness. Many kids today only know that Barack Obama was their president. They grew up only under hope and opportunity. I think now they will be less tolerant and feel some of what is happening now as what they intrinsically know is not what they were taught. The thing we cannot forget is that children know when people don’t believe in them or they’re not being invested in. Kids know when things are different for them, when they are being quieted or being treated fairly. It’s sort of a shame on us adults when we treat kids like they don’t know.”

As for the importance of diversity in Congress, Obama told Rimes:

“Usually at the State of the Union address, what you see is this real dichotomy. On one side of the room it’s a feeling of color. On one side of the room it’s gray and white. On the other side of the room there’s yellows and blues and greens. One side, all men, all white. On the other side, some women and people of color. Whenever I was sitting├óΓé¼┬ªI looked at that and thought ├óΓé¼╦£No wonder people don’t trust politics. We’re not even noticing what these rooms look like.'”


After the inspiring chat, a recorded message from Barack popped up on the screen for him to tell his bride on their special day:

“Your strength, grace, determination honesty, and the fact that you look so good doing all of this, it’s remarkable. It’s no wonder that as people got to know you as I got to know you, that they fell in love. It’s truly the best decision I ever made to be persistent enough to ask you out on a date that you finally gave in and I hope you feel the same way.”


[Image via W.Wade/WENN.]

Oct 3, 2017 6:01pm PDT

More Like This